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Creating an Options Page

Creating an Options Page

This walkthrough creates a simple Tools/Options page that uses a property grid to examine and set properties.

To save these properties to and restore them from a settings file, follow these steps, and then see Creating a Settings Category.

The MPF provides two classes to help you create Tools Options pages, the Package class and the DialogPage class. You create a VSPackage to provide a container for these pages by subclassing the Package class. You create each tools options page by deriving from the DialogPage class.

To follow this walkthrough, you must install the Visual Studio SDK. For more information, see Visual Studio SDK.

In this section, you create a simple Tools Options property grid. You use this grid to display and change the value of a property.

To create the VSIX project and add a VSPackage

  1. Every Visual Studio extension starts with a VSIX deployment project which will contain the extension assets. Create a Visual Studio VSIX project named MyToolsOptionsExtension. You can find the VSIX project template in the New Project dialog under Visual C# / Extensibility.

  2. Add a VSPackage by adding a Visual Studio Package item template named MyToolsOptionsPackage. In the Solution Explorer, right-click the project node and select Add / New Item. In the Add New Item dialog, go to Visual C# Items / Extensibility and select Visual Studio Package. In the Name field at the bottom of the dialog, change the file name to MyToolsOptionsPackage.cs. For more information about how to create a VSPackage, see Creating an Extension with a VSPackage.

To create the Tools Options property grid

  1. Open the MyToolsOptionsPackage file in the code editor.

  2. Add the following using statement.

    using System.ComponentModel;
    
  3. Declare an OptionPageGrid class and derive it from DialogPage.

    public class OptionPageGrid : DialogPage
    {  }
    
  4. Apply a ProvideOptionPageAttribute to the VSPackage class to assign to the class an options category and options page name for the OptionPageGrid. The result should look like this:

    [PackageRegistration(UseManagedResourcesOnly = true)]
    [InstalledProductRegistration("#110", "#112", "1.0", IconResourceID = 400)]
    [ProvideMenuResource("Menus.ctmenu", 1)]
    [Guid(GuidList.guidMyToolsOptionsPkgString)]
    [ProvideOptionPage(typeof(OptionPageGrid),
        "My Category", "My Grid Page", 0, 0, true)]
    public sealed class MyToolsOptionsPackage : Package
    
  5. Add an OptionInteger property to the OptionPageGrid class.

    public class OptionPageGrid : DialogPage
    {
        private int optionInt = 256;
    
        [Category("My Category")]
        [DisplayName("My Integer Option")]
        [Description("My integer option")]
        public int OptionInteger
        {
            get { return optionInt; }
            set { optionInt = value; }
        }
    }
    
    NoteNote

    The default implementation of DialogPage supports properties that have appropriate converters or that are structures or arrays that can be expanded into properties that have appropriate converters. For a list of converters, see the System.ComponentModel namespace.

  6. Build the project and start debugging.

  7. In the experimental instance of Visual Studio, on the Tools menu click Options.

    In the left pane you should see My Category. (Options categories are listed in alphabetical order, so it should appear about halfway down the list.) Open My Category and then click My Grid Page.The options grid appears in the right pane. The property category is My Options, and the property name is My Integer Option. The property description, My integer option, appears at the bottom of the pane. Change the value from its initial value of 256 to something else. Click OK, and then reopen My Grid Page. You can see that the new value persists.

    Your options page is also available through Visual Studio’s Quick Launch. In the Quick Launch window in the upper right corner of the IDE, type My Category and you will see My Category –> My Grid Page listed in the dropdown.

In this section, you create a Tools Options page with a custom UI. You use this page to display and change the value of a property.

  1. Open the MyToolsOptionsPackage file in the code editor.

  2. Add the following using statement.

    using System.Windows.Forms;
    
  3. Add an OptionPageCustom class, just before the OptionPageGrid class. Derive the new class from DialogPage.

    public class OptionPageCustom : DialogPage
    {
        private string optionValue = "alpha";
    
        public string OptionString
        {
            get { return optionValue; }
            set { optionValue = value; }
        }
    }
    
  4. Add a GUID attribute. Add an OptionString property:

    [Guid("00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000")]
    public class OptionPageCustom : DialogPage
    {
        private string optionValue = "alpha";
    
        public string OptionString
        {
            get { return optionValue; }
            set { optionValue = value; }
        }
    }
    
  5. Apply a second ProvideOptionPageAttribute to the VSPackage class. This attribute assigns the class an options category and options page name.

    [PackageRegistration(UseManagedResourcesOnly = true)]
    [InstalledProductRegistration("#110", "#112", "1.0", IconResourceID = 400)]
    [ProvideMenuResource("Menus.ctmenu", 1)]
    [Guid(GuidList.guidMyToolsOptionsPkgString)]
    [ProvideOptionPage(typeof(OptionPageGrid),
        "My Category", "My Grid Page", 0, 0, true)]
    [ProvideOptionPage(typeof(OptionPageCustom),
        "My Category", "My Custom Page", 0, 0, true)]
    public sealed class MyToolsOptionsPackage : Package
    
  6. Add a new User Control named MyUserControl to the project.

  7. Add a TextBox control to the user control.

    In the Properties window, on the toolbar, click the Events button, and then double-click the Leave event. The new event handler appears in the MyUserControl.cs code.

  8. Add a public OptionsPage field, an Initialize method to the control class, and update the event handler to set the option value to the contents of the text box:

    public partial class MyUserControl : UserControl
    {
        public MyUserControl()
        {
            InitializeComponent();
        }
    
        internal OptionPageCustom optionsPage;
    
        public void Initialize()
        {
            textBox1.Text = optionsPage.OptionString;
        }
    
        private void textBox1_Leave(object sender, EventArgs e)
        {
            optionsPage.OptionString = textBox1.Text;
        }
    }
    

    The optionsPage field holds a reference to the parent OptionPageCustom instance. The Initialize method displays OptionString in the TextBox. The event handler writes the current value of the TextBox to the OptionString when focus leaves the TextBox.

  9. In the package code file, add an override for the OptionPageCustom.Window property to the OptionPageCustom class to create, initialize, and return an instance of MyUserControl. The class should now look like this:

    [Guid("00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000")]
    public class OptionPageCustom : DialogPage
    {
        private string optionValue = "alpha";
    
        public string OptionString
        {
            get { return optionValue; }
            set { optionValue = value; }
        }
         
        protected override IWin32Window Window
        {
            get
            {
                MyUserControl page = new MyUserControl();
                page.optionsPage = this;
                page.Initialize();
                return page;
            }
        }
    }
    
  10. Build and run the project.

  11. In the experimental instance, click Tools / Options.

  12. Find My Category and then My Custom Page.

  13. Change the value of OptionString. Click OK, and then reopen My Custom Page. You can see that the new value has persisted.

In this section, you get the value of an option from the VSPackage that hosts the associated Tools Options page. The same technique can be used to obtain the value of any public property.

  1. In the package code file, add a public property called OptionInteger to the MyToolsOptionsPackage class.

    public int OptionInteger
    {
        get
        {
            OptionPageGrid page = (OptionPageGrid)GetDialogPage(typeof(OptionPageGrid));
            return page.OptionInteger;
        }
    }
    

    This code calls GetDialogPage to create or retrieve an OptionPageGrid instance. OptionPageGrid calls LoadSettingsFromStorage to load its options, which are public properties.

  2. Now add a custom command item template named MyToolsOptionsCommand to display the value. In the Add New Item dialog, go to Visual C# / Extensibility and select Custom Command. In the Name field at the bottom of the window, change the command file name to MyToolsOptionsCommand.cs.

  3. In the MyToolsOptionsCommand file, replace the body of the command’s ShowMessageBox method with the following:

    private void ShowMessageBox(object sender, EventArgs e)
    {
        MyToolsOptionsPackage myToolsOptionsPackage = this.package as MyToolsOptionsPackage;
        System.Windows.Forms.MessageBox.Show(string.Format(CultureInfo.CurrentCulture, "OptionInteger: {0}", myToolsOptionsPackage.OptionInteger));
    }
    
  4. Build the project and start debugging.

  5. In the experimental instance, on the Tools menu, click Invoke MyToolsOptionsCommand.

    A message box displays the current value of OptionInteger.

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