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Kinds of Windows

The integrated development environment (IDE) contains two basic window types, tool windows and document windows. These two window types behave in slightly different ways.

Tool windows are listed on the View menu and are defined by the current application and its add-ins.

You can configure tool windows in the IDE as follows:

  • Show or hide automatically

  • Tab link with other tool windows

  • Dock against the edges of the IDE

  • Float over

  • Display on other monitors

In addition, you can display more than one instance of certain tool windows at a time. For example, you can display more than one web browser window, and you can create additional instances of some tool windows by choosing New Window on the Window menu. Also, you can determine how the Close and Auto Hide buttons affect a group of tool windows that are docked together.

Document windows are dynamically created when you open or create files or other items. The list of open document windows appears on the Window menu in the current z-order, with the top-most window listed first.

You can float document windows over or outside the IDE and onto other monitors in the same manner as with tool windows. You can dock multiple document windows to float together in a “raft” over or outside of the IDE.

In the Preview tab, you can view files in the editor without opening them. You can preview files by choosing them in Solution Explorer, during debugging when you step into files, with Go to Definition, and when you browse through results of a search. Preview files appear in a tab on the right side of the document tab well. The file opens for editing if you modify it or choose the Open.

Tab Groups extend your ability to manage limited workspace while you are working with two or more open documents in the IDE. You can organize multiple document windows and tool windows into either vertical or horizontal Tab Groups and shuffle documents from one Tab Group to another.

Note Note

Tabbed documents can be dragged across the IDE by their tabs.

When you have to view or edit two locations at once in a document, you can split windows. To divide your document into two independently scrolling sections, click Split on the Window menu. Click Remove Split on the Window menu to restore the single view.