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  • Question

  • We used to use a Visual Studio AddIn which provided replacement document tabs (I believe it was called VSTabs).

    Specifically, when editing C++ code, it would combine files with the same name but different extensions in a single tab.  So if editing hello.cpp and hello.h a single tab was used for both.  The tab had 2 areas you could click to get to either file.

    This did a couple things.  Instead of the .cpp and .h files being on different tabs across the top, they're kept together.  This simplifies the tabs along the top and uses much less room and keeps the associated files together.

    1) Is there an AddIn/extension for VS 2010 which provides this functionality?  I've tried the Power Tools, which has some nice tab enhancements but does not seem to do what I'm looking for - i.e. combining the .cpp and .h files into a single tab.

    2) Where would I start with the Visual Studio SDK in order to write an AddIn which would do this?  How would I go about replacing the row of tabs at the top of the code editor with my own and/or customizing the existing tabs?  I dug around on MSDN and read about AddIns but didn't see anything which would allow doing this.

    Monday, January 31, 2011 3:53 AM

Answers

  • As Ryan mentioned, we have no official support or extension points that will allow you to easily customize the document tab well. The productivity power tools extension uses unsupported methods to replace the standard tabs. The method we use could very easily be invalidated in future version of VS, because of this reason.

    That being said, there is already a plugin that does exactly what you want, although it is not free. Check out http://www.TabsStudio.com. Apparently they also use unsupported methods to replace the standard tabs with their own version (which we found out when the Productivity Power Tools and their extension collided).

     

    Monday, January 31, 2011 8:02 PM

All replies

  • Hello Dave,

     

    Thank you for your question.

     

    I am trying to involve someone familiar with this topic to further look at this issue. There might be some time delay. Appreciate your patience.

     

    Thank you for your understanding and support.

     

    Best Regards,

    Ziwei Chen

     

    MSDN Subscriber Support in Forum
    If you have any feedback on our support, please contact msdnmg @ microsoft.com

     

     


    Ziwei Chen [MSFT]
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    Monday, January 31, 2011 9:54 AM
  • Dave,

    I've used VSTabs for a long time under VS2005.  The .h/.cpp tab grouping was a feature of VSTabs that I GREATLY miss now that I'm using VS2010. 

    Hopefully Microsoft already has something or has a way to develop functionality like VSTabs under VS2010.

    Looking forward to hearing what they have to say.

    Thanks for taking the time to point out this functionality that so many enjoy but have not taken the time to express how much this would improve their VS2010 experience!

    *** Art ***

     

    Monday, January 31, 2011 2:23 PM
  • I am going to point one of the windowing devs at this thread to get some 'official' input but to my knowledge we don't expose extensibility around the tab well and any solution pre-2010 was likely using very hacky, unsupported mechanisms to enable this (like walking HWND trees, subclassing HWNDs they didn't create/don't own and possibly even mucking with private, internal data structures).

    Ryan

    Monday, January 31, 2011 6:36 PM
  • Take a look at the productivity power tools as an example.

    http://visualstudiogallery.msdn.microsoft.com/d0d33361-18e2-46c0-8ff2-4adea1e34fef/

    This installs an extension which does customize the tab well.  For example, it allows you to "pin" tabs which then puts them in a separate row.  It also lets you have floating tab wells, vertical tabs, etc.

    It doesn't do what I'm looking for, namely, grouping the .h/.cpp file into a single tab like VSTabs did.  Since Productivity Power Tools is able to customize the tab well, I'm hoping there's some way to do this.

    Monday, January 31, 2011 6:46 PM
  • The productivity power tools is released by the VS team, thus they can do all kinds of things that third parties could not do :(  Nothing is technically impossible (it's just software right :)), but I do know that the tab well extension does NOT use any sort of publically exposed extensibility points to do what it does.

    Ryan

    Monday, January 31, 2011 7:45 PM
  • As Ryan mentioned, we have no official support or extension points that will allow you to easily customize the document tab well. The productivity power tools extension uses unsupported methods to replace the standard tabs. The method we use could very easily be invalidated in future version of VS, because of this reason.

    That being said, there is already a plugin that does exactly what you want, although it is not free. Check out http://www.TabsStudio.com. Apparently they also use unsupported methods to replace the standard tabs with their own version (which we found out when the Productivity Power Tools and their extension collided).

     

    Monday, January 31, 2011 8:02 PM
  • Thanks!  We'll take a look at TabsStudio!  Looks like it might do exactly what we're looking for.
    Monday, January 31, 2011 8:11 PM