Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Visual Studio Add-In : OpenFiles

Last year I was working on Flex Builder. This IDE had a very cool feature. Using this tool you can browse through files & resources in the project. I wanted this feature In Visual Studio badly. The reason being in my game engine I had more than 700 files. If I want to open a file I have to navigate through the solution file. Which is extrmely boring. If we have filetrs, this gets worse. So I decided to write one for me. Initially I thought of writing a MACRO. But MACRO`s in Visual Studio have certain limitation. A MACRO cannot have UI. So I started writing an Add-In. I call this Add-In as "OpenFiles".

What this Add-In does is, It Pop`s in a dialog box, Where in you can type the initial characters of the file you are looking for.
The list gets filled with the matching file(s) in the solution. Navigate through the files using Up & down arrow keys. Either hit Enter key or Double click to open the selected file.
Press CTRL + Click to select multiple files. Pretty Simple is`nt it...

Now lets see how to use this. The Add-In supports VS 2005 & VS 2008 IDE`s.
Download Installers : VS 2005, VS 2008.

When you run the installer, it will warn you for security iossues. Just click next, there is no rik in any way. If you are still not sure, click on "View files in Windows Explorer..." button. It will show you the file that are going to be installed.

Once you are done with the installation,
Start visual studio, Create/Open any project you want.
To use the Add-In, go to Tool. Here you will see a Smiley face Icon with the Text "OpenFiles".
Click on it, a dialog box will pop up, type in the first few characters of the file you are looking for.

If you are a kind of programmer who hates using mouse. I suggest you assign a short cut key for it.
To Assign a short cut key, do the following,
> Tools->Options->Environment->Keyboard.
> In the text box type : OpenFiles.
> In the list select : openFiles.Connect.OpenFiles.
> Choose any short cut key you want & click Assign.

I have set it to : Ctrl + Shift + Alt + O.

Hope you guys like it. Drop me a mail or write a comment if you have any suggestions.
Have fun Coding...

Note: Add-In are not supported by Express Editions.

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