Understanding the Visual Studio .NET Environment
The first time you run Visual Studio 2008, you'll notice that the IDE contains a number of windows, such as the Solutions Explorer window on the right, which is used to view the files that make up a project. In addition to these windows, the IDE contains a number of tabs, such as the vertical Toolbox tab on the left edge of the IDE (refer to Figure 1.3). Try this now: Click the Toolbox tab to display the Toolbox window (clicking a tab displays an associated window). You can hover the mouse over a tab for a few seconds to display the window as well. To hide the window, simply move the mouse off the window (if you hovered over the tab to display it) or click on another window. To close the window completely, click the Close (X) button in the window's title bar.
You can adjust the size and position of any of these windows, and you can even hide and show them as needed. You'll learn how to customize your design environment in Hour 2.
The Properties window at the right side of the design environment is perhaps the most important window in the IDE, and it's the one you'll use most often. If your computer display resolution is set to 800x600, you can probably see only a few properties at this time. This makes it difficult to view and set properties as you create projects. All the screen shots in this book are taken at 800x600 due to size constraints, but you should run at a higher resolution if you can. I highly recommend that you develop applications with Visual C# at a screen resolution of 1024x768 or higher because it offers plenty of work space. Keep in mind, however, that end users might be running at a lower resolution than you are using for development. If you need to change your display settings, right-click your desktop and select Personalize.