During my work on the latest version of the Snippet Designer I was struggling with solving an issue with the EnvDTE method ItemOperations.NewFile. The purpose of the NewFile method is to create a new file in the same manner as if you created it from the File->New->File dialog in Visual Studio. I used this method as part of the Snippet Designer’s Export as Snippet feature. The NewFile method was working fine (I thought) until I started receiving some bug reports from French and German users. After looking into it deeper I learned that the way I was using the NewFile method would not work in non-English installations of Visual Studio. To understand why you need to know a little bit more about ItemOperations.NewFile.
The NewFile method is define as:
When I would launch a new snippet file I would call the method like:
Dte.ItemOperations.NewFile( @"General\Text File", "SnippetFile1.snippet");
The MSDN documentation for the first argument of this method is
The virtual path to the item based on the tree nodes from the left pane of the dialog box and the item name from the right pane.
This is where the problem was, the virtual path is language dependent! So while in English the correct path is “General\Text File” in Spanish it is something like “General\Archivo”. At this point I looked into this further to see if anyone else has this issue with no luck.
This left me with two options:
- Figure out each language specific virtual path
- Find a different way to have Visual Studio launch the file
Option 1 is an annoying and fragile solution so I started looking for alternate methods. Eventually I got the idea to try to send the command directly to the Visual Studio shell’s IOleCommandTarget::Exec method. The IOleCommandTarget interface helps define the command design pattern which VS uses. Many components in VS implement this interface (explicitly or implicitly) so that they can handle commands from the user.
Getting the IOleCommandTarget for the Visual Studio shell is pretty simple once you know that there is a service for this called SUIHostCommandDispatcher
private IOleCommandTarget GetShellCommandDispatcher()
return GetService(typeof (SUIHostCommandDispatcher)) as IOleCommandTarget;
Then looking through the VSConstants.VSStd97CmdID list I found the FileNew command id
FileNew Command id:”File New” on File menu.
With the both the command target and the command id I was able to execute the command:
private bool LaunchNewFile(string fileName)
IntPtr inArgPtr = Marshal.AllocCoTaskMem(200);
Guid cmdGroup = VSConstants.GUID_VSStandardCommandSet97;
IOleCommandTarget commandTarget = GetShellCommandDispatcher();
int hr = commandTarget.Exec(ref cmdGroup,
One thing to note above is that in order to pass the file name for FileNew command into the Exec method you need to marshal the string into a native object since IOleCommandTarget is just a managed interface on top of native COM interfaces.
After all of that I was able to correctly launch a new file through Visual Studio that works regardless of locale.