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Productivity Power Tools


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

4.2 Star
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5 Star
by AlbertoMonteiro | September 26 2016

5 Star
by Augusto Cedeño | April 14 2016

Muy útil

5 Star
by RavichandranK | February 26 2016

Nice tool

5 Star
by JohnWilson65 | February 17 2016

It's about time this becomes a VS default

4 Star
by pmdci | February 02 2016

So good that it should be part of the core VS experience, not an extension!

5 Star
by Ruud Borst | November 03 2015


5 Star
by santakdalai90 | October 14 2015

5 Star
by Vinod Pankajakshan | October 08 2015

Very useful set to tools.

5 Star
by taking dumps while taking names | July 29 2015

One of the best extensions around, highly recommend.

4 Star
by Darien Pardinas | June 09 2015

It would be good if the selected tab could be made more distinctive by setting the file name with bold font.

5 Star
by Ammar.Zaied | February 13 2015

Good plugin !

5 Star
by gimystic | January 20 2015

5 Star
by 独立观察员 | December 31 2014


1 Star
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!

5 Star
by Ed (DareDevil57) | August 14 2014

1 Star
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.

4 Star
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.

4 Star
by Shreeharsh Ambli | April 17 2014

essential for older VS version for sure

4 Star
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.

4 Star
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.

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  • Love it but had to disable it.
    5 Posts | Last post August 30, 2010
    • It's got so many cool things in it but I had to disable the component because for some odd reason, every time I open an .aspx file in the solution explorer, it crashes VS2010 Pro. Sigh...  Submitted several crash reports to MS, hope they get to it. :)
    • Hi MajikMerlin,
      I'm sorry that the Productivity Power Tools are crashing for you.  The easiest way for us to diagnose the crash is for you to catch it in the Visual Studio debugger and send us the call stack.  Alternately, if you can go run eventvwr.msc, you should see an event in your logs for an application crash.  In the details, there will be a fault number or bucket ID. If you can provide us with that number then we can identify the crash in our systems.  
      -Sean Laberee
    • Sean, is there some place people can send you a minidump file?  I would expect that's more useful than a stack trace.
    • Previously was crashing on occasion, although just updated and cant open file without crash... How do i uninstall?
      Event Viewer details
        - Provider 
         [ Name]  Application Error 
        - EventID 1000 
         [ Qualifiers]  0 
         Level 2 
         Task 100 
         Keywords 0x80000000000000 
        - TimeCreated 
         [ SystemTime]  2010-08-27T15:28:47.000000000Z 
         EventRecordID 40401 
         Channel Application 
         Computer mjrJK 
      - EventData 
         C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 10.0\Common7\IDE\devenv.exe 
         c:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 10.0\Common7\IDE\msenv.dll 
      Faulting application name: devenv.exe, version: 10.0.30319.1, time stamp: 0x4ba1fab3
      Faulting module name: msenv.dll, version: 10.0.30319.1, time stamp: 0x4ba1fd94
      Exception code: 0xc0000005
      Fault offset: 0x000b577f
      Faulting process id: 0xa80
      Faulting application start time: 0x01cb45fc75f79275
      Faulting application path: C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 10.0\Common7\IDE\devenv.exe
      Faulting module path: c:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 10.0\Common7\IDE\msenv.dll
      Report Id: c8b2589b-b1ef-11df-88f6-0019b97ec39e
    • So, I've updated it to Version and it is still crashing when I open a file in my solutions.  Again, if I disable the extension, it works fine. As requested, here is what I got in the event logs:
      Fault bucket 1344596583, type 5
      Event Name: AppHangB1
      Response: Not available
      Cab Id: 0
      Problem signature:
      P1: devenv.exe
      P2: 10.0.30319.1
      P3: 4ba1fab3
      P4: 0f41
      P5: 0
      Attached files:
      These files may be available here:
      Analysis symbol: 
      Rechecking for solution: 0
      Report Id: fb3bbb65-b43b-11df-9190-1cc1de50b4f3
      Report Status: 0
      And I found this in an "Application Hang" event:
      - System 
        - Provider 
         [ Name]  Application Hang 
        - EventID 1002 
         [ Qualifiers]  0 
         Level 2 
         Task 101 
         Keywords 0x80000000000000 
        - TimeCreated 
         [ SystemTime]  2010-08-30T13:39:42.000000000Z 
         EventRecordID 4046 
         Channel Application 
         Computer FS-DUL-10.fxxxxxxxxxxxxxs.local 
      - EventData 
         C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 10.0\Common7\IDE\devenv.exe 
      Binary data:
      In Words
      0000: 006E0055 006E006B 0077006F 0000006E 
      0008: 0000    
      In Bytes
      0000: 55 00 6E 00 6B 00 6E 00   U.n.k.n.
      0008: 6F 00 77 00 6E 00 00 00   o.w.n...
      0010: 00 00                     ..
  • Exceptions in Colorized Parameter Help
    3 Posts | Last post August 30, 2010
    • The new Parameter Help doesn't show the exceptions that are documented in a functions summary, when the mouse is over a function. Can this be customized or is this just missing? 
    • Hi Alex,
      I *think* you are actually referring to Interactive Tooltips offered by the Solution Navigator.  It does not show Exceptions from the doc comments.  We have had multiple reports of this and will try to get it fixed in the next release of the Pro Power Tools.
      If you like, you can turn off just the Interactive Tooltips feature in Tools | Options | Productivity Power Tools | Solution Navigator | Enable Interactive Tooltips.  That will let you use the Solution Navigator and the built in tooltips will show up in the code editor.
      I hope this helps,
    • Hi Chris,
      since i don't use the solution navigator, i didn't know that the missing exception list comes from the interactive tooltips. I thought it was part of the colorized parameter help. 
      I need the exceptions listed in the tooltips in the code editor. How about adding them to the interactive tooltip?
  • Small consistency bug when rooting project members
    1 Posts | Last post August 28, 2010
    • When you make a member (subfolder, class, etc.) of a project the root element, the new root has an up arrow to move up through the scope. This shows up until you get back to the solution as the root.
      However, if you make the project itself the new root, this arrow does not show up. You can still use the back button (next to the search text box) to go back to the solution, but it seems the up arrow should appear whenever the solution is not the root.
  • Version 10.0.10819.19 Add References Crashes fixed?
    2 Posts | Last post August 27, 2010
    • This version fixed those crashes too or just the Quick Access ones?
      Juan Zamudio
    • And after the upgrade all my settings are lost (add reference, Ctrl   CLick go to definition and highlight current line were disabled), great.
  • How do we know what changed between updates?
    2 Posts | Last post August 27, 2010
    • I just updated this extension, but how I do I figure out what bug were fixed? Do you have any release note?
      I have a few settings that I always disable due to problem with the French layout keyboard. So beside retesting everything, I'd like to read some release notes and bug fixes.
    • There are some "Revision Notes" for each version on the "Description" page (scroll all the way down)
  • "Close all but pinned" crashes VisualStudio
    3 Posts | Last post August 27, 2010
    • The "Close all but pinned" command very often crashes Visual Studio (not always though).
      Version 10.0.10725.12
    • Hi rumxaml,
      I've seen this crash with the following settings:
      - No scroll in tab well
      - No tab sort
      - No "Remove tabs by usage order"
      Can you verify this are the conditions under which the crash happens? If this is the case, as a workaround (while the fix gets published) you can try enabling the last option mentioned above. This will give you most of the functionality, and you should not have the crash when selecting the "Close all but pinned" command.
      Radames Cruz
    • Hi
      Yes, I had the same settings as you mentioned. I will try your suggested workaround.
  • Upgrade overwrites existing option settings
    8 Posts | Last post August 27, 2010
    • I've deselected Automatic Brace Completion because a different add-in handles that for me. When I let Power Tools update it seems to turn that selection back on.
      Anyone else see that?  If so, can updates please leave non-default settings alone?
    • This bug is horrible.  You CANNOT destroy settings on upgrade.  EVER.
    • Just about to comment on this. It needs to be fixed before the next release.
    • I couldn't agree more. Please fix this, it's incredibly annoying to have upgrades alter your preferences.
    • Agreed - this is a great add-in but I only use about half of the tools and every upgrade reenables the ones I don't want.  Please fix that!
    • Same here. This is really annoying as every update now requires two restarts, and I have to remember to check the settings every time.
    • It's not just the major settings, either; every time I update, it resets my color choices for the active line highlighting, deleting the custom colors from the selector as it does so. This is particularly frustrating as it means I can't even restore the same colours I had.
    • This is the most annoying thing about this extension. I'm holding off unstalling the latest update as it still appears to reset the settings. I'll just have to wait for the next update and hope.
  • Update
    1 Posts | Last post August 27, 2010
    • Extension update reset settings to defaults (all features are on).
  • Exception with Add Reference Dialog
    10 Posts | Last post August 26, 2010
    • Affects version: 10.0.10710.22
      On my laptop when using the Searchable Add Reference dialog an ArgumentException is thrown any time I attempt to add references to a new project.  The stack trace is as follows:
      System.ArgumentException: The path is not of a legal form.
         at System.IO.Path.NormalizePath(String path, Boolean fullCheck, Int32 maxPathLength)
         at System.IO.Path.GetDirectoryName(String path)
         at Microsoft.VSProjectPlus.AddReferenceDialog..ctor(IVsHierarchy projectHierarchy, DTE2 applicationObject)
         at Microsoft.VSProjectPlus.AddReferencePackage.ShowAddReferenceDialogOnIdle(IdleComponent idleComponent)
      What appears to be happening is that within the AddReferenceDialog ctor it grabs the full name of the current solution to attempt to determine the directory name, but in this case the full name is returning an empty string which is causing Path.GetDirectoryName to fail.
    • Hi JSpindler,
      We've seen some issues with user who have Tools -> Options -> Project and Solutions -> General -> Save new solutions when created unchecked. Can you try checking that option and seeing if the issue still reproduces?
    • That appears to be the case.  If the first time the dialog is invoked within that instance of Visual Studio is within a temporary solution then the full name of that solution will be an empty string.
      Since the field in question only appears to serve as the initial browsing directory for the dialog and that it will be set to the location of any assemblies browsed to by the user that in the case that the solution full name is not a valid file path that this variable would default to the user's profile path or similar.
    • Hello
      I found a bug in Solution Navigator (Productivity Power Tools)(10.0.10710.22)
      When press Collapse All button (second in top of Solution Navigator window)
      filter "Open" for solution work incorrect, it display full project
      structure but must be empty.
    • Hi All,
      I'm having the same issue. If I open a project that is not saved yet and try to use Add Reference Dialog I get the same error.
    • Hi all,
      Just want to know if there were an progress made to fix this problem?
    • I expeience the same problem. Fortunately Searchable.... can be turned off :-)
    • When will you fix this bug? It's annoying and still present in the latest release!
      Or maybe would you release source codes? It would be easy for anyone to fix this issues himself and not wait for the official release that will be ready who knows when...
    • Hi Everyone -
      I apologize, but the last few posts were not clear on the issue that you are asking about - the Add Ref crash or the Solution Navigator issue.  We've fixed the Add Reference Dialog crash and that fix will be in the next drop of the Pro Power Tools.  
      For the Solution Navigator Issue (Anonymous55656), I cannot reproduce this problem.  If you can do this consistently, could you please start a new discussion topic and provide the details there?  
      Sorry for the inconvenience these issues have caused. Please continue to let us know of issues you are finding with the Pro Power Tools.
    • I'm still experiencing the "path is not of a legal form" error trying to add references to throwaway projects with the 10819.19 drop. Or did "fixed in the next drop" mean "the next drop after 10819.19"?
  • Bug: Opening .SQL File Generates an Exception Message
    1 Posts | Last post August 26, 2010
    • I opened a .SQL file after install the latest update and restarted VS. I turned off the column guide feature. I opened a Database project and opened a .SQL file and received the following message:
      The "Microsoft.ColumnGuidePackage.ColumnGuidePackage, ColumnGuidePackageProTools, Version" could not load successfully.
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