Add Existing Item

Use this dialog box to select individual or multiple files to add to your project. You can select files from local directories, network directories, and Web sites. You can also use this dialog box to add links to shared files in workgroup scenarios.

Access this dialog box by selecting the solution or a project node in Solution Explorer and clicking Add on the File menu.

Look in

Locate the files or folders to add to your project from this list. For XML Web services and ASP.NET Web applications, the files are located on the Web server.


Displays the files and folders located on the desktop.

My Projects

Displays the files and folders at the default My Projects location.

My Computer

Displays the contents of your My Computer folder.

File name

Use this option to filter the files and folders that are displayed. Enter the full or partial file name on which to filter; use an asterisk (*) as a wildcard.


Navigate to Web and network locations by entering the URL or network path in the File name box. For example, http://mywebsite displays the files available at the mywebsite Web location, and \\myserver\myshare displays the files available at the myshare location on myserver.

Files of type

Use this option to filter files based on file extension. Each product lists default filters of the most common file types.


Use this drop-down button to add the item to the project and open the item in its default editor.

  • Add

    Copies the existing item to your project folder on disk and adds the item under the selected project in Solution Explorer. Any changes made to the item are not reflected in the item at the original location. This is the default editor for the file type.

  • Add As Link

    Adds the selected file to the project and opens it with the default editor for the file type. This option opens the originally selected file and does not copy the file to the project folder.