Visual Studio Command Table (.Vsct) Files

A command table configuration file is a text file that describes the set of commands that a VSPackage contains. The Visual Studio command table (VSCT) compiler compiles XML-based configuration files (.vsct files) into binary command table output (.cto) files. The resultant .cto files are the same as those that are created by using the command table (CTC) compiler to compile .ctc configuration files. However, using XML-based .vsct files has some advantages, such as the following: 

  • An advanced XML editor is provided by Visual Studio. By default, this editor opens when you double-click a .vsct file in Solution Explorer.

  • Intellisense is provided by an .xsd schema that is installed by the Visual Studio SDK.

Because of these advantages, the CTC has been deprecated. Although the CTC is still supported, the VSCT compiler is now the recommended way to generate command tables. All Visual Studio SDK samples have been converted to use .vsct files.

The C++ samples provided by the Visual Studio SDK compile a .cto file into a native satellite DLL. The C# samples incorporate a .cto file as a manifest resource in a VSPackage assembly. There are some subtle differences in the .vsct format in these two cases. For more information, see VSCT Samples in C# and C++


For localization purposes, a C# project can compile a .cto file into a managed satellite DLL.

To get started learning the syntax and semantics of .vsct files, see Designing XML Command Table (.Vsct) Files

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