Open File Dialog Box

Use the Open File dialog box to open an existing file. You can also use this dialog box to open an already opened file by using different language-encoding options.

To open this dialog box, point to Open on the File menu, and then click File.

Caution noteCaution:

Before you open a project or component in Visual Studio, determine the trustworthiness of its code. When a project or component is opened in a Visual Studio designer, devenv.exe runs the code in a trusted process on your computer.

Look in

Use this tree view to locate an existing project folder. When you select a folder, its contents are displayed in the primary pane.


Displays the files and folders located on the desktop.

My Projects

Displays the files and folders in the location specified in the General, Projects and Solutions, Options Dialog Box.

My Computer

Displays the contents of the floppy disk, hard disk, CD drive, or other drive connected to your computer.

Object name

Use this option to filter the files and folders that are displayed. Enter a full or partial file name on which to filter. You can use the asterisk (*) as a wildcard.


Locate Web servers and network computers by entering a URL or network path in the File name box. For example, "http://mywebsite" displays the files available on the "mywebsite" Web site and "\\myserver\myshare" displays the files available in the "myshare" location on "myserver".

Objects of type

Use this option to look for a particular file type in the folder selected in the Look in box.

Open With and Encoding Options

To specify an editor for a file, click the small rectangle to the right of the Open button, and then click Open With to open the Open With Dialog Box.

To specify a language-encoding scheme to apply when the selected file is opened, select a program in the "Choose the program you want to use to open the file" list whose name contains "with Encoding" and then click Open to open the Encoding Dialog Box.

Go To Last Folder Visited


Returns to the most recently viewed folder, drive, or Internet location.

Up One Level

Up One Level

Navigates to the next highest folder in the tree view.

Create New Folder

New Folder

Displays the New Folder dialog box. Use this option to create a new subfolder under the folder selected in the Look in box.

View Menu

VisualSourceSafeViewButton screenshot

Changes the view of the items in the dialog box to one of the following:

  • Thumbnails: Displays thumbnail pictures of the items.

  • Tiles: Displays items as large icons.

  • Icons: Displays items as small icons.

  • List: Displays items in a list format.

  • Details: Displays the name, size, type, and last-modified date of items in a list format. To sort by one kind of detail, click its column header.

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