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Extending the Visual Studio Environment 

Although Visual Studio offers many tools and the power to accomplish almost every task, you may require an additional or finer level of control. For example, you may want to automate a task or a series of tasks that you perform regularly. Or you may have designed tools that you want to use in the Visual Studio integrated development environment ( IDE).

To address these issues, Visual Studio features rich programming models, known as the Automation object models, for extending and automating its IDE. The various Automation models provide the ability to automate the environment and provide extensions and new features to it. Each model concentrates on a particular area of the IDE, such as the tool windows, the code editor, the various projects, and so forth.

The sections below introduce you to automation and extensibility and show you how to use them to make programming easier.

In This Section

What's New in Extensibility and Automation in Visual Studio 2005

Outlines updates and improvements of the various extensibility and automation models in Visual Studio 2005.

New Automation Members for Visual Studio 2005

Lists the specific new types and members featured in Visual Studio 2005.

Best Practices for Security in Automation

Provides advice to help you secure Visual Studio and your automation applications.

The Spectrum of Visual Studio Automation

Outlines the types of automation projects available to you in Visual Studio: macros, add-ins and wizards, and VSIP.

Choosing the Appropriate Automation Approach

Helps you choose the most effective tools to use to accomplish your automation tasks.

Functional Automation Groups

Lists the various areas of Visual Studio that can be automated.

Accessing the Automation Model by Using Macros

Illustrates how to program against the various automation models by using macros.

Creating Add-ins and Wizards

Describes the concepts of automation and extensibility, as well as the fundamentals of how to create Add-ins and wizards.

Referencing Automation Assemblies and the DTE2 Object

Provides details about how to use the essentials tools of automation.

Controlling Projects and Solutions

Illustrates how to control projects and solutions by using Visual Studio automation objects; how to save variables between IDE sessions; how to work with solution items, miscellaneous items, and unmodeled projects; and how to create solution configurations.

Creating and Controlling Environment Windows

Explains how to create and control tool windows, change window characteristics, automate text search and replace, control macros, control tools options settings, discover code with the Code model, and manipulate tree views by using UIHierarchy.

How to: Create and Attach to Another Instance of Visual Studio

Explains how to create a new instance of Visual Studio or attach to an existing one.

Responding to Automation Events

Demonstrates how to use the Visual Studio Automation model to handle events that occur in the environment.

How to: Add and Handle Commands

Explains how to create and manipulate commands on Visual Studio menus or toolbars by using the Visual Studio automation model.

Walkthrough: Creating Managed Satellite DLLs

Provides information about how to create satellite DLLs, which can contain resources for use in your automation applications.

Implementing and Using Automation Extenders

Explains how to add and filter properties on objects by using Automation Extenders.

Related Sections

Customizing the Development Environment

Demonstrates how to customize toolbars, shortcut keys, and other Visual Studio items.

Automating Repetitive Actions by Using Macros

Explains how to create and use macros to automate actions in Visual Studio.