Chapter 2. Files

In the last chapter, we examined solutions and projects in great detail without ever seeing any source code. However, the vast majority of the time you spend with Visual Studio .NET will involve writing code rather than configuring your solutions and projects. So we will now look at the features Visual Studio .NET offers to improve your productivity when editing files.

Text Editor

Visual Studio .NET provides a text editor that provides the basic source code editing facilities that are common to all languages. Each language service can extend the text editor to provide language-specific features. (See Chapter 10 for information about how language services extend VS.NET.) As well as supplying the basic text editing services, the editor also has hooks that allow language services to provide advanced features, such as IntelliSense and automatic formatting. Even though the exact way in which these services work is language-specific, the IDE provides the basic framework so that the behavior is as consistent as possible across languages.

You can configure the way the text editor behaves for each language. When a particular language takes advantage of a standard editor feature such as IntelliSense, you will be able to configure that feature’s behavior either globally or, if you prefer, on a per-language basis. Most languages also have their own unique configuration options. You can edit all of these options by selecting Tools Options and then selecting the Text Editor ...

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