Abby – Abbreviation expader

Abby is an add-in to Microsoft Developer Studio 97. It expands abbreviations like “abb” in good old vi.
For example, “w” can be expanded to:

    while () {

Please send bug reports and suggestions to [email protected].
Latest version available at


This software is provided as-is. Don’t blame me if it trashes your
source files, your system, or your life.


  1. Copy Abby.dll to you add-ins folder of Developer Studio:
    (c:program filesdevstudiosharedideaddins
  2. Copy the *.abb files to your Windows folder (Sorry).
  3. In Developer Studio, go to the “Tools” menu and select “Customize…”.
  4. Go to the “Add-ins and Macro Files” tab (the last one). Mark the checkbox next to “Abby” as checked, and click “Close”.
  5. Developer Studio adds a new toolbar with the Abby button. You can move this button to another toolbar by pressing the Alt key while dragging the button.

To deactivate Abby, perform steps 3-4, but uncheck the checkbox next
to Abby.

To completely uninstall Abby:

  1. Exit Developer Studio.
  2. Delete Abby.dll from your Developer Studio add-ins folder.
  3. Delete the *.abb files from your Windows folder.


Type an abbreviation and press Ctrl+Shift+Space or click the Abby button. Abby will complete it for you.

To add or change the abbreviations, you will need to edit the abbreviations files. There is a separate
abbreviations file for each language:

  • – C/C++
  • – Java
  • – Visual Basic
  • – HTML
  • – Everything else

All abbreviations files should be in the Windows folder.

Abbreviations File Format

An abbreviation file contains a series of abbreviations followed by their expansions. Each abbreviations is written in a single line,
starting with “@@” and then the abbreviation itself. All the following lines (up to the next line starting with “@@”) are the expansion.For example:

while () {
for (;;) {

You can specify where the cursor will be placed after the abbreviation
is expanded by using typing “!!” in the desired position. For example:

while (!!) {

If you type “!!” in two positions, the entire text between them will
be selected after the expansion. For example:

while (!!condition!!) {


Mark Bartosik helped me solve a nasty COM reference
leak. Thanks Mark!

Download Abby – 20KB

More by Author

Must Read