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Taking a tour of the Integrated Developer Environment (IDE)

From: Visual Studio 2010 Essential Training

Video: Taking a tour of the Integrated Developer Environment (IDE)

I spend a good portion of my day inside Visual Studio when I am working on a project. I need to be able to control the layout of my windows, and get the screens arranged the way I prefer. During this movie, I'll show you how to work with the windows inside Visual Studio, and I'll share some layout tips I've learned over the years. I am inside Visual Studio, and I have opened this TourIDE solution. That solution contains one project called ConsoleApplication1. The first thing I want to show you is how to open a Code Editor window.

Taking a tour of the Integrated Developer Environment (IDE)

I spend a good portion of my day inside Visual Studio when I am working on a project. I need to be able to control the layout of my windows, and get the screens arranged the way I prefer. During this movie, I'll show you how to work with the windows inside Visual Studio, and I'll share some layout tips I've learned over the years. I am inside Visual Studio, and I have opened this TourIDE solution. That solution contains one project called ConsoleApplication1. The first thing I want to show you is how to open a Code Editor window.

I have two code files inside this project: Book.cs and Program.cs. If I double-click on Book.cs in Solution Explorer, you'll see that it loads into the center portion of the screen, and it places a tab across the top of the window. If I double-click on the Program.cs file, you'll see that another tab is added in the same location. It's very easy to close these tabs. There is an X button on each of the tabs. Click on the X button to close it.

To reopen it, I need to go back to Solution Explorer and double-click on Program.cs. Occasionally, you'll end up with many Code Editor files open. In that case, they may not all fit across the top of this area. Microsoft provides a dropdown window here that shows all of the available tabs. If you can't see one of your tabs, be sure and explore this area, to see of it's there. Of course, in this application, I've only got two tabs open, so I don't need to worry about that. Visual Studio supports a very flexible layout engine for their Windows.

I can take this Program tab, and I can pull it out into the center of my viewing area. Now I've got an independent window floating there. And of course, I can size this window if necessary. I am on a Windows 7 machine, so if I take this window and I slide it over to the edge of the monitor, it will automatically dock that to the edge of the window. Now, keep in mind this is a Windows 7 feature, not a Visual Studio feature. So if I let go, you see that window is now docked to the side of my monitor.

If you're fortunate enough to have a multi-monitor machine, you can take this and slide it off onto the other monitor, and then you can dock it over on the other monitor. It's hard to show docking on a second monitor though in a movie, so take my word for it, that will work. Now I want to get this tab back where it was before. There is a couple of ways that I can get there. One thing I can do is I can double-click on this header. When I double-click on the header, it maximizes the view of this code window.

Watch, double-click, and now I have the entire screen taken up with that window. That's not what I wanted. I wanted to put it back where it was originally. Here is the tip I learned a while back: you hold down the Ctrl key, and then you double-click on the header. And there it is, back in its original position. The other way to get it back is to use this visualizer that's sitting in the center of the screen. Do you see it there? There is this floating icon that looks like it has five work areas.

That represents the five different places that I can put this window as I am dragging it around the screen. Look at the tip of my mouse. When my tip of the mouse enters this area, you'll see a blue highlight show up in the background that says now if I let go of this mouse at this point, it's going to put that tab on that section of the screen, which is not exactly what I wanted. I want to have it go back where it was originally. So, I'll come down here and take a look at my other choices.

Split the screen vertically, and put it either on the left or the right, put it on the bottom half of the screen, or move here to this center item, and that places it back in the original position. Again, I am going to let go when my mouse is over that center point. Now I can do the same thing with other windows. Look over here in the Solution Explorer. You see in the bottom of the window here--there are three tabs. Now your machine may look slightly different than this. On my machine, I have Solution Explorer, a Team Explorer, and Class View down here. I can take one of these tabs and pull it out, just like I showed you for the code windows.

I can maximize it and dock it to the left and the right. If I want to put it back in this location or let's say I want to put it in another location like down here in this Properties section, I just drag, keep my eye on those visualizers, and I am going to go down here and use the center icon, and now I am going to add it as a second tab to the Properties area. Okay, Class View and Properties. Pull it out, move out here, and I can put it back. Well, let me show you one more tip. You'd likely to make a messier screen at some point and can't figure how to get something back where it belongs.

Luckily for you and for me, there is a Reset switch for these embarrassing moments. The simplest way to handle this is to just go up to the Window menu and choose Reset Window Layout. This sets it back to the default settings. So now you can see the Class view is back over here. It also added another tab that we didn't see originally. The default views have this thing called the Start Page open right there. I'll close the Start Page tab.

There is another feature on the Layout windows I'd like to show you now. It's called the Auto Hide feature. If you look on the left side of my screen, you'll see that it says Toolbox and Server Explorer. Those are windows that are automatically hid, or shrunk down to a very small size, and placed on the left or right side of the window. If I move my mouse over one of them, say the Server Explorer, I can see the window temporarily. And if I move my mouse away from the edge, it will go back to where it was.

It's showing me that there is a window I can look at, but it's not keeping it permanently in my work area. If I want to dock it to the side of the window, I need to click on this Auto Hide button. You'll also note that over here in the Class view and in the Properties view, there is an Auto Hide button. These ones are showing, but if I where to click on those Auto Hide buttons, it would collapse those down to the right edge of the screen. Next, I want to show you, what's called the Full Screen mode. Sometimes, I just want to remove all of the windows and just concentrate on one window at a time.

To accomplish that, I go to View > Full Screen. I don't know if you saw it, but all my toolbars across the top also disappeared. All I have now is the menu. I work in my code for a while, and when I am done with the Full Screen view, I click here on this icon to return back to the original view. Currently, I have about six or seven windows available for me to work with. There are other windows that are not shown by default.

You can find more about these windows in the View menu. For instance, there is the task list and the Output window. There is also the section called Other Windows, which contains 12 or 15 other windows. Also, when you're debugging an application, you'll find some extra windows in the Debug menu. I'll talk more about this in the debugging chapter. Right now, you can see I have the Breakpoints, the Output, and the Immediate window available. For my last tip in this movie, let's look at what happened when you do a Ctrl+Tab keystroke.

I am going to hold down the Ctrl key, and then I am going to tap the Tab key without letting go of the Ctrl key, like this--tapping the Tab key. So basically, all of the files that I currently have opened in the editor are listed in the Active Files section, and all of the windows I have currently opened, are available over here--the Tool windows. So you can see that if I go to Server Explorer by clicking here, my focus will move over to the Server Explorer. I have been using Visual Studio for a long time.

Each version gives me some new IDE feature I can't live without. I think my favorite new feature in this release is probably the multi-monitor support. I have three monitors on my Desktop, and this feature is invaluable, but there are a lot of other good features for you to find. Have fun exploring, and let me know which one you think is your favorite.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Visual Studio 2010 Essential Training
Visual Studio 2010 Essential Training

86 video lessons · 31795 viewers

Walt Ritscher
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 2m 3s
    1. Welcome
      1m 2s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 1s
  2. 7m 19s
    1. Understanding the Visual Studio versions
      3m 51s
    2. Setting up your developer computer
      3m 28s
  3. 58m 2s
    1. Creating a Visual Studio project
      4m 58s
    2. Working with Solution Explorer
      6m 32s
    3. Working with big projects
      3m 53s
    4. Taking a tour of the Integrated Developer Environment (IDE)
      8m 36s
    5. Introducing drag-and-drop UI design
      7m 38s
    6. Working with the Properties window
      6m 44s
    7. Looking at Server Explorer
      7m 4s
    8. Exploring the new Help engine
      6m 41s
    9. Setting options for the IDE
      5m 56s
  4. 39m 25s
    1. Creating a simple WPF application
      1m 32s
    2. Building the UI with the editors
      9m 14s
    3. Working with the application code
      3m 37s
    4. Communicating with the web site
      7m 15s
    5. Connecting your data
      8m 4s
    6. Binding to an RSS feed
      5m 4s
    7. Packaging and deploying the application
      4m 39s
  5. 39m 46s
    1. What languages are supported in Visual Studio 2010?
      1m 17s
    2. Exploring basic settings for the Code Editor
      5m 35s
    3. Writing a C# program
      6m 48s
    4. Writing a VB program
      6m 29s
    5. Working with C++
      6m 38s
    6. Working with F Sharp
      6m 9s
    7. Font and color options
      6m 50s
  6. 1h 5m
    1. Formatting your code
      6m 43s
    2. Navigating your code
      7m 44s
    3. Using the Task List
      2m 26s
    4. Commenting your code
      2m 45s
    5. Documenting your code
      8m 26s
    6. Using IntelliSense effectively
      7m 0s
    7. Working with code snippets
      6m 25s
    8. Refactoring your code
      5m 15s
    9. Understanding code generation
      2m 10s
    10. Generating code with T4
      6m 29s
    11. Using the Class View, Class Designer, and Class Diagram tools
      5m 51s
    12. Refactoring VB with CodeRush Xpress
      4m 33s
  7. 1h 11m
    1. Working with project and item templates
      8m 38s
    2. Creating a console application
      7m 5s
    3. Creating a class library
      6m 26s
    4. Creating a web site with ASP.NET
      7m 37s
    5. Creating a rich internet application with Silverlight
      6m 57s
    6. Creating a classic Windows application with Windows Forms
      10m 31s
    7. Creating a dramatic Windows application with Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF)
      4m 41s
    8. Creating a WCF service
      9m 1s
    9. Using an existing WCF service
      6m 38s
    10. Navigation UI designs with the Document Outline view
      3m 41s
  8. 33m 18s
    1. Creating a data project with SQL Project
      6m 24s
    2. Clarifying the confusion on .NET Data
      3m 31s
    3. Using ADO.NET in your application
      6m 50s
    4. Creating typed datasets
      7m 55s
    5. Using the data binding tools
      8m 38s
  9. 30m 13s
    1. Debugging code
      9m 32s
    2. Working with the Watch and other debug windows
      7m 46s
    3. Other debugging techniques
      6m 50s
    4. IntelliTrace historical debugging in Visual Studio Ultimate
      6m 5s
  10. 17m 56s
    1. Understanding Visual Studio editions and test tools
      2m 22s
    2. Verifying your code with unit tests
      8m 58s
    3. Running performance and load tests
      6m 36s
  11. 34m 5s
    1. Building your application
      4m 19s
    2. Customizing the build process with MSBuild
      6m 36s
    3. Setting assembly information
      2m 12s
    4. Deploying a basic Windows application
      2m 19s
    5. Creating an installer with Visual Studio
      7m 39s
    6. Creating a ClickOnce application
      5m 13s
    7. Setting up IIS for deploy
      2m 9s
    8. Deploying a Silverlight or ASP.NET application
      3m 38s
  12. 14m 0s
    1. Understanding source control
      2m 9s
    2. Setting up Team Foundation Server source control
      3m 5s
    3. Using Team Foundation Server source control
      8m 46s
  13. 17m 31s
    1. Understanding the .NET Office integration
      4m 16s
    2. Making a Word 2010 application
      7m 54s
    3. Making an Excel 2010 add-in
      5m 21s
  14. 31m 34s
    1. Understanding the extensibility model in Visual Studio
      2m 17s
    2. Adding external tools to the Tools menu
      4m 42s
    3. Creating macros
      7m 16s
    4. Using the Extension Manager
      5m 1s
    5. Creating an MEF add-in
      7m 9s
    6. Deploying and installing an add-in with VSIX
      5m 9s
  15. 25m 34s
    1. Working with configuration files
      5m 37s
    2. Using the Settings Editor
      7m 30s
    3. Using the Resources Editor
      6m 59s
    4. Localizing your resources
      5m 28s
  16. 1m 17s
    1. Goodbye
      1m 17s

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