Productivity Power Tools


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

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by Ammar.Zaied | February 13 2015

Good plugin !

by gimystic | January 20 2015

by 独立观察员 | December 31 2014


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

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  • 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.
  • Crash in VS 2010 Premium
    15 Posts | Last post August 26, 2010
    • I am experiencing a crash in VS 2010 Premium with this installed.  When I go to Data->Schema Compare->New Schema Comparison... VS 2010 crashes.  I'm running Win7 x86.  If I disable this add-in, the New Schema Comparison function works correctly.
    • I have the exact same problem (also with Data Compare) on Win7 x64
    • Yep, I'm having the same issue.  Here's my problem signature if it's worth anything:
      Problem signature:
        Problem Event Name:	CLR20r3
        Problem Signature 01:	devenv.exe
        Problem Signature 02:	10.0.30319.1
        Problem Signature 03:	4ba1fab3
        Problem Signature 04:	mscorlib
        Problem Signature 05:
        Problem Signature 06:	4ba1da6f
        Problem Signature 07:	1164
        Problem Signature 08:	7
        Problem Signature 09:	N3CTRYE2KN3C34SGL4ZQYRBFTE4M13NB
        OS Version:	6.1.7600.
        Locale ID:	1033
    • I'm experiencing this same issue trying to initiate a schme or data comparison: VS2010 Premium, Win7 x64.
    • This appears to be fixed with the 10.0.10725.12 version I received this morning (7/29/10).  Thanks!
    • Version 10.0.10725.12 doesn't fix the bug, the crash still occurs if opening Schema Compare or Data Compare outside a solution. Compares are executing correctly with an open solution. VS2010 Ultimate, Win7 x64.
    • I too can confirm that this is still an issue with VS2010 Ultimate on Vista 32-bit. If someone needs more info on my setup to reproduce the issue, just let me know.
    • Yes, OsMoSiS is correct, I must have tried a Schema and/or Data Compare in a solution and thought it was fixed.  It's still broken, though.
    • Yes - this is definitely still broken in 10.0.10725.12.  win7x64.
    • Same for me - data compare just borks out.
    • I encountered the same problem too. Will this get fixed?
    • I have had a similar problem with data compare. It just happened after the latest update. When I go to data compare, VS says it needs to shut down. When I disable this I am working fine again. 
    • Thanks for for reporting this crash with Schema Compare. We've checked in a fix and it will be part of the next version of the Productivity Power Tools. You can disable the Solution Navigator extension if you find that this is interrupting your work.  
      -Sean Laberee
    • Just updated to the latest version (10.0.10819.19), the bug is still present for Schema Compare and Data Compare.
      I can confirm that disabling Solution Navigator everything works fine.
    • I opened a bug for this on Microsoft Connect and submitted a crash dump. The case says that it's was being forwarded to the necessary team for further analysis.
  • 10.0.10710.22 breaks #region snippet
    3 Posts | Last post August 25, 2010
    • After installing update 10.0.10710.22 I get the following when I try to use the #region snippet (type "#region" followed by TAB):
      #region MyRegion
    • Hi korggy,
      We're looking into this to see what we can do about preventing this issue in the next release. Good catch and I'll let you know what we end up doing about it.
    • I also noticed that the "automatic brace completion" component of the addon breaks #region snippets. Would it be possible to not have the brace completion affect "#region"? Or make it configurable which "braces" it tries to complete so I can disable it from affecting #region?
  • Colorized Parameter - All Tooltips
    4 Posts | Last post August 24, 2010
    • The Colorized Parameter Help Customization is great -- but I'd really like to see the exact same thing for all tooltips in the editor when hovering over an element.  
      Can the Colorized Help Parameter be extended to do this for all tooltips?
    • I have installed this tool and found it very useful.
      But one problem I am having is same as many have listed above. When I have the Power tools enabled, I am not able to Add References to my Web project.
      I get this error:
      "The Add Reference Dialog could not be shown due to the error: 
      An item with the same key has already been added."
      And I donot get this error, if I disable the Power Tools from the extension manager.
      Any possible solution for now.
    • Hi Oren,
      This is a great suggestion and something we will consider for a future version.  
      We've seen a few more complaints on this above and are investigating.  Until then you only need to disable the Add Reference extension to work around this.
      -Sean Laberee
    • Any info on when a fix for the add reference dialog issue will be released?  To be honest, the improved add reference dialog is the main reason I use the tool and I had to remove the extension because it would work for a while then suddenly add reference would quit working until I reinstalled the extension again.
  • Cannot Add Domain Service Class from Solution Navigator
    1 Posts | Last post August 23, 2010
    • If I try to add a Domain Service Class by right clicking on a folder in the Solution Navigator, choosing "Add New Item," and selecting "Domain Service Class," the "Add New Domain Service Class" dialog has no DataContexts listed.  If I do the same thing from the built in Solution Explorer it shows the DataContext fine.
  • Where do I turn of the Quick Search(ctrl+alt+2) feature?
    5 Posts | Last post August 22, 2010
    • I haven't seen this before I installed this, and I've turn off all other extensions except resharper.
      Problem is that AltGr+2 is where @ is placed on Norwegian keyboards...
    • Same for danish keyboards... Have you found a way around it yet? Turning off quick search doesn't seem to help here.
    • Disabling the Solution Navigator does the trick...
    • Ctrl   1 and Ctrl   2 bring it up for me too, it's an awesome extension, but until this is a configurable thing, I can't use it.
    • It's now been fixed, 5 stars from me, great set of functionality.
  • Ctrl + Drag copy issues
    5 Posts | Last post August 20, 2010
    • I noticed copying code by highlighting and then dragging with the Crontrol key pressed (Ctrl + LeftMouse) was not working.  It started working again, after I disabled all power tools in the TOOLS > OPTIONS... menu, restarted Visual Studion 2010, and then enabled the power tools.  Disabling the entire extension and tehn enabling it dis not help.
    • Actually, any click 
    • (My reply got cut off!)
      Actually, all click 
    • (My reply got cut off AGAIN!  Apaprently, the ampersand character is killing it!)
      Actually, all click and drag events have stopped working!  When I attempt to perform a normal drag on selected C# code, the text selection starts following the mouse pointer, as if I am selecting text.  I am unable to isolate a specific Power Tool feature that is causing the issue.  Disabling the entire extension works!
      This is not likely to be related to my other VS 2010 mouse issues:
    • Sorry to heep posting on this issue, but it is very annoying.
      I am now able to click and drag selected text normally.  However, any time Power Tools is enabled, even if all features are turned off in the options dialog, I am unable to use Ctrl   LeftMouse to drag and drop a copy of the selected text.  Disabling Power Tools resolves the issue.
      Here's my post about this and other issues:
  • Unhandled InvalidCastException starting with elevated priviledges
    1 Posts | Last post August 19, 2010
    • I get an unhandled InvalidCastException when I start VS2010 as administrator with PPT activated. If I start normal everything is fine. Deactivating PPT lets VS2010 starts as administrator too. 
      When the Exception occurs loading VS gets until rendering the startpage then it is closed and I'm not fas t enough to get a debugger attached to deep dive into the error. So I only could provide a eventlog file.
  • Solution Navigator does not show startup project in bold when inside a solution folder
    1 Posts | Last post August 18, 2010
    • In my solution, I have a solution folder named "Samples" with a few console application projects contained in it.  If I mark one of these projects as the startup project, I expect the project name to be in bold, but it is not.  If I mark a project that is not inside a folder as the startup project, it correctly shows up as bold..
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