LINQPad: The Ultimate .NET Scratchpad

LINQPad can run not only LINQ queries, but any C#/F#/VB expression, statement or program.

For instance, have you ever needed to test a DateTime format string? In LINQPad, just enter the expression and hit F5:

With LINQPad's instant edit/run cycle and optional full autocompletion, you'll have code snippets fully tweaked in less time than it takes to bring up Visual Studio's Add Reference dialog!

What about testing a regular expression? You'll start using Regex a lot more once you have LINQPad:

Notice how LINQPad nicely formats the Match object. Complex object graphs are much more readable in LINQPad's output window.

To run a series of statements, just change the "Language" combo to Statements (or hit Ctrl+2):

Now we can really start having fun. Let's create a new RSA public/private keypair, and then encrypt and decrypt some data:

Again, you can keep tweaking your code until it does what you want, then paste working code into Visual Studio.

You can even run a full program with additional methods: just change the Language to Program, and LINQPad will wrap your code in a Main method so you can write additional methods and classes.

Need to reference custom assemblies or NuGet references? No problem: just hit F4 for the Add Reference dialog.

Additional benefits:

  • LINQPad reports the execution time in the status bar, so you won't have to manually create a Stopwatch class for performance testing.
  • Want to test a variation of your snippet? Ctrl+Shift+C instantly clones your snippet so you can run another version side-by-side.
  • You can return to saved queries in single click, thanks to the My Queries treeview. Use LINQPad as a scripting tool!
  • You can call Dump on any WPF or Windows Forms control and LINQPad will render it. This is a great way to write custom visualizers.
  • In the My Queries treeview, you'll see a query called My Extensions. Here's where you can write methods and classes that will be available to all queries.