Easily Opening A Sln File

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layout: post disqus_identifier: #32 comments: true categories:

  • Visual Studio
  • VS
  • Command Line

Despite being a developer that uses Windows, I spend a lot of time managing my code on the command line. As such I want to open up my code in Visual Studio from the command line. Typically I already know the name of the sln file, but if I don’t I can do a quick ls *.sln to find it and then type it in.

I’m lazy and that requires me to not only type more, but to also remember things. I’d much rather be able to cd to my project directory and then just type in the same thing no matter where I am and have it open up what I want. My first pass at automating this assumed that there was a single sln file in my current directory, figured out what it was and then opened it.

For the most part that works, but there are a couple of projects that have multiple sln files and/or sln files that don’t live in the root of the folder structure. In my case, there were few enough of these edge cases so I could just code around them.

Below is the batch file that I use. Each special case gets their own if/set.

REM ***************************************************************************
REM ***************************************************************************
REM Find and open the prefered sln file If a prefered file can't be found, just
REM open the first one you see
REM ***************************************************************************


REM First off see if there is a fallback sln file to open
FOR /F %%i in ('dir /B/s *.sln') do (
  SET SLN=%%i

REM Now look if there is a preferred sln that we want to grab
IF  EXIST SecondSolutionInAFolder.sln (
  SET SLN=SecondSolutionInAFolder.sln

IF  EXIST .\ConsoleApps\FunWithSpikes\FunWithSpikes.sln ( 
  SET SLN=.\ConsoleApps\FunWithSpikes\FunWithSpikes.sln

IF NOT %SLN%=="" (
  ECHO Starting [93m%SLN%[0m 

ECHO [91mCould not find a solution file to open.  [0m
ECHO Are you sure you are in the right directory?  [91m %CD% [0m

Installation and Usage

  1. Copy the script into a file named sln.bat somewhere in your path
  2. From the command line go to the root directory for your project
  3. Run the sln command
  4. If the wrong sln file is opened, edit your sln.bat and add another if/set
> cd c:\code\MySuperAwesomeProject
> sln
Starting .\MySuperAwesomeProject.sln