ReSharper 2016.1 Help

File and Type Layout

ReSharper can reorder types and type members in C# files according to the configured patterns. Patterns can describe a lot of conditions and constraints that are evaluated when reordering items in a file and/or wrapping them with specified regions.

In this topic:

Introduction to layout patterns

You can configure and use two types of patterns:

  • File pattern. Applies to all C# files. Can arrange namespaces, types, and delegates; wrap them in regions or organize in groups, remove regions. The contents of the types can be further arranged with type patterns. Note that only one file pattern can be applied at a time.
  • Type pattern. Only applies to types, that match pattern's constraints, if any. Can arrange file members, wrap them in regions or organize in groups, remove regions.

Within the patterns, you can specify matcher entries in the desired order as well as regions/groups, in which the matching items are wrapped/grouped.

The algorithm of applying the current pattern set works as follows:

  1. If a file pattern exists, ReSharper checks whether regions in the file should be removed, then it checks whether each of the matcher entries in the pattern matches any code item in the file.
  2. If there are matching entries, their position in the file is changed according to the position of the corresponding matcher item in the file pattern.
  3. If the same code item matches several matcher entries, then the matcher with higher priority or stronger constraints is applied. That is, if there is pattern A that matches public types and pattern B that matches public static types, then all public static types will be matched by the pattern B. To change this, you can raise the priority of the pattern A.
  4. If there are matcher entries with the same set of constraints, the matching items are moved according to the position of the first of such matcher entries.
  5. If regions or groups are specified, the matched items are grouped or wrapped with the regions accordingly.
    A group or a region allows you to specify priority for it. For example, if a group/region has higher priority than other matchers outside it, then ReSharper first processes matchers inside the group/region, and then the rest of the matchers. The only difference between group an region is that the region wraps matched items into #region/#endregion.
  6. Everything that is not matched is moved after the matched items. If you need to put the unmatched items elsewhere, you can create a matcher without constraints and set the desired position for it in the pattern.
  7. After that, type patterns are applied, if any. ReSharper checks whether each of the type patterns matches amy type in the file. If there are several matching patterns for a type, the conflicts are resolved similarly to steps 3 and 4.
  8. When the type match is established, ReSharper checks whether regions in the type should be removed, then it checks whether each of the matcher entries in the pattern matches amy member in the file.
  9. If there are matching members, their position in the type is changed according to the position of the corresponding matcher item in the type pattern.
  10. Regions, groups and unmatched members are dealt with similarly to steps 5 and 6.

File and type layout preferences

Out of the box, ReSharper provides type patterns for COM interfaces and structs, for NUnit test fixtures, and the default pattern for the rest of C# types. There are two sets of patterns: one uses regions to wrap specific kinds of type members, while the other does not use regions.

The default member layout rules are based on numerous best practices and can be recommended in most cases. However, if your personal preferences or company standards differ from ReSharper defaults, you can configure code reordering patterns basing one the default ones as well as create new patters for specific cases.

All modifications to the layout patterns are done on the Code Editing | C# | File Layout page of ReSharper options. After the editing is done, click Save to apply the modifications and let ReSharper choose the settings layer, or choose a particular settings layer in the Save To drop-down list. To learn more about saving ReSharper settings, see Managing and Sharing ReSharper Settings.

Configuring file and type layout rules visually

ReSharper allows you to configure all parameters of layout rules using a dedicated visual editor. Items in the editor page can be displayed in one of the following views:

  • Patterns. This is a root view that displays all available patterns in the current patterns set. You can open this view by clicking Patterns in the top left corner of the page. From this view, you can navigate to any pattern by double-clicking it. To add a new pattern to the set, drag-n-drop a file or type pattern item from the toolbox on the right. You can also use drag-n-drop to reorder patterns. The order of type patterns defines which pattern is applied if several patterns match the same type with equal priority and constraints.
  • Composition. This view visualizes the order and grouping of the matcher entries, regions, and groups inside a pattern, a region or a group. In the illustration below, you can see a composition view of a type pattern:
    Composition view of a type pattern
  • Constraints. This view visualises constraints of a pattern or a matcher entry, e.g. what kind of code items with which modifiers or attributes should or should not be matched by it, etc. Patterns and matchers will only apply to items matching all their constraints. All constraints are grouped by logical containers that identify relations between these constraints. In the illustration below, you can see a constraints view of a matcher entry:
    Constraints view of a matcher entry

To edit an existing layout pattern

  1. Go to the Code Editing | C# | File Layout page of ReSharper options.
  2. Click Patterns on the upper left corner of the page to see all patterns in the current set. In the properties of this element, you can use the Static Field Reordering Policy selector to define whether and how to reorder static fields with initializers. The options are:
    • Strict - static fields are not reordered if there is a chance it might affect program behavior. For example, if there is a static field with initializer that has a reference to a static member of the same class, all static fields of the class are not reordered.
    • Relaxed - reordering of static fields that have explicit usage of other static fields in their initializers as well as the static fields they are referencing is prohibited.
    • Unrestricted - reordering is always allowed (not recommended).
    The selected behavior will be applied to all patterns.
    For non-reordered static fields with initializers, ReSharper preserves their relative order while still reordering them together with other declarations.
  3. Optionally, to load one of the default pattern sets, click Load in the upper right corner of the page, and then choose the pattern set.
  4. Double-click on the desired pattern, and switch it to the composition view if it is in the constraints view (click the icon to the right of the pattern header to switch views). Note that file patterns are always displayed in the composition view, i.e. you cannot specify any constraints for them.
  5. In the composition view, you can modify the pattern in the following ways:
    • To change the order of the items, drag and drop them inside the pattern.
    • To remove a specific item, select it, and press Delete. Note that if you are deleting a region or group, all items inside it will be also deleted. Therefore, you may want to drag the items from the region/group before deleting it.
    • To add a new item, drag it into the desired place in the pattern from the Toolbox area. Drag a Region or Group to use it as a grouping item, or drag an Entry to match something in the target code. You can also use the Dependency property matcher to match and arrange all parts of WPF dependency properties.
    • To configure the properties of the pattern or an item inside it, select it and modify its properties in the right bottom part:
      • Display Name - this property available for a pattern and for a matcher entry is only used for your convenience and should describe what is matched by it.
      • Name - this property of a region specifies how to name the region when it is created.
        You can use the ${0} parameter in the name to insert the sequence number of the region if the region is spawned according to the Group By option.
        You can also use named parameters to insert the grouping option in the region name. For example, you can use the ${Access} parameter, which will be replaced with 'private', 'public' etc. in the names of the corresponding regions. Obviously, this parameter makes sense if you use the same value for the 'Group By' property of the region. Valid values for this parameter are the same as the values of the 'Group By' property without spaces. I.e, to insert the name of the implementing interface in the region name, use the ${ImplementsInterface} parameter.
      • Remove Regions - this property of file and type patterns specifies what to do with existing regions in the matched code. The Except generated value can be used to only remove regions created previously by applying this feature with default patterns.
      • Priority - this property sets the relative priority of the matcher entry. That is, if some piece of code is matched by several matcher entries, it is moved according to the position of the entry with the highest priority.
      • Sort By - this property of an entry specifies sorting preferences in case of multiple matching code items. As soon as you select a sorting preference other than None, a Then By clause appears that allows further refinement of the sort order.
      • Group By - this property of a region or a group specifies whether to spawn regions/groups according to the specified grouping. For example, if Kind is selected as a value, several regions/groups would be created for fields, properties, and other kind of members, if any. As soon as you select a grouping preference other than None, a Then By clause appears that allows further separation of matched code items.
  6. To configure constraints that define how a specific type pattern or a matcher entry matches code items, we switch to the constraints view. To open this view for a type pattern, click the corresponding icon on its header; to open this view for a matcher entry, double-click it.
  7. In the constraints view, the selected item is represented as a container of conditions. To configure these conditions, drag and drop items from the Toolbox area into the edited pattern or entry:
    • The items in the Logical Containers should be added first as they define how to apply multiple conditions. Names of these containers explain rather clearly how the conditions are related inside these containers. If you add constraints without logical containers, they will be grouped by the And container.
    • The items in the Constraints group allows you to define what the matching item should or should not be (if wrapped in the Not container). Not that you can use regex expressions in the value of the Name constraint. Drag items from this group into logical containers and configure their properties in the bottom right part.
    • Drag the items from the Modifiers group to specify which modifiers the target item should or should not have.
    For example, an entry that matches non-private static fields and properties would look like this:
    Editing file layout: matcher entry example

Configuring file and type layout by editing the source XAML

If necessary, you can edit the source XAML that describes the set of file and type patterns. To do so, click XAML in the top of the File Layout page. This view can be also helpful if you want to copy and paste the pattern set.

We recommend you to load one of the default patterns and check the tags used in this format. They are rather self-explanatory, for example, the Entry tag defines a matcher entry and the Entry.Match specifies what code items should be matched. the Entry.SortBy tag specifies how the matched items should be sorted, etc. Consider the example below:


This XML code matches constructors and sorts them in such way that first go static constructors.

Reordering file and type members

To apply your file and type layout settings in the desired scope, use code cleanup. You can either run code cleanup with the default profile Default: Full Cleanup or run the cleanup with a custom profile solely targeted at your specific task as described below.

To apply file and type layout

  1. Open the Code Cleanup options: ReSharper | Options | Code Editing | Code Cleanup.
  2. Create a new profile as described in the Configuring Code Cleanup section. In the Selected profile settings section for the new profile tick the Apply file layout check box.
  3. Click Save to apply the modifications and let ReSharper choose where to save them, or save the modifications to a specific settings layer using the Save To drop-down list. For more information, see Managing and Sharing ReSharper Settings.
  4. Select the scope where you want to apply file layout:
    • Set the caret anywhere in the file to apply file layout to the file.
    • Select one or more items in the Solution Explorer to apply file layout in the files under these nodes and their child items.
  5. Do one of the following:
    • Press Ctrl+Alt+F or choose ReSharper | Edit | Cleanup Code in the main menu .
    • Right-click anywhere in the text editor or right-click the selection and choose Cleanup Code in the context menu.
  6. In the Code Cleanup dialog box that opens, select the newly created profile in the Available Profiles area.
  7. Click Run. ReSharper will apply file layout in the selected scope.

If you want to apply file layout without opening the Code Cleanup dialog box, you can bind the created profile to the silent cleanup and run it simply by pressing Ctrl+Shift+Alt+F. You can also create a custom cleanup profile that would combine applying file layout with other code style tasks.

This feature is supported in the following languages/technologies:

C# VB.NET C++ HTML ASPX Razor JavaScript TypeScript CSS XML XAML RESX Build Scripts Protobuf JSON

See Also

Last modified: 19 August 2016