Chapter 3

Options and Customizations


  • Customizing the Visual Studio 2012 start page
  • Tweaking options
  • Controlling window layout

Now that you’re familiar with the general layout of Visual Studio 2012, it’s time to learn how you can customize the IDE to suit your working style. In this chapter you learn how to manipulate tool windows, optimize the code window for maximum viewing space, and change fonts and colors to reduce developer fatigue.

As Visual Studio has grown, so too has the number of settings that you can adjust to optimize your development experience. Unfortunately, unless you’ve periodically spent time sifting through the Options dialog (Tools ⇒ Options), it’s likely that you’ve overlooked one or two settings that might be important. Through the course of this chapter, you see a number of settings that might be worth further investigation.

A number of Visual Studio add-ins add their own nodes to the Options dialog because this provides a one-stop shop for configuring settings within Visual Studio. Note also that some developer setting profiles, as selected in Chapter 1, “A Quick Tour,” show only a cut-down list of options. In this case, checking the Advanced check box shows the complete list of available options.


By default, when you open a new instance of Visual Studio 2012, you see the Start Page. You can adjust this behavior from the Environment ⇒ Startup node of the Options dialog. Other alternatives are to display the Home Page ...

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