Integrated Development Environment Changes in Visual Basic .NET
Visual Basic .NET is fully integrated into the Visual Studio integrated development environment (IDE), which differs in several ways from the Visual Basic 6.0 IDE. The following sections describe the changes:
The standard arrangement of windows is different in Visual Basic .NET than it was in Visual Basic 6.0. If you prefer the Visual Basic 6.0 arrangement, you can set it by choosing Visual Basic 6 from the Window Layout drop-down list on the My Profile tab of the Visual Studio Start Page.
In Visual Basic 6.0, the IDE was set to an MDI layout by default; you could optionally set it to SDI layout in the Tools, Options dialog box. In Visual Basic .NET, the default layout for the IDE is the new Tabbed documents layout; you can optionally set it to MDI layout in the Tools, Options dialog box.
In Visual Basic 6.0, you could control the docking behavior for some tool windows in the Tools, Options dialog box. In Visual Basic .NET, all windows are dockable by default; you can control their behavior via the Dockable command on the Windows menu.
There are also some differences in the available windows between Visual Basic 6.0 and Visual Basic .NET.
Note In Visual Basic .NET, some of the debugging windows are only available in run mode; when you switch to design mode, the windows are hidden.
The following table shows some Visual Basic 6.0 windows and their Visual Basic .NET equivalents.
|Visual Basic 6.0||Visual Basic .NET|
|Color Palette||No equivalent|
|Data View||No direct equivalent; replaced by Server Explorer|
|Form Layout||No equivalent|
|Project Explorer||Solution Explorer|
|Watches||Watch 1, Watch 2, Watch 3, Watch 4|
Menu commands in Visual Studio .NET are standardized for all languages; in some cases, Visual Basic 6.0 menu commands are replaced by different commands in Visual Studio .NET.
In Visual Basic 6.0, all menu commands were visible at all times but were grayed-out when out of context; in Visual Basic .NET, the set of available commands differs according to context.
The following table lists some common Visual Basic 6.0 commands and their Visual Basic .NET equivalents.
|Visual Basic 6.0||Visual Basic .NET|
|Add-Ins, Add-In Manager||Tools, Add-in Manager|
|Debug, Add Watch||Add Watch (context menu only)|
|Debug, Edit Watch||No equivalent. Watches are edited in the Watch window.|
|Debug, Run To Cursor||Run To Cursor (context menu only)|
|Debug, Set Next Statement||Set Next Statement (context menu only)|
|Debug, Show Next Statement||Show Next Statement (context menu only)|
|Debug, Toggle Breakpoint||Disable Breakpoint or Breakpoint (context menu only)|
|Edit, Complete Word||Edit, Intellisense, Complete Word|
|Edit, Find||Edit, Find and Replace|
|Edit, Find Next||Edit, Find and Replace|
|Edit, Indent||Edit, Advanced, Increase Line Indent|
|Edit, Insert File||Edit, Insert File As Text|
|Edit, List Constants||Edit, Intellisense, List Members|
|Edit, List Properties/Methods||Edit, Intellisense, List Members|
|Edit, Outdent||Edit, Advanced, Decrease Line Indent|
|Edit, Parameter Info||Edit, Intellisense, Parameter Info|
|Edit, Quick Info||Edit, Intellisense, Quick Info|
|Edit, Replace||Edit, Find and Replace|
|File, Make ProjectName||Build, Build ProjectName|
|File, Make Project Group||Build, Build Solution|
|File, Print Setup||File, Page Setup|
|File, Recent files list||File, Recent Projects|
|File, Remove Project||Edit, Remove|
|File, Save Project Group||File, Save SolutionName or File, Save All|
|File, Save Project Group As||File, Save SolutionName As|
|File, Save Selection||File, Save Selected Items|
|Format, Size to Grid||No equivalent. Controlled by Snap to Grid environment option.|
|Help, Microsoft on the Web||Help, Show Start Page|
|Project, Add Class Module||Project, Add Class|
|Project, Add Data Environment||No equivalent. Data Environment is not supported.|
|Project, Add Data Report||No equivalent. Data Reports are not supported.|
|Project, Add DHTML Page||No equivalent. DHTML Pages are not supported.|
|Project, Add File||Project, Add New Item or Project, Add Existing Item
|Project, Add Form||Project, Add Windows Form or Project, Add Inherited Form|
|Project, Add MDI Form||Project, Add Windows Form or Project, Add Inherited Form|
|Project, Add Property Page||No equivalent. Property Pages are not supported.|
|Project, Add User Document||No equivalent. ActiveX Documents are not supported.|
|Project, Add Web Class||No equivalent. Web Classes are not supported.|
|Project, Components||No equivalent. Components are managed in the Toolbox.|
|Project, References||No equivalent. References are managed in Solution Explorer.|
|Project, Remove item||Edit, Delete
|Run, Break||Debug, Break All|
|Run, End||Debug, Stop Debugging|
|Run, Restart||Debug, Restart|
|Run, Start||Debug, Start|
|Run, Start With Full Compile||Debug, Start Without Debugging|
|Tools, Add Procedure||No equivalent. Procedures are added in the Code Editor.|
|Tools, Menu Editor||No equivalent. The Menu Editor is replaced by the MainMenu and ContextMenu components.|
|Tools, Procedure Attributes||No equivalent.|
|Tools, SourceSafe||File, Source Control|
|View, Call Stack||Debug, Windows, Call Stack|
|View, Color Palette||No equivalent. There is no Color Palette window.|
|View, Data View Window||No equivalent. There is no Data View window.|
|View, Definition||Go To Definition (context menu only)|
|View, Form Layout Window||No equivalent. There is no Form Layout window.|
|View, Immediate Window||Debug, Windows, Immediate|
|View, Last Position||No equivalent. Use Bookmarks.|
|View, Locals Window||Debug, Windows, Locals|
|View, Object||View, Designer|
|View, Object Browser||View, Other Windows, Object Browser|
|View, Project Explorer||View, Solution Explorer|
|View, Watch Window||Debug, Windows, Watch|
|Window, Arrange Icons||No equivalent.|
|Window, Cascade||Only available in MDI layout mode.|
|Window, Tile Horizontally||Only available in MDI layout mode.|
|Window, Tile Vertically||Only available in MDI layout mode.|
|Window, Window list||Windows...|
Keyboard mappings in Visual Studio .NET are standardized so that you can use the same keyboard shortcuts for all languages and tools. The result is that some of the familiar Visual Basic 6.0 keyboard shortcuts now invoke different functions. For example, in Visual Basic 6.0, F8 was the keyboard shortcut for Step Into when debugging; in Visual Basic .NET, F8 is the shortcut for Go to Next Location in the Code Editor.
If you prefer the Visual Basic 6.0 keyboard mappings, you can set them by choosing Visual Basic 6 from the Keyboard Scheme drop-down list on the My Profile tab of the Visual Studio Start Page.