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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  • Issue after update
    2 Posts | Last post July 19, 2010
    • After last update install "Collapse all" from context menu inside solution explorer doesn't work anymore on my computer.
      Any idea how to fix it ?
    • Hi SilverA8,
      Collapse All isn't a feature of Visual Studio 2010 but rather has been provided by several extensions. Can you let us know which extension that you have so that we can track down the problem?
      -Sean Laberee
  • Unabled to switch off "Fix Mixed Tabs"
    2 Posts | Last post July 19, 2010
    • 1. The message bar allowing to "Fix Mixed Tabs" always pops up, even on source files, I must not change, so I wanted to switch off this feature. I did this in the settings (Productivity Power Tools/All Extensions) and restarted VS2010, but the message bar comes up again and again.
      What is do be done to fix this?
      2. What's about configuring some directories or directory patterns, specifying a kind of white list for files, where the "Fix Mixed Tabs" feature should be available?
      Or what's about enabling the "Fix Mixed Tabs" feature only in files, that are changed, and not yet saved?
      Best regards,
    • Hi Martin,
      When we "switch off" an extension via the Tools Options, we actually rename the dll on disk so there should be no chance of it loading.  Can you check to see if you have the Noah Richards version of this installed in the Extension Manager as well? 
      If not, can you check in your app data folder to see if the assembly was renamed?  On my machine, you will find the Power Tools are installed to: C:\Users\<username>\appdata\Local\Microsoft\VisualStudio\10.0\Extensions\Microsoft\Productivity Power Tools\10.0.10710.22.  You should see that FixMixedTabsProPack.dll is renamed to FixMixedTabsProPack.dll.disabled.  
  • Features suggestions
    2 Posts | Last post July 19, 2010
    • Thanks for the update! it's gust great! I raised my vote to 5!! Thanks for making the classes browsable in the sln exp. like eclipse, I replaced it with the old Solution-Explorer for good!
      I think many ppl will reconsider getting VS just because of this project, no question about it!
      Here is a few more suggestions:
      - Make different symbols for private/public/abstract/sealed etc. members, class/structure/enum/delegate/interface/event/static class/module should have different signs as well in both VB and C#.
      - Specific coloring for namespace/struct/enum/module/delegate/interface/delegate/user type/event/method names, for both VB and C# (should all be customizable from the "Font and Color" options for both VB and C#).
      - Local variables should appear bold, static (vb: shared) members should be italic.
      - An intellisense items filter for all code types like Karl Shifflett's xaml intellisense filter.
      - Include the updated version of the 'Fix Mixed Tabs' by Noah Richards ( in the bundle, the old one has a bug.
    • Hi Shimmy,
      Thanks for the great feedback! Can you tell us which bug that you are seeing with the Fix Mixed Tabs? These extensions should be in sync.  
      -Sean Laberee
  • Fixed: Projects tab is the default..
    2 Posts | Last post July 19, 2010
    • This bug still exists. It opened on the Assemblies tab on two different developers machines.
    • Hi Cory,
      Sorry about that. It appears that this change didn't quite make it into this release.  We'll make sure it gets in the next version.
      -Sean Laberee
  • Solution Navigator
    2 Posts | Last post July 19, 2010
    • Best extension to VS2010 so far!!
      I'd like to use the new Solution Navigator, but
      - mouse wheel scrolling does not work when the mouse is just placed over the navigator, it needs to be selected (works fine with the solution explorer).
      - the fixed top area should be separated from the scrolling area by placing at least a one pixel horizontal line in between.
    • I'll write it here. My "problem"/wish is, tooltip with fullname come faster. We have pretty long filenames (same first 30chars). Solution Explorer shows tooltip immediately as I run mouse over files, but in Navi it take time at every single item to shows up :/ I like Navi more than Explorer, but in work comp it is very ineffiency.  
  • Closing tabs
    3 Posts | Last post July 19, 2010
    • Hi 
      is there a way to close all not pinned tabs at once? 
    • Not at the moment, but it does sound as a feature that should be added in future versions.
    • Yes it does sound a good feature.
  • How to disable the annoying "You have mixed tabs and spaces. Fix this?"?
    4 Posts | Last post July 19, 2010
    • Hello.
      I constantly keep on receiving a pop-up message that offers: "You have mixed tabs and spaces. Fix this?" that let's me choose between Tabify, Untabify and "Don't show again", but even I choose the last option, they do show up over and over and drive me sick.
      I want to either completely disable this feature or to fix the whole project for good, but not receive 5 messages per minute.
    • Actually I found out, that this is caused by a another extension, not by this one at all, I wish I could delete my message.
    • I have the same problem. And it started to appear after I installed this extension. I even don't have any other extension installed so this must be this extensions fault.
      What's more. We do have insonsistencies in tabs/spaces and want to keep them. Also we have lots of files so I don't want to disable it for each file separately.
      How to disable this feature entirely?
    • @Adam, This is caused by Fix Mixed Tabs, by Noah Richards, which is included in the bundle.
      Best thing is install the new version Noah posted from, this overrides the old version included in the pack, I tried this and it works.
      I don't know if the updated version of the 'Fix Mixed Tabs' extension is included in the Productivity Power Tools ver. 10.0.10710.22.
  • Small feature request : close all unpinned tabs
    2 Posts | Last post July 19, 2010
    • It would be nice if would be possible to close all tabs which are not pinned, something like "close all but this"...
    • The version released yesterday (10.0.10710.22) adds a new command in the tab's context menu that does this: "Close All But Pinned".
  • Concerning the "Align Assignments" feature...
    1 Posts | Last post July 15, 2010
    • I find that this feature has the potential to be amazing, but at my first use I noticed that the assignment happens within logical statements such as if-else statements. I am unsure if this is the desired use. I find that this is not the use I would like for this feature. I would love to be able to align assignments that are not within the conditions for logical statements.
  • Suggestions
    11 Posts | Last post July 08, 2010
    • 1) Scrollable tabs - make them scrollable by mouse scroll.
      2) Fix all bugs listed here and in discussions on original extensions:)
      3) Fix GoToDef! There're at least 5 negative feedbacks on it.
      3.1) Please, navigate on mouse up (as ALL hyperlinks and button-like controls work).
      3.2) Please do not navigate as mouse move exceeds os-defined drag threschold value.
      3.3) Add ability to disable it.
      4) Nest all (excluding fonts & colors-related) settings into single PowerTools node (as PowerCommands do).
    • UPD
      5) Vertical tabs at the right.
      6) Customisable tab's text color (selected/inactive).
    • UPD 2
      7) Fix tabs reordering by drag-drop when in vertical layout.
    • UPD 3;)
      8) Allow to explicitly assign colors per project, or (at least) order projects exactly as they are ordered in sln file.
    • >order projects exactly as they are ordered in sln file. 
      Opps... it seems it does exactly this. You just need to reopen solution (reloading solution file after edit in notepad does not work).
    • Why does the open in command prompt go to vs 2008 and not the vs2010 command prompt?
    • Up;)
    • 0) Add ability to turn on/off a feature in the ui.
    • As above: 'Fix tabs reordering by drag-drop when in vertical layout.'
      Would definitely like to be able to sort documents within a grouped set of vertical tabs.
    • And up...
      BTW, is the extension supported at all?:)
    • Please look at this blog post to see how you can put tabs on the right of the document well:
      Other issues are being worked on, soon you should see an updated version published here.
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