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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  • Solution Navigator Suggestions
    1 Posts | Last post August 10, 2010
    • The solution navigator is great!  I have two suggestions.
      1. Support for drag-and-drop adding of items.  If you drag an item into a project in SN now, instead of adding the item to the project, the item simply opens as if it were dragged into the main VS window.
      2. Support for re-ordering of projects.  Projects show up alphabetically in SN just like in SE.  However, when working on a couple of projects in a large solution, I would like those projects to appear at the top.  Allowing projects to be re-ordered would be great, but even "Pin To Top" would be nice.
      Thanks for a great extension!  I absolutely love it.
  • Solution Navigator - Keyboard shortcut to search box
    1 Posts | Last post August 10, 2010
    • Is there any way to assign a keyboard shortcut to the search box in the Solution Navigator? Or is there already such a keyboard shortcut?
      If not, this would be a very helpful addition.
  • Solution Navigator - Mouse Wheel Scroll bug
    1 Posts | Last post August 10, 2010
    • If you expand a project and select a node. Now collapse the project which presumably leaves that node selected. Using the mouse wheel to scroll no longer works. Anyone else see this behavior?
  • Suggestion for a refresh button in the Solution Navigator
    1 Posts | Last post August 09, 2010
    • I noticed that the Solution Navigator currently misses a refresh button like the one present in the Solution Explorer.
      This is the only feature that keeps me from totally removing the Solution Explorer tab since I didn't find any other functionality that isn't also present in the Solution Navigator provided by this excellent extension.
  • V10.0.10725.12: Add Reference Dialog doesn't work
    1 Posts | Last post August 09, 2010
    • Hi,
      since the last update the searchable Add Reference dialog doesn't work anymore:
      Could not show Add Reference Dialog
      The Add Reference Dialog could not be shown due to the error:
      Der Pfad hat ein ungültiges Format. (German, translated: The Path has an incorrect format.)
      The error details has been saved to C:\Users\SeriTools\AppData\Local\Microsoft\VisualStudio\10.0\ShowAddReferenceDialog.log
      09.08.2010 12:27:18
      System.ArgumentException: Der Pfad hat ein ungültiges Format.
         bei System.IO.Path.NormalizePath(String path, Boolean fullCheck, Int32 maxPathLength)
         bei System.IO.Path.GetDirectoryName(String path)
         bei Microsoft.VSProjectPlus.AddReferenceDialog..ctor(IVsHierarchy projectHierarchy, DTE2 applicationObject)
         bei Microsoft.VSProjectPlus.AddReferencePackage.ShowAddReferenceDialogOnIdle(IdleComponent idleComponent)
      (German VS 2010, Windows 7)
      Does anybody know how to fix it?
  • Keyboard settings
    1 Posts | Last post August 08, 2010
    • Great tool!
      I noticed a problem with the default keyboard settings: "Edit.AlignAssignments" is assigned to the [ key by default (on azerty keyboards anyway), which causes weird behaviour when trying to enter a line like this one:
      var sep = new char[] { ',', ' ' };
      It just won't let you type in the [ character and will try to align the right assignment operator instead. I think that in this case the parser fails to neutralize the command, because it is possible to type those square brackets under different conditions without any problem. Perhaps it could be avoided if the default key was not a key combination related to a symbol so currently used in the .NET languages.
  • Highlighting of matching parens, braces broken by Pro Power Tools
    3 Posts | Last post August 06, 2010
    • Normally, the text editor in Visual Studio will highlight matching parentheses when you type a right (closing) parenthesis.  It also does this for square brackets and braces.
      For example, after typing the following text, the editor will highlight the left parenthesis and the right parenthesis with a gray background color, until another key is pressed.
          if (a == b)
      With the Productivity Power Tools installed, the matching braces, parens, and brackets are no longer highlighted.  I also tried turning off the "Automatic Brace Completion" feature in the options, but that didn't make any difference.  The "Automatic Delimiter Highlighting" feature in the regular options is enabled.
      I hate to give up the Pro Power Tools just for this issue, but it's a tough call given, how much I have come to rely on the matching paren highlighting.
    • Note: This is with version 10.0.10725.12 of the Productivity Power Tools, and I did verify that disabling the extension fixes the problem.
    • It wasn't broken.  The current line highlight color was simply the same color as the Brace Matching (Rectangle) background color.  I resolved the issue by simply changing the current line highlight color to a lighter shade (I think it was a little dark, anyway).  I always change the Brace Matching color to orange, so it is easier to see.
      See the "Highlight Current Line" section of my blog post, to see how to adjust these:
  • bvcncgfvh
    1 Posts | Last post August 06, 2010
  • bvcncgfvh
    1 Posts | Last post August 06, 2010
  • Auto Brace Completion suggestion
    1 Posts | Last post August 06, 2010
    • First of all, where SHOULD I submit suggestions for the Auto Brace Completion tool?
      I have a love-hate relationship with this tool, because I love the auto-completion, but am hampered when nesting existing code into a new IF statement.  I suggest these things, to facilitate auto-completion around existing code:
      1. Hot key to toggle auto completion on and off
      2. Hot key to suppress auto completion for the next brace character typed
      3. Hot key to wrap selected text with a specific character (i.e. Alt-Shift-[, Ctrl-Alt-Shift-{, Alt-Shift-(, etc.)
      4. Option to enable auto completion for each brace type, individually
      I love the extension (though I sometimes despise it).  Thanks for including it in Power Tools!
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