Productivity Power Tools


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

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One of the best extensions around, highly recommend.

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.

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.

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  • Tab Colors
    2 Posts | Last post July 20, 2010
    • After last update i seen changing of tab color - selected tab has gardient color. How I make selected tab color non-gradient? Old behavior was more readable and comfort for look.
    • Hi,
      Please take a look at this blog post to see how you can return to the old behavior:
  • Problem with Solution Navigator window in Full Screen mode
    1 Posts | Last post July 20, 2010
    • I just found another problem with Solution Navigator window. While it is open at the right hand side, if you move to full screen mode of VS2010, the window remains at the right side. It never hides like other window like Solution Explorer, Property Window etc.
      Hope you will fix it in the next release.
  • Problem with Solution Navigator Tooltip and Resharper Tooltip
    1 Posts | Last post July 20, 2010
    • First of all I want to admit it is an awesome extension, fully 10/10. But while using it along with resharper 5.1 I am facing some compatibility issue. Things like Solution Navigator tooltip and resharper tooltip; both are coming at same place while hovering over the code and resharper is overriding the solution navigator. Can you guys please do something so that I can use both the features without problem. Honestly I can't give up resharper, but I want to use this extension also as well. I am eagerly waiting for a solution.
      Thanks again for this awesome extension. 
  • Sorting of projects in the Solution Navigator
    3 Posts | Last post July 20, 2010
    • The sorting of projects in the Solution Navigator seems broken. I have a solution with 21 projects, separated among 3 solution folders. The order in which the projects are listed in the Solution Navigator does not match the order of the Solution Explorer (which is alphabetical). The solution folders themselves appear in the correct alphabetical order.
      In fact, I have re-opened my solution and the order of projects has /changed/, which is even worse than incorrect-but-stable sorting.
    • Sorry about this problem!  In the current version, contents of Solution Folders aren't being sorted correctly, and are displayed in the order the solution returns them in (which may be arbitrary).  We will get this fixed for the next release.
    • 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.
  • Automatic Brace Completion affects Intellisense
    1 Posts | Last post July 20, 2010
    • I've just updated to the new version, and love the changes.  However, I've had to disable automatic brace completion because it appears to screw with intellisense.  
      For an example, if you have a function which takes an enum as an argument, the normal behaviour is to open the intellisense window and navigate to the enum, so you can just type . followed by the enum member name.  However, with automatic brace completion enabled, the intellisense window is opened, but remains at the top of the list.  I suspect this has something to do with the extension moving the cursor in order to add the closing brackets.
  • The extension could not be installed because...
    2 Posts | Last post July 20, 2010
    • "The specified path, file name, or both are too long. blah blah blah..."
      I get this error while trying to update the extension.
      Anyone have a work-around?
    • ChuckC,
      Are you using WindowsXP?  If so there is a known issue with the Productivity Power Tools having too long of a name when you take into account the contents of the zip file.  We've shortened the names so you should be able to install now.  There is also a workaround mentionned below to rename the .vsix to .zip and install it to the correct location under AppData.
  • Why Power Tools ignore custom color for selected tab
    5 Posts | Last post July 20, 2010
    • After install the Update this morning, Power Tools ignore the colour settings:
      Can anyone help me??
    • Similar for me: 
      Something wrong with selected tab color. I have ForceFlatColors=true and UseCustomColorForSelected=false, and my selected tab has gradient effect but other buttons have flat color.
    •  1 to this. I'm greatly annoyed by the fact it didn't keep the tab colors as always. Now it's with an awful blue with yellow gradient which I dislike a lot. Why couldn't it be left as it was, and add an option to change it? now not even registry settings work :/...
      :( this makes me want to give a -1 :(
    • The changes made to the default tab color for the selected tab made me have to change this registry key. Sorry about that. I will be updating the blog post soon with this change. In the meantime, please try running the command below. It will have the same effect as the old registry key, using default VS colors for the selected tab:
      reg add HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\VisualStudio\10.0\DialogPage\Microsoft.DocWellBehavior.ColorGeneralOptions /v SelectedOption /t REG_SZ /d VS /f
    • That fixes the problem. Thanks! :D Hope to see it fixed in the next version, and thanks for the reply :)
  • Local refereces break WinForm designer
    2 Posts | Last post July 19, 2010
    • When using this extension it breaks the WinForms designer in the following scenario:
      - I got a solution with two projects: Utilities and Application
      - Application has a reference to the solution-local project Utilities
      - In Application I have a UserControl which uses classes from Utilities
      - In Application I have a Form which uses the locally defined UserControl
      Now if I try to open this Form in the WinForms designer the UserControl throws an exception failing to load the Utilities assembly. If I disable the extension I can open the designer without problems.
    • Not related but I didn't feel like making a new entry for this:
      If I close the AddRefereceDialog while it is still building the global assembly list there is a non-fatal NullReferenceException. I'm referred to a log which says:
      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)
      plus a lot more stack probably not relevant
  • Problem with Add Reference dialog if # is in the file path
    2 Posts | Last post July 19, 2010
    • I ran into a COM error in the Pro Power Tools Add Reference dialog box when the reference I want to add has a # in the file path. The standard dialog box works as expected. See
      Otherwise, the functionality in the tools is great so far.
    • Josh,
      We just released a new version of the Productivity Power Tools that should address this problem.  Please let us know if that doesn't fix it for you.
  • Javascript Auto Brace Completion
    1 Posts | Last post July 19, 2010
    • I just saw the update and that you now support auto brace completion but only for VB and C#.  If I may, I'd like to recommend implementing something like this for javascript.  I generally switch between VS and Aptana because I when I write javascript, Aptana's auto brace completion is far superior.  Take a look at theirs, it is really good.  Is there another extension that does this or is this something that can be built into Productivity Power Tools?
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