Labs > Visual Studio Extension: Customize Visual Studio Window Title

This lightweight extension will detect whenever two instances of Visual Studio are running with the same window title (or not, can be configured) and change the window title of Visual Studio to include a folder tree with a configurable min depth and max depth distance from the solution/project file, or using special tags.

With default settings, SolutionFolder – Microsoft Visual Studio (Administrator) will be rewritten as SolutionFolderParent\SolutionFolder – Microsoft Visual Studio (Administrator).

Special tags available are:

  • [documentName] name of the active document or window;
  • [solutionName] name of the active solution;
  • [parentX] parent folder at the specified depth X, e.g. 1 for document/solution file parent folder;
  • [parentPath] current solution path or, if no solution open, document path, with depth range as set in settings;
  • [ideName].

‘ *’ will be added at the end automatically to identify that the title is being improved.

This is particularly useful when branching a solution/project: it becomes possible to easily identify which branch you are working on, in the case where both would have the same solution/project name.

Feature requests are welcome here. Official repository here. More screenshots are available in this review by Sergey Vlasov.

You can download the VSIX package directly in the Visual Studio Gallery.

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22 commentaires à l'article “Visual Studio Extension: Customize Visual Studio Window Title”

  1. Yannik
    5 juin 2012 | 15:50

    many thanks, exactly what I was looking for!!

  2. Matt
    1 décembre 2012 | 18:04

    First off. Thanks and great job!

    Not sure if you’re aware (or care :)), but when no project is loaded, granted should rarely happen, the title bar fills with “- * – * – * – *”. Text find/replace issue?


    Defaults for all the rest.

  3. Matt
    18 janvier 2013 | 10:01

    Just an update. The new version appears to fix starting with no solution running, but if you open a solution and then close it, the problem starts again. This is under 2010 with SP1; same settings as before. It never removes the solution path and then starts repeating “Microsoft Visual Studio (Administrator) * – ” over and over. This was as of the version available 1/10/2013.

    Again, thanks for the great extension. I can’t tell you how often it has helped me save time and be able to work more comfortably with multiple revisions.

  4. argrithmag
    30 janvier 2013 | 18:23

    thanks for the plugin. Could you do the same directory change in the recent projects? having multiple version of the same project means i have to hover over each one to see the proper directory….


  5. John
    4 février 2013 | 16:40

    Can you give an option to not show the * after the title? My mind keeps telling me there are unsaved changes when I see that out of the corner of my eye :-)

    Great plugin, thanks!

  6. Inger Marie B. Jakobsen
    14 mars 2013 | 9:28

    This extension seems like just what I am looking for, but I really never did use an extension with options before. So I am a bit at a loss. Where and how do I set up the extension to show me the full path?

    I need to see the full path to be able to differentiate, because I have Projects\Main\ and Projects\Release\.

  7. 14 mars 2013 | 9:34

    Hi Inger Marie, you can adjust the options in “Tools” > “Options” > “Rename VS Window Title”. There you probably just need to play with the options labeled “Closest parent folder depth” and “Farthest parent folder depth”.


  8. Inger Marie B. Jakobsen
    19 mars 2013 | 8:33

    Thanks a lot. It works! This add-on is a great help for me

  9. Bill S
    18 avril 2013 | 17:02

    This is a great extension. Love being able to set properties to get it to look just right for me.


  10. Maks Y
    12 juin 2013 | 19:35

    Must have extension if you work with multiple source code branches. Thanks

  11. Peter DeSimone
    10 juillet 2013 | 20:45

    After install VS 2012 Update 3, this extension is disabled. How can I re-enable it? The Enable button is disabled.

  12. 10 juillet 2013 | 23:23

    Hi Peter,

    I do not have this problem. Maybe try to restart Visual Studio or your computer.


  13. Xavier
    21 août 2013 | 15:59

    When you have a query open (Team Explorer) it shows the ID of the query instead of the name…

  14. Toggle
    17 janvier 2014 | 17:16

    I’m running VS 2013 (12.0.21005.1) with .NET Framework 4.5.50938 the activity log says “CreateInstance failed for package…” The extension won’t load. The error message is: Could not load file or assembly ‘Microsoft.VisualStudio.Shell.10.0, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b03f5f7f11d50a3a’ or one of its dependencies. The system cannot find the file specified.
    Any thoughts? Thanks!

  15. 21 janvier 2014 | 7:11

    I replied to you by email.

  16. Gabi
    7 février 2014 | 8:42

    I just updated to version 2.6.0. I use VS 2010 10.0.40219.1 and after this update Rename VS Window Title extension stopped working. If I enable debug mode I’m getting this exception:

    RenameVSWindowTitle: UpdateWindowTitle exception: System.IO.FileNotFoundException: Could not load file or assembly ‘Microsoft.VisualStudio.TeamFoundation.VersionControl, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b03f5f7f11d50a3a’ or one of its dependencies. The system cannot find the file specified.

    What can I do?


  17. Thomas
    24 mars 2014 | 8:18

    I’m running VS2012 but cannot laod your package. The Activitiy Log says:
    CreateInstance failed for package [ErwinMayerLabs.RenameVSWindowTitle.RenameVSWindowTitle, RenameVSWindowTitle, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=ceec2b7720c0179d]

    You mention above that you replied to a similar error message to a user named Toggle on Jan. 21, 2014, by email. Do you have a solution for this?
    Thank you!

  18. 24 mars 2014 | 8:26

    Hi Thomas,

    I do not have such problem with a similar set-up (same VS version + .NET 4.5.51641).
    Can you try on another machine maybe? Uninstalling and reinstalling the extension?
    Are you running Visual Studio Express edition (it is not compatible with it)?

  19. Thomas
    24 mars 2014 | 9:32

    Uninstalling the extension and installing it again using a CMD box as administrator with the command
    “C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 11.0\Common7\IDE\VSIXInstaller.exe” /quiet /admin D:\Downloads\RenameVSWindowTitle.vsix
    did the job; the problem did not reappear even after rebooting the computer.
    We are using the professional edition of VS 2012.

  20. Matt
    8 avril 2014 | 19:19

    This is very useful! I encourage everyone to donate, as well.

    Like John above, the asterisk puts me a little on edge, thinking I haven’t saved. Is there a way to eliminate that, or is it a by-product of modifying the title?

    Also, Erwin, you commented on StackOverflow about how setting the title with the win32 api won’t work correctly. So how are you doing it? With the DTE model or?


  21. 9 avril 2014 | 10:48

    Hi Matt, thank you for your donation! This is very much appreciated.

    Actually it is already possible to configure the asterisk in the Options: just change the parameter “Appended string” to whatever you like (but it should be at least one distinct character).

    To set the title, I am using the following piece of code, which you can also see in the Codeplex repository:

    System.Windows.Application.Current.MainWindow.Title = "Hello world;

  22. Matt
    9 avril 2014 | 17:44

    Cool, thanks Erwin. I changed my appended string to “:-)”

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