BUG: ProjectItem.Open(EnvDTE.Constants.vsext_vk_Designer) restores the IDE from minimized state.

Author: Carlos J. Quintero (Microsoft MVP) Applies to: Microsoft Visual Studio 2005
Date: March 2009   Microsoft Visual Studio 2008

When you call ProjectItem.Open(EnvDTE.Constants.vsext_vk_Designer) from a macro or add-in, you get an EnvDTE.Window which is not visible (you would need to call Window.Visible = True). However, that statement restores the IDE from a minimized state. This is undesirable in the following scenario: an add-in executes an operation that reviews the controls of each form of a project. To do this, it opens the designer windows without making them visible (to get the EnvDTE.Window and then to cast the Window.Object property to IDesignerHost). If the operation is long because there are many forms in the project, the user may want to minimize the IDE to use other applications while the operation is performed. Due to this bug, the IDE is restored each time that a new form is processed.


This is a bug introduced in Visual Studio 2005. It didn't happen in VS.NET 2003.

More Information

Steps to reproduce the problem:

  • Create a Visual Studio 2005/2008 macro with this code:
Language: VB.NET   Copy Code Copy Code (IE only)
Public Sub Macro1()

   DTE.MainWindow.WindowState = vsWindowState.vsWindowStateMinimize

   For Each project As Project In DTE.Solution.Projects()

End Sub

Private Sub OpenAndCloseDesignerWindows(ByVal projectItems As ProjectItems)

   Dim projectItem As ProjectItem
   Dim window As Window

   If Not (projectItems Is Nothing) Then

      For Each projectItem In projectItems


            If projectItem.Kind = Constants.vsProjectItemKindPhysicalFolder Then



               Select Case projectItem.Properties.Item("SubType").Value.ToString

                  Case "Form", "UserControl"

                     window = projectItem.Open(Constants.vsViewKindDesigner)

                     If Not (window Is Nothing) Then


                        If DTE.MainWindow.WindowState <> vsWindowState.vsWindowStateMinimize Then
                           MsgBox("The IDE has been restored! It will be minimized again")
                           DTE.MainWindow.WindowState = vsWindowState.vsWindowStateMinimize
                        End If

                     End If

               End Select

            End If

         Catch ex As Exception

            ' Ignore

         End Try


   End If

End Sub
  • Load a Windows Forms project with several forms and run the macro from the Macro Explorer.
  • The IDE is minimized when the macro is executed, but it is restored each time that a form is processed.

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