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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  • Highlighted braces on current line are barely visible
    1 Posts | Last post August 18, 2010
    • At first I thought that matching braces/parentheses weren't being highlighted, then noticed that the highlight color is just barely different than the background when on the currently selected line. It would be nice to have the matching braces stand out a bit more.
  • "This extension contains a digital signature with an invalid certificate" message
    1 Posts | Last post August 18, 2010
    • The installer shows a "This extension contains a digital signature with an invalid certificate" message. What's wrong?
  • Unknown items appear
    1 Posts | Last post August 18, 2010
    • After working with my solution for a long time, in Solution Navigator appears unknown items.
      You can see it by this image
  • Code block outlining
    2 Posts | Last post August 17, 2010
    • Do you plan to add this feature?
    • Hey Boyd_Rice,
      Are you looking for a feature which would automatically add  /- glyphs in the left hand margin when you are inside of methods?  If so, this is a great suggestion that is already on our list.  Did you know that you can actually collapse these blocks manually?  You can right click 
  • Add Reference Dialog Adds GAC references even when you browse for a file
    4 Posts | Last post August 17, 2010
    • If the Add References dialog finds an assembly in the GAC named the same as an assembly you've browsed to, the dialog will, incorrectly, add a reference to the GAC assembly.
    • I experienced the same problem, I have both EF CTP3 and EF CTP4 installed, when browsing for the EF CTP3 dll, it keeps adding the EF CTP4 reference.
      I turned off the power toolsAdd Reference feature, and was able to add correct reference using the standard Add Reference browser.
    • Totally agree with that. Thats a very annoying bug. I set up a libs folder where all libs used are located. I copied the Microsoft.ReportingViewer.Common from its orign path into my libs directory and wanted to add a reference to my folder, because the TFS has this dll not installed. But adding the reference via "Browse" from my folder, always adds a reference to the .dlls origin path.
      After Turning off the improved add reference dialog I used the origin dialog again, and with this one the reference has been added correct.
      This has to be fixed very soon!
    • Hi,
      This should have been fixed in the latest release.  Can you double check to make sure you have current version and let us know?
  • Could not show Add Reference Dialog
    3 Posts | Last post August 17, 2010
    • Installed today's version (Win7, VS 2010) and cannot add references to one of my projects. It works fine for others in the same SLN.
      Could not show Add Reference Dialog
      The Add Reference Dialog could not be shown due to the error:
      An item with the same key has already been added.
      The error details has been saved to C:\Users\XXX\AppData\Local\Microsoft\VisualStudio\10.0\ShowAddReferenceDialog.log
      The log then contains:
      System.ArgumentException: An item with the same key has already been added.
         at System.ThrowHelper.ThrowArgumentException(ExceptionResource resource)
         at System.Collections.Generic.Dictionary`2.Insert(TKey key, TValue value, Boolean add)
         at Microsoft.VSProjectPlus.VisualStudio.GetProjectReferenceIdentities(IVsHierarchy projectHierarchy)
         at Microsoft.VSProjectPlus.AddReferenceDialog..ctor(IVsHierarchy projectHierarchy, DTE2 applicationObject)
         at Microsoft.VSProjectPlus.AddReferencePackage.ShowAddReferenceDialogOnIdle(IdleComponent idleComponent)
    • I just started getting the same error dialog. My log entry looks the same as yours. I haven't had to add any references for a couple of weeks so don't know when exactly it started happening. Disabling the enhanced Add Reference dialog allows me to get to the old dialog though, so I guess for now I'll have to live with the old dialog.
      System.ArgumentException: An item with the same key has already been added.
         at System.ThrowHelper.ThrowArgumentException(ExceptionResource resource)
         at System.Collections.Generic.Dictionary`2.Insert(TKey key, TValue value, Boolean add)
         at Microsoft.VSProjectPlus.VisualStudio.GetProjectReferenceIdentities(IVsHierarchy projectHierarchy)
         at Microsoft.VSProjectPlus.AddReferenceDialog..ctor(IVsHierarchy projectHierarchy, DTE2 applicationObject)
         at Microsoft.VSProjectPlus.AddReferencePackage.ShowAddReferenceDialogOnIdle(IdleComponent idleComponent)
    • Hi -
      Thanks for reporting this issue. I've logged a bug and we'll see if we can figure it out given the call stack. If there is any more information you can provide about the project with the issue, please post it here.  
      Sorry for the inconvenience.  Please keep sending us issues and we'll try to get them fixed as soon as possible.
  • assembly binding/nam conflict
    2 Posts | Last post August 17, 2010
    • If you have a VS2010 solution, with 2 projects.   1 is a winform project, the other is a project that outputs an assembly called "Utilities.dll".
      make the winform project reference the utilities project.
      add a couple of user controls or custom controls to the winform project that call some arbitrary function in a class in the Utilities project.
      put some of these controls on a new winform in the vs it.... try to reopen the winform... designer crash.
      debugging from another instance of VS2010... it looks like the designer is loading this "utilities.dll" 
      instead of the one that the winform project is referencing, and since the powertools\utilities.dll does not contain the class upon which my custom controls explodes.
      other than giving MY utilties.dll a different file name... what other options are available?
      I expect that utilities.dll is a very common assembly name out in the wild.
    • Hi Phil,
      Good catch. You are right, the Pro Power Tools' utilities.dll is strong name signed and already loaded, so that one wins.  We will rename this file in the next release, but until then you can either rename or strong name sign your utilities.dll.
      Sorry for the inconvenience.  Thanks for the report and keep them coming.
  • Repeating Script Documents
    2 Posts | Last post August 17, 2010
    • Script Documents seem to be repeating and remain in the Navigator after testing is complete. 
      Here is a screenshot of the problem:
    • Hi! 
      Thanks for the bug report and the image. We were able to reproduce this problem here. The only work around we can find is to close and reopen the project, which I know isn't ideal.
      We will take a look at fixing this in the next release of the Pro Power Tools.  
      I am sorry for the inconvenience, but please do continue to let us know about issues you run into with the Pro Power Tools.
  • Closing files got really slow
    2 Posts | Last post August 17, 2010
    • Is it my imagination, or does closing files take a lot longer after these power tools are installed?
      It seems that it was really fast before.
      I can't say 100% that it was the fault of the productivity power tools, but pretty much right after I installed them, it started taking a long time to close files in the IDE.  For a single file, probably about 0.75 seconds.  I opened up 15 .cs files and invoked "Close All" from the menu, and the IDE hung for nearly 5 seconds while it completed the operation.
      Disabling or uninstalling the power tools didn't seem to help.
      Anyone else seeing this?
    • Hi Rob263,  
      If uninstalling the power tools doesn't resolve the problem, then there is likely a different cause.  Can you try disabling other extensions to see if that resolves the problem?  If it doesn't can you send me an email (seanla @ microsoft. com) and I'll send you instructions to report performance problems.  
  • Copy/Paste no longer work
    7 Posts | Last post August 17, 2010
    • After installing this extension, standard Copy/Paste with the edit menu and CTRL-C, CTRL-V are broken, e.g. when editing C# code. Any ideas on how to fix this or do I just need to ditch the whole extension? I do like the Add Reference feature.
    • may be due to copyashtml extension. try do delete copyashtml.dll in folder "%localappdata%\Microsoft\VisualStudio\10.0\Extensions\Microsoft\Visual Studio 2010 Pro Power Tools" and verify if this problem solved
    • lex3001 - could you please contact me via my blog at
      I would love to help you investigate this issue.
    • I notice this issue as well, but in VB, and it is not CopyAsHtml causing this issue.
      I copy a literal boolean (False) and try to paste it over another one (True), and the Object Browser pops up.
      It can also happen with literal numbers and other stuff.
      How do I disable this, it's abysmal. I have turned off the power tools until I can figure out how to disable that.
    • 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.
    • I was unclear that I was posting to this thread. My last post was intended to be posted against the Crash in VS 2010 Premium thread.
    • I should mention, I've narrowed this down and it turns out it's the ctrl click go to definition causing this. As I try to copy/paste, often the ctrl is already hit before I click on a literal. Since the literals don't get the underline like variables, I'd assumed ctrl click wouldn't to go to definitions on them. And in fact, I really wish this was the case, or that literals, like everything else, got underlined, so you could tell it was going to go to definition. I have disabled the ctrl click go to definition for now, but it would be nicer if I could disable it only for literals.
      Alternatively, maybe even preferably, if it required ctrl alt click, rather than ctrl click, this kind of issue wouldn't happen.
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