Announcing HLSL Tools for Visual Studio v1.0

This isn’t specifically MonoGame-related, but it is applicable to MonoGame developers.

I’ve just released v1.0 of HLSL Tools for Visual Studio, an extension for VS2013 and VS2015 that adds IntelliSense support when editing HLSL shaders.

Specifically, HLSL Tools adds these features on top of the basic HLSL syntax highlighting that comes built-in to Visual Studio:

  • Statement completion
  • Signature help
  • Reference highlighting
  • Navigation bar
  • Navigate to
  • Live syntax and semantic errors
  • Go to definition
  • Quick info
  • Gray out code excluded by the preprocessor
  • HLSL-specific language options

Blog post here:

GitHub here:

Please try it out, and if you find it useful, let me know! If you find any bugs, or want to request a feature, you can do so on the GitHub repo:


Nice! I’ve used it since the 0.9 version, for some reason I had to uninstall and reinstall, but now it works and it’s better than before :slight_smile:

Either way, it’s awesome! Thank you so much! Very much recommended to any MonoGame Dev

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I loved this tools in v0.9.x and i still love it :slightly_smiling:

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Thanks! I’ve been using this as well! Very helpful :slight_smile:

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Does the latest version of the extension exclude VS2013 ? I can’t install the update from “extensions and updates” nor when downloading the vsix. As no mention of VS2013 is made on the extensions page nor on github, i suppose it does not support vs2013 ?
message: “this extension is not supported on the current product” (VS 2013 Ultimate)

You’re right - the latest version only supports VS2015 and VS2017. There are two reasons:

  • I don’t have space on my disk for 3 versions of Visual Studio, so I’m not easily able to test in VS2013.

  • There are some VS2015+ APIs that I want to use in HLSL Tools.

I’ve just realised that I forgot to mention the VS2015 requirement in the changelog, sorry about that. I’ll fix that.

Out of interest, why aren’t you using VS2015?

I only dropped VS2013 support because I didn’t think many people are still using VS2013, and I’m hoping to only support 2 versions at a time. But if there are enough VS2013 users, I’ll reconsider that decision.

I can understand that :wink:

Well, as part of a team with 6 friends of mine, when VS2013 was released, we bought the license of the ultimate edition togather, as we needed all the features to fullfill/match each skill of the team.

Nowadays, as Microsoft releases a new IDE every 2 years, we can’t afford the fee each time, for only a “few changes” :confused:
So we stick with the 2013 as long as we don’t see more advantages for us in the newer versions. Moreover, most of us are still under windows 7, not 8 nor 10.

Hi @tgjones
I’ve ugraded my installation to VS 2017, installed your extension. But since the upgrade from 15.3.2 to 15.3.3, the extension seems to not be activated (no display in options, and .hlsl/.fx files appear as if no language but C# is detected: semantics like TEXCOORD0, SV_POSITION etc are underlined red) whereas it is installed and appear in the extensions list.
Thanks for your advices if you have any to troubleshoot this :wink:

Hi Tim, I know this is long out of date, but i;ve been building a monogame based game editor which was inspired by your editor - how easy would it be to integrate your HLSL editor into a separate app ?