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Start Page Architecture

This document describes the architecture of the Start Page tool window that is included in Visual Studio. You can use this information to add or change items on the Start Page without changing its underlying structure.

The Visual Studio Start Page is written in Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) Extensible Application Markup Language (XAML). For more information about XAML markup, see XAML Overview (WPF).

The Start Page consists of an Image element and two Grid elements in a top level Grid element. The Image element spans the top of the tool window and contains the Visual Studio logo. Below the logo, the left Grid element contains the command buttons for new projects, the Recent Projects list, and an area for Start Page options. The right Grid element contains a TabControl element that has a Get Started tab, a Guidance and Resources tab, and a Latest News tab. A central column is defined between the left and right Grid elements, but it has no content and is used only as a spacer.

Window Body

The background of the tool window is represented by the top-level Grid element. The widths of the main columns are defined here, in the ColumnDefinitions element. The height of the logo image is set in the RowDefinitions element.

Row definitions and column definitions are stored in zero-based arrays. To position an element in a grid, set the Grid.Column and Grid.Row attributes to match the indexes of the corresponding ColumnDefinition and RowDefinition elements.

Logo Image

The Visual Studio logo occupies the top row of the top-level grid (Grid.Row="0") as an Image element. To display a different image, point the Source attribute of the Image element to a different image file. To remove the image, delete the Image element and set the height attribute of the corresponding top-level RowDefinition element to 0 (zero) to hide the top row of the grid.

Left Column

The left column of the Start Page is represented by a Grid element at Grid.Column="0" and Grid.Row="1". This element contains definitions for three rows, which host the Command Buttons grid, the Recent Projects grid, and a StackPanel element to display Visual Studio options.

You can add an element to this grid by adding it to one of the existing rows or by adding a new row definition. When you define a new row, remember to increment the Grid.Row values of any elements that appear under the new row.

Middle Column

The middle column is a spacer and contains no elements. To add an element to the middle column, position it at Grid.Column="1" and Grid.Row="1". Make sure to adjust the Width attribute of the column definition to accommodate the change.

Right Column

The right column contains a Grid element at Grid.Column="1" and Grid.Row="1". The grid contains a TabControl element that has three tabs.

You can add a tab by adding a TabItem element to the tab control, as shown in Walkthrough: Adding Custom XAML to the Start Page, or you can edit or remove existing tabs. Tabs appear left to right in the user interface (UI) in the same order as they appear top to bottom in the markup.

If you add an element to the right column grid outside of the tab control, we recommend that you define a new row or column in the grid to ensure that it appears as expected.