Create Visual Studio 2005 project or item templates easily

Ever wanted to create a project or item template for Visual Studio.NET easily? In both Visual Stuiod 2002 and 2003 there was no easy way. OK, depends on what do you deem easy. Anyway, if you wanted to modify or create a project template you had to do it manually, perhaps using Notepad and creating appropriate files under [Program Files]\Microsoft Visual Studio .NET 2003\VC# folder (when using C# and VS .NET 2003).

Fortunately Visual Studio 2005 introduce more help in building templates. Just create a project, customize it as you wish, replace fixed text with template parameters and use File\Export Template… menu command. A wizard will appear and guide you through the process (clicking next, finish will also do – no need to enter anything as defaults might be ok). Yes, it is simple as that.

You’ll probably wonder what files and where are actually created. There are good news, too.

  • Template files are zipped into one file – no more messing around with many files.
  • Template zip file is placed into [My Documents]\Visual Studio 2005\Templates and a copy in [My Documents]\Visual Studio 2005\My Exported Templates folders. So you can easily spot your templates.

Thanks to Rob Relyea for the tip.

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