My Development Blog

My Development experiences

Visual Studio – File Navigation

Posted by ipwright83 on July 25, 2013


VSFileNav – new improved, themed version for Visual Studio 2012 available for download here.


Finding Files in Visual Studio

Once upon a time I used Resharper Express to jump between files in a Visual Studio solution. However in Visual Studio 2010 this feature was removed from the express version 😦



At this point I decided to get involved in Visual Studio extension writing and wrote my first extension VSFileNav. This allows you to quickly find files in your solution using ‘contains’ matching or Camel case matching. I use it all the time and find it incredibly useful (as do a few others who’ve rated it). It did however have a few bugs in, and didn’t install straight into VS2012. However a little while ago I finished off an update which features as a separate installer. There is a download link on the extension page but here it is again: VSFileNav VS2012

The behavior is the same as before, with some extra additions. After finally getting my head around the crazy event model in Visual Studio (blasted classes get garbage collected even when you’re hooked up to events unless you keep an explicit reference to items) it should now:

  • Re-cache all the files when you change solution.
  • Add additional files when they’re added to a project.
  • Add additional files in projects, when a project is added to the solution.
  • Remove files when they’re removed from a project…. you get where this is going?
  • Remove files when a project is removed from the solution.
  • Handle renames of both files/projects appropriately.

Additionally, and this bit took about as long as all the other functionality put together, it has been updated to use the VS2012 theme. This includes both the icons/glyphs and colours. Unfortunately due to a bug in Visual Studio this isn’t done automatically but Tools->Options->VSNav Options allows you to switch between the standard light, dark and blue themes. Here are some screenshots:









I hope you find it as useful as I do and find the new colour schemes nicer to the eye with the VS themes. Once again the download link is here.


One Response to “Visual Studio – File Navigation”

  1. No said

    Can you please upgrade FileNav to VS 2013?
    There is now a community edition of VS free to use also with add-ons.

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