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Add Existing Item Dialog Box

Use this dialog box to select individual or multiple files to add to your project. You can select files from local directories, network directories, and Web sites. You can also use this dialog box to add links to shared files in workgroup scenarios.

Access this dialog box by selecting the solution or a project node in Solution Explorer and choosing Add from the File menu.

Look in
Locate the files or folders to add to your project from this list. For XML Web services and ASP.NET Web applications, the files are located on the Web server.
Displays the files most recently removed from solutions.
My Projects
Displays the files and folders at the location specified in the Projects and Solutions, Environment, Options Dialog Box
Displays the files and folders located on the desktop.
Displays the contents of your Internet Explorer Favorites folder.
Tip   To add a link to your Favorites folder from this dialog box, locate the folder you want to add from the Look in list, and then select Add to Favorites from Tools.
File name
Use this option to filter the files and folders that are displayed. Enter the full or partial file name on which to filter; use an asterisk (*) as a wildcard.
Tip   Navigate to Web and network locations by entering the URL or network path in the File name box. For example, "http://mywebsite" displays the files available at the "mywebsite" Web location and "\\myserver\myshare" displays the files available at the "myshare" location on "myserver." You can also open a project from a Web location by selecting Open from Web Server in the Tools menu of the Open dialog box.
Files of type
Use this option to filter files based on file extension. Each product lists default filters of the most common file types.
Use this drop-down button to open the item in its default editor, choose the editor with which to open the item, or whether to copy the item to your project directory or link to the original file.
  • Open   Copies the existing item to your project folder on disk and adds the item under the selected project in Solution Explorer. Any changes made to the item are not reflected in the item at the original location. Default editor for the file type.
  • Open With   Like Open, copies the existing item to your project structure. However, selecting this option invokes the Open With dialog box, permitting you to choose the editor with which to open the file.
  • Link File   Adds the existing item as a link from the project to its original location. Linking to files is useful when working in teams on shared resources; many projects can link to a file in one location.
Navigate Back
Returns the most recently viewed folder, drive, or Internet location.

Up One Level
Navigates the tree to the next highest folder in the hierarchy.

Search the Web
Opens your Web browser to its specified search page.

Deletes the selected files or folders from storage.

New Folder
Displays the New Folder dialog box. Use this option to create a new child folder under the folder selected in the Look in drop-down list box.

View By
Provides options for arranging and viewing the contents of the item selected in the Look in list.

The following fields are available from the Look in list.

Select to display files, folders, and other items in a list format.
Select to display the name, size, type, and last-modified date of files, folders, and other items in a list format. To sort by a particular detail, click its column header.
Select to display the names and properties of files, folders, and other items. When selected, the content pane divides in half: the left half displays the name of the item and the right half displays the selected properties of the item.
Select to display a preview of the file. When selected, divides the content pane in half: the left half displays the files and folders and the right half displays a preview of the file. This is useful when looking for a particular graphic file.
Arrange Icons
Has the same effect as selecting one of the column headers in Details View to sort by that column. Arrange Icons is useful when arranging items by a property other than Name (by Size, for example) in a view other than Details (Preview, for example).


Used to select a tool to apply to the item selected in the content pane.

Deletes the selected file or folder from storage.
Add to Favorites
Adds the file or folder to your Internet Explorer Favorites.
Map Network Drive
Displays the Map Network Drive dialog box, which allows you to connect to a machine on a network.
Open from Web Server
Displays the Connect to Web Server dialog box, allowing you to locate and open a project that exists on a Web server.

See Also

Adding New Project Items | Projects, User Interface Elements | Open With Dialog Box

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