Inside the Integrated Development Environment

The C# Express IDE is centered on its editor. An editor is much like a word processor, except that it produces simple text (that is, text with no formatting, such as bold and italics). All source code files are simple text files. The color that you saw applied to some of the text in the Hello World project in Chapter 1 isn’t just formatting; it’s a form of highlighting that Visual Studio applies to help you differentiate between keywords, comments, and other kinds of code elements.

The C# Express IDE also provides support for building graphical user interfaces (GUIs), which are integral to Windows and web projects. The following pages introduce some of the key features of the IDE.

The IDE is a Multiple Document Interface (MDI) application, much like other Windows applications you may be used to, such as Word and Excel. There is a main window, and within the main window are a number of smaller windows. The central window is the text editing window. Figure 2-3 shows the basic layout.

The IDE is where you’ll be spending most of your time as a C# developer. Notice that the interface contains multiple windows.

Figure 2-3. The IDE is where you’ll be spending most of your time as a C# developer. Notice that the interface contains multiple windows.

To the left of the editing window are a number of tabbed windows that contain tools you may need when creating Windows and web applications. To the right of the editing window are both stacked and tabbed windows. Shown on top ...

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