There is known ways of how to read code faster (e.g. see the reference first / find the root call / find the hub for components / etc.), but these are all human ways.

Is there any tools which help human to read and understand code faster?

For faster code reading, I mainly use

  • Visual Assist - Find references
  • Visual Studio - Find references, Show call hierarchy

The tool should run on Windows, and mainly cover C++. I don't set any limit on paid solutions. For now, I rely on Find References feature mostly, but there should be more that I have never imagined.

Features: Other than Find References, well... code flow highlighting (e.g. MIT Scratch)?

  • 1
    Perhaps look at software visualization tools?
    – David Cary
    Jan 17, 2020 at 22:17
  • 2
    @DavidCary The list of software in the web page you told me is quite helpful. Thank you! Jan 19, 2020 at 3:56
  • Take a look at the open source Source Trail; if you like it, I could work up an answer
    – Mawg
    Feb 18, 2020 at 12:53

1 Answer 1


You can visualize the structure of applications & libraries, pull out any documentation and have syntax highlighted & hyperlinked code views of the codebase by generating a document set with Doxygen and GraphViz.

If you tell Doxygen to process the source code, (in quite a long list of languages), and to include undocumented code, code fragments & where to find GraphViz then it can produce a set of html documentation, (and several other formats), that includes call graphs, inheritance diagrams, etc., where clicking on a function shows you the documentation and signature and has the option to show the syntax highlighted source code of that function.

Both of the above programs are:

  • Free, Gratis & Open Source
  • Cross Platform (Windows, Mac & Linux plus others)
  • Available in multiple translations
  • Have a lot of community support
  • Work really well!
  • Can be invoked from a batch file or as a part of a make process

Doxygen includes a GUI for configuration called DoxyWizard

  • 1
    The first thing I do on any new project is to run it through Doxygen - even if it doesn't have any Doxygen comments. An excellent suggestion!
    – Mawg
    Feb 18, 2020 at 12:54

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