The Visual Studio Productivity Power Tools are now open source!

Sign in to queue


There's no question what the big Coding4Fun VS Extension Monday news is for this week, is there?

I've been using the Power Tools for forever (since they were Power Toys ;) so now being able to see behind the curtain and see their actual code is awesome.

Best of all, they are going to be really open source, open to contributions from the public (i.e. you!). If you write VS extensions or are thinking about writing them, this project is a must review...

Open Sourcing the Visual Studio Productivity Power Tools

We’re excited to announce that we’re open-sourcing the Visual Studio Productivity Power Tools on GitHub.

Productivity Power Tools, first released in 2010, is a pack of powerful extensions to improve developer productivity including Ctrl+Click Go to Definition, Copy As HTML, and Middle Click Scroll, just to name a few. Since their introduction, these tools have been updated for every major Visual Studio release, and a number of features that started out as part of the Productivity Power Tools are now core features of Visual Studio.

Making the current set of tools available to the community is important to us, and we hope it will also inspire developers with concrete examples of what can be achieved with extensions of their own.

You can find the full list of extensions we’re making available in Open Source on GitHub. The repository currently contains a subset of all extensions in Productivity Power Tools for Visual Studio 2015. Some extensions are not yet ready to be open-sourced, but we’re working on making all of them available over time.

Interested in contributing?

We welcome your contributions on GitHub! Before doing any work, start with the roadmap that describes the contribution process. We also encourage you to add bug reports and raise feature requests as issues. You can contribute code through pull requests.

Get inspiration for your own extensions!

Besides contributing to the Power Tools directly, this repo is also a great place to browse and get inspiration on different ways to extend Visual Studio. Learn more about extending Visual Studio at

Productivity Power Tools Overview

Productivity Power Tools for Visual Studio, first released in 2010 is an extension pack that brings powerful extensions for improved developer productivity. Shipped for every major Visual Studio release, the Productivity Power Tools are traditionally built by the Visual Studio team to provide community with free innovative tools. The most useful extensions are routinely incorporated into the Visual Studio, for example now standard Visual Studio features like Quick Find, Enhanced Scrollbar, Solution Navigator, Highlight Current Line, Move Line, Automatic Brace Completion and Color Printing were previously extensions in Productivity Power Tools.

Note that this repository currently contains a subset of all extensions in Productivity Power Tools for Visual Studio 2015. This subset represents extensions which we believe can serve as great real world samples of extending Visual Studio.

Here is the list of open source Productivity Power Tools extensions currently in this repo:

  • Align Assignments
  • Copy As HTML
  • Fix Mixed Tabs
  • Ctrl+Click Go to Definition
  • Match Margin
  • Middle Click Scroll
  • Peek F1
  • Structure Visualizer
  • Syntactic Line Compression
  • Timestamp margin

Building, Testing and Debugging the Sources


master is our primary development branch (the only branch currently). This is where you should work and submit pull requests.

Required Software

  1. Visual Studio 2015 with Update 1. Update 1 is recommended, but RTM should be fine for now.
  2. Visual Studio 2015 Extensibility Tools. If you already installed Visual Studio, choose "Modify" from the Programs and Features control panel, and check "Visual Studio Extensibility".

Getting the Sources

  1. Clone
  2. Open ProPowerTools.Open.sln

Note: currently we don't support developing Productivity Power Tools when you have official Productivity Power Tools build installed, so please uninstall it first

Running Tests

Unit tests can be run directly from Visual Studio. Just "Test/Run/All Tests".

Trying Your Changes in Visual Studio

As usual, when you build the solution the extensions are being deployed into the Experimental instance of Visual Studio. So to try out or debug your changes just hit F5.


Please see Contributing Code for details on contributing changes back to the code.

The Discussion

Add Your 2 Cents