Using Solution Explorer

Solution Explorer allows you to view items and perform item management tasks in a solution or a project. It also allows you to use the Visual Studio .NET editors to work on files outside the context of a solution or project.

Hierarchical Display

A single solution and its projects appear in a hierarchical display that provides updated information about the status of your solution, projects, and items. This allows you to work on several projects at the same time.

For more information about See
Projects and items Identifying How a Project Manages Files
Creating, displaying, and managing external files in the Miscellaneous Files folder Managing Files in the Miscellaneous Files Folder
Creating and managing build-included files and other items in the Solution Items folder. Adding and Removing Solution Items

Items and Containers

The management of items displayed in Solution Explorer is based on an item's relationship with project and solution containers. Items can be related in the following ways:

  • As project items, which appear under a project folder in Solution Explorer, for example, forms, source files, and classes.
  • As solution items, which appear in the Solution Items folder of Solution Explorer.
  • As miscellaneous files, which are files that are not associated with either a project or a solution and are displayed in the Miscellaneous Files folder.

Solution Explorer is flexible in that it allows you to work independently of a project; you can edit and create files without a project. Solution Explorer displays these files in the Miscellaneous Files folder. You can also work on files that are associated only with the solution. These items are displayed in the Solution Items folder.

For more information about See
Projects and Items Item Management in Projects
Solutions Solutions as Containers
Projects Projects as Containers
Items in Projects Project Items
Items in the Solutions Folder Solution Items
Files in the Miscellaneous Files Folder Miscellaneous Files

Item Management Commands

Solution Explorer supports a variety of management commands. For any specified item, the project type determines which management commands are available. For example, if you select a file in a Visual C# Web Project, you can use the Delete command to delete the file permanently. However, if you select a file in a Visual C++ project, you can remove the link between the file and the project, but this does not delete the physical file from storage.

For more information about See
Copy command Copying Items
Move command Moving Items
Link command Adding Existing Items to a Project
Remove and Delete commands Removing, Deleting, and Excluding Items
Unload and Reload commands Unloading and Reloading Projects
Save As command Managing Files with Encoding
Rename command Renaming Solutions, Projects, and Items
Refresh command Refreshing Items in Solution Explorer
Open With command Changing or Adding a Default Editor

See Also

Item Management in Projects | Managing Solutions, Projects, and Files | Solution Explorer