Coding Horror

programming and human factors

C#, VB.NET, and echoing strings in the VS.NET Immediate Window

I've become rather agnostic on the whole topic of C# versus VB.NET, but there are still those annoying little differences that sneak up behind you and rabbit-punch you in the kidneys. Like, say, using the VS.NET 2003 command window in immediate mode to print a string:

Printing text in the Immediate window in a C# project

Printing text in the Immediate window in a VB.NET project

Usually VB.NET is guilty of handling things in odd and unexpected ways, but this time it's C#. I expect newlines to appear in the immediate window as, oh, I don't know.. NEW LINES? It's a bit difficult to read text filled with a bunch of rn notation instead of human readable whitespace. What's worse is that even the variable tooltips in C# behave this way!

How can I work around this annoying "feature" of the C# IDE? I thought about creating a macro to use ?System.Diagnostics.Debug.WriteLine(s), which behaves appropriately, but the Diagnostics class isn't always in scope at a breakpoint.

Written by Jeff Atwood

Indoor enthusiast. Co-founder of Stack Overflow and Discourse. Disclaimer: I have no idea what I'm talking about. Find me here: