Creating Add-ins and Wizards

Although Visual Studio offers developers many tools and the power to accomplish almost every task, some developers require an additional or finer level of control. For example, they might have a task or series of tasks that they perform regularly and would like to automate. To address this issue, Visual Studio features a rich programming model, known as the Automation model, for extending and automating its integrated development environment (IDE). The Automation model provides the ability to automate the environment and provide extensions and new features to it.

To learn more about


Recording and running macros

Automating Repetitive Actions by Using Macros

The three ways to access Visual Studio Automation

The Spectrum of Visual Studio Automation

Functional groups of objects in the automation object model

Functional Automation Groups

How to create Add-ins

How to: Create an Add-In

How to reference the EnvDTE namespace and obtain an instance of the DTE object

Referencing Automation Assemblies and the DTE2 Object

Registering an Add-in

Add-in Registration

How to limit access to your project's .Addin XML registration file

Add-in Security

Exposing Add-ins on menus and toolbars

Displaying Add-ins on Toolbars and Menus

Connecting add-ins to shortcut keys

Binding Add-In Commands to Keys

New changes in command bar functionality

CommandBar Changes for Visual Studio 2005

How to restore commands that disappear from a menu

How to: Restore Add-In Commands to the Menu

Loading, unloading, and controlling Add-ins in the environment

How to: Control Add-ins with the Add-In Manager

Debugging Add-ins

Walkthrough: Debugging an Add-in Project

Creating a Wizard

Walkthrough: Creating a Wizard

Starting wizards programmatically

Context Parameters for Launching Wizards

Wizard (.vsz) files

Configuring .Vsz Files to Start Wizards

VSDir files, and how they affect the Add Item and New Project dialog boxes

Adding Wizards to the Add Item and New Project Dialog Boxes by Using .Vsdir Files

How to programmatically create a new instance of Visual Studio or attach to a specific instance of Visual Studio that is already running

How to: Create and Attach to Another Instance of Visual Studio

How to upgrade automation projects from previous versions of Visual Studio to Visual Studio 2008.

Migrating and Upgrading Add-ins from Visual Studio 2005 to Visual Studio 2008

See Also


Automation Object Model Chart


Visual Studio Commands and Switches

Other Resources

Automation and Extensibility Reference