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How to: Edit Project Files

MSBuild project files are written in a standard XML format, and can be edited in any XML editor. Visual Studio 2005 provides two ways to view and edit a loaded project file without closing the IDE.

To unload and edit a project file in Visual Studio

  1. In Solution Explorer, right-click the project and click Unload Project.

    The project is marked (unavailable).

    NoteNote:

    The Unload Project command only appears if Solution Explorer is configured to display solutions. To configure Solution Explorer to display solutions, select Always show solutions in the General, Projects and Solutions, Options Dialog Box.

  2. In Solution Explorer, right-click the unavailable project and click Edit <Project File>.

    The project file opens in the Visual Studio XML Editor.

  3. Edit, save, and close the project file.

  4. In Solution Explorer, right-click the unavailable project and click Reload Project.

To edit a loaded project file in Visual Studio

  1. Open a new instance of Visual Studio.

  2. In the new instance of Visual Studio, open the loaded project file that you want to edit.

  3. Edit and save the project file.

    The instance of Visual Studio with the loaded project displays the File Modification Detected dialog box.

  4. Click Reload on the File Modification Detected dialog box to reload the project with the modified project file.

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