Working with files

Visual Studio Extensibility Cookbook

Here’s a collection of small code samples on different ways to work with files and documents.

Get active text view

Get the current active text view to manipulate its text buffer text.

DocumentView docView = await VS.Documents.GetActiveDocumentViewAsync();
if (docView?.TextView == null) return; //not a text window
SnapshotPoint position = docView.TextView.Caret.Position.BufferPosition;
docView.TextBuffer?.Insert(position, "some text"); // Inserts text at the caret

File icon associations

To associate an icon with a file extension in Solution Explorer, add the [ProvideFileIcon()] attribute to your package class.

[ProvideFileIcon(".abc", "KnownMonikers.Reference")]
public sealed class MyPackage : ToolkitPackage
{
    ...
}

See the thousands of available icons in the KnownMonikers collection using the KnownMonikers Explorer tool window. Find it under View -> Other Windows in the main menu.

Open file

Use the Microsoft.VisualStudio.Shell.VsShellUtilities helper class.

string fileName = "c:\\file.txt";
await VS.Document.OpenAsync(fileName);

Open file via project

Use this method when the file you open is part of the solution.

string fileName = "c:\\file.txt";
await VS.Documents.OpenViaProjectAsync(fileName);

Open file in Preview tab

The Preview tab, also known as the Provisional tab, is a temporary tab that opens on the right side of the document well. Open any file in the Preview tab like this:

string fileName = "c:\\file.txt";
await VS.Documents.OpenInPreviewTabAsync(fileName);

Get file name from ITextBuffer

Use the extension method buffer.GetFileName() located in the Microsoft.VisualStudio.Text namespace.

string fileName = buffer.GetFileName();

SolutionItem from file

Find the SolutionItem from an absolute file path.

string fileName = "c:\\file.txt";
PhysicalFile item = await PhysicalFile.FromFileAsync(fileName);
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