How to: Install a Visualizer

After you have created a visualizer, you must install the visualizer so that it will be available in Visual Studio. Installing a visualizer is a simple process.

Note

In UWP apps, only the standard text, HTML, XML, and JSON visualizers are supported. Custom (user-created) visualizers are not supported.

To install a visualizer for Visual Studio 2019

  1. Locate the DLL that contains the visualizer you built.

    Typically, it is best if both the debugger-side DLL and the debuggee-side DLL specify Any CPU as the target platform. The debugger-side DLL must be either Any CPU or 32-bit. The target platform for the debuggee-side DLL should correspond to the debugee process.

  2. Copy the debugger side DLL (and any DLLs it depends on) to either of the following locations:

    • VisualStudioInstallPath \Common7\Packages\Debugger\Visualizers

    • My Documents\ VisualStudioVersion \Visualizers

  3. Copy the debuggee side DLL to either of the following locations:

    • VisualStudioInstallPath \Common7\Packages\Debugger\Visualizers\ Framework

    • My Documents\ VisualStudioVersion \Visualizers\ Framework

    where Framework is either:

    • net2.0 for debuggees running the .NET Framework runtime.
    • netstandard2.0 for debuggees using a runtime that supports netstandard 2.0 (.NET Framework v4.6.1+ or .NET Core 2.0+).
    • netcoreapp for debuggees running the .NET Core runtime. (supports .NET Core 2.0+)

    A debuggee-side DLL is necessary if you want to create a standalone visualizer. This DLL contains code for the data object, which can implement methods of VisualizerObjectSource.

    If you are multi-targeting the debuggee-side code, the debuggee-side DLL must be placed into the folder for minimum-supported TFM.

  4. Restart the debugging session.

Note

The procedure is different in Visual Studio 2017 and older. See the previous version of this article.

To install a visualizer for Visual Studio 2017 and older

Important

Only .NET Framework visualizers are supported in Visual Studio 2017 and older.

  1. Locate the DLL that contains the visualizer you have built.

  2. Copy the DLL to either of the following locations:

    • VisualStudioInstallPath \Common7\Packages\Debugger\Visualizers

    • My Documents\ VisualStudioVersion \Visualizers

  3. Restart the debugging session.

Note

If you want to use a managed visualizer for remote debugging, copy the DLL to the same path on the remote computer.

See also