When Visual Basic .NET first appeared, it was missing many features that developers had found extremely useful in Visual Basic 6. Power Packs were invented to provide objects and tools to fill the need for these missing tools and to make programming easier and more productive in general.
This appendix describes Visual Basic Power Packs provided by Microsoft and others that you make find useful.
It also briefly describes some older Power Packs that were available from the GotDotNet web site. Although these were written in an older version of Visual Basic .NET, they may still be useful, at least as inspiration for tools you may want to build.
Finally, this appendix explains where you can find the Power Toys Pack Installer, a tool that lets you view, download, and install the latest Power Toys for Visual Studio.
Originally Microsoft provided its Power Packs as a download but in Visual Basic 2010 they are included within Visual Basic. That doesn't mean you can instantly use them, however. By default, the Power Pack is installed but its tools are not included in new Visual Basic projects.
To use these tools, start a new project, open Solution Explorer, and double-click My Project to open the project property pages. On the References tab, click the Add button and add a reference to Microsoft.VisualBasic.PowerPacks.vs. This allows you to use the tools in your code and places the tools on the Windows Forms Designer's Toolbox with the ...