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Installing Custom Document Well for Visual Studio 2019

Custom Document Well is a popular Visual Studio extension adding vertical tabs, tabs sorting and color coded tabs.

Microsoft decided not to update the extension for Visual Studio 2019 and instead are looking into bringing the most popular features into the product.

Andrew Keeton discovered that slightly changing contents of the Custom Document Well installation package allows it to install in VS 2019.

To make a ready to use installation package, from the latest Custom Document Well v15.0.6 for VS 2017, I've similarly changed in extension.vsixmanifest InstallationTarget Version from "[15.0,16.0)" to "[16.0,17.0)", changed Prerequisite CoreEditor Version from "[15.0,)" to "[16.0,)", changed in manifest.json extension.vsixmanifest sha256, deleted _rels and package signature folders.

Download Custom Document Well v15.0.6 for VS 2019 with these changes.

Now Custom Document Well can be installed for the latest VS 2019 v16.2.0:

After you load Visual Studio 2019, you will see the "Visual Studio did not load one or more extensions that were using deprecated APIs." warning:

Go to Environment - Extensions options and check the "Allow synchronous autoload of extensions" option:

After restarting Visual Studio 2019, Custom Document Well will load with the "One or more extensions were loaded using deprecated APIs." warning:

Clicking "Don't show this message for current extensions" will finally let you use Custom Document Well in Visual Studio 2019!


If you additionally want to see all tabs in multiple rows, automatically group together corresponding files, quickly spot recently edited documents, disambiguate tabs with the same name and navigate between tabs with keyboard shortcuts - try the Tabs Studio extension.