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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  • Color Printing
    1 Posts | Last post August 04, 2010
    • How about adding the ability to print in color?  (something you could do in VS2008, 2005, 2003...should I continue?)
      That'd make you guys my hero for sure!  (pasting code into Word and reformatting it is just icky.  Plus you lose the line numbers!)
  • HintPath fix?
    2 Posts | Last post August 04, 2010
    • Any ETA on the HintPath issue?
    • I guess not...
  • XML Schema Explorer
    1 Posts | Last post August 03, 2010
    • When I try to open the XML Schema Explorer, the 'Solution Navigator' gets the focus and the XML Schema Explorer pops up and get closed immediately again. So where's the XML Schema Explorer Window? I think it has to do with tools. Same experience someone?
  • Crash when opening a C++ test project
    1 Posts | Last post August 03, 2010
    • I can create and compile a c++ test project. However, if VS 2010 is restarted and I try to load the test project solution, VS crashes. It works fine if the 'Productivity Power Tools' extension is disabled. I am using version 10.0.10725.12.
  • Bug in handling Ctrl-2
    2 Posts | Last post August 02, 2010
    • By default the tools bind to Ctrl-2 to show intellisense info. The binding is flawed so that also AltGr-2 is considered Ctrl-2. This causes a huge problem since AltGr-2 is @ character in the Finnish keyboard layout. Could this be fixed so that AltGr is NOT considered the same as Ctrl?
    • And immediately after posting that I noticed that this should have been handled in the newest update. Sorry for the duplicate report :(
  • Settings not remembered after update
    2 Posts | Last post August 02, 2010
    • There's a few parts of the extension that I turn off. I installed the update and after it they were all enabled again.
    • Same here. This is a small, but quite annoying, thing.
  • Solution Navigator overwrites Intellisense
    5 Posts | Last post July 30, 2010
    • With Solution Navigator (SN) enabled, Intellisense is disabled.  For example, in a code window, when I hover over "method" in "object.method", instead of getting an Intellisense pop-up, I get a Solution Navigator pop-up. Is this by design? If I turn Solution Navigator off, the Intellisense pop-up returns. I'm using VB; maybe this is just in VB and not C#?
    • Hi Bill,
      There is the option to turn off the tool tips. From the menu select: Tools... Options.. Productivity Power Tools .... Solution Navigator and uncheck "Enable interactive tooltips"
    • I don't see that option. I'm using version 10.0.10710.22. I see Tools...Options...Productivity Power Tools. This shows on/off sliders. There is one for Solution Navigator. I can turn that off and it restores the tooltips but I lose the Solution Navigator window.
    • Under Productivity power tools there should be two "sub options" Namely
      -All Extensions
      -Solution Navigator
      It is under the solution Navigator option that you will find the option to turn off interactive tool tips.
      Under C# I am having the exact opposite issue with both (intellsense and Solution Navigator) tooltips showing up and the intellsense tooltip covers up ( or is drawn on top of ) the solution navigator tooltip.
      Any ideas how to resolve this ?
    • Under Productivity Tools I had two sub-items: All Extensions and Document Tab Well. I just upgraded to 10.0.10725.12 and now Solution Navigator shows as a third sub-item. I can now toggle off Interactive Tooltips.
  • Starting/Stopping debugging very slow
    1 Posts | Last post July 30, 2010
    • When you have the document tab well enabled with tab sorting 'by project' and a lot (50+) of source files open, it takes a long time to start or stop debugging (or attach/detach) 15-30 seconds or more in some cases. The time taken goes up as the number of open source files goes up and devenv.exe uses 100% of one cpu core during this time.
      Some sort of O(n^2) code running in the extension in response to the debug start/stop I would expect.
      Otherwise a fabulous extension - the only other niggle is if you type '{<Enter>', you often have still down when pressing enter, which steps the insertion point *past* the automatically inserted close brace :(.
  • The Add Reference Dialogue could not be shown due to the error: Null Reference.
    1 Posts | Last post July 30, 2010
    • Closing the Add Reference Dialogue while its refreshing/building the assembly list results in a NullReferenceException.
      29/07/2010 6:06:32 PM
      System.NullReferenceException: Object reference not set to an instance of an object.
         at Microsoft.VSProjectPlus.AssemblyReferenceProvider.Dispose()
         at Microsoft.VSProjectPlus.AddReferenceDialog.AddReferenceDialogView_Closed(Object sender, EventArgs e)
         at System.Windows.Window.OnClosed(EventArgs e)
         at Microsoft.VisualStudio.PlatformUI.DialogWindowBase.OnClosed(EventArgs e)
         at System.Windows.Window.WmDestroy()
         at System.Windows.Window.WindowFilterMessage(IntPtr hwnd, Int32 msg, IntPtr wParam, IntPtr lParam, Boolean& handled)
  • Amazing extension--plus another request.
    3 Posts | Last post July 29, 2010
    • This is truly a great extension, and the new features in the latest update make it even more incredible--I would redouble my 5-star rating if I could. Thanks for taking my request to make control-click navigation more compatible with ctrl-dragging!
      Since you guys are so awesome at improving Visual Studio's subtle annoyances, I have one more feature request for something that has been bothering me for some time:
      I would love if the members drop-down menu for code files would list members in the order they are declared in the file. I find this significantly improves organization of code by promoting better ordering of member declarations within a code file. I remember back to my Mac programming days using CodeWarrior this is how the member menu was organized and I guarantee you my code files were significantly more organized back then.
      On top of this, it would be great if one could see #region declarations in this menu as well, as well as the ability to add separators to the menu (CodeWarrior did this with "#pragma mark -" directives)--again this promotes organization of members by grouping related members/properties together.
      Even just ordering it based on the order they appear in the code would be a significant improvement over alphabetical ordering.
      In closing I would also like to second another user's suggestion of automatic namespace resolution (adding "using" directives automatically when there is only one choice of resolution). Coupled with automatic unused "using" cleanup, this could be a significant productivity enhancement.
      Cheers, and thanks again for a great extension!
    • You might want to take a look at the VS10x Code Map extension (, it adds a collapsible sidebar to the editor which (by default) lists the members in the order they are declared in code. It also shows regions and has a few other cool features like showing which parts of the file you've visited recently.
      Another one you might want to look at is PowerCommands for Visual Studio 2010 ( One of the commands it adds is "Remove and Sort Usings"; there is an option under PowerCommands > General to have the command execute automatically when you save a file.
    • Thanks Rory--I will try it out. It looks handy, but would be even better if it simply offered a quick-access menu. I don't have a lot of screen real estate for additional sidebars.
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