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Posted 30 Apr 2002

Switch between Header and CPP File for Visual Studio .NET

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Here are two methods that allow you to quickly switch between associated header and implementation files in Visual Studio .NET


Here are two methods that allow you to quickly switch between the associated header and implementation files in Visual Studio .NET.

Pavel Sokolov's Solution

A simple macro that allows you to quickly switch between the associated header and implementation files. This is a modification for Visual Studio .NET of the macro by Nooruddin Kapasi.

This macro simply switches between a *.h file and a *.cpp file, without any errors (if the *.h or the *.cpp file does not exist).

The Code

Option Strict Off
Option Explicit Off

Imports EnvDTE
Imports Microsoft.VisualBasic

Public Module Switch

    Sub Switch()
        'Nooruddin Kapasi 1998.
        'Pavel Sokolov , CEZEO software , , Adaptation for .NET
        'DESCRIPTION: Switch Between Header and cpp

        Dim a As String
        Dim b As String
        Dim Flag As Integer
        Flag = 0
        a = DTE.ActiveDocument.FullName()
        tmp = InStr(a, ".cpp")
        If tmp Then
            b = Left(a, Len(a) - 3) + "h"
            Flag = 1
            tmp = InStr(a, ".h")
            If tmp Then
                b = Left(a, Len(a) - 1) + "cpp"
                Flag = 1
            End If
        End If

        If Flag Then
            DTE.Documents.Open(b, "Text")
        End If
    End Sub

End Module

Pierre Arnaud's Solution

The Switch_H_CPP macro switches between the active document (either source file or header file) and its counterpart (either header file or source file). Whereas simpler macros get this job done more efficiently (see the above), they do not work if the header files and source files are not stored in the same directory.

Switch_H_CPP looks for a matching counterpart by walking through all the loaded project files. It can, therefore, deduce the full path of the file and open it even if it is in a different directory as the active document.


Here comes the source:

Option Strict Off
Option Explicit Off

Imports EnvDTE
Imports System.Diagnostics

Public Module Opac

    Function WalkProjectItemsAndOpen(ByRef items As ProjectItems, _
                                     ByRef name As String) As Boolean
        Dim item As ProjectItem

        If ReferenceEquals(items, Nothing) Then
            Return False
        End If

        For Each item In items
            Dim sub_items As ProjectItems
            sub_items = item.SubProject
            If Not sub_items Is Nothing Then
                If WalkProjectItemsAndOpen(sub_items, name) Then
                    Return True
                End If
            End If
            If item.Name = name Then
                'MsgBox("Found " + name + " in project " + _
                Dim op As ItemOperations
                op = DTE.ItemOperations
                op.OpenFile(item.FileNames(0), Constants.vsViewKindTextView)
                Return True
            End If
        Return False
    End Function

    Sub Swap_H_CPP()
        Dim proj As Project
        Dim doc As Document
        Dim name As String

        doc = DTE.ActiveDocument
        name = doc.Name

        If name.EndsWith(".h") Then
            name = name.Replace(".h", ".cpp")
        ElseIf name.EndsWith(".cpp") Then
            name = name.Replace(".cpp", ".h")
        End If

        For Each proj In DTE.Solution.Projects
            If WalkProjectItemsAndOpen(proj.ProjectItems, name) Then
                Exit Sub
            End If


    End Sub

End Module


  • 20th September, 2002 - Updated Pierre Arnaud's solution to stop an exception being thrown in certain circumstances
  • 2nd June, 2008 - Fixed a typo in WalkProjectItemsAndOpen


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


About the Authors

Pavel Sokolov
Web Developer
Russian Federation Russian Federation
C++ programmer.

Pierre Arnaud
Web Developer
Switzerland Switzerland

Pierre Arnaud got a Ph.D. in computer science at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology; he currently works both as an independent contractor on hardware and software projects at OPaC bright ideas and as a senior software designer at EPSITEC.

Pierre was a key contributor to the Smaky computer, a real time, multitasking system based on the Motorola 680x0 processor family.

Now, Pierre works on his spare time for the Creative Docs .NET project: it is a vector based drawing and page layout software based on .NET and AGG.

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