Fixes for Solution Navigator & Quick Access in the Productivity Power Tools

Fixes for Solution Navigator & Quick Access in the Productivity Power Tools

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Last week, we released the July 2010 version of the Productivity Power Tools which introduced the Solution Navigator, Quick Access, Automatic Brace Completion and Tools Options support. We've been really excited to see nearly 40,000 downloads last week and the hundreds of pieces of feedback that you have sent us. Based on that feedback, we have just released a minor revision which addresses the top issues that have been reported:

  • Ctrl+1 & Ctrl+2 were not configurable in the Solution Navigator, which blocked the ability to type @ on some keyboards. This revision provides the Edit.ShowSolutionNavigatorPopupForSelection & Edit.ShowSolutionNavigatorPopupForFile commands which can be rebound using Tools => Options => Environment => Keyboard.
  • Solution Navigator searches on large projects could lead to poor performance. In this revision, we've made some optimizations to the search algorithm.  (Also, search will now only be initiated after two characters are typed in the search box.)
  • Items in Solution Folders were not sorted.  In this revision, they are sorted alphabetically.
  • Invoking Quick Access could cause a crash on some machine configurations. This issue has been resolved in the current revision.

If you already have the Productivity Power Tools installed, you should get a reminder the next time you start Visual Studio that an update is available.  You can also install them directly from the Visual Studio Gallery website (  Please note that one of the side effects of releasing an update of the Power Tools is that it will re-activate any disabled extensions that are in the Productivity Power Tools.  If you wish to de-activate them again, you can change the setting in Tools Options => Productivity Power Tools.  We are sorry for the inconvenience but it is a limitation of the current design of our Tools Options support.

-Sean Laberee

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  • Updating Productivity Power Tools will overwrite existing settings. Thus you have to reapply your settings again after each update. Specifically, "All Extensions" On/Off is overwritten. Hopefully, you will fix this in the next version.

    And what about the Solution Navigator crash on solutions with C++/CLI, C++ and C# projects?

  • I also have Solution Navigator crashing with C++/CLI, reported here:

  • What is the limitation in the Tools Options that prevents you from persisting the Enabled/Disabled settings?

    It would be good if you could work around whatever the limitation is to make this work.

  • Great - glad this is getting revved so quickly.  One question - will multi-select be enabled in the solution navigator at some point?

  • Thanks, that fixed my issue.


    On the regular find function (Ctrl-F), for search options, please include:

    1) [ ] search code-behind only, and

    2) [ ] ignore commented rows

    So, PLEASE allow us to only search code (and NOT comments and NOT Html/aspx markup).  There are so many times where I use similar names in both the aspx and .cs/.vb files, AND I might have the same names in commented out code, but I ONLY want to search live/running code-behind.

    thanks guys.



  • Excellent stuff - really finding this a useful addition to VS.  Just one question - is there any activity on the issue with adding some COM references with the new Add Reference dialog?

  • @Mike:  We're currently thinking a lot about Find and how to improve it, and both of your suggestions are ones that come up quite often.  It's too soon to promise anything yet, but if/when we do have an extension or design idea to share, we'll definitely blog about it here :-).

    Thanks for posting!

    Brittany Behrens

    Program Manager, Visual Studio Editor

  • Solution Navigator has quickly become an invaluable addition.  Invaluable enough I'd like to be able to get to it faster.   Ctrl+1 & Ctrl+2 are useful as is, but for navigating in the whole solution I'd rather have a key-bindable command to set the focus to the search box in the docked Navigator window.

    Have I missed a way to do this?  If not, please consider it for a future build.

    On a related key-binding note, Ctrl-Left & Ctrl-Right work well, and the arrow keys in general do intuitive things within the pane, but I can't find any way to invoke the 'Up Arrow in a Circle' button from the keyboard.   Ctrl+Up would be the obvious choice.

    thanks in advance,


  • I agree with @Blake above.  A way to go right to that search is nice.

    Edit -> Navigate to.. works well, but it'd be nice to have access to both, thanks!

  • So how do you make the commands hotkeys configurable? I'm trying to do that in a vspackage I'm working on, but haven't really been able to find any info on this. My commands work fine when activated from a menu, but they don't show up in the Options->Environment->Keyboard list.

    Any chance you could just make the source code for Solution Navigator available? With the sorry state of the VSX documentation, being able to browse the source code for existing, useful packages like this , made by someone who actually know what they're doing, wouldn't come amiss.

  • Hi sean:

       I installed Productivity Power Tools last Sunday, but it caused a problem, can you help me to solve it?  

       My post is here:

  • Solution navigator is really cool. I just wish the tree nodes would not automatically expand when I double-click on them. Most of the time when I double-click I want the code to open, but I don't want the tree node to expand because pretty soon my navigator has too many things expanded and actually becomes hard to navigate and I have to keep collapsing the tree nodes which is a bit annoying. Otherwise very nice and I prefer it to the previous explorer.

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