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Visual Studio Command Table (.Vsct) Files

A command table configuration file is a text file that describes the set of commands that a VSPackage contains. The Visual Studio command table (VSCT) compiler compiles XML-based configuration files (.vsct files) into binary command table output (.cto) files. The resultant .cto files are the same as those that are created by using the command table (CTC) compiler to compile .ctc configuration files. However, using XML-based .vsct files has some advantages, such as the following: 

  • An advanced XML editor is provided by Visual Studio. By default, this editor opens when you double-click a .vsct file in Solution Explorer.

  • Intellisense is provided by an .xsd schema that is installed by the Visual Studio SDK.

Because of these advantages, the CTC has been deprecated. Although the CTC is still supported, the VSCT compiler is now the recommended way to generate command tables. All Visual Studio SDK samples have been converted to use .vsct files.

The C++ samples provided by the Visual Studio SDK compile a .cto file into a native satellite DLL. The C# samples incorporate a .cto file as a manifest resource in a VSPackage assembly. There are some subtle differences in the .vsct format in these two cases. For more information, see VSCT Samples in C# and C++


For localization purposes, a C# project can compile a .cto file into a managed satellite DLL.

To get started learning the syntax and semantics of .vsct files, see Designing XML Command Table (.Vsct) Files

Designing XML Command Table (.Vsct) Files

Describes how to design .vsct files.

How to: Create a .Vsct File

Compares the methods for creating a .vsct file. Describes the process for manually creating a new .vsct file.

How to: Create a .Vsct File from an Existing .Ctc File

Describes the process for converting an existing .ctc source file into a .vsct file.

How to: Create a .Vsct File from an Existing .Cto File

Describes the process for converting an existing .cto binary file into a .vsct file.

VSCT Samples in C# and C++

Describes the differences in .vsct file format for C++ and C# projects.

VSCT XML Schema Reference

Provides details about each section of the command table XML configuration file.

Command Table Configuration (.Ctc) Files

Presents an overview of the deprecated .ctc file format.

How VSPackages Add User Interface Elements to the IDE

Describes the command table format specification.

Resources in Managed VSPackages

Describes how to use managed and unmanaged resources in managed VSPackages.

Commands, Menus, and Toolbars

Explains how to create a UI that includes menus, toolbars, and command combo boxes.