Productivity Power Tools 2013

Microsoft Free

A set of extensions to Visual Studio 2013 Professional (and above) which improves developer productivity.

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by DerekTP | Tue 3:59 PM

It would have made me MUCH more productive if it had said on this site that the tools are ONLY supported by VS2013 *professional* and above.

I've no problem with upgrading to the Pro edition *BUT* right now VS2013 is so SLOOOOOOOW to start any debugging session (and there are DOZENS of different reasons for this, I've yet to find the one(s) that apply in my case) and I'm reluctant to shell out for the Pro version until I'm satisfied it's actually useable. I was hoping the productivity tools would help me pinpoint the issue. As it is I've wasted so much time trying to work out how to install them - and discovering they're knackered - that by now I could have actually started a debug session! :-(

Beats me why Microsoft blow trumpets about how great VS is, then feels the need to release a "productivity" pack (for free) which doesn't actually work with all versions.

by Sang Au | Mon 2:20 AM

Great tool, but Microsoft can add "Remove unused Reference" to this tool.

by Ricardo Peres | August 25 2014

Great tool! Should have an option to view all types inheriting/implementing some other type.

by mchean | August 20 2014

This is a fantastic tool for a beginner like me struggling with matching brackets, and finding errors.

by darielmarlow | August 20 2014

Love the tools. One request, please add an option to allow pinned tabs to be on their own row (above non-pinned).

by Miro | August 12 2014

Very useful! Must have for everyone.
I like it's very customizable and it's nice they keep updating it.

by Rigz1213 | August 08 2014

Extremely helpful

by MooDanG | August 02 2014

by Mulder90 | July 27 2014

by Aleh Karasik | July 27 2014

Amazing extension for visual studio but unfortunately looks like "Peek Help" feature does not work correctly for Visual C++ project (it opens the last help page from MSDN and not the correct page).

Please fix this and it will be definitely 5 starts extension.

by Mario Vernari | July 15 2014

It was actually a missing piece of Visual Studio: why not embedding by default?
Very nice the structure visualizer, although I'd use less opaque colors for the outlines (either a pastel-shade, or a 50% opacity). I'd also provide some kind of highlight for the structure popup: maybe a drop shadow?
Excellent idea on squeezing the less-important rows!
Also very noticeable are the error tracking, and the scrollbar markers.

The point which disappointed me was actually on the print capabilities. I found this package right because I wanted to print a section of a module, without the tedious copy+paste on Wordpad, which preserves the formats very well. Why not providing a preview, such as IE offers? In order to avoid to waste paper, I'd find very useful the ability to inspect what are the useful pages, and/or adjust some parameter.

Anyway, the product deserves a five-star rating without any doubt!
Thanks, and go further!

by jsohn | July 07 2014

by Steve Jung, MCSE | June 27 2014

Coloured tabs, vertical lines connecting beginning/endings, coloured printing, peek help, tabify, middle-click scrolling, colourized parameter help all very good additions!

by Athari | June 26 2014

Some tools are very useful and handy, others less so, but overall it's a great collection.

* Double-click maximizing does not preserve collapsed state and causes tab reordering when a window is collapsed after being restored.
* There are a lot of options for customizing document tabs, but still no option for multiple horizontal rows. It's compact (unlike vertical tabs), it displays all documents (unlike horizontal tabs) and it's a basic functionality of a tab control.
* Code structure in the margin is a good idea, but with no options to customize display, even colors, it's useless. In a big file with many classes and methods, it's hard to distinguish thin class lines and wide method arcs become thin as well. Just open Dictionary<,>'s source file and you'll see.
* Code structure previews waste space on attributes making class names invisible. Again, open Dictionary<,>'s source file.
* Default colors for projects look weird in VS light theme. I don't get why they are dark.

by Andrea Dottor [MVP] | June 26 2014

by AltaModaTech | June 23 2014

Good for removing & sorting using statements across project or entire solution. Also provides a good mechanism for opening a command shell at the project directory, but doesn't provide the same for PowerShell

by MrPloops | June 18 2014

Excellent tools!
One importent one is missing:
SHIFT+Enter to automatically add closing brackets and ending semiolon and add new line.
I miss it so much! Pleas add it soon.
Best regards,

by RanjithAtMsdn1 | June 13 2014

It is great extension with lot of features and commands, but still I find it lacking because it does not have the following feature. I cannot find any extension which does that, but the team who developed this could definitely do it.

Whenever I open a new file from solution explorer, it puts that file as the first tab in document well. But as I keep opening files, they just go into overflow list. But what I am looking is that whenever I open a file from solution explorer, even if it is already in document well (or overflow list), it should put that file as the first tab. This way I always have my most recent files at first so that I can easily switch. The existing sortings are always by project or alphabetical, but most of the times, the files you want to use may not be in that order. Thanks.

by Hojin.Jun | June 11 2014

useful! Thanks..

by SilentKilerr100 | June 11 2014

Just amazing. My favorite functionality tab -> spaces and spaces -> tabs.

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  • Open bracket reassigned?
    1 Posts | Last post Tue 5:17 PM
    • This is an old problem I already had in VS 2010, and which hasn't been solved yet it seems.
      The [ key is reassigned to the align assignment function.
      I wouldn't assign anything on a key that might be useful when typing C#/C++ code, the open bracket is used for arrays which are part of those languages.
  • Dirty indicator doesn't always go away
    1 Posts | Last post August 27, 2014
    • I'm using pretty well the stock settings for most things, and when I save (generally using [ctrl]+[s] or my personally mapped [ctrl]+[shift]+[s] (save all)) it won't always remove the dirty indicator on the file.
      It seems particularly fond of leaving the currently open document "dirty" when "Save-All"ing, but it goes either way.
      Right now I tend to hit save until it does go away, just to be safe, but it would be nice to not have to.
      I love this extension, though; I've used it in every install of every version of VS I've ever used.
  • Remove tabs by usage order
    1 Posts | Last post August 26, 2014
    • This is more of a feature request...
      I miss the old remove tabs by usage order option.  I liked the automatic closing of documents and I'd love to see some version of it return.
  • Presenter settings stuck after upgrading to VS2013 Update 3
    2 Posts | Last post August 26, 2014
    • Upgraded to Visual Studio 2013, Update 3. Upon restarting Visual Studio, it appeared that Presenter mode was turned on, but when I tried to execute the PresentOff quick task, I got an error message saying that presenter mode was not on.
      Ended up having to reset the environment fonts via Tools>Options, but have been unable to get the Properties window fonts to reset.
      After resetting the environment fonts, presenton and presentoff are working again, with the exception of the Properties window. Which (with the exception of the title bar font) is not responding to these quick tasks at all.
      I appear to have the latest version of the Productivity Power Tools installed. Any suggestions for resetting the Properties window fonts?
    • And it gets a little weirder...tried restarting Visual Studio to see if that would resolve the issue, and it did reset the Properties window font to the default size. But now if I turn presenter mode on, everything else gets larger fonts, EXCEPT the Properties window.
  • Peek definition crashes Visual Studio 2013, Update 2
    3 Posts | Last post August 15, 2014
    • 1) After working extensively with VS 2013 and frequently using "Peek Definition" on various symbols, the pop up frame may eventually become empty; most likely due to out-dated intellisense data. It will NOT display the error message "A definition for the symbol 'xxx' could not be located."
      2) Hit ESC to dismiss the empty pop up frame.
      3) Invoke peek definition again on a symbol.
      > Visual Studio crashes with an access violation exception.
      The incomplete or aborted intellisense query apparently left the module in a mal-formed state.
    • Please, Please, fix this bug - it's really a pain in the neck because it happens several times a day. Here's the event log entry:
      Faulting application name: devenv.exe, version: 12.0.30723.0, time stamp: 0x53cf6f00
      Faulting module name: unknown, version:, time stamp: 0x00000000
      Exception code: 0xc0000005
      Fault offset: 0x0745ad7e
      Faulting process id: 0x253c
      Faulting application start time: 0x01cfb53a9b82dc0c
      Faulting application path: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 12.0\Common7\IDE\devenv.exe
      Faulting module path: unknown
      Report Id: ba53d88b-2139-11e4-beb2-001999e22d30
      Faulting package full name: 
      Faulting package-relative application ID: 
    • Hi @Frank. 
      Sorry you've been hitting this issue. To follow up more effectively on this, it would help if you could raise a bug on Connect at marking the title Productivity Power Tools 2013 - Crash in Peek. We need to capture a crash dump for the issue so we can see where the failure is. 
      The Visual Studio Feedback Tool ( ) makes it really easy to file Connect bugs with the right data, including capture of crash information.
      Mark Wilson-Thomas
      Program Manager, Visual Studio Editor Team
  • color coding of Output panel
    1 Posts | Last post August 13, 2014
      a while back, productivity tool use to support color coding the output panel. although there is another extension we can use for that purpose, but i wonder would this feature ever being bring back ?
  • COM error with AnkhSvn when renaming
    1 Posts | Last post August 12, 2014
    • Hi guys, I love this, running vs2013 but with all the extensions enabled and running ankhsvn, if I rename a file (that is already committed to the repo) I get a COM error E_FAIL. 
      If I disable all the individual productivity modules in options I can rename the file but I get an error when trying to check it in (so there is obviously some residual disruption from the plugin)
      If I disable productivity power tools entirely it works normally.
      I understand it may be something that ankh is doing but I wanted to bring to your attention just in case. Of course, I can do without power tools, but not without source control.. so I have to keep this disabled for now :(
      running AnhSVN v2.5.12471.17
      Productivity Power Tools v12.0.30519.1
  • Show Icon Option
    1 Posts | Last post August 03, 2014
    • Hello,
      I'm using VS2013 Ultimate and PPT Extension and I can't see the option to display the icons in the tab window. Is this a bug or was this option deprecated?
      Thank you
  • Match Margin - color change
    1 Posts | Last post July 28, 2014
    • Hello,
      How I can customize font/background color for the Match Margin?
  • 'Copy' Exception
    1 Posts | Last post July 22, 2014
    • After this is installed (VS 2013 prof) I am unable to 'Copy' anything.
      Invalid index. (Exception HRESULT: 0x8002000B
      I have tried rebooting, reinstalling. Goes away as soon as its removed. Any ideas?
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