For many years, we’ve been writing helpful little tools for Visual Studio called PowerToys. The history has been that we design and write these tools internally, and then share out to the community. Now we want to take it up a notch and work directly with you to write these tools for the Visual Studio 2005 release. If you haven’t checked out VS 2005 yet, what are you waiting for? =) We want your feedback at Day 0 on how you want the tool to work, look, and feel. And we want your help in the tool’s production by contributing to the source code. We’re here to write tools for you, with you.

Okay, that’s my attempt at marketing. I know where my marketing skills stand. =) Just ask me about my little high school business “Squirt <comma> the Clown”, but that’s another story not to be told at any time… We just thought it would be a cool idea to try working more closely with customers in creating PowerToys, and what better way to work more closely than to participate in the design and in the production of the Powertoy with you.

Josh has given me his gotdotnet team’s website for this program, so you’ll find more information and details at

Visual Studio Core Community PowerToys

My vision is that this site will become a home page for the VS Core Team, including links to PowerToys we ship, the Nightly scenarios we’re posting on the web for review, links to team blogs, and so on and so forth.

I currently have 2 project ideas that we can start designing. If interested, sign up on the workspace. If you have strong feelings about one tool over the other, let me know. My personal bias is towards the VS Editor Zoom control, because I’ve wanted an easy way to increase the font size during presentations or code reviews.

  1. HelpTopicOnlineFinder – an add-in that shows the online contents of the current local help topic. This tool provides an easy way to check if the contents of the help topic have been updated.
  2. VS Editor Zoom – Just like Word’s zoom control, adjusting the value of this control will increase or decrease the font size in the Visual Studio Editor.

Update 2/8/2005 - fixed the link for the VS Editor Zoom workspace.

Let me know if you have any suggestions or ideas for PowerToys. The ideas do not have to be restricted to add-ins or macros. So, if you know of a cool tool for running outside VS, let me know your ideas.

And lastly, when either of these two tools “ship” (that is, the workspace owner declares it completed), those who contributed source code will receive an “I love Visual Studio Core” t-shirt as a thank-you from the team.