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Professional Visual Studio® 2010 by Chris Anderson, Michael Minutillo, David Gardner, Nick Randolph

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Chapter 2. The Solution Explorer, Toolbox, and Properties

WHAT'S IN THIS CHAPTER?

  • Arranging files with the Solution Explorer

  • Adding projects, items and references to your solution

  • Working with the Properties tool window

  • Include your own properties in the Properties tool window

In Chapter 1 you briefly saw and interacted with a number of the components that make up the Visual Studio 2010 IDE. Now you get an opportunity to work with three of the most commonly used tool windows — the Solution Explorer, the Toolbox, and Properties.

Throughout this and other chapters you see references to keyboard shortcuts, such as Ctrl+S. In these cases, we assume the use of the general development settings, as shown in Chapter 1. Other profiles may have different key combinations.

THE SOLUTION EXPLORER

Whenever you create or open an application, or for that matter just a single file, Visual Studio 2010 uses the concept of a solution to tie everything together. Typically, a solution is made up of one or more projects, each of which in turn can have multiple items associated with it. In the past these items were typically just files, but increasingly projects are made up of items that may consist of multiple files, or in some cases no files at all. Chapter 6 goes into more detail about projects, the structure of solutions, and how items are related.

The Solution Explorer tool window (Ctrl+Alt+L) provides a convenient visual representation of the solution, projects, and items, as shown in Figure 2-1. In this ...

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