HOWTO: Changing the source code of Visual Studio Package project templates

Author: Carlos J. Quintero (Microsoft MVP) Applies to: Microsoft Visual Studio 2008
Date: July 2013   Microsoft Visual Studio 2010
      Microsoft Visual Studio 2012

If you generate Visual Studio packages frequently, you may want to change the source code of the project templates used by the Visual Studio Package wizard of the Visual Studio SDK. For example, you may want to change the default source code, default references, default project properties, etc. so that you don't need to change them by hand each time that you create a new package.

More Information

When you click the Visual Studio Package project template in the Other Project Types \ Extensibility node of the New Project dialog, rather than generating a project directly a wizard is shown that asks some questions and then it proceeds to generate the package project.

Physically, that wizard is a compiled dll (PackageWizard.dll file of the subfolder "VisualStudioIntegration\Tools\Bin" of the SDK installation folder) and cannot be changed. However, the project and project items templates that it uses are external to the wizard and can be modified. The locations for the templates are the following subfolders of the Visual Studio SDK installation folder (be sure to make a backup copy before modifying them):

  • Visual Studio 2008 and 2010 SDK:

  • Visual Studio 2012 SDK:



<NetLanguage> is:

  • "VB" for VB.NET
  • "CS" for C#
  • Etc.

<Locale> is:

  • "1033" for English
  • Etc.

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