Visual Studio Add-Ins: Cool Commands 3.0

Update Feb. 9, 2008: Version 4 is now out, but there’s no new blog post. Follow the link below and scroll down through the comments to find the link to version 4.

Another handy add-in that brings functionality to the Solution Explorer is CoolCommands. Version 3 is available from, and adds a whole series of new menu commands to the right click menu in the Solution Explorer window. It also adds a few new menu command to the Code Editor window. Since the site doesn’t do a great job of documenting all the features in the current release, here is a brief list of all the commands that get added.

Commands for the Code Editing Window

DemoFont – In the edit window, right clicking has a new menu option called DemoFont. This will let you quickly toggle back and forth to a larger size of the font you’ve been running. Clicking again will return you to the font size you previously had.

Wheel Font Zooming – My guess is this lets you use the mouse wheel to adjust the font size, but it didn’t work on my system. However the other commands are so useful I’m willing to overlook one dud.

Open File – This is very cool. Within comments you will sometimes see something like “// See the class file Xyz.cs for more info”. With cool commands, you simply right click on Xyz.cs and pick Open File, and that file will open in VS.

Commands for the Solution Explorer

Collapse All Project – Simple menu option to collapse all the projects in your Solution Explorer’s tree.

Command Prompt Here – Opens a command window in the directory where the project sits. (Only appears when clicking on a project).

Open Container Folder – Opens a Windows Explorer where the current file happens to reside.

Reference Manager – Lets you manage the references for the solution.

Resolve Project References – Validates all of your project references.

Copy and Paste References – Lets you create a reference for one project and paste it into another project. Makes setting up references between projects nice and easy.

Add Projects From Folder – Allows you to easily import one or more projects that are stored in a folder.

Commands for the open files tabs

Locate in Solution Explorer – This is cool, in the little tab markers at the top of the editing window, right click and pick this option. The solution explorer will then highlight the file for you.

One thing to note, technically CoolCommands is not an Add-In. While it adds new menu options, it cannot be loaded or unloaded from the Tools, Add-In Manager.

This free tool adds some nice functionality to your VS environment, and is well worth the download.