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Preview: Tangible T4 Editor Blog

Tangible T4 Editor Blog

Last Build Date: Tue, 06 Mar 2018 00:14:25 +0000


This BLOG has MOVED!

Thu, 24 May 2012 03:37:00 +0000

This blog moved to tangible engineering’s website: Please update your links! Thank you.

tangible T4 Editor 2.0 plus modeling tools – Released!

Tue, 22 May 2012 13:52:00 +0000

We just released the second generation of our tangible T4 Editor. Version 2.0 marks a big milestone for us. We have been working on this major release almost two years. This effort was done in parallel to the many Version 1.x updates and smaller feature improvements we shipped over the period of last 3 years T4 Editor Version 1.x exists. What is new? tangible T4 Editor 2.0 is almost a 100% rewrite of the existing Version 1.0 product. It addresses nearly all feedback we got from you regarding feature wishes and change requests. Thank you for providing feedback in the past – we really read every piece of feedback and take action on it. Free Edition Users will notice these improvements and changes which result from your feedback: Support for VS2010 and VS11 (Beta) – Following the tradition from 1.x we will support two Visual Studio Versions in 2.x. tangible T4 2.x will be supported for VS2010 and VS11 (Beta). We have two separate installs. We use the real Visual Studio Code Editor: This now honors Tab Settings, Keybindings, UTF-8 Encoding, Version Control System Integration, Fonts and Colors, VS Search Dialog, Support for VS Editor Extensions like Incremental Search and Current Line Highlighting. Support for Dark Theme – Note you can customize the T4 Code Highlighting Color under Visual Studio Menu Tools->Options->Environment->Fonts & Colors ->”tangible T4 Background”. You can customize the other colors and fonts also via this Fonts & Colors dialog. New Statement-Completion within T4 Code Blocks behavior that corresponds to VS 2010 Editor behavior. Also completely new Parsers that now support newer C# and VB Language features. Also changed from generating Warnings about limitations of Free Edition to show up in Completion List instead in Error Window. Additional Directives to solve VS T4 Engine limitations: #includeForIntelliSenseOnly, #assemblyForIntelliSenseOnly, #newappdomain, #IntellisenseLanguage directives. Remaining Incompatibility with some ASP.NET MVC Builds should be fully resolved now. Additional Documentation and Training Videos which will get online in the next few days It also adds major features to the PRO-Edition: Support for VS2010 and VS11 (Beta) and RTM (later) Debugging Support - two new features: Quick Debug with Preview and Debug in separate Visual Studio instance: Allows you to run your templates in a debugger and also see the generated output while the debugging is performed. New Statement-Completion within T4 Code Blocks behavior that corresponds to VS 2010 Editor behavior. Also completely new Parsers that now support newer C# and VB Language features. Transform on Build feature was improved and allows you to transform specific templates each time you hit the Build Project Button or F5. Navigation via Class/Member-Dropdown also to classes and members from included files. You can review the complete list of features and improvements of tangible T4 Editor 2.0 plus modeling tools here. FREE Edition Licensing You can use T4 Editor Free Edition as before. There no restrictions that prevent using it in commercial or private projects. Please read the EULA for the actual use rights. PRO Edition Licensing As tangible T4 Editor 2.x targets both VS2010 and VS2011 and it is a complete rewrite, added significant features it is considered a major upgrade which is reflected by the version number. The license typically comes with 12 months updates and support builds of 2.x version for both VS2011 and VS2012. You will need a 2.x Activation Key to activate the Pro Version. You can order a license via our web shop. The “Buy” button can be found on this page:  Upgrades from 1.x PRO Versions As this new Version is a major upgrade (not update) which allows you to use the product even with VS 11, adds significant features and is a complete rewrite we need to charge you for upgrading. There are t[...]

tangible T4 Editor V1.9.65 - C and C++ Syntax highlighting added for output code & improved intellisense to VS2010 version

Thu, 21 Apr 2011 16:35:00 +0000

Today we added C and C++ syntax highlighting for output code and updated the intellisense once more. Also added globalisation for “Transform on Build” feature so this also works on non-english visual strudio editions now. Happy easter and enjoy 1.9.65!

Automatically Transform T4 Templates on Build - Comes with support for hostspecific EnvDTE accessing templates and support for multiple output files

Wed, 20 Apr 2011 17:00:00 +0000

Today released V1.9.64 of tangible T4 Editor for VS2010 – PRO EDITION which now allows you to also transform specific T4 templates in your project on build. Here is a short walktrough that shows that this feature also supports templates that access EnvDTE e.g. to create multiple output files. Let’s try the basics 1. I have installed tangible T4 Editor PRO EDITION 2. I created a C# project and added a Hello file to the project with the following content <#@ template debug="true" hostSpecific="true" #> <# this.Write(System.DateTime.Now.ToString()); #> 3. Now I can set this simple template to transform on build – so each time the project is build it is run: 4. Let’s hit “Build” and see what is reported in the output window: Now let’s do multiple output files within this auto-transform process 3. Create a second file TempalteFileManager.ttinclude. Then right click the Editor to open the Conext menu and select “Insert Code from Gallery”.     Then press the button “Search online templates” to find it. then insert its contents from the gallery. 4. Now go back to and change its contents to <#@ template debug="true" hostSpecific="true" #> <#@ include file="TemplateFileManager.ttinclude" #> <# var fm=TemplateFileManager.Create(this); for (int i=1;i<3;i++){     fm.StartNewFile("Class" + i + ".cs");     this.Write(System.DateTime.Now.ToString()); } fm.Process(true); #> 5. And run it … cool i finally got this nice multiple output thing and transform on build running Even more advanced: Generate into subdirectories and other projects: <#@ template debug="false" hostspecific="true" language="C#" #> <#@ output extension=".txt" #> <#@ include file="TemplateFileManager.CS.ttinclude" #> <# string[] fileNames = new string[] { "class4.cs", "class5.cs", "class6.cs" }; var manager = TemplateFileManager.Create(this); manager.CanOverrideExistingFile = false; manager.StartNewFile("Class1.cs"); this.WriteLine("// Class is assigned to template "); manager.StartNewFile("Class2.cs", folderName:"CodeFolder"); this.WriteLine("// Class is created in subfolder "); manager.StartNewFile("Class3.cs", projectName:"ClassLibrary"); this.WriteLine("// Class is generated in Project ClassLibrary"); foreach (string item in fileNames) {         manager.StartNewFile(item, projectName:"ClassLibrary", folderName:"SubFolder");         this.WriteLine("// Classes are created in Project ClassLibrary/SubFolder "); } manager.Process(); #> Many thanks to Björn Borgsdorf and Rene Leupold who made this thing possible! Happy Birthday Björn! [...]

tangible T4 Version 1.962 - Trusted Templates, XPSP3 Support, MVC3 Tools Update from MSFT

Sat, 16 Apr 2011 08:39:00 +0000

Hi there,

we did post V1.962 which makes using our templates nicer in that sense as the templates are trusted by default. Furthermore a couple of issues with XPSP3 and also Cache location for Roaming users where fixed boosting performance for roaming users.

In addition Microsoft shipped ASP.NET MVC3 Tools Update which fix an compatibility issue when our tools are installed. See our forum for details.

Please let the feedback coming - we are doing another spring right now, addressing the most requested features and love to hear from you how the new installer works for you.

Best wishes from the Tangible T4 Editor Team

Tim Fischer, CEO tangible engineering GmbH

T4 Template Tutorial for VS2010

Sun, 09 May 2010 09:05:00 +0000

Update 16.April 2011: You will find new ttinclude-based templates for generating multiple output files in the gallery. To use them create a file called ttinclude and insert their code as shown below. Then reference this template from some tt-file and use as described in the documentation of the template..

Learn T4 by Example

We have posted new tutorials for T4 Text-Templates in the Gallery of the tangible T4 Editor. Now we have covered everything in there from basic syntax to generating from XML, UML or DSL Diagrams.


Here is how to get there

1. Download and install the tangible T4 Editor 

2. Create a project and then select "Add Item" select a "tangible T4 Editor" basic template to create a file

3. Then right click the editor pane to bring up the context menu there select "Insert Code from Gallery"


4. In the Gallery click the Search Online Templates button to get the templates


How to enable T4 Editor V1.9 in VS2010 Experimental Instance (VS SDK Users)

Sun, 09 May 2010 08:41:00 +0000

There are two options:

a) The MSFT Way:

Alternatively MSFT says that starting the command

Reset the Visual Studio 2010 experimental instance" (you'll find this command in the start menu | All programs | Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 SDK)

should work. And i think that way it should work with VS2008 also.

For me it did not always work so i came up with one more way to do it.

b) The tangible way:

In order to enable T4 Editor V1.9 in the experimental hive you have to copy over files and folders from the following folder:




Then start VS Experimental Instance goto Extension Manager and enable the new extensions.

Version 1.9 available - enhancing Intelli-Sense and Template Gallery and 2010 specials

Sun, 02 May 2010 16:14:00 +0000

IntelliSense resolution for VS2010 in the PRO Edition have been significantly enhanced and resolves special scenarios reported by advanced users. Also, XML-Comments of files are also shown in tooltips for your own assemblies. We do not lock files and when you close your solution event the T4 Engine will release it's locks so you can rebuild. We pick then up the change once you (re-)open the tt-file.

We did now implement support for Environment Variables and Build Macros in assembly references e.g. $(ProjectDir)\$(OutDir)\MyDLL.dll for VS2010.

We did implement support for new template path resolution. If you have nested templates>b.ttinclude->c.ttinclude then in VS2010 you can use relative paths to refer from one template toanother no matter of which directory they sit in.

We did change CTRL+F also to copy the current selected item into the box (much requested).

We now support Font Settings in VS2010 and pick up the default text font you set for your Core VS Text Editor.

The Vs2008 and VS2010 T4 Editor plus modelling tools are side by side compatible.

The next release will focus on DSL-Directive processor support for your own VS2010 DSLs as they changed in VS2010 and need some tweaking to make your life easier.

Last but not least: I want to THANK YOU - our customers of FREE and PRO Edition for providing your feedback and working with us so closely. It's a pleasure to have you all and work with you!

Tim Fischer, CEO tangible engineering GmbH, Stuttgart, Germany

You can get the bits here:

For VS2008 the release is now also available.

tangible modeling tools now available for VS2010

Fri, 23 Apr 2010 07:50:00 +0000

We are proud to announce the immediate availability of tangible modeling tools for VS2010 RTM. The new combined installer will install T4 Editor and modeling tools at once.

Get it here

T4 Editor V1.701 – Update for VS 2010RTM plus Speed Enhancement

Mon, 19 Apr 2010 18:26:00 +0000

A short notice that we did improve performance again and and also did add the item templates and template gallery and adjusted them to match VS2010 RTM bits. Same is true for the #pragmas we support now.

Stay tuned for more to come.

Get it here

tangible T4 Editor for VS2010 RTM Available!

Mon, 12 Apr 2010 20:57:00 +0000

Yes it is done! tangible T4 editor now works for VS2010 RTM. It is an important milestone for us.  The free Edition is also updated. The commercial PRO Edition offering is also available with support and
12 months of updates for buyers.


We are very pleased to announce our support at the launch day and we are looking forward to many exciting new features we are adding over the next couple of weeks based on this new foundational release.

Get it now from the Visual Studio Gallery or Extension Manager

tangible T4 Editor V1.6 for VS2008 and Visual Studio 2010 RC available!

Sun, 31 Jan 2010 14:25:00 +0000

A nice “Hello back” from the development team. We have been quite busy the last weeks to do side-by-side versions of tangible T4 Editor for VS 2010 and  VS2008. Today we will ship V1.6 for VS2008.

What are the new features? Any fixes?

1. We do support T4MVC now!
We did fix a compatibility issues with the well known and loved T4MVC project. The Editor now works nicely with it.

2. We do support Code Libraries in T4 (Referenced Assemblies)

Many people have been using T4 plus C# DLL together to do code generation. When you import a C# DLL from T4 the DLL gets locked however when the T4 executed. To unlock it you must simply close the solution and reopen it. We do not lock the assembly anymore but VS still needs this little open/close play with your solution to unlock. We also now find the DLLs that are in your Output Dir (means referenced from your project that contains the T4).

      >>Remember: To Unlock DLLs locked by VS IDE
                             used in a T4 template just
                        close and reopen  the solution. <<<

Note we did redesign the whole assembly resolution and loading to make this happen.

3. Enhanced IntelliSense for C# 3.5 constructs

4. We do support the .t4 file ending better

We had a couple of issues with the .t4 ending they have all been resolved. Thanks for reporting!

5. We did a fix for users who wanted to generate “” code. This scenario crashed often before. Thanks for reporting!

6. A couple of minor enhancements and fixes to quality and speed.

You can get the band new bits here: (VS2008 and VS2010)

tangible T4 Editor (Alpha) in VS2010 Beta 2 shows up… (Updated)

Mon, 19 Oct 2009 16:29:00 +0000

Speedy development – awesome design. With no code changes betwen Beta1 and Beta 2 the tangible T4 Editor in its current alpha bits form brings light to “.tt” files in Beta 2 right from the start.

Download and install instructions(Click here)

Go get it from the extension manager to start customizing code generation and wizrards in VS2010 Beta 2 – Code Gen from the new cool Team System UML Diagrams, Entity Framework 2.0 and more…

In Visual Studio just goto Tools->Extension Manager and search for tools online. If you are an admin do not forget to click on the “Allow loading user extensions button".

Update: Here is a list of useful How-Tos from Tim Fischer

How To: Migrate T4 Text Templates from VS2008 to VS2010 Beta 2

How-To: Generate Code from Team System UML Diagrams in VS 2010 Team System Beta 2

How-To: Transform Team System UML Class Diagrams into Database Diagrams and actual ORM-Classes with T4

tangible T4 Editor now listed in Visual Studio 2010 Extension Manager

Mon, 01 Jun 2009 08:10:00 +0000

>> For Product Homepage & Support and VS2008 click here  <<

We have made a small update 1.5.02 for VS 2010 which is now available from Visual Studio Extension Manager. You can start the Extension Manager from inside VS 2010 via Tools Menu->Extension Manager.  Then Click “Online Gallery” select the T4 Editor and Download. The restart VS 2010.

Alternatively: If you want it the old way, then you can download via download button from here. Then double click the VSIX file when VS2010 is closed. Note: .VSIX is a replacement for .msi for new VS2010 Addins.


Make sure that if you run VS as Admin or under XP that you do set the following checkboxes in the Tools->Options plus “Load Extensions from my local applications folder” – if you run VS as Admin.


I think we are again the first 3rd Party tool ;-)

Have fun!


tangible T4 Editor, tangible architect and Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect

Mon, 01 Jun 2009 06:52:00 +0000

Yes we are Sparx Systems partners and we do sell their tool in addition to our modelling tools. Sparx has a great UML2.1 compliant tool that nicley integrates with Visual Studio and TFS. It can be used as a replacement of our free modelling tools. Both T4 Editor and tangible architect work with it and understand it's models. So if you need an advanced modeling tool than check out Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect. Note that it is also included in the Enterprise Edition of tangible architect.

tangible T4 Editor and tangible architect - what is what and how do they fit together?

Mon, 01 Jun 2009 06:25:00 +0000

We certainly get this question a lot.

Short answer is: These are different products with a different price point on our price list. However they share a few components such as the modeling tools and that's the reason why they can be used together efficiently.

Here is the long answer: tangible architect is a complete Software Factory. This means it consists of the same modeling tools that come with T4 Editor but also brings it's own code generation (templates) capabilities to generate Business Objects, SQL-Server Schema and a schema management component that can upgrade schemas with a changed model. It also has a Drag and Drop UI-Designer. Besides it can do reverse engineering from code. The only functional limitation is that you cannot change the existing code generators we have. However you can add additional code to the partial classes being generated by using T4 Editor. As tangible architect maintains model, code and database schema in sync automatically it is a good match for Rapid Prototyping and mid-sized projects.

tangible T4 Editor plus modeling tools is the foundation you can build your own Software Factory with or add additional code generation to a tangible architect project. Note that the code generation logic we ship with tangible architect as well as the UI-Designer and Schema-Management are not part of tangible T4 Editor plus modeling tools. You would need to write our own templates or reuse templates from the online gallery to generate business objects, db schema and write your own schema management component and eventually reverse-engineering capabilities if you want the same level of functionality for your architecture that tangible architect provides.

The T4 Editor is used when you need a different target architecture than tangible architect provides. E.g. if you want to use LINQ-to-SQL or Entity Framework you would need to use T4 Editor plus Modeling tools as tangible architect is based on SQL-Server-Meta-Data-Services as ORM, only.

Here is a 1 hour video on how our customers use tangible architect during the envisioning phase of a project for rapid prototyping and later on switch to tangible T4 Editor plus modeling tools to target a different architecture.


Video: Team-Play - tangible architect and T4 Editor in large Projects

If you are interested to trial Tangible Architect VS2008 please contact us via the contact form. We have a version ready for you.

tangible T4 Editor 1.5.02 available – better Intelli-Sense for inner classes

Sat, 23 May 2009 15:17:00 +0000

We updated both the VS2010 Beta1 and VS2008 Version to fix a known issue with intelli-sense when using inner classes. So make sure you get the latest build – also available from within VS2010 Beta 1 as an Update in the Extension Manager. Enjoy!

tangible T4 Editor for Visual Studio 2010 Beta1 available (FREE + PRO)

Mon, 18 May 2009 17:11:00 +0000

As Somasegar pointed out VS 2010 Beta 1 ships now… and we are thrilled to announce the immediate availability of tangible T4 Editor 1.5 for Visual Studio 2010 Beta1 – which was released today – so same day as VS 2010 Beta 1 did release – yes! You can install from the Visual Studio Extension Manager Alternatively: If you want it the old way, then you can download via download button from here. Then double click the VSIX file when VS2010 is closed. Note: .VSIX is a replacement for .msi for new VS2010 Addins. For more info about the features of the T4 Editor see this page. Note, that only the T4 editor is included - not the modeling tools. In VS2010 Beta 1 Microsoft uses T4 now also in Entity Framework 4.0 and in the new Modeling Support of the Architecture Edition. Note VS2010 Beta1 now brings it’s own T4 item templates – so we did not put ours inside for now. As usual you can find a sample T4 template for generating from the new VS2010 Use Case Diagrams in the build-in template gallery (VS 2010 Beta1 Section). Here are some cool screenshots and examples… 1. VS 2010 Beta 1 includes a ADO.NET EntityObject Generator 2. VS 2010 Beta 1 includes Modeling Diagrams which work with T4 3. Certainly also our template gallery works from within VS2010 Enjoy! [...]

T4 Editor for Visual Studio 2010 CTP 2 VPC and beyond… (Updated)

Sun, 10 May 2009 05:43:00 +0000

We just re-released our tangible T4 Editor only release for Visual Studio 2010 CTP2 and beyond – now this is updated with version 1.4.01 of the editor.

(image) You can download VS2010 CTP here
Then you should disable the timeout of VS2010
CTP before starting it. see here for details.

Then just start the VM copy the tangible T4 Editor For there, extract it and run setup.bat. Note, that the license agreement is still to be accepted to complete setup.bat.

Have fun. ;-)

tangible T4 Editor 1.4 – Support for ASP.NET MVC T4 Template Editing with Intelli-Sense in FREE EDITION & more

Fri, 08 May 2009 09:20:00 +0000

We are excited to announce FREE T4 Editor with Intelli-Sense for all namespaces and MVC Host used in standard MS MVC 1.0 RTM Templates. In addition V1.4 added .t4 extension support for GAT/GAX users as well as an other number of performance improvements for large projects using #include statements.

Here are the screenshots of the FREE edition editing MVC T4 Templates with Intelli-Sense for those namespaces and the MVC Host build-in.

Here is the download of the tangible T4 Editor



Learn here how to customize T4 Templates for MVC.

How to call GAX-based T4 Templates (that have a Property Directive) from standard T4 Templates

Sat, 02 May 2009 21:59:00 +0000

The property directive is one of the most discussed features of T4. By Microsoft it is implemented in the GAX Host not in the standard Visual Studio Host. This means that when you run a template by saving it with the standard mechanism (DSLTools) in Visual Studio it will fail. Although there are other good mechanism for making reusable templates users of GAX/GAT and Blueprints need to rely on this mechanism. But how can can  work with GAX  templates and call them from standard Text Templates, then? 1. You need to install GAX from here. 2. You need to get the T4GAXRunner.ttinclude template Luckily tangible published a TT-Include File that provides the necessary code. You find it in the in-product template gallery of tangible’s T4 Editor. You can read about the gallery here. The Code to use T4GAXRunner looks like this. The anonymous object encapsulates the parameters and values you want to pass as members. <#@ include file="T4GAXRunner.ttinclude" #> <#   GetT4GAXRunner().Render("GAXSample.t4",         new {ClassName="MyClass", Namespace="ns"}); #> < This would then call a typical file like this one. <#@ template language="C#" #> <#@ output extension=".cs" #> <#@ property processor="PropertyProcessor" name="ClassName" type="System.String" #> <#@ property processor="PropertyProcessor" name="Namespace" type="System.String" #> namespace <#= Namespace #> {     class <#= ClassName #> {      // more…    } } Conclusion You can run your GAX based files from a standard T4 files. Just download tangible’s T4 Editor and get the template from the gallery. [...]

T4 Text Template “How-Do-I?” Videos

Sat, 02 May 2009 16:52:00 +0000

We just posted a great series of “how do i?” videos about T4. They show the value of the in-product  Online Template Gallery and Drag and Drop features very well.


Check out the videos

- T4 Video: Generate Data Transfer Objects

- T4 Video: Custom LINQ-to-SQL Classes via Drag and Drop

- T4 Video: Image Gallery via T4

- T4 Video: Generate multiple output Files with T4

- T4 Video: Generate Stored Procedures

- T4 Video: .NET Data Services Change Tracking

- T4 Video: T4 Editor #include-Directive

- T4 Video: Generate from XML File

- T4 Video: Generate from Diagram Files (DSLs)

- T4 Video: Share templates online with the build-in online T4 Gallery

We hope this helps.

tangible modeling tools plus T4 Editor 1.1 released - tons of new features!

Wed, 29 Apr 2009 17:35:00 +0000

What is new in T4 Editor V1.1? Improved Syntax-Highlighting, Outlining & Smart Indenting, Snippet-Support (VS Snippets are used), Bracket Highlighting for T4 Blocks,   Copy Selection as HTML for Bloggers, Intelli-Prompt for Pragmas, #include support, Full support for Oleg's T4 Toolbox, Extensible Drag&Drop Magic for Xml, Xsd & Diagrams to easily create generators from models/files - just via Drag and Drop.


You can now take advantage of #include directive support. Just create a reusable template from the AddItem Dialog and add it to your project. You can then call this templates body by calling this.Template1_Render()


Have fun with structured templates.

If you want even more control about templates like multiple output files you should also install Oleg’s T4 Toolbox.

T4 Editor V1.3 – Serious Performance Improvements implemented

Mon, 27 Apr 2009 19:04:00 +0000

Hello T4 Community! We thank you for your support and feedback. We are happy to announce T4 Editor V1.3 which solves the performance issues some of you experienced in the past. This release is a performance only release. We did nothing else than performance engineering. Check it out!

tangible T4 Editor V1.2 introduces an in-product T4 Online Template Gallery

Wed, 15 Apr 2009 19:16:00 +0000

So we just announced V1.2 - but what is new in T4 Editor? We added a lot of stability and smaller features to the editor – but most importantly we added the ability to work with the Template Gallery from within product. You can now share your templates with the world by publishing them or you can just organize them for yourself.


To activate the feature just click on the editor with right mouse button and select “Insert Code from Gallery” from the Context Menu. Then select any template and press Insert Code Button to get this inserted.

Alternatively you can just drag and drop a file with a know extension e.g. an Activity Diagram from the Project Explorer onto the T4 Editor to show related Snippets. For .tt and .ttinclude files we just automatically add <@# include #> directives.

You can then also Click on “Search Online Templates” to get thee latest templates. To Create a new template use the Clone Feature on one of the existing templates. You will then be prompted for email and password. You can specify any password. We only store a hash of it in the xml file locally on your disk. The file is located in \appdata\TangibleT4Editor\DragAndDropActions.xml.

Then you can use the Edit button to enter editing mode for your template. You will need to authorize yourself again (against the xml file only). If and only if you want to share your template with the world you can do so using the Publish Template button. Then we will transfer the template on our server with the secret hash of your keywords only. So we can protect your template against other users modifying it.

Please make your indications about license etc in the corresponding files shown in edit mode in the Tab Metadata at the bottom of the screen.

We hope this feature helps to build a vital T4 community.

Have fun !
Regards, tangible engineering development team.