Making visual studio extensions work with vs 2011 developer preview


If you want to make your Visual Studio 2010 extensions work in Visual Studio 2011 Developer Preview, there is a little hack that you can do.

NOTE: Since this is a hack, there is NO guarantee that the extension will work properly.  But it might be worth giving a shot if, like me, the only thing stopping you from using VS 2011 is a few extensions that you just cannot live without :)

Also note that this only applies to vsix extensions.

1. Download the vsix file

To do this, go to the Visual Studio Gallery and search for your extension of choice.

Visual Studio Gallery
Visual Studio Gallery

Once you find you extension, download it to your desktop (or wherever)

Download Visual Studio Extension
Download Visual Studio Extension

(yes, that is one extension that I just cannot live without, it’s fantastic! Get it here)

2. Rename the file to zip

Once the file is downloaded, simply append .zip to the file name.

vsix renamed to zipAnd expand it into a folder using the default Windows ‘Extract All…’ option (right-click context menu) or whatever tool you want.

3.Edit the manifest

Next, in the expanded folder, edit the file extension.manifest using notepad, wordpad or whatever (I use Notepad++).

Look for the text ‘<VisualStudio Version‘, and change the value to read "11.0"

Change Visual Studio Version For ExtensionSave and close :)

4. Compress the folder content

Now, compress the folder content back into a zip file, using whatever tool you want.

In Windows, you can select all the content in the folder (CTRL+A), right-click, and select ‘send to’ and ‘compressed (zipped) folder’

Compress a folder to zip5. Rename the file back to vsix

Once compressed, rename the file back to .vsix

VSIX Visual Studio Extension6. Install it

Now all you need to do to install it is to Double-Click it.

Good luck :) It might not work, or it might partially work… but this system should allow you to install it.

Hope it helps :)  If anyone has any great extension suggestions, please let me know.

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