Along with the brand new goodies coming with the latest release of Telerik JustCode, i.e. support for QUnit and Jasmine JavaScript testing frameworks, opening the API to the public, All Types Code Completion (a.k.a. JustCode IntelliSense), etc., there comes a major overhaul of an old friend of ours – the Visual Aid, or lovingly shortened to VA. The main part of the rework there is in the direction of behavior configurability. Thus, a stand-alone VA settings page is brought to life in the Visual Features menu of JustCode options dialog.

The old settings are still there. "Show visual aid tag" option will show/hide the green gadget that visually indicates the current position of VA, and the slider will provide you with means of tuning the size of the header to your taste.

The twist here is centered around the newly introduced clear separation of the two modes VA works in.

Mouse Mode

Mouse mode means that VA is operated entirely by the movement of the mouse. This means that hovering with the mouse over VA will expand and switch its menus, leaving the menus will close VA, using the keyboard will have no effect on it and will return the focus to the code editor. There are some new settings to help you customize the behavior in this mode. The default values are shown in the screenshot above.

  • Show header on mouse hover - Once unchecked, this option will disable showing the header and menus of VA using the mouse, and thus leaving only the Keyboard Mode as a means of displaying VA. The green VA tag is still there, though, so that you can easily see that there are some context actions at that point.
  • Show menus on mouse hover - If unchecked, you won’t be able to display the menus under each header category using only mouse hover. You’ll have to click to open a menu there.
  • Hide header on mouse leave - When this one is unchecked, the header will remain visible even when the mouse has left the VA menus. This proves helpful when you accidentally leave the area of VA, but still need to return to it right away.
  • Enable keyboard mode on header mouse click - This option is essential for the interoperability of the two modes. If disabled, you won’t be able to activate keyboard mode using the mouse. Otherwise, a single click on any of the header categories will switch from Mouse to Keyboard Mode.

Keyboard Mode

This mode is designed especially for the geeks in us, who consider the mouse a “devil’s contraption”. In this mode you can perform the entire navigation within VA using exclusively the keyboard and you can do so even if the "Show visual aid tag" option is switched off. You can start by invoking VA with the shortcut Ctrl+`, then using the arrow keys to navigate through the header with categories and their menus (you can also use Tab and Shift+Tab to navigate the items in the menus), and invoke a command from a menu using the Enter key. Once you’re done browsing through VA you can use Esc to close it and return to the code editor.

  • Switch menus on mouse hover - With this option set, you’ll be able to use both keyboard and mouse for navigating around the VA menus. The default is off as we want a clear separation of the two modes with the options’ initial values.
Feel free to experiment and share thoughts on how to improve the behavior of our Visual Aid so that it suits your coding habits best, and stay tuned with updates from Telerik on

Happy coding!
The JustCode team

About the Author

Chris Eargle

is a Microsoft C# MVP with over a decade of experience designing and developing enterprise applications, and he runs the local .NET User Group: the Columbia Enterprise Developers Guild. He is a frequent guest of conferences and community events promoting best practices and new technologies. Chris is a native Carolinian; his family settled the Dutch Form region of South Carolina in 1752. He currently resides in Columbia with his wife, Binyue, his dog, Laika, and his three cats: Meeko, Tigger, and Sookie. Amazingly, they all get along... except for Meeko, who is by no means meek.

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