7.5.2. Working with the Watch pane

The Watch pane enables you to view expressions and their current values. You can use the Watch pane to create breakpoints, or to change existing watched values.

Displaying the pane

Select View → Pane Views → Watch to view the Watch pane, shown in Figure 7.9.

The Watch pane contains a series of tabs. The Watch1 tab is selected by default. You can set expressions on different tabs to make it easier to manage what is being watched during your debugging session. Click on the required tab to select it.

Expressions are listed in the order they were created. You can drag the column headings to display the full name or value if required. Where an entry contains subentries, for example an array, a plus sign is appended to the name. Click on this to expand the display.

Using the Pane menu

Highlight an entry in the watched variables list and click the Pane menu button to display the Pane menu. This contains:

Cut

Select this option to copy the chosen value to the clipboard and then delete it. Where the entry has subentries, for example an array, select this option to delete all subentries.

Copy

Select this option to copy the chosen value from the list to the clipboard. From here it can be copied into another tab in the Watch pane, or into another pane or window.

Paste

Pastes the contents of the clipboard into the chosen entry. This might be an entry from another tab in the Watch pane, or text from the File Editor pane or another application.

Delete

If you are using in-place editing, select this option to delete the chosen value, or character, from the entry without copying it to the clipboard. You can also delete a value by highlighting it and pressing the Delete key.

Timed Update when Running

Enables a timed update of the Watch pane when the target processor is running. Select this option to refresh the expressions list automatically where it contains memory based expressions. Other expression types are not updated.

This is only available where supported by the underlying debug target.

Timed Update Period

Use this to choose the interval, in seconds, between window updates.

Any value you enter here is only used when the option Timed Update when Running is enabled, that is where supported by the underlying debug target.

Update Window Now

Updates the contents of the Watch pane. Use this when Timed Update when Running and Automatic Update have been disabled. Select this to update the current tab.

Enter New Expression...

Displays a prompt box where you can enter the expression to be watched. This displays the name and current value in the current tab. Click the required tab before selecting this option.

Automatic Update

Refreshes the Watch pane as soon as execution stops. This is enabled by default.

Recompute Expression with same Context

If you watch an expression, the result is evaluated based on the current context. Select this option to recompute expressions using the context when set.

Show char* and char[] as strings

Displays values as strings where appropriate. This is enabled by default.

Show integers in hex

Displays all integers in hexadecimal format. Disabling this option displays all integers in decimal. This is enabled by default.

Properties

Displays a text description of the item under the cursor.

Viewing watches

As you set watches, expressions are added to the Watch pane, shown in Figure 7.9.

Figure 7.9. Watch pane with watches

Watch pane with watches

The entries correspond to the watches you set, in the order that you set them. Each expression is shown giving the Name and Value. You can expand the column headings by dragging on the boundary marker to make the details easier to read.

To delete an expression, highlight it and press Delete. There is no undo for this operation but saving the watches in your personal favorites list enables you to reinstate any deleted entry.

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