How To Enable Mouse Forward/Back Button Navigation for VB.NET, F# and C++ projects in Visual Studio 2010 SP 1

By January 30, 2013Uncategorized

As a C# developer, I have taken for granted the convenience of being able to navigate to a definition and then click the back button on my mouse to return to where I navigated from. When I started working on a VB.NET project in VS 2010, the mouse button no longer worked the same way. After searching the web, I was shocked to learn that this was a C# feature only, and that VB.NET, F#, and C++ do not support it! The good news is that there is an addin that can restore this functionality, but there is a catch, which is why I’m writing this post.

If you search for "mouse navigation" in the Visual Studio gallery, you will find an extension called "Forward/Backward code navigation with the mouse thumb buttons." However, if you download this addin and copy the pre-built files into your addins directory, Visual Studio will throw an error on startup and disable the addin. Fortunately, the solution is a simple one. Open the code for the 2010 version of the plugin and build it (Release profile recommended but not required), then copy the output assembly from the bin/release directory along with the .addin file to %USERPROFILE%\Documents\Visual Studio 2010\Addins. Once you restart Visual Studio, the addin will load without issues and you will have support for the mouse navigation buttons in VB.NET, F#, and C++ projects.

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