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There are some tools that just seem to find their way into every .NET developer toolbox.  Lutz Roeder’s Reflector for .NET is one of these.  I don’t know a single working .NET developer that doesn’t use Reflector.  Some of my friends live inside of it.

Add to Visual Studio

Since Reflector is such a useful tool it would nice to have it at your fingertips when working within Visual Studio.  All versions of Visual Studio since VS 4 support adding custom tools.  There might have been support earlier, I can’t remember anymore.  The only tricky part is figuring out how to pass the current assembly from Visual Studio to Reflector. 

It’s not really hard at all. Visual Studio has built-in arguments that pass data from the IDE to your third party application.

The following steps work for Visual Studio 2005  and Visual Studio 2003.  I haven’t tested with any other versions.

  • Click the Tools/External Tools… menu.


Tools Menu
  • Click the Add button in the External Tools dialog.


External Tools
  • Add the following to the External Tools dialog.  The $(TargetPath) argument will pass your assemblies to Reflector.


That’s all.  Enjoy

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