How to: Change or Add a Default Editor

You might want to choose which editor you use to work on your files. For example, you can open .txt files in WordPad if you like. Editors and files are associated with each other based on the file's type as indicated by the file's extension. After you change the default editor for a file type, every file of that type opens in the new default editor.

NoteNote

If you try to open a file with an extension that is not associated with a specific editor, the file is opened in the text editor.

To change the default editor for an existing file

  1. On the File menu in Visual Studio, choose Open and then select File.

  2. In the Open File dialog box, select a file of the type you want to change.

    For example, if you want to change the default editor for text files, select a .txt file.

  3. Still in the Open File dialog box, click the down arrow next to the Open button, and then select Open With.

  4. In the Open With dialog box, choose an editor from the Select a program to open list.

    NoteNote

    You can add editors to the list; see the next procedure.

  5. Click the Set as Default button and then click the Open button to open the file.

    TipTip

    The current default editor for the target file is followed by (Default) in the Select a program to open pane.

When you open a file for editing, you can add a new editor to the list.

To add an editor to the Open With dialog box

  1. On the File menu in Visual Studio, choose Open and then select File.

  2. In the Open File dialog box, select a file of the type you want to change.

  3. Choose the arrow adjacent to the Open button, and then select Open With.

  4. In the Open With dialog box, choose Add.

  5. In the Add Program dialog box, enter the path and name of the executable program (.exe) for the editor you want to add.

    NoteNote

    If you do not know the path, you can click the Browse button to locate the program.

  6. In the Friendly Name text box, type a unique name for the editor that you want to include in the Open With dialog box.

  7. In the Add Program dialog box, choose OK.

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