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Template Parameters


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The latest version of this topic can be found at Template Parameters.

By using parameters in your templates, you can replace the values of key portions of the template, such as class names and namespaces, when the template is instantiated. These parameters are replaced by the template wizard that runs in the background when a user clicks OK in the New Project or Add New Item dialog boxes.

Template parameters are declared in the format $parameter$. For example:

  • $safeprojectname$

  • $guid1$

  • $guid5$

To enable parameter substitution in templates

  1. In the .vstemplate file of the template, locate the ProjectItem element that corresponds to the item for which you want to enable parameter replacement.

  2. Set the ReplaceParameters attribute of the ProjectItem element to true.

  3. In the code file for the project item, include parameters where appropriate. For example, the following parameter specifies that the safe project name be used for the namespace in a file:

    namespace $safeprojectname$  

The following table lists the reserved template parameters that can be used by any template.

System_CAPS_ICON_note.jpg Note

Template parameters are case-sensitive.

clrversionCurrent version of the common language runtime (CLR).
GUID [1-10]A GUID used to replace the project GUID in a project file. You can specify up to 10 unique GUIDs (for example, guid1).
itemnameThe name provided by the user in the Add New Item dialog box.
machinenameThe current computer name (for example, Computer01).
projectnameThe name provided by the user in the New Project dialog box.
registeredorganizationThe registry key value from HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\RegisteredOrganization.
rootnamespaceThe root namespace of the current project. This parameter applies only to item templates.
safeitemnameThe name provided by the user in the Add New Item dialog box, with all unsafe characters and spaces removed.
safeprojectnameThe name provided by the user in the New Project dialog box, with all unsafe characters and spaces removed.
timeThe current time in the format DD/MM/YYYY 00:00:00.
SpecificSolutionNameThe name of the solution. When "create solution directory" is checked, SpecificSolutionName has the solution name. When "create solution directory" is not checked, SpecificSolutionName is blank.
userdomainThe current user domain.
usernameThe current user name.
webnamespaceThe name of the current Web site. This parameter is used in the Web form template to guarantee unique class names. If the Web site is at the root directory of the Web server, this template parameter resolves to the root directory of the Web Server.
yearThe current year in the format YYYY.

You can specify your own template parameters and values, in addition to the default reserved template parameters that are used during parameter replacement.For more information, see CustomParameters Element (Visual Studio Templates)

You can specify variable file names for project items by using a parameter with the TargetFileName attribute. For example, you could specify that the .exe file use the project name, specified by $projectname$, as the file name.


To use the project name for the namespace in a Visual C# class file, Class1.cs, use the following syntax:

#region Using directives  
using System;  
using System.Collections.Generic;  
using System.Text;  
namespace $safeprojectname$  
    public class Class1  
            public Class1()  

In the .vstemplate file for the project template, include the following XML when you reference the file Class1.cs:

    <ProjectItem ReplaceParameters="true">  

Customizing Templates