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Visual Studio
VS 2003+

Visual Studio Task List Comments

When you are developing software, the temptation exists to write code quickly and return later to improve readability and functionality. Using Visual Studio, comments can be added in the code to highlight these areas and show reminders in the task list.

Task List

Visual Studio provides a task list that helps the programmer to remember all of the jobs that they need to complete within a development project. The task list shows user tasks, which can be added by clicking the add task button, and tasks linked to comments, which are added directly in the code. The second type of task is particularly useful because the task is linked to a specific line of code, allowing the user to double-click the task to return to the correct place in the text editor.

To display the task list, select Task List from the View menu. To filter the list for comment tasks, select Comments from the now visible task list as highlighted in the figure below.

Adding Task Reminders Using Comments

To create a task list comment, a standard comment is prefixed with a special token. Three standard tokens are provided by default. These are TODO to mark an area that requires additional work, HACK for elements that have been quickly put together and need to be reworked and UNDONE that indicates some code changes that have been reversed. When creating a comment, one of these tokens appears first followed by a colon (:) and the text of the task. For example:

Visual Studio Task List Comments

Adding Custom Task Tokens

The three standard tokens are useful for most situations but sometimes you may want to create your own tokens, perhaps to identify which developer made a modification or to highlight version changes. This can be achieved using the Visual Studio environment options.

To show the task list options, select Options from the Tools menu. Expand the Environment settings and select Task List. The controls required for creating and modifying tokens are then visible.

3 February 2008