SharePoint 2010 ships with a great developer story. The new Visual Studio 2010 SharePoint Developer Tools provide great experience and allow you to be productive while working on SharePoint Solutions. And while these tools ships with rich functionality they obviously don’t cover all new capabilities of SharePoint 2010. In some situations you might need to manually modify some of the SharePoint artifacts like for example when specifying dependencies for your Solution.
As you might have noticed the new Visual Studio 2010 SharePoint Developer Tools allow you to modify the contents of the Solution Manifest using the Package Designer. In order to add additional content to the Solution Manifest, open the Package Designer by double clicking on the Package in the Solution Explorer (1), click on the Manifest button (2) and open the Edit Options group (3).
Now you can append some content by editing the Solution element in the text box. Everything you enter in the text box will be merged with the generated part of the Solution Manifest.
While this is great and gives you some flexibility, it has a serious disadvantage. The text box provides you the most basic editing experience. The real gem however is hidden behind the Open in XML Editor link.
By clicking it, you can open your fragment of Solution Manifest in the XML editor, which provides you with the rich editing experience that you are used to including intellisense:
The same technique applies to editing Feature Manifests as well! Open in XML Editor – a gem worth remembering.