If you wish to create high-quality applications, debugging is a critical part of your software development process. The ability to identify and fix errors in your code is essential. Visual Studio, being one of the most extensively used Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) for developing Windows-based applications, offers developers an array of tools to debug their projects.
If you want to debug another project in Visual Studio, here’s how you can do it:
Step 1: Set the Startup Project
To debug another Visual Studio project, open the solution that contains the project that you wish to debug. After that, right-click on the project that you want to debug and select “Set as Startup Project.” This selection will make your project the initial project to start debugging when you initiate to debug the whole solution.
Step 2: Add Breakpoints
To debug your project effectively, you must add breakpoints to your code. Breakpoints are indicators that pause your project’s execution so that you may take a closer look at the code. To add a breakpoint, click on the appropriate line number in the code editor where you want the breakpoint.
Step 3: Start Debugging
Initiate debugging by using the F5 key or by selecting “Start Debugging” from the Debug menu. Visual Studio will then start your application, and once it reaches the point where you set the breakpoint, it’ll stop there and wait for your command to execute the rest of your code.
Step 4: Step Through the Code
Once you have executed the application and paused it at the breakpoint, it’s time to start stepping through your code. You can go step-by-step through your code using the following keys:
- F10: Step Over (executes the current line of code and goes to the next line)
- F11: Step Into (executes the current line of code and goes to the next line, but steps into a function if the current line calls a function)
- Shift + F11: Step Out (exits the current function and goes back to the caller function)
Step 5: Inspect Variables
While debugging, you can inspect the values of variables within your code. You can view a variable’s value by hovering over it with your mouse cursor or adding it to the Watch window. The Watch window will display the latest value of the variable and may be accessed by navigating to Debug > Windows > Watch > Watch 1.
Step 6: Handle Exceptions
When debugging, if an exception arises, Visual Studio will halt at the line of code where the exception happened. You can then investigate the source of the problem and find a solution.
Debugging another project within Visual Studio is a crucial skill for software developers. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can efficiently debug your project in Visual Studio. Remember to set up your startup project, add breakpoints, initiate debugging, step through your code, view variable values, and handle exceptions. Happy debugging!