Simplify your Visual Studio 2010 Toolbar and Free Your Mind
You aren't using those toolbar buttons. Certainly not all of them. In fact, ScottGu once bet a group that they couldn't name every button from left to right.
In some cases toolbars get added, then added and forgotten about. But they are there, up there in toolbar-space and they are taking up not only pixels, but also mental space.
Go ahead and take two minutes. Free your mind and clean house.
Go setup your virtual development workspace and make it fresh and personal.
- Close all your toolbars (or at least try and make a good effort)
- Close as many pinned Toolboxes as you can
- Get a fresh font and color theme for Visual Studio from http://studiostyl.es
- Change your colors and even make make the Visual Studio 2010 IDE colors look like Visual Studio 2008 if you want. Personalize.
- Get a nice Visual Studio Wallpaper (or three) from this collection of dozen of VS 2010 Wallpapers submitted by the community.
Doesn't that feel better?
Here's my Visual Studio after cleaning house. It feels faster (it's not) and it looks cleaner and it imposes less psychic weight on me.
Right click on your Toolbar and remove the ones you don't use. Even better, while you're in customize mode, grab just those commands that you use (maybe ones that aren't on your toolbar even though you use them) and get rid of ANYTHING you don't use every day.
Now, all those docked/pinned Tool Windows? Close the ones you don't use every day. Ah, to use a Rob Conery-ism, it's like rolling up the window in you car while driving on the freeway.
Next, head over my friends at http://studiostyl.es and get a nice Visual Studio Color Scheme and then a new Wallpaper from http://vs2010wallpapers.com. Or, get creative and submit your own creation to both sites!
Enjoy and be happy.
- Visual Studio Programmer Themes Gallery and http://studiostyl.es/
- The Best Visual Studio 2010 Productivity Power Tools, Power Commands and Extensions
- Make the Visual Studio 2010 IDE colors look like Visual Studio 2008 with the Visual Studio Color Editor
- http://vs2010wallpapers.com for some lovely Community-Built Visual Studio wallpapers
Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.
So they don't cover the whole VS background area..
I would recommend keeping the Find in Files box, though. If you press Ctrl+/, that sets focus to it, and allows you to enter semi-arbitrary commands. For example, pressing Ctrl+/ then 'of' gives you an auto-complete list of any file in the current solution, and then opens it. It's quite handy, really.
I've tried no menu and no toolbars and I'm not a huge fan. I almost always get rid of tooboxes on the left, I keep just Solution Explorer/Navigator above Properties/Find and Replace on the right. Bottom is empty when I'm not in debug.
I had my own VS light colors on dark (dark!) green, but I had too many issues with extensions not respecting colors or not dealing well with light on dark. Also, I think it has a startup cost.
Here's a poster with VS 2010 keyboard shortcuts from Scott Gu's blog
I've used Jeff LeBert excellent suggestion to add toolbar icons to the menu. Much neater.
I only need help will two things and I'll be as happy as a pig in mud.
1) Close all but pinned. I'm sick of right click first.
2) Add the MercurialToolbar from CIDesigns to the menu then I have no toolbar line!
I've set Shift+F4 as shortcut to close all but pinned documents. See http://stackoverflow.com/questions/5286178/how-to-add-close-all-but-pinned-command-to-visual-studio-2010-menu-or-toolbar.
I've turned off MercurialToolbar from CIDesigns and added required Mercuial commands to the menu via macros. Here is the macro to commit.
Public Module hg
Public Sub Commit()
Dim solution = DTE.Solution
If Not solution.IsOpen Then
MsgBox("Open a solution first.")
Dim solutionFile = New FileInfo(DTE.Solution.FullName)
Dim process = New Process
.Arguments = "commit"
.FileName = "hgtk"
.WindowStyle = ProcessWindowStyle.Hidden
.WorkingDirectory = solutionFile.Directory.FullName
Catch ex As Exception
MsgBox(ex.ToString, MsgBoxStyle.OkCancel + MsgBoxStyle.Critical, "Exception")
ONTOPIC: Altough I agree that to much buttons up there are a distraction, I do feel that having a quick way to access some functions will help productivity. An example: some would say, you don't need the Run button on the toolbar, just hit F5 instead. However, when I'm working on some settings, or doing some other mouse intensive thing, I prefer to click the button, instead of having to hit a key on my keyboard, so I keep the run button on my toolbar.
Still, a good suggestion, that I will take to heart.
They're still there when I need them and they're easier to access and are always visible which makes them way more useful than when they're hidden and you have to hover over them to open.
Especially useful when developing on a laptop and screen real estate is a luxury.
Is there any other ways to select it without toolbar?
That totals to 4 screens, two horizontal one over the other and two vertical, one on each side. I went for 23", but slightly bigger vertical ones might allow you to make the font smaller and see more.
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