I found this a long time ago, but I haven’t thought to blog about it till yesterday. It is really cool hidden feature explained in Sara Ford’s blog called Visual Studio Guidelines. Basically it allows you to set rulers in your text editor with preferred color. You can set at most 13 guidelines. The trick is a registry key. When it is deleted the feature is gone again (obviously). John Robbins described it as “the last missing pieces to call VS.NET A complete editor!”

From Sara’s blog:

Enabling Guidelines

First, shut down Visual Studio 2005 if already started. Under

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER]SoftwareMicrosoftVisualStudio8.0Text Editor

create a string value called ‘Guides’. Set Guides to the following

RGB(x,y,z) n1,…,n13

Where x,y,z are the RGB values and n is the column number. You can have at most 13 guidelines. For example,

Guides = RGB(128,0,0) 5, 80

will place a Red guideline at column numbers 5 and 80.
And now launch VS and open a text file.

Disabling Guidelines

An obvious no-brainer, just delete the Guides keys you created above. Restart VS, and no more guidelines.