PHP Tools for Visual Studio

VSIP Partner Trial

Provides full featured support for editing and debugging PHP programs.

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Visual Studio
2015, 2013, 2012, 2010
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Q and A (136)
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by Daniel Comas Fernández | Wed 12:31 PM

I need Twig template support

by GAMELASTERツ | Sat 11:10 AM

This addon is relly best! The best choice for developing in PHP! Thanks a Visual Studio and really AWESOME integrating a AutoComplete and others (and mainly thanks with support of PHP Docs feature), the OOP MVC framework is really easy to work, improve etc.! Absolutly love it!

To future some ideas:
- Custom PHP server, for support a Mod Rewrite too (so apache)
- When again debug a website (for sample in Chrome), it will not open a new tab but just refresh a tab what exists (like as in Apache Cordova)
- Add support for Database Servers and his explorer (for sample PHPmyADMIN).

Some bugs:
Autocomplete and other stuffs dont show a functions of extended class
(so when is "user extends dbObject", its not shows function from dbObject class)

That would be nice to see in future updates! Thank you for good job and im glad for this is work of Czech people!

by CybeSystems | November 11 2015

Here is my experience with PHP Tools:

-- Editing php Files
Problems to detect the correct language in mixed mode. Many php scripts use a mix from php, html, js and css. It seems that PHP Tools have problems to detect what language is used in current segment -> Wrong (or none) syntax highlighting.

-- Speed
It's slow. Project analyse need 10-20 minutes for bigger projects (in my case a Joomla CMS) - In PDT same job needs 30s

-- Stability
Bigger projects will kill VS. Sometimes the UI is unresponsive for 30s. I need to disable big parts of code to work without crashes -> IntelliSense will not longer work

-- Price
Price is too high for a Plugin. phpStorm is same price, PDT is free and works better

-- Free version
I download the test version but after the trial period it's impossible to jump to declarations what makes it complete useless in free mode

-- Summary
I really want to like PHP Tools, but in it's current state it's impossible to work with it (slow, unresponsive, crashes...). Price is too high for a product that's not ready for productive work

I'll give PHP Tools another try after some versions - Hope Devsense can fix the problems :-)

DEVSENSE November 12 2015
| Edit |


Thank you for your review and feedback! I'm sorry we didn't fulfill the expectations at this time.

- Editing mixed code php files
May I ask you what version of Visual Studio and PHP Tools are you using ? Since VS2015 we are using new Visual Studio HTML editor which is very different from previous VS versions. If there are some pieces of mixed code which are not handled as expected, please send them to us.

- Speed and stability
Joomla is one of the regularly tested frameworks and it should take few sec to analyze as expected. I’ve just smoked tested it and it took ~15 sec on 7 years old laptop.

I’m thinking there might be some specific piece of code which we have an issue with. E.g. we had an issue in older version of PHP Tools to analyze one php function which had ~3000 lines of code and >200 local variables in one of the joomla plugin

Or the project is located on network share, which is unfortunately known issue as we have to go through all the project files.

If you could please contact us at or you can contact me directly at we would handle these issues with top priority.

Thank you!

by willockss | November 07 2015

Can you make it cheaper? I understand is a lot of work, but to be honest with you, people will always search for a pirated version, instead to buy it. Is 80 bucks. Which is quite substantial for a personal license, while phpstorm costs 150 and is much more complete tool, or eclipse PDT which is free.

I don't know my opinion

by ohio818 | October 26 2015

After years of using Dreamweaver for PHP development and mastering the language, I finally became fed up with Adobe’s crap software and fees.

Recently having gotten acquainted with Visual Studio for C++ coding, I found myself longing to code PHP in a Visual-Studio-like environment. This extension made that possible for me and it offers all kinds of hints that Adobe will never add to their software because they have become a total crap company. Dreamweaver has gotten so bogged down in useless crap that real programmers don't need, but can't even line up FIXED WIDTH fonts in the code editor properly.

Before I risk sounding like I was paid to write this review, I'm going to point out a few things that need some work:
1. When editing a .php file that is a mishmash of PHP, JavaScript, HTML, CSS, etc., the editor does a poor job of actually detecting the individual languages.
2. I'd like to be able to add more than just my production server for SFTP uploads. For example, Dreamweaver allows you to have a "live" and a "testing" server. That was very useful.
3. Occasionally I do get popup errors with unintelligible errors, although that doesn't ever seem to actually affect my work.

by WalterOney | October 20 2015

[Part 2 -- silly 9-tweet limit!]
5. The syntax highlighting and checking is slightly broken in a .hmtl file -- the closing angle bracket in a <?PHP ... ?> escape looks to your parser like a closing tag for some previous tag.
6. I get bogus warnings about not being allowed to use <input> or <select> in a <table> row. Of course you can.
7. After a fresh install on Win 10 with VS 2015 Community, the debug menu command were disabled. I thought I got prompted on my other (not Community) installation to install IIS.
8. All in all, this extension is not quite ready for prime time. I think it would wise for DEVSENSE to offer it for a loss-leading price to encourage the community to find bugs and suggest enhancements.

DEVSENSE October 20 2015
| Edit |

Hi Walter,

Thanks for taking the time to write use the detailed feedback.

Most of the stuff you've mentioned is related to HTML editor we reuse from Visual Studio( you can submit these bugs directly to Microsoft through Connect, or we'll do it ourselves when we have explicable test case ). If you could send us some sample case for 5 and 6, we would do contact the MS and make sure it would get done.

Validation of HTML tags is very complex process (built in Visual Studio, not PHP Tools) taking into account current HTML scheme. Of course we have detailed feedbacks and feature requests we've been collecting for years, and we are happy for more.

If you would like to get rid of VS HTML Editor issues, just turn it off in Tools | Options | PHP Tools | Advanced). Our HTML editor will be used.

Thanks again for the feedback, if you'd have any other question/issue or you'd need an assistance with anything just ping us on or We'll be very happy to help.

Best Regards,

by Hanoncs | October 15 2015

This is a great extension.

DEVSENSE October 20 2015
| Edit |

Thank you so much for rating us!

Have a great day,

by John Paprika | September 28 2015

I develop with Symfony, and I really miss a few things with PHP Tools:
- Twig template support - With Symfony it's a must, but it's missing from PHP Tools
- Invoke app/console for me to generate resource files or controllers
- Auto-adding of new files - My project is shared among a group of people, most of them use other IDEs, and if they add new files, they have to be added manually to my project
- "File Structure" tab is not supported
- "Code Definition Window" is not supported
- Sometimes files are saved with UTF-16 instead of UTF-8

I like PHP Tools, because it makes development with PHP possible in a familiar environment, but unfortunatelly it stops there. It's great to have a tool to edit simpler PHP projects, but the minimal support for any well-known PHP framework is missing. So as long as you edit your own website with only a few files or your WordPress PHP template, it does the job.

DEVSENSE September 29 2015
| Edit |

Hi John,
Thank you for your review and list of features you are missing. We do prioritize our development list strictly based on feedback.

- Twig template support is currently in progress
- Invoking commands,generating controllers, etc... will be supported in REPL window, which is planned
- Auto-adding of new files. We are aware of this limitation and we are trying to figure this out, but it's going to be a longer run... It's kind of inherited behavior coming from how Visual Studio works with projects and need for project file.
- File structure tab. We do not have dedicated window for this, but this information is available e.g. in navigation bar.
- "Code Definition Window", The true is we didn't even know about this one. I've added it to the list. But there are currently alternatives as F12 or Alt +F12 (VS2013,VS2015)
- We do not interact with encoding settings, but we do have an option to force saving as UTF8 without BOM on each file. Tools | Options | Text Editor | PHP | Advanced | Override PHP Files Encoding

Please let us know if you'd have any other feedback.


by cpxPratik | August 30 2015

I am using in trial version, everything is alright but suggesting already defined variable automatically (like when pressing ctrl+space) seems restricted for trial version. Every basic source editor like notepad++, sublime suggests words that are already found in the current file. It should have been enabled and restricting other things like suggesting php inbuilt functions etc.
Also it should have been made clear that it can be used in trial mode and try full feature and then can be used even after trial period finished. Official website seems vague about it and gives us the feeling like we have to explicitly buy it after using trial period. And avoid even to download and try out because of that.
All in all, very good job guys, keep it up. Just make clear in website, it can be used in trial mode as long as we want and try out pro feature. That will bring hesitating users.

by miloslavbeno | August 27 2015


I use PHP Tools on daily basis, so I feel like I should also post a review (I do work at DEVSENSE). I really like how IntelliSense helps me to stay productive when I switch to PHP, as I usually code in C#. The switch between languages is less noticeable for me with each update of PHP Tools.

With the code assistance I do not need to look at PHP documentation almost at all. I do really like refactoring capabilities and ability to debug the code.

I love how I can use PHP Tools with the other great extensions as Web Essentials, Task Runner Explorer, etc.

I want to thank to the rest of the team for great work!

Miloslav Beno

by Maroš | August 27 2015

Finally one solid PHP development environment in Visual Studio! Debugging and IntelliSense and everything just as I'm used to from C#

by Jakub Misek | August 27 2015

Great PHP integration for my favorite development environment. Helps me with all my PHP struggling, debugging and IntelliSense are priceless!

DEVSENSE August 27 2015
| Edit |

Hi Jakub,

Thanks for taking time to rate our extension. I'm very happy that people working at DEVSENSE actually also like to use PHP Tools for Visual Studio.

Best Regards!

by Julio Cesar Murcia | August 26 2015

Hi, I have the PHP tools in Vs2013 but F12 doesn't works to go function declaration.

DEVSENSE August 26 2015
| Edit |

Hi Julio,

Find All References (F12) is supported functionality. If it doesn't work as expected, please contact us on support or just emails us to We will help you to overcome the issue.



by MarkPan55 | August 25 2015

Cannot uninstal on W10 running VS2015. Tried from remove programs system app and from vs2015 (uninstall and disable buttons are disabled).
Unhappy and frustrated!

DEVSENSE August 26 2015
| Edit |


PHP Tools are using standard MSI installer, so uninstall is available at Control Panel (in Win10 in the Settings app). Visual Studio extensions manager is not able to remove complex extensions, only vsix installed extensions. That's why it's disabled there.

Anyway if Win 10 Settings app doesn't remove PHP Tools properly in your case, please contact us on or on support, we will be happy to assist you with any issue you might be having.

Thank you,

by Angus.Fenying | August 21 2015

I have tried this extension in vs2015 community.

To be honest, not bad, but still can't catch up the PDT (Eclipse for PHP).

For example,

use \test\abc as abc; # a namespace named abc

when I typed

abc\ # here is no auto-completion for any child of namespace abc.

uh, here is some advantages that's better than PDT, if I typed

use abc\ClassA as ClassB;

new ClassB();

the tips of ClassB will tells me the definition of ClassA, while PDT is just telling me ClassB is ClassA.

also, the auto-completion is not real good, when I typed


yes, it tips $this, but it's not auto selected. When I click ENTER, it gets a new line, instead of completing as $this. Here I wish it can auto select the first item in the list of auto-completion, so that I can click ENTER to finished typing quickly.

finally, please add the supports for constant array.

const ABC = [1,2,3,4];
$c = ABC[1]; // here reports an error, but it's correct.

this is a new feature of PHP 5.6, and neither PDT nor phpstorm supports it so far.

DEVSENSE September 06 2015
| Edit |


Thank you very much for your review and suggestions!

There was an bug in the recent update causing the issue with namespace autocompletition, which is now fixed. You can download it from

About the auto selecting for variables. By default it only tips, but doesn't select so you can create a new variables. Anyway you can turn pre-select in the PHP Tools Options. So it would behave as you are expecting.

Thank you for feature suggestion about const arrays. We'll take a look at it.

Please give us know if you'd run into anything else.

Thanks again and have a great day,

by Christopher Johns | August 03 2015

DEVSENSE August 03 2015
| Edit |

Hello Christopher!

I'm sorry we didn't fill your expectations. If you could provide us with any feedback we'd greatly appreciate it and we would be most likely able to help you overcome an issue you might be having.

Thank you!

by Paul Harding of Jennings | August 03 2015

Update August 2015: I'm editing my review just to let people know that although early days, it does work fine with Visual Studio Community Edition 2015 on Windows 8 and on Windows 10. You can download community Edition free so using PHP Tools for VS is now even better.

Original review:
The product is superb - excellent intellisense, debugging and code snippets.

I'm very happy to pay for good quality software and this is the right price.

One feature I have asked for is for the GUI to highlight unused and uninitialized variables, and they tell me this is in the pipeline. It's good to know this is under active, current development. *Update Feb 2015: This has now been implemented in 1.15 and is very good indeed, thank you!

Very happy with this product.

by VaderJason | July 20 2015

I've used other php visual studio extensions, but I really like the usability of PHP Tools over the other plugins. Support for namespacing, solution variables and constants, and even for the newest PHP features is second to none.

The intellisense has tons of useful information, I don't find myself looking to nearly as much to remember function/method signatures.

I've really enjoyed working with this plugin. After the trial period, I promptly purchased a license as this is where I'm going to stay.

I'm excited to see where they take this plugin.

DEVSENSE July 21 2015
| Edit |

Hello VaderJason,

Thank you so much for your detailed review!

We are very happy that your PHP coding is easier with PHP Tools for Visual Studio.

If you'd find anything we could improved to make it even better, please give us know. We are always happy to receive feedback.

Thanks again and have a great day!


by kipy | July 20 2015


I was wondering if there's any plan to support the upcoming version 7 of PHP, especially with the add of type hinting. (Allowing all sort of Intelisense improvements ?). That would be great :)

Anyway, i'm a happy licenced user. This add on is great and as far the best i've tested. Congratz.

DEVSENSE July 21 2015
| Edit |


Thank you for taking time to review our extension! We're very glad you are happy user!

All of the features are on the development list, so you are going to get them :-)

Have a great day!

by Thomasmikava | June 30 2015

I like extension, But I'd like to have feature of "pretty print". Like visual studio does for JavaScript, once you put semi-colon, line becomes pretty, And once you put "}" after function or loop, whole context between "{" and "}" becomes beautifully arranged. So, i will be very satisfied if you add "pretty printing" feature. Thanks!

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  • How to use MSSQL with PHP Tools
    5 Posts | Last post Wed 11:29 AM
    • Hi how can I get started using PHP Tools with MSSQL? There is no documentation for this?
    • Infact you cant. Tried mssql_connect for my mssql server and couldnt connect. I tried editing the php.ini/development and release ini's and adding microsofts drivers to the extension folder but that buggered the entire PHP for visual studio up. I couldnt run it after that. (Reinstalled) So this basically has no MSSQL functionality and is forcing you to use MySQL which then means a massive hassle if your hosting in Azure.  
    • Hi,
      Just enable mssql as described at MSSQL driver documentation. This has actually nothing to do with PHP Tools or Visual Studio itself. Please read related information for more details:
      Please let me know if it helps.
    • I already followed that stackoverflow tutorial when I wrote the comment. Like I said editing the ini files causes debug to stop and for a constant message stating Php tools isnt isntalled etc once you fix the errors it just does it again and again. You cant edit the ini files in IIS Express without buggering Php tools up.
    • Then there might be an error in the ini file. Do you have a text you've added to the php.ini?
  • New files and utf8 decoding
    2 Posts | Last post Wed 11:27 AM
    • Hi! I wanted to use your extension for php developing, everything is fine, code completion etc but when I am adding new files in VS2013 they are created as ANSII files. It makes my site showing weird signs. Is there any posibility to force UTF8 decoding on files?
      Second thing is that I don't have code completion for CSS files. I have included i.e. bootstrap file into project and in editor there is no classes from that file.
      Thank's for explanations. 
    • Hi,
      First of all, the encoding of files must match the charset of your web application ( Then the web browser will decode the content correctly.
      UTF8 & PHP cause a few issues. Mostly the BOM (which is 3 bytes pattern at the beginning of regular UTF8 file) is not handled by PHP and is shown at every 'include' you have. That's why you can either use 'UTF8 without BOM' or use local encoding. Sadly, if there is no BOM, text editor has to guess what encoding should be used to display the file content.
      Visual Studio is somewhat smart about determining what encoding the file is. In case there is no BOM at the beginning of file, it looks for UTF8 characters (if enabled in Tools | Options | Text Editor | General - Auto-detect UTF-8). Otherwise it fallbacks to your computer local encoding.
      Anyway, we have an option to force 'UTF8 without BOM' in Tools | Options | Text Editor | PHP | Advanced. Try this one, and ensure your are setting the charset header correctly.
      Second; css InteliSense is a Visual Studio feature, and it should work for css files inside a PHP project. For more information please send us feedback directly from VS 
  • Linked file not being published
    1 Posts | Last post November 17, 2015
    • Publish method: SFTP
      1 )Select php project, right click open context menu
      2) Add Existing File, choose other php project's php file
      3) Click the drop down at the right of Add button, select Add as link
      Selected linked file, right click open context menu, "Publish"
      Selected project, right click open context menu, click Publish, click Publish
      Project start publishing, but linked file is not being published to server.
      I guess this is bug?
  • Publish profiles
    4 Posts | Last post November 14, 2015
    • When publishing a project, I get a dialog box asking me to select the 'Publish Profile', however I do not get this when I publish a single file or folder. Can this be added, or is it a setting that I have missed?
      The extension is fantastic, by the way.
    • Anyone?
    • Hi there!
      Sorry for the delay. We're very happy that you like PHP Tools! 
      Publish selection feature uses the currently selected (last used profile). So you have to go to Publish dialog to select the profile. We are going to think of something which would make this switching easier.
      Thanks for the feedback!
    • Cheers! 
  • How do you uninstall it
    2 Posts | Last post October 28, 2015
    • ei1
      I uninstalled it and changed my mind. The uninstall button is disabled and I have no known way of deleting it. How do you uninstall it?
    • Hi,
      The program can be uninstalled in Programs and Features in Windows control panel. See for more details.
  • Colors on VS2013
    2 Posts | Last post October 25, 2015
    • In another Q&A post in which the asker wanted more color options, you referred them to  That page suggests that the following new color options should be available:
      PHP - Encapsulated Variable
      PHP - Variable
      PHP Doc - Variable
      PHP Doc - Delimiter
      PHP Doc - Tag
      However, none of these seem to exist in my Visual Studio 2013 color options (yes, after reinstalling the plugin, restarting VS, etc.).
      The syntax coloring is a dealbreaker.  Suggestions?
    • It seams, the plugin is not loaded into Visual Studio correctly. May I ask you to check menu - Help | About Microsoft Visual Studio and Tools | Extensions and Updates -  if you see PHP Tools for Visual Studio there.
      Anyway, do you see any colorization inside PHP files? It should work as it is, respecting Visual Studio color scheme.
  • Extensions *.tpl
    2 Posts | Last post October 15, 2015
    • I'd like to use VS 2015 in my project with PHP, but I guess that this plugin does not support *.tpl, exists some plugin for the VS 2015 that can I use this?
    • *.tpl is usually associated with Smarty language, which is currently not supported. This features is planned for a future version.
      For now, you can associate .tpl files with HTML Editor (Tools | Options | Text Editor | File Extensions) which gives you most of the features you need.
  • Desn't save setting for type of indent (tab or space)
    4 Posts | Last post September 24, 2015
    • On  Options->Text Editor->PHP->Tabs, it doesn't save Keep tabs option. Another time starting VS2015 the setting is back to space for indent and alsways fills space instead of tab for indent. Please please FIX IT.
    • Hello!
      Thanks for the post! We do have reports about this issue from more users. Unfortunately it's in Visual Studio code, which we can't fix ourselves. We have reported this to Microsoft. Please see our support forum for the updates about this issue
    • Hi Patrik,
      Does it still happening to you? We are no longer able to replicate this anywhere. Please let us know.
    • Yes, it is still happening, no difference.
  • Password hashing
    1 Posts | Last post September 23, 2015
    • Hi,
      I am trying to use the `password_hash` function in Visual Studio 2015 with the latest release of PHP tools and I am being told that the function does not exist, is this known or something that (and I am sure I speak for a lot of people) we want adding in to aid in security creation in out PHP projects?
      Thank you and kind regards,
      Sam Swift
  • Licence terms
    2 Posts | Last post September 22, 2015
    • If I buy licence it will be yearly or life time package?
      I know for download new version after year it would be charge but still confuse about it show me subscription end next year in visual studio. 
    • Hello!
      Thanks for the question. Please check the answer in our support forum
      Thank you!
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