Want to Customize your menus in Visual Studio 2005? Here's how... (Lisa Feigenbaum)

Want to Customize your menus in Visual Studio 2005? Here's how... (Lisa Feigenbaum)

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This post was inspired by a customer bug on Connect.  However, it exposes a cool trick that you all might want to try!

Consider the case that you want to make the Command Window item appear in the View menu itself (rather than in its current location in View->Other Windows).  Here are 2 ways of doing so:


Go to Tools->Customize...
Click on the View menu in Visual Studio and navigate via Other Windows to Command Window.
Drag the Command Window item from the Other Windows flyout to the location you prefer in the View menu.
Close the dialog, and you're done!

Note: You can use the same process to surface any command that you find yourself using frequently...  Just find the command in the Tools->Customize dialog, and drag it onto the menu of your choice.  If you'd like to remove an existing command, locate it in the associated menu (while the Tools->Customize dialog is up), and drag it off the current location.


Start again by going to Tools->Customize...
Click on the Commands Tab.
Select View from the Categories pane
Click the "Rearrange commands" button
Click the Menu Bar radio button, and select View from the dropdown on the right.
Click Add to add the command.
Select View from the Categories pane, select Command Window from the Commands pane, and press OK.
The command will now show up in the View menu.
Select Move Up or Move Down until you find the exact location where you want it to show up.
Finally, you can do similar steps to remove a command, using the Remove button.

One more tip...  Sometimes it can be hard to find the command that you want to customize, if you don't know the Category under which it falls.  In that case, click on the Keyboard button in the Tools->Customize dialog.  Start typing the description of the command into the textbox labeled "Show commands containing".  The list below the textbox will filter down to the command names which match that string.  This is a useful way to view these commands, because they are displayed with the category name first.  For example, if you want to find the command to navigate back and forth between windows, type "navigate" and you will find View.NavigateForward in the filtered list below.  Now you know to look under the View menu for this command!

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  • Cooler than COOL!

    I was really pi...d off by lots of the menu items in the shortcut list (your previous post) not appearing on the Express version menus. At least I now know how to add them! (Why were they removed in the first instance?)

    Is there somewhere a list of standard version features taken out of the Express version? That would save a lot of time hunting down non-existing problem resolutions.

    (I am a retired hobbyist who do not want to afford the full version)

    Thanks again.

  • Yes, when MS moves menus it's really annoying. They should put them in both places, or be smart and know you have previous version and put them in both places.

    This goes for all MS applications. VS, Office apps, ...

  • vtondrjc,

    You can find the list of Express features vs. other versions of Visual Studio 2005 here:



    Chris Mayo

    Visual Basic Program Manager

  • The Visual Basic team blog has had quite a run of great posts lately. The topics have been very interesting

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