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Friday, February 24, 1984

“Go To Definition” in Visual Studio only brings up the Metadata

Category: Programming Date: Tuesday, March 24, 2015

When you do a go to definition in Visual Studio then there are two possible cases which might occur

  1. You are doing go to definition on a class / function / property whose source code is available with you
  2. You are doing go to definition on a class / function / property whose source code is not available with you
  3. You are doing a go to definition on a namespsce

In the first case go to definition will take you to the source code of the item on which you are doing a go to definition.  It does not matter if you have the source code file in the same project or in the project which you are referring to, it will show you the source code.

In the second case go to definition will show you the meta data of the item on which you are doing a go to definition. Because it does not have the source code available with it so it will just show you the meta data file which will have signatures of all the items. This case will happen when you are doing a go to definition on the classes which are a part of the .net framework or on the code which you are getting by referencing the dll’s instead of referencing the project.

In the third case go to definition will just give you an error message saying that it cannot navigate to the selected item.

Therefore in case you want to get the maximum out of the go to definition option in visual studio you should use it to navigation between your source code.

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