Managing External Tools

You can call external tools from inside Visual Studio. A few default tools are available from the Tools menu, but you can add other executables of your own.

You can call the following tools from the Tools menu in Visual Studio. You can also call them by name from the Quick Launch window. For example, to call GuidGen.exe, type Create GUID.

  1. Create GUID: generates a GUID.

  2. Error Lookup: gets an error message from the value entered. For more information, see ERRLOOK Reference.

  3. ATL/MFC Trace Tool: shows debug trace messages in the ATL and MFC sources.

  4. PreEmptive Dotfuscator and Analytics: Protects .NET programs against reverse engineering.

  5. SPY++: Displays processes, threads, windows, and window messages graphically.

  6. WCF Service Configuration Editor: Allows you to create and modify configuration settings for WCF services.

Caution note Caution

You may see a different list of external tools, depending on which Visual Studio edition you have installed and the settings profile you have applied. For more information, see Customizing Development Settings.

You can add an external tool to the Tools menu. Open the External Tools dialog box and click Add, then fill in the information. For example, the following entry causes Windows Explorer to open at the directory of the file you currently have open in Visual Studio:

  1. Title: Open File Location

  2. Command: explorer.exe

  3. Arguments: /root, "$(ItemDir)"

For more information about the arguments you can use, see Arguments for External Tools.