Razor Generator

This is a Custom Tool for Visual Studio that allows processing Razor files at design time instead of runtime, allowing them to be built into an assembly for simpler reuse and distribution.

Note that this tool currently only supports C#. VB support could probably be done if someone wants to help out with it!

Installation instructions

It’s on the VS extension gallery, so install it from there. It’s called “Razor Generator” (not to be confused with “Razor Single File Generator for MVC”).

Generator Types

  • MvcHelper: Creates a static type that is best suited for writing Mvc specific helper methods.
  • MvcView: Create a WebViewPage which allows the use of precompiled MVC views.
  • WebPage: Creates a WebPage type that can be used as WebPages Application Part (such as _Admin and RazorDebugger).
  • WebPagesHelper: Creates a HelperPage type that is suited for precompiling and distributing WebPages helper.
  • Template: Generator based on T4 preprocessed template.

Usage in an MVC app

  • Install the 'RazorGenerator.Mvc' package, which registers a special view engine
  • Go to an MVC Razor view's property and set the Custom tool to RazorGenerator
  • Optionally specify a value for Custom Tool Namespace to specify a namespace for the generated file. The project namespace is used by default.
  • Optionally specify one of the generators in the first line of your Razor file. A generator declaration line looks like this: @* Generator: MvcHelper *@ . If you don't specify this, a generator is picked based on convention (e.g. files under Views are treated as MvcViews)
  • You'll see a generated .cs file under the .cshtml file, which will be used at runtime instead of the .cshtml file
  • You can also go to the nuget Package Manager Console and run 'Enable-RazorGenerator' to enable the Custom Tool on all the views.
  • And to cause all the views to be regenerated, go to the nuget Package Manager Console and run 'Redo-RazorGenerator'. This is useful when you update the generator package and it needs to generate different code.

Usage in a View Library

If you need to create a separate library for your precompiled MVC views, the best approach is to actually create an MVC project for that library, instead of a library project. You'll never actually run it as an Mvc app, but the fact that it comes with the right set of config files allows intellisense and other things to work a lot better than in a library project.

You can then add a reference to that 'MVC View project' from your real MVC app.

And note that you need to install the 'RazorGenerator.Mvc' package into the library, not the main MVC app.

See https://github.com/davidebbo/MvcApplicationRazorGeneratorSeparateLibrary for a sample.

Special Razor directives

These directives go at the top of the cshtml file.

disabling line pragmas

@* DisableLinePragmas: true *@

Using absolute paths in line pragmas instead of relative

@* GenerateAbsolutePathLinePragmas: true *@




  • Version 1.5 of the VSIX adds support for Razor 2.0 syntax. It auto detects whether it should use 1.0 or 2.0 based on the assembly being referenced by the project.


  • Version 1.4 of RazorGenerator.Mvc issue with multiple registered view engines (http://razorgenerator.codeplex.com/workitem/55), adds support for overriding the layout page when returning ViewResults and fixes a bug in UsePhysicalViewsIfNewer


  • Version 1.2.3 of the VSIX fixes MVC4 issue (http://razorgenerator.codeplex.com/workitem/26)
  • Version 1.3.1 of RazorGenerator.Testing fixes an issue with RenderAsHtml not flowing the context

1.2 (8/29/2011)

  • Renamed all packages to be RazorGenerator.*
  • Fix issue http://razorgenerator.codeplex.com/workitem/22 (Line pragmas should not use absolute paths)

1.1.2 (8/4/2011)

1.1.1 (7/11/2011)

1.1 (7/7/2011)

  • The generator now finds imported namespaces defined in web.config
  • Add support for project level directives in a razorgenerator.directives file

1.0.1 (6/21/2011)

  • Fix generated line pragmas


  • Original release

Related blog posts:

Last edited Apr 26, 2013 at 5:28 AM by davidebbo, version 20