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In Visual Studio 2010 Essential Training, author Walt Ritscher demonstrates how to use Visual Studio 2010 Professional to develop full-featured applications targeting a variety of platforms. Starting with an overview of the integrated developer environment, the course covers working with code editors, navigating and formatting code, and deploying applications. Also included are tutorials on running performance and load tests, and debugging code. Exercise files accompany the course.
Visual Studio is a tool that I use almost daily. I have strong opinions about the best way to configure Visual Studio for the way that I work. The Settings Options dialog is a place to tweak the IDE so that it works the way that you want. The first thing that I want to show you in this movie is how to save your settings or import existing settings. To do that, I'm going to open Visual Studio and go to the Tools menu, and then I am going to scroll down to this section here: Import and Export Settings.
So here's the idea. When you get Visual Studio configured the way you want, you can come into this dialog and choose to export your selected environment settings. When I click on next, I can pick from a list of settings--by default, it chooses all the settings--and then I can click on Next. Here's where I pick the location and name of the file that contains my settings. Pretty easy to do. Just click on Finish. Success! Later I can come back into the Settings dialog and choose Import Selected Environment Settings and then click on Next.
It ask if I want to say my current settings, and I say, "No, thank you," and here I can go out and browse for the file I just saved, or--this is another important part-- I can choose from a set of default settings: General Development, Visual C Sharp development. So at any point in the future if you want to change from being a Visual Basic keystrokes to the C# keystroke you just go on here and choose Visual Basic or C# Development Settings, and that will replace default settings for those style of developers.
Now that you know a little bit on how to save and import your settings, let's go and take a look at some setting themselves. You start by going to the Tools > Options, down here at the bottom. And there are a lot of settings in here. Obviously I don't have time to cover all of them in this movies, so I'll just look at a few of them. I am going to start by looking at General Settings area. I'm going to go to Environment, and then in here is a section called Keyboard. This is where you can configure Visual Studio to use the keystrokes that you want.
What I can do is find an Action. Like here's one called File.SaveAll. When I click on, I can see that that's assigned to the Ctrl+Shift+S keyboard. I can come down here and type the new keystroke that I want. Let's say I want to do Ctrl+Alt+S. I am going to type in Ctrl+Alt+S, and it says that shortcut is currently assigned to View.ServerExplorer. If I'm okay with replacing that, I can click on this Assign button, and now whenever I choose keystroke it's going to run the File.SaveAll.
Another feature I like in here is the Project Settings. Let me go into Projects and Solutions and pick General, and here are number of settings like where do we store our projects, the default location where your templates are located. All right, one here that I like to turn on and off depending on my situation is Track Active Item in Solution Explorer. So what happens here is if I click on a Code tab in Visual Studio it'll go over to the Solution Explorer and highlight that item, without me having to go find it.
I like to have the Always show solution turned on. That means that no matter whether there I am in a single project file or a multiple project file, it always shows the parent node in the Tree View. One that I like to turn off is Save new projects when created. I am going to select this one, and show you what that one does. Now I can go to File > New > Project, and when I create my project--like this WPFapplication-- I can edit some code in here, make some changes-- let me to make a change to Width here-- and then when I go to close the solution, it actually hasn't saved it in a permanent location.
Visual Studio is doing all the changes I make in a temporary location, and at this point it says, "Would you like to throw out this temporary project you have created." So if I say Discard, it tosses out this trial run. So it's a quick way to try out some ideas without permanently saving the project to my hard drive. Go back. I'll show you one more set of tools. Back into the Tools > Options, and then we are going to Build and Run. Now, what I like in this dialog is this Before Building. Building means to compile your application.
I will have a whole chapter on building and the details of what goes on in that process, but essentially I can choose what happens if I got a file that I've opened, and I have made some changes, and I am ready to compile the application-- do you want it to automatically save the changes? That's what this section means. Or would I like it to prompt me to save changes like this. Now, I'll create a brand-new project. Again, I'll choose the defaults, and then I see this prompt me, "Would you like to save the changes to the following items?" There are details on all these sections in other movies in this chapter.
Remember to use Export Setting once you get Visual Studio configured the way you want. That way you won't have to spend a lot of time reconfiguring your environment if your hard drive crashes or you get a new computer. That concludes our grand tour of the Visual Studio developer environment. As you continue in this course, you'll discover more about certain sections of the IDE, but the chapter goal was to give you a good overview of the general layout and tools available inside Visual Studio.
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