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Using the Settings Editor

From: Visual Studio 2010 Essential Training

Video: Using the Settings Editor

Your application may need global settings. These are typically stored in the configuration file and loaded at startup time. These settings affect the entire application, regardless of who is using the application on the local computer. You may also want to store user-specific settings. Each user on the local computer would get their own copy of the configuration value. .NET has a configuration API. Visual Studio gives you an editing tool to make it simple to access this configuration API. I have opened a project called SettingsDemo.

Using the Settings Editor

Your application may need global settings. These are typically stored in the configuration file and loaded at startup time. These settings affect the entire application, regardless of who is using the application on the local computer. You may also want to store user-specific settings. Each user on the local computer would get their own copy of the configuration value. .NET has a configuration API. Visual Studio gives you an editing tool to make it simple to access this configuration API. I have opened a project called SettingsDemo.

It contains three projects. I'm going to start by looking in SimpleConsole. SimpleConsole has no settings at this moment. To add a setting to this application, I can double-click on Properties and then go to the Settings tab. Visual Studio is telling me that this project doesn't contain a default settings file. I'm going to click on this hyperlink to add one. I want you to see what happened over here. The Properties node now has a Settings.settings item added here. Underneath that is a Settings.Designer.cs.

Here, I can create brand-new settings. I'm going to type in a new setting value here. I'll call this one TemplateLocation. It's going to be string, and the scope for that is going to be an application-wide setting. Down here, I'm going to add a HelpWebsite. Then of course, I can add some default strings over here. So I could come over here and type in http:, like so.

Now I want you to see what has written for me. There is a new app.config over here that didn't exist before. This app.config will be compiled and saved with my exe. When my application starts up, it'll read the contents of this app.config. Let me show you what's inside the app.config. There is now a new applicationSettings in here. Then there is a TemplateLocation setting with no current value in it and a HelpWebsite setting with the String I added a few minutes ago as the value.

These are read once when the application starts up. If you make any changes, they won't be read by your application until you shut down the application and restart it. Also, notice that over here in the Properties window, under Settings > Designer, Visual Studio is automatically creating some code on my behalf. It created a property called TemplateLocation. It's a read-only property. It created a property called HelpWebsite.

Now if I come back to this, and I add a user setting-- let me go back and double- click on Settings.setting-- and I set it to User specific setting, there is a new section called userSettings, and has added this section down here. Now this can be a read and write setting. It's stored here. But when you save the file, it's going to create a copy for each user and store their user-specific settings in a user identified folder.

To show you that, I'm going to move to this other application, SettingsDemo. I'm going to choose Window > Close All Documents. Then I'm going to move into SettingsDemo. This is my startup project. Here I'm going to run some code to read these settings. The data is accessible. These classes were created automatically for me. I access that by using Properties.Settings. Then I use the Default keyword and then the name of these settings. Now you're probably asking yourself, where did the UserAge property come from? Well, it's over here in that Settings area.

Inside this project, there is a Username, which has a Scope User, and the UserAge, which is an integer datatype. Down here is a Max App File, which is a long datatype, and a color, and so on. I'm able to access those datas through this class. So I'm going to read the values down here and store them in the Console's ForegroundColor. Then I'm going to print out the UserAge and the maximum files.

Then I'm going to show you the location of where those files are stored. So I already have a breakpoint over here. I'll press F5 to run the application. It hits my breakpoint, and then press F11 to step through the code. Here, I'm reading these settings. The UserConsole setting is green. No, I don't want to continue to be notified of his automatic step over. Thank you very much. Then this shows the location.

So my settings are being saved in the Walt Ritscher folder\\AppData\\Local. If you were to go over to that folder, there is a configuration file sitting there with the XML that's being saved. Next, we'll step out, and then we're going to save these settings. Press F11 to step in here. I'm going to write a new age value. Then the way you save to that configuration file is by calling the Save method on the auto-generated class. Then down here, we're going to read these settings again.

Now, the default age for the user will be 31. It started out as 0, and it ended up at 31. I'd like to show you one other place these settings are used in Visual Studio. That's going to be in this Windows forms application. I'm going to make this my StartUp project. Then I'm going to open up the Form designer here. Then I'm going to show you what happens when I run the application.

I'm going to press F5 to run the application. I'm going to resize the app window and then close it. Then press F5 to rerun the application the second time. Notice that the form is the same size it was before. That looks like a good use of user settings to remember the size of this window. So the Form Editor has a simple way of storing this in those user settings. I just click on the form, I go to the top of this window and choose ApplicationSettings, choose PropertyBinding, pick something called a ClientSize, and say I would like to create a new user setting, MyClientSize. The Scope is User.

Then OK. Now it's automatically generated my user settings. Now when I press F5, it'll run the application. It starts out at the default size. I make it slightly larger. When I close this, it's going to automatically save it to my UserSettings. The next time I run the application, it remembers my size. As you can see, it is very easy to work with the Settings Editor in Visual Studio. Under the covers, it's really generating a helper class on my behalf, so that I don't have to learn the complexities of the .NET configuration library.

Show transcript

This video is part of

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

86 video lessons · 30511 viewers

Walt Ritscher
Author

 
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  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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