Is there a decent Effect file editor plugin for Visual Studio? I'm getting slightly frustrated with constantly copying and pasting from FX Composer.


4 Answers 4


NShader provides syntax highlighting for HLSL, GLSL and CG.

They also plan to extend it with the following:

  • Add syntax parsing and checking (handling braces, compilation errors... etc.). This requires the definition of parser rules under MPLex and integration in the language service.
  • Add compilation checking (using fxc...etc.).
  • Add basic render preview window

Though, judging by the check-in history, it doesn't look like those items will come any time soon.


The easiest way to get syntax highlighting/editing assistance is to:

  1. Open Up RegEdit.exe

  2. Goto "HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Microsoft/VisualStudio/10.0_Config/Languages/File Extensions/"

  3. Open up the key ".c", select "(default)" and then right click>Modify then copy the value.

  4. Then make keys for each file extension (include the period) like ".hlsl", ".fx", ".vsh", or ".psh" then select "(default)" and then right click>Modify then paste the value from ".c" and then you will have C/C++ syntax highlighting.

This is what I use, and will keep using until Visual Studio 2011 Comes Out.


Not in the current version of VS. But VS 2011 will have, see http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd547188%28v=vs.110%29.aspx#BKMK_GraphicsTools

But I guess that doesn't really help you now :-(


Haven't tried it myself but the GPU based development team at work started using it and rave about it.



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