Chapter 3. Customizing Visual Studio

In This Chapter

  • Setting environment options

  • Changing menus and commands

  • Making and accessing snippets

  • Hacking project templates

You have seen how to install Visual Studio and make a new project. You have seen the bits that the user interface gives you. The fun's over. Now you get to make it work for you.

Then again, maybe the fun is just starting.

Visual Studio offers a dizzying array of options for customization. Used poorly, these options have the real potential to make the lives of you and your coworkers miserable. Used correctly, they have the potential to double your velocity.

I am after the doubling part.

At its most basic, customization involves setting options to better match your environment, style, and work patterns. These options include everything from your code visibility to source control. The idea is to configure Visual Studio's options to your exact specifications.

The next step is to improve the usability of the application to match your day-to-day operations. One of the best overall ways to accomplish this is to change the button tape and the menus to make what you use every day more available. Another great way to do this is to manage or create snippets that automate generation of code.

Finally, you take a short deep dive (just hold your breath, you'll be fine) into the Project and File templates of Visual Studio. Did you know that when you create a new XAML file (for example) or C# Class file that the contents of that file are controlled ...

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