Chapter 8. Customizing the IDE

If you're using the Visual Studio Integrated Development Environment (IDE) precisely as it came out of the shrink-wrap, you're missing an opportunity to work faster and smarter. Most developers find that they like some features that Microsoft configures for them, but there are also a lot of things they'd like to change. You may not like the colors that Microsoft uses, or the font size may be too small. These seem like minor issues, but you can literally configure every aspect of the Visual Studio IDE to make it easier and better to use. The Visual Studio IDE provides significant flexibility so that you can configure it any way that you see fit. It's possible to change the position of windows, remove windows as needed, and modify the toolbars. In short, you can make the Visual Studio IDE over into whatever you think it should look like.

Although good IDE modifications are extremely helpful in making you efficient and more productive, using snippets, macros, and add-ins can help even more. Snippets are bits of code that you store away for future use. Rather than having to hunt for that piece of code you used in another application, you now have it at your fingertips. Macros are mini-programs you use to perform repetitive tasks at the touch of a button. For example, many developers begin a programming session by performing the same setup each time. Rather than repeat yourself like a broken record, you can tell Visual Studio to make the changes for you. ...

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