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Feature Behavior for UE4

Several features of Visual Assist change behavior when support for Unreal Engine 4 (UE4) is enabled.

Open File in Solution

The Open File in Solution (Shift+Alt+O) dialog can limit the domain of files listed/searched to those in the current solution. But because UE4 solutions typically include UE4 engine source, the domain of files in the dialog for a UE4 solution is typically always large. Exclude UE engine files from the dialog, thereby limiting files to those for gameplay, with a -\UE_4 filter.

Enhanced Syntax Coloring

Visual Assist does not apply its enhanced syntax coloring to U* macro invocations, e.g. UCLASS, but only to invocations that occur on a single line.

Invocations that span multiple lines are colored as if UE4 specifiers were user or system symbols.

With or without Visual Assist, Visual Studio applies coloring to UE4 specifiers that are also language keywords.

System Symbols in Italics

Visual Assist considers symbols that do not change, or that rarely change, to be system symbols. The symbols can be displayed in italics within the text editor, thereby differentiating references to them from symbols that have been overridden. System symbols are typically declared in shared system headers found via directory paths in project settings.

Visual Assist considers symbols declared in UE4 engine source, irrespective of where UE4 engine source is installed, to be system symbols. Therefore, enable italics to be confident you are referencing UE4 engine symbols when you expect to.

Enable italics in the options dialog of Visual Assist.

Smart Suggestions

Drop-downs with UE4 specifiers open when you type or modify select UE4 macros, e.g. UFUNCTION.

In the case of UE4 macros that accept meta specifiers, a separate drop-down appears after a meta keyword.

Enable the smart suggestions in the options dialog of Visual Assist.

Visual Assist obtains its suggested specifiers from several sources. Override the suggested set for a UE4 macro by creating an appropriately titled VA Snippet. For example, replace specifiers for UINTERFACE with a lowercase-only set by defining a VA Snippet titled UINTERFACE.

Default smart suggestions may be replaced by a VA Snippet with the appropriate title:


Values in a VA Snippet replace, not augment, default smart suggestions.

VA Snippets

Suggestions lists that appear when invoking UE4 macros do not include VA Snippets. For example, typing 'cl' suggests specifier 'classGroup', not a class declaration.

Registry Settings

Value Name Meaning
AllowSnippetsInUnrealMarkup Expand VA Snippets when editing U* macros with Unreal Engine 4 (UE4)
AlwaysDisplayUnrealSymbolsInItalics Prevent italics on solution symbols with Unreal Engine 4 (UE4)