GUIDs and IDs of Visual Studio commands

Applies to: yesVisual Studio noVisual Studio for Mac


This article applies to Visual Studio 2017. If you're looking for the latest Visual Studio documentation, see Visual Studio documentation. We recommend upgrading to the latest version of Visual Studio. Download it here

The GUID and ID values of the commands included in the Visual Studio integrated development environment (IDE) are defined in .vsct files that are installed as part of the Visual Studio SDK. For more information, see IDE-defined commands, menus, and groups.

For more information about how to work with IDE objects that are defined in .vsct files, see Extend menus and commands.

Find a command definition

Because Visual Studio defines more than 1000 commands, it is impractical to list them all here. Instead, follow these steps to locate the definition of a command.

To locate a command definition

  1. In Visual Studio, open the following files in the <Visual Studio SDK installation path>\VisualStudioIntegration\Common\Inc\ folder: SharedCmdDef.vsct, ShellCmdDef.vsct, VsDbgCmdUsed.vsct, Venusmenu.vsct.

    Most Visual Studio commands are defined in SharedCmdDef.vsct and ShellCmdDef.vsct. VsDbgCmdUsed.vsct defines commands that pertain to the debugger, and Venusmenu.vsct defines commands that are specific to Web development.

  2. If the command is a menu item, note the exact text of the menu item. If the command is a button on a toolbar, note the tooltip text that appears when you pause on it.

  3. Press Ctrl+F to open the Find dialog box.

  4. In the Find what box, type the text you noted in step 2.

  5. Verify that All Open Documents is displayed in the Look in box.

  6. Click the Find Next button until the text is selected in the <Strings> section of a Button element.

    The <Button> element that the command appears in is the command definition.

    When you have found the command definition, you can put a copy of the command on another menu or toolbar by creating a CommandPlacement element that has the same guid and id values as the command. For more information, see Create reusable groups of buttons.

Special cases

In the following cases, the menu text or tooltip text may not exactly match what is in the command definition.

  • Menu items that include an underlined character, such as the Print command on the File menu, in which the P is underlined.

    Characters that are preceded by the ampersand (&) character in menu item names are displayed as underlined. However, .vsct files are written in XML, which uses the ampersand (&) character to indicate special characters and requires that an ampersand to be displayed must be spelled out as &amp;. Therefore, in a .vsct file, the Print command appears as &amp;Print.

  • Commands that have dynamic text, such as Save <Current Filename>, and dynamically generated menu items, such as the items on the Recent Files list.

    There is no reliable way to search on dynamic text. Instead, find a group that hosts the desired command by consulting GUIDs and IDs of Visual Studio menus or GUIDs and IDs of Visual Studio toolbars, and search on the ID of that group. If the command definition does not have the group as its Parent element, search SharedCmdPlace.vsct and ShellCmdPlace.vsct (or VsDbgCmdPlace.vsct for debugger commands) for a <CommandPlacement> element that sets the parent of the command. SharedCmdPlace.vsct, ShellCmdPlace.vsct, and VsDbgCmdPlace.vsct are in the <Visual Studio SDK installation path>\VisualStudioIntegration\Common\Inc\ folder.

See also