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Importing and Exporting Custom Toolboxes in Visual Studio 2008

Pete Brown - 27 January 2009

For complex quickly-paced demos, I like to drag code and markup from the toolbox directly into the code editor. I’ve seen folks use external tools, notepad, pre-populated files with commented-out code etc. However, I find this works best as I can also use it to prompt me for the next steps. For the folks that saw my MDC or DevDinner Silverlight Business Applications Futures talks, this is how I managed the toolbox.


The issue is, I use multiple machines, and also do multiple demos. I typically build my demos on my desktop (big screens, powerful proc etc.) and then demo on my laptop. How can I share the toolbox between them and back up toolboxes for use later?

Marc Schweigert came to the rescue and told me how to do it. It’s pretty simple, but make sure you back up your old settings first, as the new ones will pave your toolbox.

This is for VS2008



On the “Choose Settings to Export” tab, deselect “All Settings”, expand “General Settings” and check off only “Toolbox:


Pick a location, finish the wizard and you’re good. When you want to import them, just select the “Import” option on the first tab, make sure you allow VS2008 to back up your settings, and then have at it. Sometimes the import takes quite a while.

Also, since toolboxes can get easily lost if you close Visual Studio out of order or have a crash (as sometimes happens with pre-release bits), be sure to back up your settings constantly.

posted by Pete Brown on Tuesday, January 27, 2009
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