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How to: Find and Install Community Components

The phrase community component refers to a Visual Studio extension that is distributed as a .vsi file and installed by the Visual Studio Content Installer. We recommend that you use the .vsi format only for macros, add-ins, and IntelliSense code snippets. For information about how to install other extension types, see Installing and Managing Visual Studio Tools and Extensions.

You can download community components from the Web, or receive them from other developers. You must then install the component so that you can use it in Visual Studio.

In Visual Studio 2010 and Visual Studio 2008, authors of community components can select the versions of Visual Studio that their component supports. On Visual Studio 2010, you can install components created by using Visual Studio 2005. However, components created by using Visual Studio 2010 might not target Visual Studio 2005, or Visual Studio 2008, depending on choices that the component author made. For more information, see How to: Package Components to Use the Visual Studio Content Installer.

If you have two versions of Visual Studio installed on the same computer and you double-click a .vsi file that contains a component other than an add-in, the component will automatically install for use with both versions. Add-in community components can only be installed for use with one version of Visual Studio at a time, because of registry requirements. By default, an add-in community component will only be installed for use with the Visual Studio version that is was created on.

To install a community component

  1. Double-click the .vsi file for the component.

    The Visual Studio Content Installer appears.

  2. Follow the directions in the wizard to install the component.

    We recommend that you read the information in Publisher Status to determine whether the control is signed. For additional security, click Review to display a list of the files that will be installed on your computer.

The Visual Studio Content Installer does not include uninstall functionality. You can remove a macro by deleting it in Macro Explorer. To uninstall an Add-in, see How to: Deactivate and Remove an Add-In.

To uninstall a code snippet

  1. Delete the .snippet file from \Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio\Version\Language\Snippets\Locale\Language.

  2. Remove the corresponding registry key at HKCU\Software\Microsoft\VisualStudio\Version\Languages\CodeExpansions\Language.

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