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Deploying VS2005 Add-In (#2)

Add Registry Entry to Tell Visual Studion Where To Look

by Les Smith
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Is there an easy way to tell Visual Studio 2005 where to look for your .addin file?  Yes, you can create a registry entry to do it.  Several months ago I wrote an article on installation of add-ins under Visual Studio 2005, which you can read by clicking here.

Although the method I described works fine, and I have been using it for all of my add-ins, thanks to
Benjamin Peikes, who posted this tip on my blog, this article will simply quote his post, commenting on my article.

"Actually this is a comment about installing AddIns. I actually found a much easier way than updating your .AddIn file. I install all of our addins to C:\Program Files\My Company\Visual Studio AddIns and then add a registry entry which tells visual studio to look in that directory for the addins.

Then your "Assembly" tag can just have the naked name of the assembly because VS 2005 will attempt to load the assembly from the directory where the .AddIn file is found.  All you have to do is add a registry entry with the name of your installtion directory to


For instance, if you are using a setup project to install it, just add HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\VisualStudio\8.0\AutomationOptions\LookInFolders\[TARGETDIR]
with an empty value.

Thanks Ben, for the tip!

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