Getting Started

To get started simply download and run the QuickSharp setup program: QuickSharp will install in seconds and appear on the main Start menu as a single program icon.

Before running QuickSharp ensure you have version 3.5 of the .NET framework installed. Windows 7 user will find they already have it; XP and Vista users may need to obtain an update from Microsoft.

When first run QuickSharp will initialize the built-in Code Assist system; a progress bar will appear and there will be a short delay before the main window appears. (This will only happen the first time QuickSharp is run, subsequent launches will see much faster start up times.)

Basic layout

The following screen shot show the default layout.

QuickSharp screen shot

QuickSharp uses a standard Windows arrangement with a main menu, toolbar and status bar occupying the upper and lower edges of the main application window. To the right the workspace window presents a view of the current working directory, while the output window in the lower part of the screen presents output from the various tools run from within QuickSharp. Finally, the text editor occupies the main part of the window.

QuickSharp follows the conventions you would expect for a Windows application. Most of the basic operations such as handling files and managing windows should be familiar, or at least easy enough to figure out without further explanation. The notes presented here concentrate on explaining the less obvious aspects of QuickSharp's feature set.

Editor

The editor allows multiple files to be open at the same time and uses a docking-window layout similar to that found in Visual Studio. Multiple editors are represented by tabs across the upper part of the editing area and each can be selected by clicking the tab or from the drop-down list opened by the down arrow to the right of the tab strip. Tabs may be repositioned by dragging them within the tab strip or to other parts of the editing area to create vertical and horizontal splits. Click the 'X' icon on the tab strip to close the active window.

Workspace

The workspace shows the current directory and provides a visual overview and easy access to the files it contains.

The workspace toolbar is used to manage the workspace and allows the view to be refreshed or relocated to a different directory. Right-clicking items in the workspace will display the context menu. This can be used to rename, delete, clone or open files. Multiple files can be selected for certain operations and individual items can be copied or moved into sub folders using drag-and-drop.

By default, the workspace displays regular files and folders, hidden and system files are not shown. Use the Show Source Files Only button in the workspace toolbar to limit the file display to recognized source types only.

All files and folders in the workspace may be copied to a zip file archive for an instant backup. Click the 'file cabinet' button on the workspace toolbar and select a destination for the zip archive. Click OK to create the archive: the contents of the workspace, including any sub folders, will be zipped to a file named after the workspace folder and the current date and time. (Beware that a zip archive cannot be created in a folder that is a sub folder of the workspace.)

To avoid having to manually specify a zip file location each time you wish to perform a backup, use the workspace page in the QuickSharp options editor to provide a backup file path.

Explorer

The explorer shows an expanded view of the file system and allows file management operations to be performed from a wider point of view than the workspace. Folders can be opened, renamed, deleted or moved and files can be renamed, copied, moved, deleted or opened for editing. The explorer is hidden by default, to make it visible use the View menu or press Ctrl+Alt+E.

The explorer tree shows a subset of the disk file system; opening a folder with the context menu Open command will cause it to become the root of the explorer view. Use the toolbar buttons to move the tree root to the parent directory or some other location. Use the refresh button to update the view.

The current directory and the explorer root folder are independent and may be set to different locations. The explorer tree indicates the current directory by an open folder icon. To set the current directory right-click a folder and select Set as Current Directory.

Opening files

In the workspace and explorer views, files can be opened by double-clicking, pressing the Enter key or selecting Open from the context-menu. If a file is a type supported by QuickSharp it will be opened in an editor; if not QuickSharp will attempt to open the file using the current Windows shell association for the file type. If no associated application is available, the file will be treated as a text file and opened in an editor.

Output

The output window is used to present output from the various tools and programs that run within QuickSharp. It consists of two views: a list view and a text view; use the toolbar buttons to switch between them.

The list view presents output in the form of a list and is mainly used to present output from build tools. If running a tool generates an error it will be indicated in the list view as a 'red-cross' icon; double-clicking the line will display the source of the error in the editor. The list view presents output from the standard output and error streams; standard error output is displayed in red.

The text view is used to present raw output from tools and programs; unlike the list view it will not suppress empty lines or indentation and its content can be copied for pasting elsewhere.

Options

Many of QuickSharp's plugins have configuration settings that can be modified. In such cases the plugin will provide a configuration page which will appear in the QuickSharp options editor. This is accessible from the main Tools menu: select Options to open the editor and use the tree view to locate the required options page.

Press OK to make any changes permanent or Cancel to revert to the previous settings.