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Introduction to the Project Designer

A project's properties specify how a project is built and debugged, and which libraries it references, how and where it is published, and any security settings to use. Use the Project Designer to set the project's properties. To access an individual file's properties, use the Properties window.

The Project Designer provides a centralized location for managing project properties, settings, and resources. The Project Designer appears as a single window in the Visual Studio IDE, much the same as other designers, such as the Form or Class designers. It contains several pages that are accessed through tabs on the left-hand side.

Information entered into the Project Designer persists when you switch from one page to another, when you build the project, or when you close the designer. An Undo command is available on the Edit menu to roll back changes.

You can access the Project Designer by using the Properties command on the Project menu.

You can display the property settings in the Project Designer by performing the following steps.

To set project properties in the Project Designer

  1. In Solution Explorer, select the project.

  2. On the Project menu, click Properties.

  3. Select the property page to change or view by clicking its tab, or use CTRL+PAGE DOWN and CTRL+PAGE UP to move between the different pages.

  4. Set the properties.

The Project Designer has no OK or Cancel button. All property changes take immediate effect in the active project. However, the settings are committed to the project file only when you select one of the save options, or when you close the designer.

If a control is dimmed, it does not apply to the type of project that is active, or cannot be used in the project's current configuration.

If you have a multiple-project solution, you can use more than one instance of the Project Designer at a time.

NoteNote:

The options available in dialog boxes, and the names and locations of menu commands you see, might differ from what is described in Help, depending on your active settings or edition. The topics in this section were written with the assumption that the General Development settings are selected. To view or change your settings, click Import and Export Settings on the Tools menu. For more information, see Visual Studio Settings.

The pages and options available in the Project Designer vary by project type and by language. The available pages are listed in the following table.

Page

Description

Application page

Contains settings that describe the application and its behavior, such as application type, startup object, and assembly information. For more information, see the following topics:

Build page

Contains build instructions, including the configuration to build, conditional symbols, warning levels, and output information. Applies to Visual C# projects only. For more information, see the following topics:

Build Events page

Contains command-line instructions that the compiler performs before the build and after the build. You can also specify the conditions under which the post-build events are run. Applies to Visual C# projects only. For more information, see the following topics:

Compile page

Contains settings that control how an application is compiled. Applies to Visual Basic projects only. For more information, see the following topics:

Debug page

Contains settings that control how an application is debugged. For more information, see the following topics:

References page

Contains a list of components referenced by your project. This includes assemblies, COM components, project-to-project, and Web references. For more information, see the following topics:

Reference Paths page

Lists the directories to search for assemblies referenced by the project when the project is loaded. This setting is specific to the project, computer, and user. For more information, see the following topics:

Resources page

Allows you to manage resources for an application. This includes strings, images, icons, and other resources. For more information, see the following topics:

Services page

Allows you to enable and configure client application services. These services enable Windows-based applications to access ASP.NET AJAX application services. For more information, see the following topics:

Settings page

Allows you to manage application settings such as dynamic properties and user preferences. For more information, see the following topics:

Signing page

Contains settings related to signing an assembly, such as key file name or key provider information. For more information, see the following topics:

Security page

Contains settings for security permissions; applies only to applications deployed by ClickOnce publishing. For more information, see the following topics:

Publish page

Contains settings for deploying your application by using ClickOnce technology. For more information, see the following topics:

Code Analysis page

Contains the code analysis tool that you can run on your code. The tool reports information about your assemblies, such as violations of the programming and design rules set forth in the Microsoft .NET Framework Design Guidelines. For more information, see the following topics:

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