This request has been raised lately by folks working with XML, who want to create XML files without using a project. 

If a project is already open, then you can easily create a new file by right-clicking on the project, and selecting Add->New Item. (You can also use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Shift+A).  The command that this uses is called Project.AddNewItem.

If the file is not to be part of a project though, then you need to use the File.NewFile command.  If you are using the Visual Basic Development settings, then this command is not included in the File menu by default.  However, you can easily add it using the process described in our last blog post:

1) Go to Tools->Customize.
2) Click on the Commands tab.
3) Select File from the Categories, and New File from the Commands.
4) Drag “New File” onto the File menu.  Keep your mouse down as you move over the File menu, and the menu will expand.  Then you can drag the “New File” item down to the precise position that you choose.

One other way that you could access this command, without adding it to your menu, would be to assign it a keyboard shortcut.  Then you could just use the shortcut whenever you wanted to create a new file.  Here's what that process would look like:

1) Go to Tools->Options.
2) Check the box to Show All Settings.
3) Go to Environment->Keyboard.
4) Type File.NewFile into the textbox labeled "Show commands containing".
5) In the "Press Shortcut Keys" textbox, type in your new shortcut.  For example, type 'Ctrl+N, Ctrl+F'.  Note: if you try a shortcut that is already in use, you'll see the command name pop up in the "Shortcut currently used by" textbox.
6) Now click "Assign", and you're all done!  Start using your keyboard shortcut to invoke the New File dialog from anywhere in the IDE.