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Edit Shared Project Items

Edit the msbuild for a shared project


One of the common project types when building Xamarin applications is the Shared Assets Project.

These projects are a collection of source code files and assets that are bundled into standalone projects. However, when you reference one of these projects and compile, the compiler treats these files like they are part of the project referencing them.

For a full breakdown on shared projects, please see Microsofts Shared Projects Documentation.

On disk, a shared project is structured as two distinct projects:

  • The .shproj file is the project that is reference by other compilable projects.
  • The .projitems file defines what the .shproj file will add to the compilation.

When we work with shared projects in our Visual Studio, the .projitems is not surfaced by default in the solution explorer. This makes it difficult to edit the MSBuild XML of a shared project when we need to.

Editing Shared Project Items

Included in MFractor for Visual Studio Mac is an Edit Shared Project Items solution explorer action; we can use this to open the .projitems for a shared project in the MSBuild editor.

To open the .projitems items for a shared project:

  1. Right click on a shared project in the solution explorere.
  2. Navigate to Tools.
  3. Select Edit Shared Project Items.

This will open the .projitems in the XML editor.