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This CLI tool aims to streamline some repetitive tasks around Visual Studio projects and solutions, including renaming multiple projects, extracting NuGet package versions into properties, and many more.

Note: Although some commands might work with the legacy project file format, the tool is meant for SDK-style project files.


To install please as a global dotnet tool:

dotnet tool install -g MorganStanley.DotNetPlease

Alternatively, you can just clone the repo and run the build-and-install.ps1 script.

If you install dotnet tools to a custom folder, either pass the folder to the script, or create an environment variable called DotNetToolsPath.

Then to get the list of available commands:

please --help


Open a command prompt, navigate to your solution's root directory, and start asking things. Commands are normally kebab-cased, but the dashes can be replaced with spaces to make them more readable.

To get a complete list of options and arguments for each command, run

please --help


please <command> --help


Most commands have a --dry-run option to just list what the command would do, but we strongly advise to back up/commit your code before pleasing your projects.


This tool mostly works on project and solution files. To specify which files to work on, use the --workspace option. This option accepts any of the following:

Value Behavior
(empty) Discover the projects automatically
Single solution file (.sln) Work with projects in the solution
Single project file (.csproj, .fsproj, etc.) Work with a single project
Globbing pattern Work with multiple project and solution files

When the workspace is not provided, please will try the following, in this order:

  • A standalone solution file in the working directory or any of its parent directories
  • A standalone project file in the working directory or any of its parent directories
  • Searhc for all project files in the working directory, recursively.

Consolidate NuGet packages

Basic usage

Consolidate all NuGet package references in the solution to the highest version used:

please consolidate packages

Limit the command to specific packages:

please consolidate packages --package Microsoft.Extensions.*

Set a specific version number (must be used with --package):

please consolidate packages --package Microsoft.Extensions.* --version 3.1.3

Keeping package versions in a central .props file

When working with large solutions with lots of projects, some teams choose to keep their dependencies in a separate file (let's say Dependencies.props), typically imported in a Directory.Build.props file:




    <Import Project="Dependencies.props" />

In the project file:

    <PackageReference Include="xunit" Version="$(xunitVersion)" />

Use please to update all package references and the .props file:

please consolidate packages --props Dependencies.props

please will add the missing properties to your .props file and replace package versions with property names in the project files. You can still update packages using NuGet CLI or Visual Studio. When you're done, just run the command again and your references will be consistent.

In case you want to back out from using a .props file, use the --explicit option to replace the property names with actual versions:

please consolidate packages --explicit

Manage package versions centrally

A set of commands are continually added to support centrally managed NuGet package versions (see

Move explicit versions to a central file

Use the pull-package-versions command to pull explicit package versions from projects into a central packages file.

please pull package versions Dependencies.props

This command will

  1. scan all the projects in the solution, extract and remove any explicit Version attributes from PackageReference items
  2. update the specified .props file, add the missing PackageVersion items with the extracted versions.

When the file name is omitted, dotnet-please will try to find a Directory.Packages.props file in the directory tree (to conform with the original NuGet proposal).

It is also possible to update the existing PackageVersion items if some projects reference newer versions:

please pull package versions --update

You can also move back the version attributes to the project files:

please restore package versions

Move/rename projects

To rename or move a project while fixing the solution file and any project references:

please move project Old/Path/OldProjectName.csproj New/Path/NewProjectName.csproj

To just rename a project (by renaming the .csproj file and its directory):

please move project OldProjectName NewProjectName

You can also rename projects in bulk (eg. when trying to change the root namespace of your 100-project solution):

please change namespace Old.Namespace New.Namespace

Fix broken project references

Having a hard time fixing a broken solution after moving projects manually?

please fix project references

The tool will try to fix any broken reference by looking for a project with the same file name (but at a different relative path), and remove the reference if that fails.

Clean up leftover files and projects

To remove any code files that were explicitly excluded with a <Complile Remove="..."/> item:

please cleanup project files

This will remove the file AND the Compile item.

Use the --allow-globs option to remove files that were excluded with a globbing pattern.

To list projects that are not included in the solution, run:

please find stray projects

Convert package and assembly references to project references

This is useful when debugging and editing a library from within the consuming project. The below command will find any PackageReference and Reference items that refer to a project in Utility.sln and replace them with a ProjectReference. It will also add the referenced projects to the current solution.

please expand references Path/To/Utility.sln

Remove junk from the solution directory

Delete those magic folders after a table-flipping Visual Studio experience:

please remove junk --bin --suo --testStore

(or just use those options individually)

Change the PATH variable

To quickly append the working directory to the user's PATH variable, run

please add to path

Conversely, you can remove the working directory from PATH:

please remove from path

You can also specify the directory to add or remove, relative to the working directory:

please add to path some/relative/path

Evaluate MSBuild properties

This can be useful when troubleshooting build errors. To load, evaluate and list all the properties
in a project file with their unevaluated and evaluated values:

please evaluate props


CLI tool aims to streamline some repetitive tasks around Visual Studio projects and solutions



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