Exploring project files from Visual Studio Solution Explorer becomes difficult when you’re dealing with multitude of code files. If multiple Projects are present in your Solution, you may find yourself scrolling up and down the Solution Explorer in search of required code files from each project. The best way to avoid this is to streamline the Projects’ file lists in Solution Explorer, so you can easily find the files that you want to open in Visual Studio editor. Solution Explorer Tools is a Visual Studio 2010 plug-in that lets you easily browse through Project files in Solution Explorer without having to manually expand project files. It adds 3 convenient collapse/expand buttons in Solution Explorer toolbar to collapse all the lists at once, collapse to currently opened code file, and expand the Solution Explorer file lists to file which is currently opened in Visual Studio editor.
Before you install the plugin, make sure that Visual Studio is not running in background. After installation, launch Visual Studio and open the Solution/Project. In Solution Explorer, it adds Collapse all, Collapse to item, and Sync item buttons in toolbar. The Collapse all feature is pretty self-explanatory. Clicking it will collapse all the file lists of all opened projects in Solution.
The Collapse to item feature comes useful where you want to collapse all the items in list except the one which is opened in Visual Studio editor.
While working on multiple code files, we often need to view the currently opened code file from Solution Explorer. If project file listings are collapsed, it becomes quite tedious to manually find the currently opened code file in Solution Explorer. This is where Sync item feature comes in handy. When you click Sync item, it will expand the list to currently opened file in Solution Explorer.
Solution Explorer Tools works only on Visual Studio 2010.