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Can we enable Line and Column numbers in the Status Bar?

joolsajoolsa GBMember ✭✭

Back in the day in MonoDevelop, probably in a version around 2.4 the status bar used to get line and column numbers by default. Is there any way to turn these in in Xamarin Studio?

Best Answer


  • mhutchmhutch USMember, Xamarin Team Xamurai

    The line number is now highlighted in the line number margin on the left of the editor.

  • joolsajoolsa GBMember ✭✭

    Mmm. I see it would be if I had those turned on! Overall I think you've done a fantastic job of the new design. There's a ton of options in the preferences still, which I think is right, given how much people use these environments and how personal it is. I've never had line numbers turned on in any editor I've every used, but always have the line and column numbers somewhere visible. My use cases for the column indicator are:

    • when do I wrap my lines?
    • going to a given column based on the text output of some search tool or other

    (Off topic) I'd love to see the barrier to entry of coding add-ins reduced. I can code C#, sure, but being able simply create a new solution containing an add-in project, setup so the compiled add-in loads and having some way to reflect / introspect the hook points that are available.

  • mhutchmhutch USMember, Xamarin Team Xamurai

    The problems with adding an option are firstly that we're trying to reduce the number of options, and instead have better defaults, and secondly that there's nowhere obvious to put the line/column numbers now we no longer have a status bar.

    However, we did considered the more important cases where the line/column information is useful and we have solutions for those :)

    If you would like to see where to wrap your lines, I recommend turning on the column ruler in Text Editor -> Markers and Rulers. This will display a vertical bar marker at the file width set in your formatting policies.

    Unfortunately, navigating to a specific column doesn't seem to work right now, I filed some bugs about improving this.

    Yes, it would be wonderful to have integrated support for creating addins - there's actually an unfinished addin for this. However we have many other more important priorities. I do at least try hard to keep the Creating a Simple Addin article up to date.

  • joolsajoolsa GBMember ✭✭
    edited March 2013

    I don't really understand you saying there's no longer a status bar?

    It's a good idea to remove unnecessary options, but that way XCode lies! I've never heard anyone suggest that XCode is better than Visual Studio, which has about a million options. Of course the defaults in Visual Studio are pretty good, which helps people perceive that it's really great.

    I really appreciate you addresses those use-cases for line and column numbers, but one attraction of a good IDE is that you can lash together something that helps you in the innumerable one-off situations you end up in.

    It still feels unbalanced you can opt to have or not have numbers every line (which I don't want!), but not to have a line / column display. If the status bar isn't there I could live with it in the title bar, but ideally the status bar would be there!

    Thanks for bugging those features - I look forward to the update. Thanks also for updating the simple addin page.

  • mhutchmhutch USMember, Xamarin Team Xamurai

    I know it looks like there's a status bar, but there really isn't one - that's just empty space in the autohiding pad area. If you close the "Errors" and "Search Results" pads, that area will disappear almost entirely. That fact that it doesn't disappear quite entirely is a minor bug...

    During the design cycle for XS, we did discuss maybe having a small overlay in the bottom right of the text editor but in the end we realized that the major use case was the current line number, and most users turn line numbers on, in which case the line number in the status bar was pretty much redundant. We also realized that the major uses for column numbers was navigating to specific locations and wrapping, for which there are better solutions. In the end there just wasn't enough of a reason to do all the designs, prototypes, implementations etc to put it back in a reasonably polished form, instead of working on more important areas. Sorry!

    This is anecdotal, but you're literally the first person I've seen ask to have this back - but we've had several positive comments (and none negative) about turning line numbers on by default. So on the whole I feel we made the right call.

    Note that all the bugs I filed yesterday did get fixed already, so in MD 4.0.5 you can go to a specific line+column from "Go to line" and from the global search, either for a specific file or within the current file :)

  • JE42JE42 NLMember

    I am looking for the column numbers. It looks like they are gone. While I like the idea to strive for less options, column numbers are a basic feature of an editor for developers. I don't need them often, but when I do I do need them.

  • joolsajoolsa GBMember ✭✭

    Yep. I still miss them. I still get column numbers from various places in Unity which aren't clickable :(

    There is still space in the-thing-which-is-not-a-status-bar, so maybe someone will write an add-in. Or the Xamarin folks will reconsider :)

  • bri_nbri_n NZMember

    I want to add a vote for showing column numbers. The reason is I would like to limit my lines to 80 characters.

  • mhutchmhutch USMember, Xamarin Team Xamurai

    @bri_n enable the column ruler in Preferences, it'll show a vertical line at whatever you've set as your desired file with in formatting policies.

  • joolsajoolsa GBMember ✭✭

    FWIW - it's a year on from when I made this comment and I'd still like the column and line numbers back!

  • StratoscopeStratoscope USMember

    @mhutch‌ - The column ruler doesn't help me. I code in a proportional font - which works great in MonoDevelop! - but the column ruler is just a straight vertical line. It doesn't correspond to any particular column number in my code.

    And because I code in a proportional font, I'm in particular need of column information so I can be considerate to my colleagues who use monospaced fonts and strict column standards.

    I use several different editors every day and they all display the column number, except MonoDevelop. Please, is there any way to get it back?

  • mhutchmhutch USMember, Xamarin Team Xamurai

    Ah, proportional width fonts isn't something we'd considered for that. I guess the column ruler doesn't really make sense in its current form with proportional fonts, maybe we could have it draw a sort of staggered column ruler? Though that might look weird.

    There really isn't a simple way to add it back as there is no longer a status bar to add it back to, sorry.

  • DomariusDomarius AUMember

    And that's it?

    It's pretty much convention to look down and see a line number and column number in a status bar.

    I was looking for ages and thought something was wrong.

    And then I read this thread.

    There IS a "status bar" area, just sitting there taking up space. How much space do you save when it finally collapses, 10 pixels or something? It could easily be an option to turn off for people who really want to claw back that tiny bit of screen space.

    Monodevelop is the only text editor I know that is breaking convention in this way, with not much reason as far as I can see in this thread.

  • MikeKrgerMikeKrger DEXamarin Team, Beta Xamurai
    edited August 2014

    I hope that we can bring back that feature in one of the next shell revisions - we're aware of that problem and I hope that we can find a design which brings back the line/column display.

    I implemented a line/column viewer as part of the 'vi mode'. It's not the best solution but maybe for some users that may be an ok solution until we'll revamp the shell.

  • PaulCardon.5493PaulCardon.5493 USMember, University

    Hey, I was wondering if I could see the column number for my current cursor position. Looks like I'm not alone.

  • Just got the latest Unity 4.6 and fired up MonoDevelop. Perhaps I'm just spoiled from Visual Studio, Sublime, and XCode ... or even non-dev text editors like Notepad++ but not having row & column #s in the UI seems like dropping a fundamental IDE feature developers want & use.

    It's the (many) little things that will encourage me to utilize an IDE other than MonoDevelop as soon as there is a relatively good pipeline to do C# 4.x development in Unity3d. I wonder how many other "MonoDevelop Developers" will do the same.

    You have a captive audience right now; I hope you change course spend time to act upon suggestion(s).

  • niquedegraaffniquedegraaff NLMember
    edited October 2014

    What kind of strange and weird (may i say it?) idiot(s) decided to remove one of the most fundamental features of an IDE? This is really a ridiculous decision. How the hell am i supposed to debug properly with knowing only one axis (line number) of the location in the document. Mono Develop is full of weirdness. It could be a great IDE but every time the developers seems to be made decisions that makes people run far, far away from it.

  • If anyone is paying attention here, I'm casting my vote for column numbers as well. It is very, very weird to not have them. I was going to jokingly say the only "code editor" I've ever seen without column numbers Microsoft Word; however, it's even an option there. Notepad as well. At the moment, I wouldn't care where it is positioned in the interface, put it in the title bar, just make it an option somehow.

  • DWilchesDWilches COMember
    edited January 2015

    I think that column numbers should be added back to that empty space where the status bar should be.

    But anyway, for those that miss the column numbers to know where to wrap their lines, there is a solution:

    • Go to Preferences -> Text Editor -> Markers and Rulers, and select the option: Show column ruler.
    • Now go to Project -> Solution Options -> Source Code -> Code Formatting -> C# source code, and set the column ruler to, say 80, in the textfield Desired file width.

    I found that name "file width" funny, but it does what I want.

    BTW: I'm using MonoDevelop 4.0.1 that comes with Unity 4.6.1f1

  • MatthewGerberMatthewGerber USMember ✭✭

    Need column numbers!

  • tlantztlantz USMember

    I just installed Xamarin Studio and I'm excited to play around with it a bit.

    However, the first thing I searched for is how I can get column numbers showing up in the bottom right.

    I use vim and Visual Studio regularly, stack specific flavors of Eclipse occasionally. While the column ruler might work for me if I can get used to it, it just makes it unfamiliar when every other tool I use puts the column numbers in a similar spot.

    I also understand the allure of minimal editors. But there's some content that really aids usability. Even TextMate, last time I used it (admittedly long ago), shows you line and column somewhere toward the bottom.

    I'll see how the column ruler goes. Other than the column number thing, I like the environment so far, so great job - hope to see it continue to improve (hopefully with column numbers :)).

  • YuchoHoYuchoHo USMember

    I know it's a 2-year old thread but just wanted to cast my vote for column numbers.

    MonoDev is awesome and I appreciate the hard work that developers put in. But displaying column & line number in a word editor is as necessary as displaying mouse pixel coordinate in an image editor.


  • KodaichiZeroKodaichiZero CAMember

    Logging in to cast my vote as well. I really need to have column numbers. When I'm compiling and the Unity console says that there's an error in my code at (50,70), it doesn't really help me if I have no way of knowing where column 70 is. This is ridiculous and I think that the excuse of "there's no more status bar" is completely invalid. It has to be able to go somewhere. Give it it's own toolbar or something for goodness' sake. I'm also really saddened to see that this request has been ignored for so long. I'm just getting into Unity development and this is already discouraging me.

  • capsaicincapsaicin USMember

    I also want column numbers so I can take advantage of compiler errors that state the line and column of a bug. This is a basic feature that any IDE or even text editor needs.

  • ChrisM.1516ChrisM.1516 USMember

    Column numbers are referenced by numerous tools used by professional programmers working on real projects. This is a trivial feature, not something that will lead to instability in your project, or user confusion. I understand the desire to reduce complexity of software, but not even allowing for an "off by default" display of a column number is silly. If this was evaluation software, or a design project, or something meant for amateur programmers only, I suppose I could understand. However, it is a standard tool packaged with Unity. So, the robustness of this IDE reflects on the robustness of Unity as a product.

    At the very least, please reply with, this is how you can make a plug-in, or alter our code to add your column number, instead of "Nope!"

  • mhutchmhutch USMember, Xamarin Team Xamurai

    This is still something we're looking into adding back in future shell designs but it really isn't something that comes up a lot.

    Since we display error markers inline on the source editor, and navigate to errors when you double-click on them, it's very rarely necessary to know the line numbers.

    The exception to this seems to be people using the third-party Unity addin - it sounds like it doesn't provide this kind of integration? I recommend reporting this to Unity, as it's something they should fix in their addin.

  • JoeS8504JoeS8504 USMember

    I've since stopped using the software, its pretty useless without the column numbers.
    Its also one of the worst coding programs I've used/

    It constantly throws errors when I try to open existing scripts and has trouble linking code with other scripts when none of the other programs I use have any trouble whatsoever(most of which are very basic)

    Even notepad++ is better than this software.

    No offense to you guys and your fellow devs, but it seems really stupid to take away something that makes coding much more efficient.

    The only reason I used it as long as I did was because the software I had been using at the time required I use it.

  • tbentben USMember

    Yes, I'll put my vote in for column numbers as well. I can't believe you would not have something so basic in an editor for programmers. This post has been going on for close to 3 years now, so I'm not holding my breath.

  • DavidDancyDavidDancy AUMember ✭✭✭✭

    It used to be a feature and it was removed (a long time ago). I wouldn't count on it coming back.

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