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General, Environment, Options Dialog Box

Use this page of the Options dialog box to change default settings for the integrated development environment (IDE). You can access the Options dialog box by selecting Options from the Tools menu and then selecting the General page in the Environment folder.

Settings

Tabbed Documents
Select this option to display document windows that are tabbed together within editors. Tabbed document windows are useful for organizing and switching between multiple open documents. You must restart the IDE for changes to take effect.
MDI environment
Choose this option to open documents in a multiple document interface (MDI) environment. MDI document windows are useful for gaining the screen space that is otherwise taken up by the tabs in the tabbed documents environment. When working in MDI mode, you can switch between documents by pressing CTRL + Tab or you can use the tile options located on the Window menu. You must restart the IDE for changes to take effect.
Reset Window Layout
Returns the layout of the windows in the integrated development environment to the default layout that was provided during the initial setup of Visual Studio .NET.
Show status bar
Displays the status bar. The status bar is located at the bottom of the IDE and displays information about the progress of ongoing operations.
Animate environment tools
This control allows you to enable transition effects. Clearing this option causes auto-hidden windows to instantly appear when requested rather than slowly transition onto the screen.
Speed
Controls the speed at which animation effects such as Auto Hide are executed. Experiment with animation speeds to find the setting that best suits you. This option is available only when you select the Animate Environment Tools option.
Enable Command Window autocompletion
Select this to see command completion options as you type commands or file paths. The Command Window and Find drop down menus in the Standard toolbar both support auto completion. When using auto completion, you do not need to type an entire command or path in most cases. As soon as you type the first character, a list appears containing matching commands that could complete the command you are typing. As you continue typing, the list narrows to reflect only the saved command or path containing the letters you have typed. When you see the desired command or path in the list, you can use either mouse or arrow keys to select it.
Display <n> Items in Window menu
Customizes the number of windows that appear in the Windows list of the Windows menu. Type a number between 1 and 24. The default is 10.
Display <n> Items in most recently used lists
Customizes the number of most recently used projects and files that appear on the File menu. Type a number between 1 and 24. The default is 4. This is an easy way to retrieve recently used projects and files.

At startup

You can specify what you would like to view each time you launch Visual Studio .NET.

Show Start page
Select this option to display the Visual Studio Start Page when you open Visual Studio. The Start Page provides easy access to recent projects, allows you to quickly create a new project, and provides useful links to the latest online articles and event news from MSDN Online. For information about changing the default Start Page, see Web Browser, Environment, Options Dialog Box.
Load last loaded solution
Loads the last saved solution in its previous state. Any files that were open in the solution when it was last closed are opened and displayed when you start Visual Studio. If no solution is loaded when you exit the product, no solution is loaded when you return.
Show Open Project dialog box
Displays the Open Project dialog box when you start Visual Studio. The dialog box defaults to the folder set in the Visual Studio Projects location field of the Projects and Solutions, Environment, Options Dialog Box.
Show New Project dialog box
Displays the New Project dialog box when you open Visual Studio.
Show empty environment
Displays an empty IDE when you start Visual Studio.

Docked Tool Window Behavior

Close button affects active tab only
Specifies that when the button is selected, only the tool window that has focus currently is closed and not all of the tool windows in the docked set. By default, this option is selected.
Auto Hide button affects active tab only
Specifies that when the button is selected, only the tool window that has focus currently is hidden automatically and not all of the tool windows in the docked set. By default, this option is not selected.

See Also

Environment, Options Dialog Box | Window Management | Command Window | Output Window | Task List Window | Web Browser, Environment, Options Dialog Box | Projects and Solutions, Environment, Options Dialog Box | New Project Dialog Box

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