TFS Power Tools Release – Work Item Templates – Introduction

Brian Harry introduced the power tools release in his blog. Work Item Templates is a new feature we've added in this latest version of the Power Tools release.

In short, Work Item Templates allows you to open a blank work item form, predefine the values of several fields, then apply that set of values at data entry time.

This is the first of a three-post series on this new feature:

  1. Introduction (This post)
  2. Bulk Apply
  3. Advanced Tips


Since pictures speak louder than words, here is what you do to get started:


This displays the Template Tool Window. Here I've docked it to be a tabbed window with the Team Explorer:


To add a new template, press: "New Template...", which displays this dialog box:


Select the project and work item type you want to create a template for, and press OK...


Then you can fill out all the fields, as desired:


Press save, and you've created a new work item template


To use it, Right-click on it, and select "Create new work item"


The new work item form is loaded, with the values pre-filled:



  • The values we specified in the template are pre-set (e.g.: Area / Iteration)
  • If the template left the values blank, then the work item rules and defaults took over (e.g.: Assigned To is set to "Gregg Boer")

There's the introduction and should give you an idea of what you can do with this.

Here are examples of templates I've created:

  • Bugs for a very specific bug bash (Metal Up Testing)
  • Product Ideas - We store all of our ideas for future releases as a particular work item type. My template sets all my values, and makes it very easy to add new ideas to the list
  • Tasks for a specific project - Setting Area, Iteration, Feature fields

I'm sure you'll think of much more creative ideas.

Comments (7)

  1. Naren's Blog says:

    Many customers have asked for templates functionality in work item to easily create workitems. Also,

  2. In the introduction post , I introduced the Work Item Templates feature in the latest power tools release.

  3. The Teams WIT Tools blog on TFS Power Tools Release – Work Item Templates – Introduction. Willy-Peter…

  4. This is the third and last post on a series of posts introducing the work item templates feature in the

  5. Mandar Raibagi says:

    Hi Gregg,

    This is  a great information.

    I have created a Work item template for bug bash which I want to share with other people.

    Is there any esy way to do the same?



  6. Eric says:

    I have created a number of work item templates (SBI type) and would like to create work items based on these templates one by one, can I do this in one step? via command line?

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