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Visual FoxPro IDE Enhancements

Visual Studio .NET 2003

This version of Visual FoxPro includes many enhancements to the Interactive Development Environment (IDE), including changes to the window behavior, Options dialog box, and system menus.

Docking Windows

Visual FoxPro provides docking functionality to its core IDE windows. When you drag a dockable window to a Visual FoxPro window boundary, it reconfigures against the boundary you choose. There are three types of docking behavior supported. For details, see Docking Windows.

  • Normal Docking   Windows dock to a boundary of the main Visual FoxPro window.
  • Linked Docking   Windows dock to each other and simultaneously share a dockable window container.
  • Tabbed Docking   Windows dock to each other and share the full window through tabs.

The following windows are dockable:

  • Command window
  • Document View window
  • Data Session window
  • Properties window
  • Debugger window
  • Watch window
  • Trace window
  • Output window
  • Locals window
  • Call Stack window

Document View Window

The new Document View window makes it possible for you to view and navigate to any procedure, function, #DEFINE definition or preprocessor directive in your program or class. The Document View window is a more flexible modeless window that replaces the Procedures/Functions model dialog box that was available in previous versions of Visual FoxPro. For details, see Document View Window.

Properties Windows

The following enhancements have been added to the Properties window. For details, see Properties Window.

  • The Properties window can now be activated without the form/class designer opened. Properties of the desktop (_SCREEN) are displayed even if the form/class designer is not active.
  • ActiveX control properties, events, and methods are now displayed in a different color to distinguish them from native ones.
  • Methods and events that have code in parent classes now show inherited class information.
  • The Properties window is now available from the Windows menu and the Standard toolbar.

Command Window

The contents of the Command window are saved to a file, _command.prg. You can clear the window by selecting Clear from the Shortcut menu. The file is read only at startup, so it can be used by multiple instances of Visual FoxPro. For details, see Command Window.

Standard Toolbar

The Standard toolbar now provides easy access to common Visual FoxPro tools, including the Properties window, Document View window, Class Browser, and Object Browser.

Report Designer

The Report Designer is much more accessible through the keyboard and now includes the following functionality. For details, see Report Designer.

Bands menu option
Makes it possible for you to access the dialog boxes for the properties of individual bands.
Insert Control menu option
Makes it possible for you to select controls to place in your report.
Control of Foreground and Background Colors
Makes it possible for you to manage foreground and background colors through additions to the Format menu, when the Report Designer is open.

The Report Designer also includes new keyboard navigation:

  • CTRL+TAB to toggle in and out of Tab mode.
  • TAB and SHIFT+TAB to move between report objects.
  • CTRL+E to toggle into and ESC to toggle out of Label editing.

Options Dialog Box

A number of enhancements have been added to the Options dialog box to offer improved use of the IDE. For details, see Options Dialog Box.

View Tab
You can now control the number of Most Recently Used files that are displayed in the File menu and in IntelliSense.
File Locations Tab
The File Locations tab makes it possible for you to specify the paths of the following additional Visual FoxPro items:
File Type Description
FoxCode Table Specifies the location of FoxCode.dbf for IntelliSense records. For more information, see _FoxCode System Variable and Customizing IntelliSense Using FoxCode.
FoxTask Table Specifies the location of the table that retains current TaskList shortcut records. For details, see _FoxTask System Variable.
IntelliSense Manager Specifies the location of the program assigned to the _Codesense System Variable.
Task List Specifies the location of the program assigned to the _TASKLIST System Variable.
Object Browser Specifies the location of the program assigned to the _ObjectBrowser System Variable.
IDE Tab
The IDE tab makes it possible for you to specify formatting, Save, appearance, and behavior settings for Visual FoxPro file types. The Edit, Format, Tools, and Window menus incorporate changes to add editor and other functionality to the IDE.

Miscellaneous IDE Enhancements

In addition to the above-mentioned improvements, Visual FoxPro now contains a wealth of other improvements, including:

  • Your Foxuser.dbf resource file is now opened as shared so that you can run multiple instances or allow multiple users to access it simultaneously.
  • The Windows menu has a new Cascading menu item to allow you to have your windows reorganized on your desktop in a cascading fashion.
  • The form/class designer allows you to more easily drilldown into container classes such as pageframes. By holding down the CTRL or CTRL+SHIFT keys, you can now click directly on a control within a container to select it.
  • In the form/class designer, you can hold down the CTRL or CTRL+SHIFT keys, and use the arrow keys to move or resize a control by the amount of your grid scale associated with the Snap-to-Grid setting.
  • Additional information and value tips have been added to a number of design surfaces. Extended information is displayed for fields in the database and view designers and the data environment. The Method editor displays value tips for events and methods in the procedures drop-down list. The Watch and Locals debug windows have value tips for expressions that exceed the width of the column displaying the value.
  • WAIT WINDOW and Visual FoxPro System dialog boxes (for example, error) now inherit their font settings from your Windows Appearance setting in the Display control panel. Additionally, you can use CTRL+C to copy the contents of a System dialog box to the Clipboard.

See Also

Visual FoxPro Interactive Development Environment | Task List Manager | IntelliSense Overview | Visual FoxPro Editor Enhancements | Editor Tab, Tools Options Dialog Box | File Locations Tab, Tools Options Dialog Box | IDE Tab, Tools Options Dialog Box | Report Designer | Docking Windows | Command Window | Document View Window | Data Session Window | Properties Window | Debugger Window | Watch Window | Trace Window | Debug Output Window | Locals Window | Call Stack Window

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