Just started checking the code changes from 10.0.15 to 10.0.16. The folder struture and names is vastly different for many projects but that is easy deal with for the most part. My main issue looks like the project files were converted to the visual studio 2017 file format.

Is there a method to upgrade the format project files in visual studio 2017? Just opening the 10.0.15 soltion file in visual studio 2017 doesn't prompt the upgrade wizard I have used in the past. Mainly trying to make the formats the same to spot changes to projects when using a file compare tool.

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You don't have to convert them over if you don't want to.  The old format works just fine with Visual Studio 2017.  The new format is cleaner, though.

You could also try this tool: https://github.com/hvanbakel/CsprojToVs2017

We've used that here with some success, but we also had to do a fair amount of manual cleanup after doing the conversion.

Generally we do as you are doing already - comparing an existing good project file with one we are converting.
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It more about being able to compare changes in future upgrades than if Visual Studio 2017 can open both format of files. Since the versions after 10.0.16 will use the new project format also. So that pushes to use the new format during this upgrade phase instead of another.

The Linked tool does look to get things at least closer than comparing the two diferent formats. Thankyou for confirming that was at least somewhat used to convert things.