Template parameters

By using parameters in your templates, you can replace the values of key portions of the template, such as class names and namespaces, when the template is instantiated. These parameters are replaced by the template wizard that runs in the background when a user chooses OK or Add in the New Project or Add New Item dialog boxes.

Declaring and enabling template parameters

Template parameters are declared in the format $parameter$. For example:

  • $safeprojectname$

  • $guid1$

  • $guid5$

To enable parameter substitution in templates

  1. In the .vstemplate file of the template, locate the ProjectItem element that corresponds to the item for which you want to enable parameter replacement.

  2. Set the ReplaceParameters attribute of the ProjectItem element to true.

  3. In the code file for the project item, include parameters where appropriate. For example, the following parameter specifies that the safe project name be used for the namespace in a file:

    namespace $safeprojectname$
    

Reserved template parameters

The following table lists the reserved template parameters that can be used by any template.

Parameter Description
clrversion Current version of the common language runtime (CLR).
guid[1-10] A GUID used to replace the project GUID in a project file. You can specify up to 10 unique GUIDs (for example, guid1).
itemname The name provided by the user in the Add New Item dialog box.
machinename The current computer name (for example, Computer01).
projectname The name provided by the user in the New Project dialog box.
registeredorganization The registry key value from HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\RegisteredOrganization.
rootnamespace The root namespace of the current project. This parameter applies only to item templates.
safeitemname The name provided by the user in the Add New Item dialog box, with all unsafe characters and spaces removed.
safeprojectname The name provided by the user in the New Project dialog box, with all unsafe characters and spaces removed.
time The current time in the format DD/MM/YYYY 00:00:00.
SpecificSolutionName The name of the solution. When "create solution directory" is checked, SpecificSolutionName has the solution name. When "create solution directory" is not checked, SpecificSolutionName is blank.
userdomain The current user domain.
username The current user name.
webnamespace The name of the current Web site. This parameter is used in the Web form template to guarantee unique class names. If the Web site is at the root directory of the Web server, this template parameter resolves to the root directory of the Web Server.
year The current year in the format YYYY.

Note

Template parameters are case-sensitive.

Custom template parameters

You can specify your own template parameters and values, in addition to the default reserved template parameters that are used during parameter replacement. For more information, see CustomParameters element (Visual Studio templates).

Example: Using the project name for a file name

You can specify variable file names for project items by using a parameter in the TargetFileName attribute.

The following example specifies that an executable file's name uses the project name, specified by $projectname$.

<TemplateContent>
    <ProjectItem
        ReplaceParameters="true"
        TargetFileName="$projectname$.exe">
            File1.exe
    </ProjectItem>
      ...
</TemplateContent>

Example: Using the safe project name for the namespace name

To use the safe project name for the namespace in a C# class file, use the following syntax:

namespace $safeprojectname$
{
    public class Class1
    {
        public Class1()
        { }
    }
}

In the .vstemplate file for the project template, include the ReplaceParameters="true" attribute when you reference the file:

<TemplateContent>
    <ProjectItem ReplaceParameters="true">
        Class1.cs
    </ProjectItem>
    ...
</TemplateContent>

See also

Customizing templates
How to: Create project templates