Join Michael Lehman for an in-depth discussion in this video Customizing the experience, part of Visual Studio 2013 for Web Developers.
Now that we've talked about editing code, compiling code, debugging and using source control, let's talk a little bit about customizing the Visual Studio experience. So there's two main ways you can customize the Visual Studio experience for yourself. And the first is to go to the Tools menu and select Customize. This allows you to easily select which toolbars are visible right here by selecting, for example, the Debug toolbar to be always visible, or the Build toolbar to be always visible. Which is something that I like to do, and you might also have the XML Editor toolbar always visible.
You can also update the keyboard shortcuts. Click the Keyboard button right here. And then you can go ahead and automatically find which thing you want to be able to set for a keyboard shortcut, and then assign it. So for example, let's say we want to use the tools option dialog quite a bit, and we don't want to have to go up to the menu, we'll do it right from the keyboard. So we'll do it this way. We'll type in options. It then filters all the commands to only those that have options in them. And if we scroll to the bottom, we can see there's Tools Options. Now, if we want to create a new global shortcut, we click in here and we press the keys.
In our case, I'm going to use Ctrl + Shift + Alt + Z, because I know that happens to be a keyboard shortcut combination that's not already used by Visual Studio. And then once I've entered that, and it shows me that it's not currently being used by anything else, I can click the Assign button, and I can click OK. And then I can click Close here on the customize dialog, and now any time I want Tools Options, I press Ctrl+Shift+Alt+Z. Boom, and there's the tools dialog. So I'm going to go ahead and turn that off now.
If you want to turn off the keyboard shortcut, you go and find the command. It will show you the existing shortcuts and then you can click the Remove button followed by OK, and away goes the keyboard shortcut. Another option that's available in the Tools > Customize dialog is the Commands tab. This allows you to rearrange the order of items in the menus, or rearrange the order of menus on the screen. So, if we always wanted to have the View menu following the File menu, we can simply say. Clicked on Edit and say, Move Down.
And now you can see over here that instead of being File, Edit, View, it now says File, View, Edit. So you can rearrange that anyway you want. I'm going to put it back where it was, and also show you that you can rearrange individual menu items. So for example, if we wanted to have Add being before Open. We could go ahead and change Add New Project and Add New Website, and again, move things down, or move things up, in whatever way we want to customize the menus. You can also customize toolbars and context menus, and you can select which context menu you want here.
Again, if you wanted to rearrange these items or disable them, this is the place to customize certain aspects of Visual Studio to your heart's content. Now, that allows you to customize menu items, context menu items, and keyboard shortcuts. If what you want to do is change the way Visual Studio looks, again Tools and now you select Options, and you have an entire universe of configuration here that you can do. To edit the way not only Visual Studio looks, but also the way it behaves. So, in the general environment, we can choose from a Light theme or Dark theme.
We can choose to go to the Blue theme. And you'll notice, not only do the themes change, but the font sizes change as well. So, for example, if we come back to Tools > Options, and we select Light. So now we're back to the Light theme with the larger fonts we use for recording here at lynda.com. Come back to Tools > Options. And we can select add-in security, we can specify how documents are set up, we can describe how find and replace works. When we change the font sizes for Visual Studio for our course we did it here in the Fonts and Colors section of the environment.
And note, for example, that these XAML settings are separate from the same kind of things you might set for the XML settings. If you have a slightly lower powered processor, you may want to come in to the section on Intellitrace and turn it off. That would give you a bit more performance while debugging in Visual Studio. I suggest you spend some time going through all the different formatting options here, just to see what you can do. Remember, if you have your Visual Studio signed into your Microsoft account, which we'll do later, these settings will automatically sync to the cloud.
And sync to whatever new machine you use when you sign in with your ID on that new machine.
- What's new in Visual Studio 2013?
- Exploring the editor
- Invoking the compiler
- Using the debugger
- Understanding One ASP.NET
- Building web APIs
- Debugging locally on IIS
- Using One-Click Publish