Manage file types with Team Foundation Version Control

Azure DevOps Server 2019 | TFS 2018 | TFS 2017 | TFS 2015 | TFS 2013

Note: Azure DevOps Server was previously named Visual Studio Team Foundation Server.

Team Foundation Version Control (TFVC) provides file type definitions, which determine how files with specified extensions are processed. For example, you can disable selected file types from being merged, to prevent multiple users from checking them out in parallel.

Note

By default, file merging and multiple check-out is enabled. Multiple check-out can be disabled at the project level.

Prerequisites

  • A TFVC repository to work in, rather than a Git repo. If you're in a Git repo, Source Control Explorer is not available.
  • To edit, add, or remove a file type association, you must have the Edit server-level information permission set to Allow. For more information, see Azure DevOps Server Permissions.

File type properties

An Azure DevOps file type definition consists of three properties. The most important of these properties is File Extension, which is the unique identifier for a file type.

Property Example
Name Visual Basic File
File Extension .vb
Enable File Merging and Multiple Checkout Yes

As an Azure DevOps administrator, you may want to specify that files of certain types, such as binary Microsoft Excel files (*.xls) for which a merging tool does not exist, cannot be merged when conflicts are detected and can only be checked out by one user at a time. You can control this by selecting Enable File Merging and Multiple Checkout in the Edit File Type dialog box. For more information, see Edit file type associations. If a file type does not exist for a given extension, files with that extension can be merged.

File encodings

In addition to these basic file type properties, Azure DevOps also tracks the file encoding for each file on the version control server. You can override the default encoding for a file from the version control Properties window opened from Source Control Explorer, or using the command line interface. For more information, see Configure version control file encoding and Checkout and Edit commands.

Edit file type associations

File type definitions let you customize the way the Team Foundation Version Control system processes files that have specific extensions. By defining a file type, you control whether files that have a particular extension can have internal keywords expanded during a check-in, and whether multiple users can modify a specific file in parallel. The following procedure demonstrates how to change a file type extension association in version control.

  1. On the Team menu, select Azure DevOps Server Settings, and then Source Control File Types. The File Types dialog box displays a listing of the file extensions currently associated with version control.

  2. Select Edit.

  3. On the Edit File Type dialog box, in the Name box, enter a description for the file type. For example, Word Documents for adding Microsoft Word document file association to version control.

  4. In the File Extension box, enter the file type extension, for example, doc for Microsoft Word document files.

  5. Optionally select the Enable file merging and multiple checkout box (selected by default).

  6. Select OK to return to the File Types dialog box and verify the new entry.

Tip

You can specify multiple file type extension associations with a single name. For example, you could add dot to the Word Documents name entered earlier.

Configure version control file encoding

Team Foundation Version Control properties include general file and folder information and the file encoding type. The properties also list the pending check-in status, security information, and branching history. For more information, see View version control file and folder properties.

Note

Team Foundation Version Control properties are not viewed in Visual Studio's Properties window. They are viewed in their own Properties dialog box, as described in the following procedure.

To configure version control file encoding:

  1. Open Source Control Explorer.

    On the View menu, select Other Windows, and then select Source Control Explorer.

  2. In Source Control Explorer, select the Workspace drop-down list box in the toolbar, and select the workspace you want to use.

  3. Go to a file for which you want to view properties, right-click, and then select Properties.

  4. In the Properties dialog box, select the General tab.

  5. In the General tab, select Set Encoding.

  6. In the Set Encoding dialog box, use the Encoding drop-down list box to select the encoding base type for the file, for example, utf-8.

    Tip

    Select Detect to have the system detect the file encoding scheme used with the file and populate the list box.

  7. Select OK.

Note

The set encoding results in a pending change that must be checked in.

Add file type associations

File type definitions allow you to customize the way the version control system processes files with specific extensions. By defining a file type, you control whether files with a given extension allow multiple users to be able to modify a specific file in parallel. The following procedure demonstrates how to add a file type extension association in version control.

  1. On the Team menu, select Azure DevOps Server Settings, and then select Source Control File Types. The File Types dialog box is displayed listing the file extensions currently associated with version control.

  2. Select Add.

  3. From the Add File Type dialog box, in the Name box, type a description for the new file type, for example, Word Documents, to add a Microsoft Word document file association to version control.

  4. In the File Extension box, type or select the file type extension, for example doc, for Microsoft Word document files.

  5. Optionally, select the Enable file merging and multiple check out check box (selected by default).

  6. Select OK to return to the File Types dialog box and verify the new entry.

Tip

You can specify multiple file type extensions to be associated with a single name, for example you could add dot to the Word Documents name entered in this procedure.

Remove an associated file type

File type definitions let you customize the way the version control system handles files that have specific extensions. By defining a file type, you control whether files that have a particular extension can have internal keywords expanded during a check-in, and whether multiple users can modify a specific file in parallel. For information about adding file type associations to version control, see Add file type association with Team Foundation Version Control. The following procedure demonstrates how to remove a file type extension associated with version control.

  1. On the Team menu, select Azure DevOps Server Settings, and then select Source Control File Types.

    The File Types dialog box displays a list of the file name extensions that are currently associated with version control.

  2. Highlight the file type extension you want to remove and then select Remove.

    The entry is erased and no longer appears in the File Types dialog box.

  3. Select OK.