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Tutorials for Customizing Visual Studio By Using VSPackages

There are three ways to customize the Visual Studio integrated development environment (IDE). You can create macros to automate tasks. You can create add-ins to add features and customizations that are available in the Visual Studio Automation Model, and then distribute them in a compiled form. The tools to create macros and add-ins are included in Visual Studio and do not require the SDK. For more information about macros and add-ins, see Automation and Extensibility for Visual Studio

The third way to customize Visual Studio is by creating VSPackages. These are the software modules that Visual Studio itself is made of. Feature development in VSPackages is not limited to the Automation Model. Tool windows, editors, services, and project types all are VSPackages. The Visual Studio SDK lets you create your own VSPackages.

The tutorials in this section teach how to create VSPackages, give them functionality, integrate them into Visual Studio, and distribute them to other users. For more information about VSPackages and what they can do, see the Visual Studio Integration SDK Roadmap.

VSPackage Tutorial 1: How to Create a VSPackage

Teaches how to create a VSPackage that adds a command to a menu in Visual Studio and how to add a keyboard shortcut to the command. Also shows how to add information about the package to the About dialog box and splash screen in Visual Studio, and also how to use a package load key (PLK) to distribute the package.

VSPackage Tutorial 2: How to Create a Tool Window

Demonstrates how to create a tool window in Visual Studio, and then how to embed a control in it and how to add a command bar to it. Also shows how to register the tool window for placement in Visual Studio.

VSPackage Tutorial 3: How to Extend the Tool Window

Builds on the tool window from the previous tutorial. Demonstrates how to add controls that give users more ways to interact with the tool window. Also shows how to add to a Visual Studio menu a command that is visible only when the tool window has focus.

VSPackage Tutorial 4: How to Integrate into the Properties Window, Task List, Output Window, and Options Dialog Box

Teaches how to build a basic task manager that lets users add tasks to the Visual Studio Task List and Output window. The added tasks can be edited in the Visual Studio Properties window. Also shows how to add a page to the Options dialog box.

Tutorial: How to Integrate Help Documentation into Visual Studio

Shows how to create Help topics by using HelpStudio Lite. Also teaches how to integrate a Help file into the Visual Studio Help system and how to link the file to a product by using F1 keywords.

Introducing the Visual Studio SDK

Provides an overview of the features and tools that are included in the Visual Studio SDK and how you can use them to extend Visual Studio.

Visual Studio Integration SDK Roadmap

Describes how you can customize the different elements of the Visual Studio IDE.