Add Arduino Compatible IDE's To The Applications List

by Visual Micro 21. January 2019 05:06

It is possible to add an Applications.txt file containing additional IDE entries in the Visual Micro Applications list.

The default "My Visual Micro" location is "MyDocuments\Visual Micro". Please note that it is possible to override this location in "Tools>Options>Visual Micro"

An Applications.txt file can be placed in "[My Visual Micro]\Micro Platforms"

Copy the following properties into an Applications.txt located in the "[My Visual Micro]\Micro Platforms" folder.

The items in bold must be changed for each application. The TestIDE. ide prefix to EVERY key must be changed to a new value for each board.

Example: Paste all of the keys below into a new Applications.txt. The values of keys in the first section. Blank lines are ignored. # can be used to "comment" an entire line. IDE 1.8
TestIDE.ide.hint=Another IDE for Visual Micro
TestIDE.ide.location.ide.winreg=Test IDE Application Path
TestIDE.ide.location.sketchbook.winreg=Arduino Default Sketchbook


NB: The .winreg keys represent the name of a key in the windows registry. The registry keys are created below "HKCU\Software\Visual Micro\Locations"

NB: The sketchbook.winreg can optionally be changed to provide a different sketch book folder storage key.

Arduino - Boards Manager - FAQ

by Visual Micro 8. April 2015 08:38

How is the boards list generated?

Arduino maintains the list and updates it every time a new core or tool or board definition is updated.

You can also add your own urls for additional (non-arduino) hardware in the Visual Micro "Configure Ide Locations" Window

Can I add my own url with my own boards list?

At the moment, the IDE handles one URL only, and that's written into the code. This is a known limitation. However, if you know your way through the code, you can change that URL with another one.

I can't delete one of the cores!

Built-in cores cannot be deleted: they are part of the minimum setup provided by the IDE. However, if the built-in version is giving you troubles and a newer (or an older) one would solve your issue, you can upgrade (or even downgrade) a core, choosing one of the available versions

Where are installed cores located?

  • On Windows: %APPDATA%\Arduino15\packages\

Arduino - Library Manager FAQ

by Visual Micro 8. April 2015 08:35
How is the library list generated?

From a list of public git repos, a job (a small program that runs regularly) fetches every tag, verifies library files and push the updated list onto the Arduino download server. Only valid libraries and their tags are published. A library is not valid when:

The job runs every hour. If a new library has been released, you can expect it to be listed within the hour.

How can I add my library to Library Manager?

  • Ensure your library is complaint with 1.5 format
  • Tag it and push the tag, or create a release with github "releases"
  • Open an issue on Arduino's github, specifying the git repo (or github url) from where to download your library

How can I publish a new release once my library is in the list?

Just tag your library once more and push the new tag, or create a new release with github "releases". Our job will eventually fetch and publish your new release.

How can I delete a library?

Open your sketchbook "libraries" folder with your OS file explorer (win: explorer, mac: finder, linux: nautilus, kfiles...) and delete the folder containing your library.


No, we don't have a delete button. Libraries managed by the Library Manager are mixed with those you've manually installed, maybe libraries you've written: making a mistake and deleting the wrong library is too easy. That's why trash bins exist. Since the IDE has no knowledge of your trash bin, we didn't implement a "delete" button.


Can I add my own url with my own library list?

At the moment, the IDE handles one URL only, and that's written into the code (dev jargon: it's hardcoded). This is a known limitation. However, if you know your way through the code, you can change that URL with another one.

When I install a library that I know depends on another library, will this other library be installed as well?

No, at the moment library dependencies are ignored. Current Library Manager aims at simplifying your life when dealing with installing a single library. If a library depends on another one, you'll have to install both.

Can I install multiple versions of one library and use the proper one in my sketches?

Library Manager installs libraries into your sketchbook "libraries" folder. Since you cannot create two folders with the same name, we can't install two versions of the same library. However, you can switch between library versions, by selecting the appropriate one from the version dropdown that pops up on Library Manager when more than one version is available.



How to configure Arduino for a specific Visual Studio version

by Visual Micro 19. August 2013 14:24

The Visual Micro is installer caters for Visual Studio 2008, 2010, 2012 and Atmel Studio.

It is quite common to see different versions of Visual Studio installed on the same computer, therefore it is useful to have the ability to elect which version of Visual Studio or Atmel Studio will be used for Arduino.

  • Click "Tools>Addin Manager" and you will see Visual Micro in the list along with 3 checkboxes.
  • Un-check all the checkboxes and re-start the ide to disable Visual Micro.
  • To re-enable Visual Micro the two left most checkboxes must be checked, the third checkbox is unimportant.

tip: Visual Micro user interface menus or tool bar controls might sometimes be missing after re-enabling the addin-in. In which case please click "Tools>Reset User Interface" (in ver 1308.18+). If problems persist then please follow this guide and report the problem to the forum. Thanks!




Usage Disclaimer

by Visual Micro 19. April 2013 16:34




How to disable auto update check for new plugin versions

by Visual Micro 30. December 2012 10:33

As of 30th Dec 2012 the plugin checks for updates in the background. Your private information is not transmitted during the update check however you can disable the feature via "Tools>Options>Visual Micro>System"

A guide to installing new non-arduino hardware or custom arduino cores

by Visual Micro 22. September 2012 17:35

A guide to installing new non-arduino hardware or custom arduino cores


Arduino allows new non-arduino hardware to be installed to the arduino ex folder or to the arduino sketchbook folder.

Adding new hardware cores and libraries to your "Sketch Book Folder" is probably the best way to work because it means that you don't have to re-install the new hardware each time you upgrade to a new Arduino IDE.

For the purposes of this demonstration we are using "avr-netino". The image below shows a successful compile of the 4 example projects in the on google code.

I am currently running Visual Studio and arduino 1.0.1, but I think it will work the same for arduino 1.0. 

These are the steps I made to install this new hardware and associated files.


The zip contains 3 folders. Hardware, Libraries and Examples


1) Copy the contents of the "Hardware" folder to your "[Sketch Book Folder]\Hardware" folder. 
Nb: Create the Hardware folder if it does not exist

2) Copy the contents of the "Libraries" folder to "[Sketch Book Folder]\Libraries"
Nb: Create the Libraries folder if it does not exist.

3) Copy the "avr-netino" folder from the "examples" in the zip to the sketch book folder.

The location of your sketch book folder can be found in the Arduino ide "File>Preferences" window or by selecting "File>Open Arduino File" in Visual Studio. My sketch book folder is "My Documents\Arduino"

Re-start Visual Studio and you should see the new hardware on the boards list. Both Visual Studio and Arduino should compile correctly with this configuration.

How to configure Arduino syntax "color coding" in Visual Studio

by Visual Micro 9. October 2011 06:41

these instructions are not required for Atmel Studio versions, Atmel syntax color configuration is automatic during install of visual micro. If you are using Atmel Studio and color syntax or intellisense is not working then run the install again, click uninstall then click install again

1. Open the Visual Studio Tools>Options

2. Navigate to Text Editor>File Extensions

3. Add the INO and PDE extensions setting the Editor to "Microsoft Visual C++" for each

4. Click OK and re-open any open sketch code files

This is what you should see once you have made the changes


Arduino for Visual Studio Basic Setup

by Visual Micro 4. October 2011 06:29

April 2014: Please see our new documentation for a better install and first time user guide

existing user? recent fixes and additions

After installing Visual Micro you will be prompted to enter the location of an Ide, such as the Arduino 1.5.x Ide. This is all there is to setting up Visual Micro.

The Ide location(s) can be re-configured at anytime by clicking "tools>options>visual micro" or by clicking "<Configuration Manager>" in the tool bar applications list. Ide re-start is not required when changing these locations. 

There is also a large number of optional configuration properties described in the wiki.

First Time User Guide

  • Install the arduino software from
  • Close all Ide's!!
  • Install the Visual Micro software
  • Run the Visual or Atmel Studio ide, you will be prompted to enter the location of the arduino ide
  • tip: in the arduino location prompt there is a link to download Arduino if it is not already installed
  • Register .ino (and .pde) files for color coding by following this article (not required for Atmel Studio versions)
  • Got a problem with the install? Please join the forum we want to help. Thanks

How to set the Arduino ide location

With so many Arduino Ide variations it makes more sense to allow for multiple Ide apps to be support in a single Visual Studio or Atmel Studio instance. The "Application Manager" provides a simple tool to specify the locations of the various Arduino Ide's that are installed on your computer.

tip: The 1.0.x application can also be used for arduino versions older than 1.0

One way to set ide application locations is by using the "Application Ide Locations" property under "tools>options>visual micro" shown below

How to configure the arduino (or other) ide location

Another options is to use the <Configuration Manager> accessed via the Applications toolbar list 

How to configure the arduino (or other) ide location via the toolbar

The remainer of this document explains a few basics and how to test your install, create or open and then compile and upload...

When testing a new installation of the Arduino IDE for Visual Studio, to avoid confusion, the Arduino/Sketch commands (such as file>new>sketch project) should be used in preference to standard visual studio commands.

If you are new to both Arduino and to Visual Studio then you MUST use the Arduino commands because you won't know the Arduino rules. You will see that the Arduino commands have an Arduino icon next to them.

The following are a few ways to test your Arduino for Visual Studio installation (similar to getting started guide)

Method A - Create new arduino sketch (automatic mode)
Open visual studio. From the "File>New" menu select "Arduino project". When prompted, enter the name of a new arduino sketch such as "MyFirstSketch". Click OK
You should see a new arduino project is created containing an arduino sketch called MyFirstSketch.pde
Add your own arduino code to the void loop() {}
Select an arduino board from the list and click "Build Solution" from the "Project" menu

You should see a successful arduino compile in the "Sketch Build" output window

Tip: The same functionality is available from the Visual Studio "Standard" tool bar and also the "Solution Explorer" context menu

Method B - Open an existing sketch (automatic mode)

In visual studio select "File>Open" then click "Arduino Project". You will be presented with an "Open File" window which will display your arduino sketch folder. Select a sketch and click OK.

A project will be automatically created for the sketch and the arduino source codes automatically added to the project.

Add your own arduino code to the void loop() {}

Select an arduino board from the drop down list of boards and click "Build" solution from the "Project" menu

You should see a successful arduino compile in the "Sketch Build" output window

Method C - Open an existing sketch (semi automatic mode)

In Visual studio selected "File>Open>File". Navigate to an arduino sketch folder and select a .pde file. Click OK

You will be asked if you would like to Open or Create a project for the arduino sketch. Click OK.

Add your own arduino code to the void loop() {}

Select an arduino board from the drop down list of boards and click "Build" solution from the "Project" menu

You should see a successful arduino compile in the "Sketch Build" output window

Method D - Creation of a new arduino project (manual mode)

In Visual Studio create a new empty C++ project called "MySketch3" in a folder called "MySketch3"

Add a new text file to the project and call it "MySketch3.pde"

Add your own arduino code to the void loop() {}

Select an arduino board from the boards list

Select an arduino board from the drop down list of boards and click "Build" solution from the "Project" menu

You should see a successful arduino compile in the "Sketch Build" output window

This product is not "associated to" or "endorsed by" Arduino. The design of the sketch compiler and uploader is directly based on the arduino source code

How to reset the arduino visual studio interface

by Visual Micro 1. October 2011 19:11

October 2015 - To uninstall the "Extension" version of Visual Micro, open the Ide and click "Tools>Extensions & Updates". Visual Micro can be uninstalled from the list then re-start the Ide.

The following applies to the older version of Visual Micro which is now obsolete ...

NOTE: In Visual Micro versions 1308.18+ click "Tools>Visual Micro>Reset User Interface" instead of following this guide 

The old way or for uninstall ...

After installation sometimes some Visual Micro menu commands do not appear or Visual Micro menu /buttons commands appear multiple times. In this case you should close Visual Studio and re-start after ensuring that all "devenv.exe" processes have been terminated using "Windows Task Manager".

If the problem persists you can force the addin to repeat the Visual Studio procedure.

This is done by performing a reset on the addin/plugin as described below. A "reset" removes all Visual Micro commands from Visual Studio so that after a clean start all the commands are setup in the correct way. If you have uninstalled the addin then after the re-start the commands will not re-appear.

Visual Studio (devenv.exe) provides a standard '/resetaddin' addin switch that can be used to easily reset or remove any addin. You will see in the example below that the /resetaddin switch required a key to identify the addin that is to be reset. The Visual Micro key is 'Visual.Micro.Visual.Studio.Arduino.Helper'

To reset the arduino addin, run visual studio (devenv.exe) with the same paramaters as your "Visual Studio" application short cut passing the following /resetaddin command.

[path to devenv.exe] /resetaddin Visual.Micro.Visual.Studio.Arduino.Helper

Atmel Studio [path to atmelstudio.exe] /resetaddin Visual.Micro.Visual.Studio.Arduino.Helper

If the above fails then please follow the guide below:-

Depending on your security settings you might need to run Visual Studio as Administrator to either install or reset the arduino addin

  • Close all IDE instances.
  • Open a Visual Studio .NET Command Prompt ("Run...", "Programs", "Visual Studio .NET", "Visual Studio .NET Tools", "Visual Studio .NET Command Prompt")
  • Enter "devenv.exe /resetaddin Visual.Micro.Visual.Studio.Arduino.Helper" (without the quotes) and press ENTER
  • Close all IDE instances.
  • NB: Microsoft have changed visual studio. The command  prompt might now be available in the microsoft power tools extension 

    If you have uninstalled the addin then a reset will clean the Visual Studio interface removing customisations the addin makes during setup. After uninstall only the two arduino toolbars will remain which can be manually removed from Visual Studio using each tool bars' the right click context menu.

    What does it mean when Visual Studio disables an addin

    by Visual Micro 11. April 2010 18:56

    If Visual Studio 2005/2008 encounters a problem with an addin it will disable it by altering the addin xml.

    To enable the addin again ensure the addin xml is in the "\document\visual studio x\addin\" folder, as per the installtion guide, and ensure the following settings are in the .addin xml




    Quick Start Up and Running With Arduino for Visual Studio

    by Visual Micro 11. April 2010 12:00



    Build an arduino avr-gcc program using visual studio (advanced)

    by Visual Micro 11. April 2010 12:00

    2011 new release upgrades this functionality providing 100% compatible arduino compile at the click of a button. An arduino boards list makes switching boards very easy

    The initial release of the visual micro addin for visual studio is designed for arduino however it should be possible to use the system to program normal avr devices using visual studio. This is entirely untested but at the very leat this software will provide all the information and tools you need to adapt an avr solution.

    Ignoring the arduino boards and library system you will find everything you need to adapt your own Visual Studio avr solution. AVR Intellisense, compilation, upload and much more