Read Feature#1 Account Management in my previous article.


Window Layout is a new Visual Studio 2015 feature related to developer’s productivity and ease of interaction with Visual Studio 2015 IDE. In previous version of Visual Studio developers were able to arrange windows as per their need but temporarily. Visual Studio 2015 extends this experience with some productivity enhancements.


Window Layout is directly related to the way numerous windows are arranged and laid out in a Visual Studio IDE. IDE (Integrated Development Environment) is every developer’s tool for being creative, develop new things, being logical, fix issues, build and deploy various LOB (Line of Business) solutions etc.

Why Window Layout?

Different developer personality types like the windows to be arrange in specific way. Some like certain windows in the IDE and some like other windows. Some may like Pinned windows and some Tab styled.

Hence, Window Layout enables a developer’s to arrange the windows which they want and how they want and then save the layout for later use. Saved layout can be accessed from any machine on any device and applied to the IDE as long as that layout was saved to your Account Settings via Synchronization. Read Feature#1 Account Management in my previous article

So Window Layout enables you to arrange the IDE in a way you are most comfortable with and provides ease of use and productivity.

Which Windows are those?

Well, today Visual Studio 2015 stands mature and has a lot of windows which may appear in a developer’s screen wrapped into the IDE. For instance:

  1. Solution Explorer
  2. Team Explorer
  3. Server Explorer
  4. SQL Server Object Explorer
  5. Bookmark Window
  6. Call Hierarchy
  7. Class View
  8. Code Definition Window
  9. Object Browser
  10. Error List
  11. Output
  12. Task List
  13. Toolbox
  14. Class view

This list goes on and on, so let’s see the whole list via Visual Studio 2015 View menu.

Figure-1: Visual Studio 2015 View Menu

How to Save a Window Layout

Before you start saving a Window Layout, you to create one. Follow these steps:

1- Arrange windows (all which you work with mostly) in your desired way. For example as shown below:

Figure-2: Arrange windows in Studio 2015

2- Now let’s save this Window Layout. Click on Window menu and choose “Save Window Layout”

Figure-3: Save Window Layout menus option

3- Name the Layout properly so you can recall from the name and click OK.

Figure-4: Naming a Layout

4- Now Layout is Saved and Synchronized with your Account Settings.

Reset Window Layout

Once you have saved the Layout and you want to test it, you have to reset the layout to default layout which Visual Studio IDE brings to you.

Go to Window menus and click on “Reset Window Layout”

Figure-5: Reset Window Layout menus option

Once you click on this option, Visual Studio will prompt you to confirm that you want to restore the default window layout. Click on Yes.

Figure-6: Confirmation dialog to Reset Window Layout

Now, Your IDE will be re-arranged to default layout as shown in the image below. Which could be the one you are having right now in your Visual Studio IDE.

Figure-7: Default layout after Reset of the layout

Applying Saved Window Layout

To apply your saved Window Layout, go to Window menus and click on “Apply Window Layout” and choose one of the previously saved Window Layout. I have created and named my layout as “Pinned_Windows”

Figure-8: Apply Window Layout menu option

Click on “Pinned_Windows” layout and Visual Studio will show a confirmation dialog, click OK

Figure-9: Confirmation to Apply saved Window Layout

Now your layout will change to what you have saved and IDE will appear as shown below.

Figure-10: Saved layout applied

Manage Window Layout

As you can imagine you may end up with creating and cleaning up layout as per your needs. Hence, it become very important to manage the layouts which are created and available in your Account Settings.

You can easily manage the layouts via Window menu and “Manage Window Layout” option

Figure-11: Manage Window Layouts menu option

Once you click on it, a dialog will open and allow you to Rename, Delete etc.

Figure-12: Manage Window Layouts dialog


Custom Window Layout in Visual Studio 2015 is a brand new way of arranging the windows in the IDE and saving the layout. After saving the layout, it’s also easy to manage and restore the window arrangements. This feature certainly helps the developers to feel comfortable with their window arrangements and continue to be productive across the devices using Visual Studio 2015.



Account Management is related to Sign-in feature; which was first time introduced with Visual Studio 2013. This feature has been helpful by various means, but Visual Studio 2015 even extends this experience with some enhancements.


Account Management turned out to be very helpful feature, here are some points:

  1. Associate a profile (e.g. web development, C# or general) and synchronize your settings with the development environment once you are logged in to another workstation.
  2. Ability to select graphic themes (Light, Dark, Blue) for appearance of IDE, code and code editor window.
  3. Take direct benefits of MSDN subscription associated with ID, used to Sign In to Visual Studio. For example unlocking Visual Studio or manage licenses associated with Visual Studio.
  4. Automatic login to TFS service account; if subscribed to this. TFS Service is a Microsoft cloud based version of TFS.

Synchronized Settings

Visual Studio 2013 and 2015 allows the users to choose which settings to synchronize. Let’s first understand which Visual Studio settings are candidate for Synchronization.

  • Appearance I.e. Themes, Colors and Fonts.
  • Environment Aliases
  • Keyboard Shortcuts
  • Startup
  • Text Editor

Visual Studio 2013 Synchronized Settings will be as shown in the image below.

Visual Studio 2015 Synchronized Settings will be as shown in the image below.


Account Management

In Visual Studio 2013 and 2015; Account Management comes into the picture as soon as you click on “Sign In” option on the Top-Right of your Visual Studio IDE as shown below.

 Or Account Management settings can also be accessed via File –> Account Settings…

Improved Account Management with Visual Studio 2015

Microsoft has improvised Account Management experience for developers and made it better. The core change made in Visual Studio 2015 Account Management is the capability to store multiple accounts and have those listed and stored on that Account Setting page.

Immediate benefit for developers is the ability to log-in to Visual Studio with different associated accounts and work with different set of settings and projects.

Now question is what’s new in this; developers were able to this even with earlier version when it was introduced in Visual Studio 2013. Let’s see by diving deep into Account Settings.


Account Settings – Recap with Visual Studio 2013

When you Sign-in with Visual Studio 2013, your Account Settings page will open asking to Sign In.

After successful Sign-In Account Settings page will appear as follows.

 The very obvious issue here is related to developer productivity and a developer who switches between accounts, need to punch-in all different set of credentials repeatedly.

Enhancement to Account Settings in Visual Studio 2015

Visual Studio 2015 comes with an enhanced Account Management feature to enable developers to store multiple Sign-In credentials under Account Settings. Ideally, it would be productive to have multiple accounts registered and then switch easily from one account to another without re-punching all the credentials repeatedly.

Adding New Account

Clicking on “Add an account…” will take you to Sign In dialog as shown below.

After Successful credential validation the Account Settings page will display the newly registered account under All Accounts.

This feature enables developers to have a centralized place to manage accounts and Synchronize settings across every registered Microsoft account.

Event Type: Webinar
Event Date/Time: July 21 Sunday 8.00 P.M – 9.30 P.M.
Registration Details Click Here

Topics to be covered.
* Evolution of C# Language
* What is Synchronous
* Demo
* What is Asynchronous
* Asynchronous Patterns
* Demo
* Side-by-Side Comparisons

I spoke on C# 5.0 Async programming in a

C# Corner MVP Summit here is my session Recording.

YouTube –






Usually a traditional class library in .NET is capable of targeting only one framework ver.But many times you may want to build a class library which can target multiple versions of framework. I.e. the objective is to achieve cross-platform development of .NET Framewok applicatioans. This became a possibility with the release of Visual Studio 2012.

Visual Studio 2012 includes a new project template named Portable Class Library, As you can see in the image below,you can use this project to build portable assemblies that work without modification on multiple platforms like: 

1-Windows 7, Windows 8


3-Windows Phone, and
4-Xbox 360




his project is pretty much like a Class Library project, except its References shows “.NET Portable Subset” instead of individual namespaces.



If you are targeting only one particular framework as many enterprise applications do, then standard Class Library project is the best choice.

VS 2010 IDE has a new feature where it “highlights” all other instances of a class member.

For example, in the image below I have Deposit function being called multiple times and when I select (by double-click) one instance of it, what this new feature of VS 2010 does is; it highlights (in gray color) all other instances of the selected member in the same file. Like shown in the image below.

Once you have multiple instsances of a member highlighted you can navigate through them by Ctrl+Shift+ Up arrow or Ctrl+Shift+Down arrow.

How many times you encountered a situation when you need to change the screen resolution or text size to make you code to appear in larger font. I encountered couple of time and instances especially when disusing something with team and people sitting far can’t see the code statements at all, in presentations etc.

The solution has been an easy approach, change resolution or change the font size from Tools –> Options. What appeared tedious to me was re-setting either one of these after the purpose is over.

VS 2010 Code Editor comes up with this new feature where you can just simply ZOOM your entire code editor view without changing resolution or text size.
To do so it’s a well known trick “Hold Left-click and scroll the Mouse Wheel.”


Click on the image to see larger view and use browser’s back button to re-visit this post.

Visual Studio 2010 provided “ASP .NET Web Form Application” has a new default layout (unlike a blank web page in VS 2008 or earlier versions).
New default features added to a VS 2010 Web Application
1- Site.Master page (MaterPage)
2- About.aspx page
3- Account folder, this folder by default contains following pages:

3.i-  ChangePassword.aspx

    3.ii- ChangePasswordSuccess.aspx
4- Scripts folder- this folders have some .js files in it
5- Global.asax filse with empty templates of:
     5.i – Application_Start
     5.ii- Application_End
     5.v- Session_End events.
6- Styles folder, containing Site.css in it
Once you have this application, you can remove unwanted features or remove master-page settings from the Default.aspx.
What happens when we add another form to this applocation
When you choose a new Web Form to be added to this web form application, it “offers you a new item in VS 2010 Add New Item dialog” it shows you a new template “Web Form using Master Page” along with old “Web Form” template; which is anyways available in all other previous version of Visual Studio.
Now if you pick the new template it opens a dialog where it will show you the default provided or if you have added your own MasterPage in a list, so you can apply the selected MasterPage setting on this being newly added web form.

click here to see larger image, use brower’s back button to continue reading post

VS 2010 Multi-Monitor support

December 20th, 2009 | Posted by Vidya Vrat in Visual Studio - (0 Comments)

World is changing and now most of the people has started working with two monitors, it makes them more productive, as people say.

Now if you consider, that you can view Form-Design and Form-code together, would it make you productive? or if you have ever felt sometimes how annoying it is to navigate from one tab to another tab in code editor view to look at code, compare, debug, or even work.

Considering this fact VS 2010 team made these Code/Form-Design windows Floatable, and so whichever code/design window you want to open in another monitor/screen parallely you can select “Float” option on the context menu (right-click that window) and drag it to your 2nd monitor.

If you see in the image here, as you right-click on a window it shows you a new option “Float”

click on the image to see larger view

Float was not an option with VS 2008 or earlier version of Visual Studios.Other options shown in the contect menu in the image above are same as of Visual Studio 2008 and earlier versions.

Visual Studio 2010 has new feature to invoke T-SQL Editor inside its IDE itself.

So unlike in VS 2008 and other previous Visual Studio versions where you had to open SQL Server Management Studio to run the T-SQL queries, VS 2010 provides this feature which comes handly when you need to interact with database without leaving your Visusl Studio IDE.

You can access it through Data menu by choosing Transact-SQL Editor option. It offers connectivity only with SQL Server 2008 only, in order to open T-SQL Editor.

click on the image to see in larger view, use back button to continue reading

Once the T-SQL Editor is open it also shows the SQL related toolbar on the top, as shown marked in RED color on top-left, and allows you to work with SQL 2008 Databases without leaving the VS 2010 IDE.