Xml – Preventing referenced assembly PDB and XML files copied to output

buildpdb-filesvisual-studioxml

I have a Visual Studio 2008 C#/.NET 3.5 project with a post build task to ZIP the contents. However I'm finding that I'm also getting the referenced assemblies' .pdb (debug) and .xml (documentation) files in my output directory (and ZIP).

For example, if MyProject.csproj references YourAssembly.dll and there are YourAssembly.xml and YourAssembly.pdb files in the same directory as the DLL they will show up in my output directory (and ZIP).

I can exclude *.pdb when ZIP'ing but I cannot blanket exclude the *.xml files as I have deployment files with the same extension.

Is there a way to prevent the project from copying referenced assembly PDB and XML files?

Best Solution

I wanted to be able to add and remove referenced assemblies in my primary application while avoiding the the need to maintain which files I needed to delete or exclude.

I dug through Microsoft.Common.targets looking for something that would work and found the AllowedReferenceRelatedFileExtensions property. It defaults to .pdb; .xml so I explicitly defined it in my project file. The catch is that you need something (whitespace is not sufficient) otherwise it will still use the default.

<Project ...>
  <PropertyGroup Condition=" '$(Configuration)|$(Platform)' == 'Release|AnyCPU' ">
    ...
    <AllowedReferenceRelatedFileExtensions>
      <!-- Prevent default XML and PDB files copied to output in RELEASE. 
           Only *.allowedextension files will be included, which doesn't exist in my case.
       -->
      .allowedextension
    </AllowedReferenceRelatedFileExtensions> 
  </PropertyGroup>