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File Types and File Extensions in Visual Studio

Updated: October 2010

Visual Studio supports many file types. In a particular installation, the installed components determine which file types are supported. This topic lists solution and project file types that are supported in some typical installations. For information about other file types, search by using the file name extensions for each type.

Visual Studio uses two file types (.sln and .suo) to store settings specific to solutions. These files, known collectively as solution files, provide Solution Explorer with the information it needs to display a graphical interface for managing your files. They allow you to concentrate on your projects and final goals rather than on the environment itself each time you return to your development tasks.

Extension

Name

Description

.sln

Visual Studio Solution

Organizes projects, project items and solution items into the solution by providing the environment with references to their locations on disk.

.suo

Solution User Options

Records all of the options that you might associate with your solution so that each time you open it, it includes customizations that you have made.

Date

History

Reason

October 2010

Revised topic for clarity.

Customer feedback.

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