Visual Studio 2015 Best Kept Secret
With Visual Studio 2015 now fully released, I wanted to highlight one of my favorite features that isn’t getting enough press.
My primary development machine is a laptop. Most of my development is done in the office, but I frequently do my development at a client site. When I am in the office, I want to take advantage of all three monitors, putting Visual Studio tool windows across all of my monitors. But I need to be able to quickly switch back to having my entire IDE back on my laptop screen only.
In the past, there were plugins like Layouts O Rama that allowed you to save and restore window layout configurations. Now this functionality is baked right into Visual Studio. In the Window menu, there are four new options to manage window layouts.
Working without external monitors, I arranged all my tool windows where I wanted them. Then I clicked the Save Window Layout button. in the dialog that popped up, I named the layout “laptop only”. Later I connected my external monitors. Again, I manually arranged my tool windows where I wanted them and then saved the layout.
The next time I switched back to working on my laptop by itself, I clicked Apply Window Layout and selected “laptop only”. This put all of my windows back to where they were when I saved the layout.
It can also be useful to save layouts for specific tasks. For example, I have one layout saved specifically for editing RDLC files.
This isn’t a big ground breaking feature, but it is something that I use all the time and something that makes my life easier.
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My name is Eric Potter. I have an amazing wife and 5 wonderful children. I am a Microsoft MVP for Developer Tools and Technologies, the Director of Technical Education for Sweetwater in Ft. Wayne Indiana, and an adjunct professor for Indiana Tech. I am a humble toolsmith.