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This page contains notes about Visual Studio, the Microsoft IDE for writing applications for Windows desktop and mobile devices. Obviously the information on this page is bound to become out of date over time as Visual Studio is a bit of a moving target.


This section has some details about how I like to configure Visual Studio (under Tools > Options):

  • Environment
    • General
      • Turn off upper case in menu bar = true
    • Fonts and Colors
      • Font size = Set depending on monitor / resolution. On my Apple monitor at home I like to set this to 16.
    • Startup
      • At startup = Show empty environment
    • Tabs and Windows
      • Preview selected files in Solution Explorer = false
      • Preview selected files in Find Results = false
  • Projects and Solutions
    • General
      • Track Active Item in Solution Explorer = False
    • Build and Run
      • Number of parallel project builds = Set to the number of cores in the environment
  • Source Control > Visual Studio Team Foundation Server
    • Get latest version of item on check out = False
      • Setting this to False is important!!! If this is left to True, the "getlatest" operation will invariably get a version of the file that is inconsistent with the rest of the project or solution
    • Open Source Control Explorer to the most recent folder = true
    • Prompt before check-in from Pending Changes window = True
  • Debugging > General
    • Step over properties and operators = False
    • Highlight entire source line = True
  • Text editor
    • All Languages
      • General
        • Line numbers = true
      • Tabs
        • Indenting = Smart
        • Tab size = 4
        • Indent size = 4
        • Keep tabs = true
      • C/C++
        • Advanced > Use Forward Slash in #include Auto Complete = True
        • Formatting > General > Automatic indent when I type a tab = True
        • Formatting > Indentation > Indent case labels = True

Unfortunately the text editor tab settings are global, which means that you will get into trouble when you work on different projects with different code formatting guidelines. Because the tab settings are cloud-synchronized, you will have trouble even if you develop on different machines.

Keyboard shortcuts



  • Productivity Power Tools
  • DPack
  • AnkhSVN
    • If AnkhSVN should be the default Source Control system
      • Go to "Tools > Options > Source Control > Plug-in Selection"
      • Select AnkhSVN
    • If AnkhSVN should only be used on a per-project basis
      • Select "File > Subversion > Change Source Control"

Visual C++ projects

See the VC++ page.

Microsoft.NET projects

See the Microsoft.NET page.

Team Foundation Server

See the TFS page.