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