Intellisense lets you write code quickly by providing information and word completion as you type.
It is also useful for identifying and showing you problems with your code.
For example if you cannot see an object that you would expect to see in the List Members list then maybe you have mistyped something.

Intellisense features include:

  • list members

  • parameter info

  • quick info

  • complete word

code snippets (?)

List Members

Lets you explore all the members of an object without having to use the Object Model
You can access the information directly in the Code Editor as you are typing
When you type the name of a type or namespace followed by a period (.) a list of available members will be displayed.
This is similar to the List Properties/Methods in VBA
You can insert an item from the list by double clicking the member or pressing Tab or Enter.
A tooltip known as "Quick Info" is also displayed on the right which contains a description of the member

Notice that there are two tabs at the bottom of the list.
The Common tab displays only the most common members
The All tab displays all the members. This is the one you want displayed.

Parameter Info

When you type the name of a property or method and then type an open parenthesis ("(") a list of parameters including which ones are optional is displayed.
Any optional parameters are displayed in square brackets ("[ ]") and can be excluded

Microsoft Office Intellisense

If you want to have the same intillisense (with additional summary descriptions) for all your PIAs then there is an additional Intellisense XML file which can be installed
This is called "Visual Studio Tools for Developers XML files"
This can be downloaded from
Without this download you will still get list members and parameter info but you will not see the "Quick Info" on the right hand side.

VSTO ships with XML files that enable intellsense for the VSTO specific object model for Excel and Word.
However if you want to have the benefits of an enhanced Intellisense feature for the Outlook object model (or the interop object models for Excel and Word) you should install the Intellisense XML files that are available for download on the Microsoft website
In the Download Center search for "Intellisense" and select "Microsoft Intellisense XML files for Microsoft Visual Studio Tools for Office System Solution Developers
This is the file "VSTOIntellisenseXML.msi

Quick Info

Not available in VBA
When you hold the mouse over an identifier Visual Studio displays a quick info tip
This shows the declaration of the identifier
Every time the cursor is moved the tool tip will update accordingly.

Complete Word

Not available in VBA
When you start typing a word you can press (Alt + right arrow) or (Ctrl + spacebar) for the word to be automatically completed for you
If there are several choices then a drop-down of possible words is displayed
The editor also supports auto-completion of keywords and enumerations

Most of these options are on by default but they can be controlled from the Options dialog box
(Text Editor > All Languages > General)
(Text Editor > Basic > General)

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