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Effectively using watch

Posted on 2008-10-31
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Last Modified: 2013-12-17
Hi,

I'm using Visual Studio 2005. Is it possible to use more watch windows then 4 when debugging? Let's say I'm debugging 20 methods and in every of them are many variables I want to watch. How to do it effectively? It seems that watch Windows in Visual Studio aren't sufficient.

thanks
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Question by:xRalf
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8 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:kaylanreilor
ID: 22848947
I don't think you can but there is also the auto window which is reporting the value of the variables currently used by the code when debugging step-by-step and also when you hover the mouse over the variable you will have the values... but I guess you already knew that.
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Author Comment

by:xRalf
ID: 22849299
The auto window is useful and hovering mouse over variable is also very useful, but what if the variables aren't easy? What if you have structures and classes and want to watch only some members of those classes, or you don't want to watch only the variable, but the variable in some complex expression?
Watch windows are good for this purpose, but there are only 4.
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Expert Comment

by:kaylanreilor
ID: 22850383
With VS2005 you already have the feature where you can expand a structure by hovering over it into the code.
Else you right-click the variable and click "QuickWatch...".
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Author Comment

by:xRalf
ID: 22850441
Yeah,

I know about expanding the structure but it's really uncomfortable
and I know about QuickWatch, but it's not what I'm looking for.
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Expert Comment

by:kaylanreilor
ID: 22851257
OK, but if it doesn't exist what are you waiting for ? Your question is "Is it possible to use more watch windows then 4 when debugging?", the answer is "No, it isn't", so now I suggest to look for an add-in sold by another company.
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Expert Comment

by:kaylanreilor
ID: 22851282
For example here : http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/cc301414.aspx
It's written "you have up to four Watch windows in which to place the variables you want to monitor". That mean 4 and no more.

So let's look for an add-in if it exist.
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LVL 6

Author Comment

by:xRalf
ID: 22865909
There aren't more watch windows then for, so I'm looking for some effective way, how to handle this situation.
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Accepted Solution

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kaylanreilor earned 1000 total points
ID: 22873938
Why don't you add traces in a file reporting the values of your variables with a timestamp.
Or you can spent a lot of time to code a whole app which will read the info into a pipe before displaying it on a GUI. The code feeding the pipe and, in the "observer" app, the code reading the pipe could run in separated thread !... Seriously, I'm not sure that you absolutly need to have clue at the same time on all the variables of your 20 functions into DIFFERENT watch windows. You really can deal the 4 existing and the variable of several different methods into the same watch window.
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