Productivity Power Tools


A set of extensions to Visual Studio Professional (and above) which improves developer productivity.

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by Perrin Larson | September 12 2014

This addon is EXTREMELY annoying. I downloaded it for VS 2012 because I wanted the special scroll bars with code previews built in. I got those, and they are neat, but I got them along with a HOST of problems.
Including, but not limited too:

1) Sometimes, when trying to double click a var or type name to select the whole word, it now turn it into a link between the 1st and second click, so that I get messed up by going to the item definition instead of selecting the word. It does this inconsistently too, so I never know when it will happen.
2) When changing settings, it sometimes likes to change my color scheme without my permission.
3) Code coloring sometimes gets messed up. Most notably Struct names, like System.Guid, which now gets inconsistently colored as either Automatic black, or the default teal of type names.
4) Automatic indentation sometimes gets messed up at apparently random times. For example,
Sometimes it will indent properly, like:
if () {
[indent][cursor here]
and sometimes it will MASSIVELY over indent my cursor, like:
if () {
[indent][indent][indent][indent][cursor here]

Overall, I rate this addon as AWEFUL AWEFUL AWEFUL! Do NOT use!

by Ed (DareDevil57) | August 14 2014

by Barry Seymour | June 18 2014

I have to say I HATE the new find/replace dialog in VS 2013. This pack brings that awful dialog to Visual Studio 2010.

Alan Cooper, the father of the original Visual Basic, said the functionality of the programs you write must be 'discoverable.' Microsoft has been moving further and further away from this over the past ten years. First they hid the underlining under menu shortcut keys. Then they hid the menus by default in Windows. Then they added ribbons with godawful three-part (or more)keyboard shortcuts.

Now we have this ridiculously minimal and buggy find / replace dialog. What are the keyboard shortcuts to specify things like 'search by entire word' or 'match case?' No where to be found! You have to click with the mouse to drop down the options, then select one. Too many clicks, too tiny a font. Very often after making such selections, the enter key does not initiate the search -- have to press F3. I hate hate hate it.

I uninstalled this productivity pack just because it made those changes to the find/replace dialog in VS 2010.

by bcollie | June 13 2014

Pinned tabs are great and the solution navigator is pretty good as well. I would like to see the files sorted when Open, Unsaved or Edited filters are active.

by Shreeharsh Ambli | April 17 2014

essential for older VS version for sure

by afasfdadsfgsafwef | March 21 2014

Tab well colors and grouping are very helpful. Only additional feature I would like to see added would be a multilevel tab well when it is in the top or bottom position (like in the Tabs Studio extension, see link). Having the tabs on the side wastes a lot of screen space and you still can't read long file names.

by diffS | March 11 2014

I wish the Solution Navigator search should be increase the Speed and should Support wild card along with camel Case search.

by Johnny Frits | February 25 2014

The tool is very good but after installing Productivity Power Tools was not possible to navigate within the expression editor in the file .rdlc (Report) using the arrow keys. This impaired enough.
This can be changed now or is an error that needs correcting?

by leitheim | January 27 2014

This is just EXCELLENT add-on tool. It helps me to do exactly what I need in my development. I just started to use it and I'm charmed, we will see what is going to happen after some time as I had experienced some issues with add-ons regarding the cached data and slowness after certain time of use.
For now this is exactly what I needed and I hope it will stay stable and fast as it was the first time I opened the feature.
Keep up the excellent work and Thanks a bunch!!!!

by KJS100 | January 24 2014

OpenXML editor is suppose to open a document, excel spreadsheet...
(if you drag them into VS) in the various XML parts.
I try this it opens EXCEL or WORD....
WHAT needs to be turned ON to make it open the XML Parts?
Yes, Productivity Power tools have been installed
(and uninstalled and reinstalled) many times. VS has been closed
and reopened many times.

by Eugene Astafiev | December 07 2013

by Dave_Bur | November 21 2013

by Allen Luther | November 05 2013

that's a great tool and I use this a lot in the VS2012.
But now I am using VS2013, is there any update plan for the VS2013?

by Leonardo Lourenço Silva | October 31 2013

Excellent tool !!!
Essential to all developers !!!

by Bruno Maestro | October 24 2013

With MySql database when I select the option it does not save my password every time I do the reverse must report all data.

by SegaWang | September 23 2013

Perfect tool~
PS: Is it possible for VS2008 ?

by michal_bb | September 18 2013

Productivity Power Tools == Essential VS Tools

by Gabriel Mongeon | September 06 2013

by n41ng | July 25 2013

Great extension but had to sometimes disable the searchable reference dialog feature when adding references as it causes this error

The given assembly name or codebase was invalid. (Exception from HRESEULT:0x80131047)

by JonPen | July 24 2013

This plugin seems to access all the database connections in the server explorer, i noticed this as one of the connections was not using windows authentication and i had not saved the password. so each time i righclicked a project and selected propeties the connection dialog appeared on a databse that is not related to that project or any in the solution. I not sure why this plugin might need to access all my databases, but as a precaution i will not be using this plugin as it makes me nervious.

0/10 Scary black helicopters

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  • Cannot Add Domain Service Class from Solution Navigator
    1 Posts | Last post August 23, 2010
    • If I try to add a Domain Service Class by right clicking on a folder in the Solution Navigator, choosing "Add New Item," and selecting "Domain Service Class," the "Add New Domain Service Class" dialog has no DataContexts listed.  If I do the same thing from the built in Solution Explorer it shows the DataContext fine.
  • Where do I turn of the Quick Search(ctrl+alt+2) feature?
    5 Posts | Last post August 22, 2010
    • I haven't seen this before I installed this, and I've turn off all other extensions except resharper.
      Problem is that AltGr+2 is where @ is placed on Norwegian keyboards...
    • Same for danish keyboards... Have you found a way around it yet? Turning off quick search doesn't seem to help here.
    • Disabling the Solution Navigator does the trick...
    • Ctrl   1 and Ctrl   2 bring it up for me too, it's an awesome extension, but until this is a configurable thing, I can't use it.
    • It's now been fixed, 5 stars from me, great set of functionality.
  • Ctrl + Drag copy issues
    5 Posts | Last post August 20, 2010
    • I noticed copying code by highlighting and then dragging with the Crontrol key pressed (Ctrl + LeftMouse) was not working.  It started working again, after I disabled all power tools in the TOOLS > OPTIONS... menu, restarted Visual Studion 2010, and then enabled the power tools.  Disabling the entire extension and tehn enabling it dis not help.
    • Actually, any click 
    • (My reply got cut off!)
      Actually, all click 
    • (My reply got cut off AGAIN!  Apaprently, the ampersand character is killing it!)
      Actually, all click and drag events have stopped working!  When I attempt to perform a normal drag on selected C# code, the text selection starts following the mouse pointer, as if I am selecting text.  I am unable to isolate a specific Power Tool feature that is causing the issue.  Disabling the entire extension works!
      This is not likely to be related to my other VS 2010 mouse issues:
    • Sorry to heep posting on this issue, but it is very annoying.
      I am now able to click and drag selected text normally.  However, any time Power Tools is enabled, even if all features are turned off in the options dialog, I am unable to use Ctrl   LeftMouse to drag and drop a copy of the selected text.  Disabling Power Tools resolves the issue.
      Here's my post about this and other issues:
  • Unhandled InvalidCastException starting with elevated priviledges
    1 Posts | Last post August 19, 2010
    • I get an unhandled InvalidCastException when I start VS2010 as administrator with PPT activated. If I start normal everything is fine. Deactivating PPT lets VS2010 starts as administrator too. 
      When the Exception occurs loading VS gets until rendering the startpage then it is closed and I'm not fas t enough to get a debugger attached to deep dive into the error. So I only could provide a eventlog file.
  • Solution Navigator does not show startup project in bold when inside a solution folder
    1 Posts | Last post August 18, 2010
    • In my solution, I have a solution folder named "Samples" with a few console application projects contained in it.  If I mark one of these projects as the startup project, I expect the project name to be in bold, but it is not.  If I mark a project that is not inside a folder as the startup project, it correctly shows up as bold..
  • Highlighted braces on current line are barely visible
    1 Posts | Last post August 18, 2010
    • At first I thought that matching braces/parentheses weren't being highlighted, then noticed that the highlight color is just barely different than the background when on the currently selected line. It would be nice to have the matching braces stand out a bit more.
  • "This extension contains a digital signature with an invalid certificate" message
    1 Posts | Last post August 18, 2010
    • The installer shows a "This extension contains a digital signature with an invalid certificate" message. What's wrong?
  • Unknown items appear
    1 Posts | Last post August 18, 2010
    • After working with my solution for a long time, in Solution Navigator appears unknown items.
      You can see it by this image
  • Code block outlining
    2 Posts | Last post August 17, 2010
    • Do you plan to add this feature?
    • Hey Boyd_Rice,
      Are you looking for a feature which would automatically add  /- glyphs in the left hand margin when you are inside of methods?  If so, this is a great suggestion that is already on our list.  Did you know that you can actually collapse these blocks manually?  You can right click 
  • Add Reference Dialog Adds GAC references even when you browse for a file
    4 Posts | Last post August 17, 2010
    • If the Add References dialog finds an assembly in the GAC named the same as an assembly you've browsed to, the dialog will, incorrectly, add a reference to the GAC assembly.
    • I experienced the same problem, I have both EF CTP3 and EF CTP4 installed, when browsing for the EF CTP3 dll, it keeps adding the EF CTP4 reference.
      I turned off the power toolsAdd Reference feature, and was able to add correct reference using the standard Add Reference browser.
    • Totally agree with that. Thats a very annoying bug. I set up a libs folder where all libs used are located. I copied the Microsoft.ReportingViewer.Common from its orign path into my libs directory and wanted to add a reference to my folder, because the TFS has this dll not installed. But adding the reference via "Browse" from my folder, always adds a reference to the .dlls origin path.
      After Turning off the improved add reference dialog I used the origin dialog again, and with this one the reference has been added correct.
      This has to be fixed very soon!
    • Hi,
      This should have been fixed in the latest release.  Can you double check to make sure you have current version and let us know?
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