Interactive Development Environment (IDE) Enhancements

Visual Studio .NET 2003

To provide a more integrated development environment for your projects and applications, Visual FoxPro contains the following improved functionality for the IDE:

  • Visual FoxPro Task Pane Manager
  • Visual FoxPro Toolbox
  • Code references search tool
  • Enhancements to Visual FoxPro designers and editors
  • Windows-style Open and Save dialog boxes
  • Keyboard shortcut changes and enhancements
  • IntelliSense for the Watch window
  • Wordwrapping for ToolTip text
  • Viewing properties in the Properties window using Zoom

Visual FoxPro Task Pane Manager

The Visual FoxPro Task Pane Manager contains individual panes, or windows, that make essential everyday tasks easy for you to accomplish. These panes improve the discoverability of new and existing features, expose wizards for simple tasks, display Help topics, register and publish XML Web services, present samples, and can deliver dynamic content to the Visual FoxPro desktop.

For more information about the Task Pane Manager and the tasks you can perform, see Task Pane Manager, Accessing XML Web Services, Distributing XML Web Services, Walkthrough: Creating XML Web Services with Visual FoxPro, and Solutions Samples.

Visual FoxPro Toolbox

The Visual FoxPro Toolbox provides an integrated and organized way to use customizable and categorized tool sets such as class libraries, builders, and text snippets; common resources such as labels, forms, images, files, and tables, or other items such as ActiveX controls, COM classes, and wizards. The Toolbox provides complete control over its configuration, replaces the Form Controls toolbar, and enhances the IDE. The Toolbox also supports third-party add-in tool sets.

Note   The Form Controls toolbar no longer opens automatically when you open a new form or class.

For more information, see ToolBox, Customizing the Toolbox, and _TOOLBOX System Variable.

Code References Search Tool

You can search for and replace code references or text in the Look Up Reference dialog box provided by the Code References tool, which you can select from the Tools menu. You can specify whether to search an entire project or folder and whether to filter on certain file types such as .vcx, .scx, .prg, and so on. For more information about searching and replacing code references, see Look Up Reference Dialog Box, Code References Window, and Searching and Replacing Code References.

Enhancements to Visual FoxPro Designers and Editors

Visual FoxPro contains numerous improvements made to its designer and editing tools. For more details, see Enhancements to Visual FoxPro Designers and Enhancements to Visual FoxPro Editors.

Windows-Style Open and Save Dialog Boxes

Visual FoxPro running on Windows 2000 and Windows XP operating systems includes the following changes in the Open, Save, and Open Picture dialog boxes:

  • A Places bar so you can navigate to common locations such as the My Documents folder and Desktop
  • The following options are available by clicking the View Menu icon: Thumbnails, Tiles, Icons, Lists, and Details. You can preview images in Windows 2000 and later by clicking Thumbnails. Visual FoxPro uses the Thumbnails view as the default setting to provide mini-previews of images. Therefore, the Open Picture dialog box no longer includes a frame for displaying an image. The Preview check box appears in the Open Picture dialog box only when running Visual FoxPro on operating systems earlier than Windows 2000.
  • The capability to resize dialog boxes

You can select multiple files in the Open dialog box after clicking Add in the Project Manager window to add a file to a project.

When you call the AGETCLASS( ) function, the Files of type list in the Open dialog box includes the program (.prg) file type. AGETCLASS( ) is no longer supported in Visual FoxPro runtime libraries because routines for parsing program (.prg) files are restricted to design time only.

For more information, see Open Dialog Box, Open Picture Dialog Box, Project Manager Window, and AGETCLASS( ) Function.

Keyboard Shortcut Changes and Enhancements

Visual FoxPro includes enhancements and behavior changes for the following keyboard shortcuts.

CTRL+TAB Keyboard Shortcut

Visual FoxPro now supports context-sensitive behavior when pressing the CTRL+TAB key combination. Pressing CTRL+TAB performs the following actions:

  • Exits a grid when focus is in a Grid control because pressing the TAB key in a grid moves you between fields.
  • Exit an edit box when focus is in an EditBox control, and the EditBox AllowTabs property is True (.T.).
    Note   When EditBox AllowTabs property is False (.F.), CTRL+TAB no longer exits an edit box. Instead, CTRL+TAB moves to the next available window. You can press the TAB key to exit an edit box when AllowTabs is False.
  • Moves between pages in a PageFrame control contained in a form or dialog box. However, Visual FoxPro does not support this behavior in a project nor when the PageFrame control contains an ActiveX control.
  • Move between document and designer, or multiple-document interface (MDI), windows such as the following:
    • Form Designer at design and run time, though not when in a page frame or grid
    • Menu Designer
    • Project Manager
    • Command window
    • Database Designer
    • Report and Label Designer
    • Children of MDI windows

    Current behavior when running a user form now differs from mimicking a plain tab and moving between controls on a form.

  • Move between projects, though not when the project structure is collapsed. You can also move between project tabs that you tear off.
  • You can reverse movement by pressing SHIFT+CTRL+TAB

Visual FoxPro now preserves the order of windows and brings the newest window to the foreground instead of shifting the last window to the background.

Note   Pressing the TAB key instead of CTRL+TAB now automatically enters Tab mode in the Report Designer. Support for pressing CTRL+TAB to enter Tab mode in the Report Designer has been removed.

For more information, see Keyboard Shortcuts and Report Designer.

TAB Key and SHIFT+F10 Keyboard Shortcut

You can now move to the object list in the Properties window by pressing the TAB key. In the Properties window, when you click the object list or click a tab, and then press SHIFT+F10, Visual FoxPro displays the appropriate menu. When you select a property in the Properties window properties list, pressing SHIFT+F10 opens a menu for that property.

For more information, see Keyboard Shortcuts and Properties Window.

CTRL+HOME and CTRL+END Keyboard Shortcuts

Visual FoxPro provides keyboard shortcut behavior consistent with Microsoft programs such as Excel and Access when navigating in a grid and using the BROWSE command:

  • Moves to the first record of a cursor or table in a grid and when using BROWSE by pressing CTRL+HOME.
  • Moves to the last record of cursor or table in a grid and when using BROWSE by pressing CTRL+END.

For more information, see Keyboard Shortcuts.

IntelliSense for the Watch Window

You can use IntelliSense in the debugger Watch window to view valid members of Visual FoxPro objects and properties and values for commands and functions. Visual FoxPro limits IntelliSense support to the Watch window because you cannot type directly in the Locals, Call Stack, Trace, or Debug Output windows. For more information, see Watch Window, Using Intellisense in Visual FoxPro, and IntelliSense Support in Visual FoxPro.

Wordwrapping for ToolTip Text

Visual FoxPro supports wordwrapping and increases the limit from 255 to 4,095 displayable characters for ToolTip text. For more information, see ToolTipText Property.

Viewing Properties in the Properties Window Using Zoom

Previously, it was difficult to view values of read-only properties in the Properties window properties list that extended beyond the right edge of the window without widening the window. You can now see the entire value for a read-only property by right-clicking the property in the properties list and clicking Zoom. For more information, see Properties Window.

See Also

What's New in Visual FoxPro 8.0 | Language Enhancements | Data Features Enhancements | Miscellaneous Enhancements | Behavior Changes Since Visual FoxPro 7.0