How to: Expose an Add-In as a Button on the Toolbar

If you choose the option to create a user interface (UI) when using the Add-In Wizard to create your add-in, then the wizard creates a command for the add-in on the Tools menu. If you want to display your add-in in a more prominent or easily accessible location — such as on the main Visual Studio toolbar, also known as the "standard" toolbar — then you can do this as well.


The dialog boxes and menu commands you see might differ from those described in Help depending on your active settings or edition. These procedures were developed with the General Development Settings active. To change your settings, choose Import and Export Settings on the Tools menu. For more information, see Working with Settings.


To display an add-in on the standard toolbar

  1. Create or open an add-in project.

  2. Replace the add-in's code with the code below.


The following example demonstrates how to create an add-in that adds a button on the Visual Studio "standard" toolbar. (That is the name of the toolbar in Visual Studio.)

  1. You use the AddNamedCommand2 method to create a command for the add-in.

  2. You then obtain a reference to the standard toolbar.

  3. Finally, you use the AddControl method to add a new button.

Imports System
Imports Microsoft.VisualStudio.CommandBars
Imports Extensibility
Imports EnvDTE
Imports EnvDTE80

Public Class Connect

    Implements IDTExtensibility2
    Implements IDTCommandTarget

    Dim _applicationObject As DTE2
    Dim _addInInstance As AddIn
    Dim stdCmdBarCtl As CommandBarControl

    Public Sub New()

    End Sub

    Public Sub OnConnection(ByVal application As Object, ByVal _
      connectMode As ext_ConnectMode, ByVal addInInst As Object, _
      ByRef custom As Array) Implements IDTExtensibility2.OnConnection
        Dim cmd As Command
        Dim stdCmdBar As CommandBar
        Dim cmdBarBtn As CommandBarButton

            _applicationObject = CType(application, DTE2)
            _addInInstance = CType(addInInst, AddIn)

            Select Case connectMode
                Case ext_ConnectMode.ext_cm_AfterStartup, _
                    ' Add the command
                    cmd = _applicationObject.Commands. _
                      AddNamedCommand(_addInInstance, _
                      "ANewCommand", "ANewCommand", _
                      "A new command", True, 59, Nothing, _
                      vsCommandStatus.vsCommandStatusSupported _
                      Or vsCommandStatus.vsCommandStatusEnabled)

                    ' Reference the Visual Studio standard toolbar.
                    stdCmdBar =
                      CType(_applicationObject.CommandBars.Item _
                      ("Standard"),  _

                    ' Add a button to the standard toolbar.
                    stdCmdBarCtl = CType(cmd.AddControl(stdCmdBar, _
                       stdCmdBar.Controls.Count + 1),  _
                       Microsoft.VisualStudio.CommandBars. _

                    ' Set a caption for the toolbar button.
                    stdCmdBarCtl.Caption = "A new command bar"

                    ' Set the toolbar's button style to an icon button.
                    cmdBarBtn = CType(stdCmdBarCtl, CommandBarButton)
                    cmdBarBtn.Style = MsoButtonStyle.msoButtonIcon
            End Select

        Catch e As System.Exception
        End Try
    End Sub

    Public Sub OnDisconnection(ByVal disconnectMode As  _
      ext_DisconnectMode, ByRef custom As Array)
        ' Implements  IDTExtensibility2.OnDisconnection()
            ' When the add-in closes, get rid of the toolbar button.
            If Not (stdCmdBarCtl Is Nothing) Then
            End If

        Catch e As System.Exception
        End Try
    End Sub

    Public Sub OnAddInsUpdate(ByRef custom As Array) Implements _
    End Sub

    Public Sub OnStartupComplete(ByRef custom As Array) Implements _
    End Sub

    Public Sub OnBeginShutdown(ByRef custom As Array) Implements _
    End Sub

    Public Sub QueryStatus(ByVal commandName As String, ByVal _
      neededText As vsCommandStatusTextWanted, ByRef status As  _
      vsCommandStatus, ByRef commandText As Object) Implements _
        If neededText = EnvDTE.vsCommandStatusTextWanted. _
          vsCommandStatusTextWantedNone Then

            If commandName = "cmdBar2.Connect.ANewCommand" Then
                status = CType(vsCommandStatus.vsCommandStatusEnabled _
                  + vsCommandStatus.vsCommandStatusSupported,  _
                status = vsCommandStatus.vsCommandStatusUnsupported
            End If
        End If
    End Sub

    Public Sub Exec(ByVal commandName As String, ByVal executeOption _
      As vsCommandExecOption, ByRef varIn As Object, ByRef varOut _
      As Object, ByRef handled As Boolean) Implements _
        handled = False
        If executeOption = vsCommandExecOption. _
          vsCommandExecOptionDoDefault Then
            If commandName = "cmdBar2.Connect.ANewCommand" Then
                handled = True
                System.Windows.Forms.MessageBox.Show("Add-in running")
                Exit Sub
            End If
        End If
    End Sub
End Class

See Also


How to: Control Add-Ins By Using the Add-In Manager


Visual Studio Commands and Switches


Displaying Add-Ins on Toolbars and Menus

Automation Object Model Chart

Other Resources

Creating Add-ins and Wizards