Rename Visual Studio Window Title


This lightweight extension will detect whenever two instances of Visual Studio are running with the same window title and change the window title of Visual Studio to include a folder tree with a configurable min depth and max depth distance from the solution/project file. With...

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Visual Studio
2015, 2013, 2012, 2010, 15
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by pbradshaw64 | Thu 5:53 PM

Very useful, but not quite complete.

Missing: The "ParentX" tag gives a great way to back up the path to get
where you want... but I need the opposite. It'd be nice to have a "PathX"
tag that would let you walk down from the top. For solution path of
"C:\folder1\branch\anotherFolder\solutionFolder\solution.sln", then
Path0=C:, Path1="folder1", Path2="branch", etc. We have solutions
scattered all over multiple folders and multiple depths, but the branch
name is always the 3rd item in on the path. It would be nice to pull that
and display it.

Mayerwin Fri 10:32 AM
| Edit |

Please note that you can already implement the desired pattern with the 3.1 beta, by adding solution-specific overrides (either in separate files or in a master file) and hardcode the desired path. Dynamic tag replacement is nice but in a particular case like yours, you would just write once the perfect pattern for each solution and be all set.

Your suggestion is still relevant however, implementing the following tag formats should be helpful and intuitive: [path:0],[path:0:3],[parent:0],[parent:-3:0], where the first number is the first (or only) index to show, and the second number is the last index to show. In the case of path, from the root (C:\ = 0), and in the case of parent, from the current element. I will try to implement that in the next release.

by Eugeniy Maksimov | Thu 7:48 AM

Usefull easy-to-turnUp extension.

by diegose | May 13 2016

This extension is a MUST when working with multiple branches of a project at once.
I changed my settings to display just the solution name and the current branch: [solutionName] ([gitBranchName])
Easy peasy.

by WuFelix | April 29 2016

by Jonas Meyer | April 04 2016

by CAD bloke | February 02 2016

Aaaah, that's better.

[solutionName] \ [projectName] ([gitBranchName]) --- VS[vsMajorVersionYear] --- [parentPath]

with the "farthest parent folder depth" set to 99 (or use the [parent99] tag) it displays the full parent path, just like the instructions say it does.

by personY | December 16 2015

It's working quite well.

I have two suggestions:
1. Ability to set a custom title (which is a map between the full solution path to a custom text). This is useful if you have multiple clones of the same repository in different folders and the folder structure is deep.

2. Ability to also show the current startup project(s) name in header

Guess #1 one could be done easily.
Some context menu entry "Override solution name", but that's just a suggestion.

Mayerwin December 17 2015
| Edit |

Hi, #1 is already possible by changing the options (in Tools > Options > Rename Visual Studio Title). You can select [parentX] tags to only show any parent folder at a specific depth level instead of the full path.

For #2, you can use the tag [projectName] to show the current active project name, which should be good enough for most purpose (you just need to select the start-up project or an element within to "activate" a project).

Feel free to play with the source code if you want to add support for more tags.

by Lusian | October 29 2015

Works on VS 2015 ! cool addon.

by DrLeh | October 16 2015

by viJay2345 | August 24 2015

Great extension! Thank you :)

by Lars Tellemann Sæther | August 17 2015

Does exactly as described - in my case perfect for identifying different branches

by Patrick68 | August 05 2015

Great tool! Works like a charm to identify my branches using the parent folder name.

by agaze_6 | June 25 2015

by Igor Iakovlev | May 05 2015

Standard JIT Debugger window is now good to select specific instance of VS. Saved my day and nerves.

by Opus4210 | March 17 2015

This is a perfect solution and, like others said, you wonder why VS doesn't include it by default.

My TFS branch folder is always the parent to the solution, so I used [parent0] to get the branch's folder name. It wasn't obvious from the descriptions. And [parentPath] didn't work for me in this case because I wanted to use a "Farthest parent folder depth" of 10 for a document with no solution but only the branch name for a solution.

Also, TyWeb stated that you can't show the whole path, but that's not true. Just set "Farthest parent folder depth" to a high enough value (10 was deep enough for my projects) that will traverse deep enough to pick up the drive letter.

Great job!

by Michi-2142 | March 16 2015

Thank you very much, this saved my day!

by Xiolus | December 05 2014

Fantastic! Does what it says it does. Exactly what I needed. Thanks!!

by protstein | November 12 2014

by M Birtwistle | September 24 2014

A google search lead me to this extension and the default title option (containing-folder\solution) is exactly what I need to tell which solution folder relates to which Visual Studio 2013 instance.

by Cristi-Ingineru | September 11 2014

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  • Mercurial support
    3 Posts | Last post March 11, 2016
    • Please add [hgBranchName] variable.
    • Can you please provide the exact hg command you want to show the result of?
    • I'm not sure if it's the same thing, but [branchName] would be useful, I don't know if that would be too much to implement. [workspaceName] works really well, but for some scenarios the branch would be really appreciated :D
  • Filepath
    2 Posts | Last post March 08, 2016
    • Is it possible to display the filepath (of the active file) - or at least the path from the project root?
    • Yes, please take a look at the available tags.
  • Customizable - how?
    2 Posts | Last post December 17, 2015
    • I have read the description which states this is customizable. How? I don't see an entry for it under Tools->Options. I don't see in the description how it can be done. Can someone tell me where you go to customize? Thanks.
    • Alright, I'm blind, but I just found the entry in Tools->Options. 
  • Add backslash to path if complete
    1 Posts | Last post November 03, 2015
    • If the [parentPath] ends in a drive I would like to get an absolute path displayed as usual.
      For drives add backslash after the colon:
      'F:data\vs2013' becomes 'F:\data\vs2013' 
      Add leading double backslash for network drives:
      'server\share\data\vs2013' becomes '\\server\share\data\vs2013'
  • VS 11
    8 Posts | Last post August 06, 2015
    • Apparently it also works on the VS 11 beta, just needs some hacking of the downloaded file.
    • And which?
    • I was able to make it work with VS 2012 by adding a few lines in the manifest, however SetWindowText no longer works to modify the window title (it just affects the title of the window in the taskbar). And we cannot modify dte.MainWindow.Caption so something new needs to be found.
    • Hello Dávid, I have just released a new major version 2.0.0 that supports Visual Studio 2012 and custom patterns. Enjoy!
    • What did you use, if you don't mind me asking?  I'm working on my own extension, and can only get it to change the title in the taskbar using SetWindowText.
    • Hi Campbell, feel free to take a look at the source code on Codeplex, I guess it'll answer all your questions!
    • Nevermind, worked it out. (using System.Windows.Application)
    • Oops, that'll teach me not to refresh before posting.  Thanks for getting back to me. :)
  • Can't figure out parentPath logic
    5 Posts | Last post July 29, 2015
    • can you please tell me what i need to set for the "closest parent folder depth" and "farthest parent folder depth" in order for the title to display the full file path?  i cant get it to work properly and I've tried every combination of numbers.
      my current pattern is:
      [solutionName] - [parentPath]\[documentName]
    • Hello, you should just set "Farthest parent folder depth" to 99 (a number high enough so that it will capture all ancestors).
    • Remember to wait a few seconds for the settings to be applied.
    • its not working.
      full path:
      Microsoft Visual Studio Premium 2013
      Version 12.0.40629.00 Update 5
      Microsoft .NET Framework
      Version 4.5.51641
      Plugin version is 2.8.1
      i tried reinstalling plugin but that didnt help
    • Thanks for the screenshots. This is by design: as explained in the settings description (at the bottom), [parentPath] is relative to the solution file only, not the document being displayed (which could be very far deep into the solution folder). I understand that you would like to display the document's full path, so I will try to add support for this scenario in a future version. If this is very urgent, feel free to play with the source code on Codeplex (now in C#).
  • Latest version fails to load in Visual Studio 2012
    5 Posts | Last post May 05, 2015
    • Hi,
      I just got prompted to install a new version and since I did it, the extension fails to load. The error screen tells me to look in Visual Studio's ActivityLog.xml file and this is what's in there:
          <time>2015/05/01 12:50:55.384</time>
          <description>End package load [ErwinMayerLabs.RenameVSWindowTitle.RenameVSWindowTitle, RenameVSWindowTitle, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=ceec2b7720c0179d]</description>
          <hr>80004005 - E_FAIL</hr>
          <errorinfo>Could not load file or assembly 'Microsoft.VisualStudio.Shell.10.0, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b03f5f7f11d50a3a' or one of its dependencies. The system cannot find the file specified.</errorinfo>
      I'm using VS 2012 Update 4.
    • Hi, thanks for reporting this issue, can you send me a message with your email via I will then be able to give you another build to test as I no longer have VS 2012 installed. In the meantime I have reverted to the previous version.
    • I was able to follow the guidelines of this excellent post on how to explicitly support multiple versions of Visual Studio:
      I have updated to version 2.8.1, can you confirm it works for you?
    • Hi there!
      Just installed version 2.8.1 and it's all back to working as before. Thanks!
    • Fantastic, thanks for the confirmation.
  • Current TFS Team Project `
    1 Posts | Last post January 19, 2015
    • I am often connected to different Team Projects and sometimes even entire servers. It would be nice to expose the connected Team Project and Server to display in the title.
  • Start Screen
    4 Posts | Last post January 15, 2015
    • Hi,
      Is it possible that you could also manipulate Visual Studio's start screen so the recent solution list gets displayed in the same format?
    • Hi cpmcgrath, thanks for your suggestion. I am not sure it would be possible to manipulate the start screen, but will look into it and keep you posted.
      A workaround in the meantime would be to hover the links to see the full path.
    • +1. It would be a great idea.
    • At my computer solution MRU list for VisualStudio 2013 is saved in registry in:
      There are values "File1", "File2", etc...
      If value data for "File1" is:
      and value data for "File2" is:
      than you can change the value data to:
      X:\dev\AbcSolution\branches\north\source\ABC.sln||False;North ABC||||{00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000}
      X:\dev\AbcSolution\branches\south\source\ABC.sln||False;South ABC||||{00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000}
      to differentiate branches in start screen MRU list.
      It would be cool if some plugin could automate this registry tweaks for VS2013.
      But I think this does not work on VS2010. Not sure if it works for VS2012.
  • Attaching to a running application/service
    1 Posts | Last post September 25, 2014
    • Great solution!  Thank you!  One small thing though if I attach VS 2010 to an already running process then the title doesn't reflect the running/debugging state.
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