Microsoft has just released a round of major updates to the .NET stack. Visual Studio 2017 gets its biggest update yet. C# gets its first update to C# 7.1 as part of the faster release cadence enabled by Roslyn. The new open source frameworks .NET Core and ASP.NET Core both get their 2.0 releases and .NET Standard 2.0 has arrived to unify everything.

Over the last 16 hours I've been busy upgrading projects to use the new releases. In this post, I'm going to share what I've discovered so far with Visual Studio 2017.


To get started, you'll want to update Visual Studio 2017 to v15.3. Visual Studio may pop up a notification offering you the update. If it doesn't, you can get the update manually by running Visual Studio Installer (from the start menu) and clicking update. You'll be asked to update the installer first, and then you'll need to update Visual Studio once that's done.

New Features and Improvements

There have been a lot of improvements to Visual Studio 2017 with this update. Improvements include C# 7.1, better accessibility, new refactorings including "add null checks" and "add parameter", variable name suggestions, better edit and continue support, better file globbing, better lightweight solution loading, better GoTo All and GoTo Files, and support for independent installations of different TypeScript versions.

That's just some of the improvements in VS2017. For the full list of improvements, check out the Visual Studio 2017 Release Notes.

Bug Fixes

Along with the new and improved features, Visual Studio 2017 v15.3 includes bug fixes for many long-standing issues. In particular, it fixes two issues I've blogged about previously.

With every major update and most minor updates to Visual Studio so far, I've had issues with Git when trying to push to a remote repository. Thankfully, I had no such issues with the v15.3 update to Visual Studio 2017.

Another issue since day one has been that Go To Definition would fail on Generic Types. This has been a big annoyance to me, as I frequently use this to read the documentation on different APIs. Thankfully, I can confirm that v15.3 fixes this bug.

Color Theme Editor

Do you remember when color was out and ALL CAPS was in? Thankfully, nothing like that has happened this time around. Instead, the Visual Studio 2017 Color Theme Editor has been released. This allows you to edit the color palette of Visual Studio. You can customize the menus, toolbars, tabs, title bars, and more. Personally, I like the standard blue theme, but if you're more creative or simply fussy, go wild. BTW, a new extra contrast variant of the blue theme has been added for better accessibility.


I really like the 3rd update to Visual Studio 2017. Go install it and check back here over the next few days. I'll be writing posts on C# 7.1, .NET Core 2.0, ASP.NET Core 2.0, and .NET Standard 2.0.

Subscribe to my rss feed to get these posts and follow @DanielCrabtree on Twitter to get my discoveries in real-time. If you have any preference on what you want me to write about next or have made any of your own discoveries about Visual Studio 2017, please leave a comment below, I would love to hear from you.