Use Ctrl + Period to resolve a missing namespace reference

I love Microsoft Intellisense and the fact that it is so helpful. One aspect I like is that it will help you resolve a missing namespace reference. Generally when you add a reference to a namespace and it has not been declared, Microsoft will underline the missing reference in red. When you hover over it you will get an error message saying : “The type or namespace name ‘xxx’ could not be found (are you missing a using directive or an assembly reference?)

 missing reference



To resolve this problem you have two options, you can right-click the missing reference and choose Resolve.

missing ref 2

You can place a reference to the missing namespace at the top of your class by choosing the using statement or you can place it inline by selecting the full namespace. If you are going to be using this namespace reference in other places within your class then obviously the former is the better choice.

There is another way to create a reference to this missing namespace. When you know the namespace is missing and you have finished typing the initial reference, you can hit Ctrl + . (period) to raise a dialog box helper. From here you can arrow up or down to select and instantiate the namespace reference. This way you do not have to reach for the mouse and break your flow.

missing ref 3


About Ken Cenerelli
I am a technical writer/programmer writer/content developer, .NET developer, Microsoft MVP, public speaker, blogger, and Microsoft Azure nerd. I blog about technology at and am on Twitter via @KenCenerelli.

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