ReSharper 2018.3 Help

Using To-do Lists

ReSharper | Windows | To-do Explorer

ReSharper provides an easy way to track tasks and technical debt in your code — code items (comments, string literals, or identifiers) matching a specific pattern can be easily located in the editor as well as in the whole solution using the To-do Explorer window.

To-do items are highlighted in the editor and on the marker bar according to their types (Edit, Normal, Question, Warning, Error). Colors are configurable on the Environment | Fonts and Colors page of Visual Studio options:

Configuring editor and marker bar colors for ReSharper's To-do items

To-do patterns

By default, ReSharper provides three predefined patterns for commonly used To-do items of the following types:

  • A comment containing TODO - Normal

  • A comment containing BUG - Error

  • A NotImplementedException in the code - Edit

You can also define your own patterns, so that you could quickly access your specific technical debt items in the To-do Explorer window.

To define a custom To-do pattern

  1. Open the Tools | To-do Explorer page of ReSharper options.

  2. Click Add on the toolbar.

  3. Provide a title for your To-do pattern and specify a regular expression with keywords that you want to detect in comments. For example, (\W|^)(?<TAG>Refactor)(\W|$)(.*).

  4. Select where ReSharper should apply the expression to find the To-do items (comments, strings, and/or identifiers).

  5. Optionally, specify whether the pattern is case sensitive.

  6. Select a type for the pattern to define how matched items will be colored in the editor and in the To-do Explorer window.

  7. Click OK to add this pattern to the list.

  8. You can also duplicate, edit or remove existing patterns.

  9. 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.

Linking To-do items to external URLs

In a To-do pattern, you can add a placeholder for items that will point to an external URL. This comes in particularly handy for issue trackers — you can use IDs of the issues in your comments, and ReSharper will let you open the corresponding issues in the browser or directly in the editor peek view.

Suppose your project is on GiHub and you want to add comments for GitHub issues in your code. All you have to do is create a custom To-do pattern for that:

  • Regular expression: (?<=\W|^)(?<TAG>GH \#(?<ISSUE_ID>\d+))(\W|$)(.*)


ReSharper. To-do pattern that recognizes GitHub issues

ReSharper will now treat GH #XX in your comments as links to the corresponding GitHub issues.

ReSharper. To-do link to GitHub issue from the comment

Besides Ctrl-clicking on these comments, you can also Ctrl+Shift-click to open the link in the editor peek preview. Both ways of navigating to the URLs are also available from the Alt+Enter menu.

To navigate between To-do items in the current file, use To-do marks on the marker bar.

To study To-do items in the whole solution

  1. Press Ctrl+Alt+. or choose ReSharper | Windows | To-do Explorer from the main menu. Alternatively, you can press Ctrl+Shift+A, start typing the command name in the pop-up, and then choose it there.

  2. In the To-do Explorer window that opens, click ThemedIcon Down Screen Gray or ThemedIcon Up Screen Gray to navigate to the next or previous item. To locate To-do items in the editor, double-click on them.

    Viewing To-do items with ReSharper

  3. To study the source code of the selected item right in the window, click Show Preview ThemedIcon PreviewToggle Screen Gray on the toolbar. If necessary, you can locate the preview pane on the bottom of on the right.

Grouping and filtering To-do items

By default, the To-Do Explorer lists to-do items based on project structure. If necessary, you can change grouping options using the Group by selector. You can disable grouping, group by tags, types, namespaces, directories, projects.

Depending on the size and age of the codebase, there may be lots of To-do items. To concentrate on specific items, you can filter To-do items by pattern (e.g. TODO or BUG) — just select the desired patterns in the Filter ThemedIcon Filter Screen Gray selector to display items matching the corresponding patterns and hide all others.

This feature is supported in the following languages and technologies:

Language: C#

Language: VB.NET

Language: C++

Language: HTML

Language: ASP.NET

Language: Razor

Language: JavaScript

Language: TypeScript

Language: CSS

Language: XML

Language: XAML

Language: Resx

Language: Build Scripts

Language: Protobuf

Language: JSON

Feature is available

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The instructions and examples given here address the use of the feature in C#. For details specific to other languages, see corresponding topics in the ReSharper by Language section.

Last modified: 25 April 2019

See Also