Visual Studio Debugger, interpreting memory without bound or as different types?

I’m hoping to improve my debugging workflow by learning how to inspect values faster and with more clarity, but I’m having a big issue.

Visual Studio’s C++ debugger makes some assumptions about my memory that aren’t always true:

  • The "Type" of the value may not be how I want to see it’s memory printed out

  • I may want to look at a cstring without 0 terminating the IDE’s print out

  • There might be memory in front of the structure I want to look at

For instance, I might want to look at float value as 0x3f800000 instead of 1.0f, as seeing 0x0000803f instead of 4.60060298822e-41 makes it much easier to see there’s an endian encoding issue naturally.

Or when tokenizing, I’ll want to look at as many characters as I can scroll through, without NULL ending the print out, and possibly even look in front of this address.

It is possible to use array, 23 to print out 23 characters in array, but this is the only QoL feature I was able to find, and you have to make a bookmark for the variable, so it ends up being very clunky.

Are there any settings or extensions or features I missed, that could improve my ability to see memory in ways Visual Studio might not be able to predict for me?

Source: Windows Questions C++

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