Enriching your Work Item Descriptions by Moving them to a HTML field

In the Visual Studio Scrum 1.0 process template (and most likely in future process templates), Microsoft is using HTML fields with rich formatting for the work item description fields.

In VS Scrum 1.0…

  • Product Backlog Items and Tasks are using Microsoft.VSTS.Common.DescriptionHtml.
  • Bugs are using Microsoft.VSTS.TCM.ReproSteps instead.

You can customize your current process template and add a new HTML description today.

To move the data from your existing Description (Reference Name: System.Description) field to a new HTML-enabled field, you can use the TfsMoveDescription command line tool:

tfsmovedescriptions.exe /collection:<URI> /teamproject:<name> /workitemtype:<name> /newfield:<name>

Quickly move descriptions from the old plain-text field to a new HTML-based field

The tool supports two scenarios:

  • Copying from a text field to an HTML field
  • Copying form an HTML field to an HTML field

Parameter checks:

  • SourceField can be PlainText or HTML
  • TargetField needs to be HTML.

Important optional parameters:

  • If you run with /preview, it will actually list you’re the affected work item IDs.
  • If you specify /copyifempty it will only do the copying if the target field is empty (otherwise it will skip that work item).

Download the tool from here:

Prerequisite: This tool requires Team Explorer to be installed.


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