Solvent - Power Toys for Visual Studio .NET

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Solvent is a set of simple but effective tools for Visual Studio .NET 2003 packaged as an add-in. Why call it Solvent? All the tools work in the Solution Explorer.

Bad science puns aside, here’s a list of what Solvent provides:

  • Recursive Expand/Contract: Ever notice when you click the +/- icon next to a folder (or double click on a Solution/Project file), it collapses that particular node in the Solution Explorer… but not any of the sub-nodes? If you have a really large project with a deep hierarchy, wouldn’t it be nice to be able to recursively close all of the items beneath a current node so when you expand it again it doesn’t re-expand everything below it? Now you can.
  • Open All SubItems: Easily open all of the subitems within a containing object (folder or project).
  • Open Containing Folder In Windows Explorer: Open the folder containing a document or project in Windows Explorer (if you select a folder, it opens that folder, not it’s containing folder).
  • Command Prompt Here: Open a command prompt at an object’s containing folder (if you select a folder, it opens the command prompt to that folder).

Solvent adds itself to the Tools menu and to the context menu for items in the Solution Explorer.

Tools Menu: Solvent Tools

Context Menu (On a Project): Solvent [Project] Context

It’s free, so come and get it!

Installation Note: Be sure to shut down Visual Studio BEFORE you install! If you don’t, you may see the UI elements of the add-in disappear. If you install the add-in and find that the UI has disappeared (and this goes for ANY add-in), go to Start -> Run and enter: devenv /setup That will reset your menus and force add-ins to rebuild. You may lose any customizations you make to the standard menu bars, though (like adding/removing buttons on bars). I’ll add a check for VS.NET on install for the next release.

NOTE: Gaston Milano has a similar product for VS 2005 called CoolCommands. As Solvent does not support VS 2005, you may be interested in checking that out.

Version History:

  • 1.0.0: First public release.
  • 1.1.1: Updated “Command Prompt Here” to use “cd /d [path]” rather than just “cd [path]” to allow for opening command prompt to drives other than the one VS.NET is installed on. Also released source for download.