Visual Studio 2012 Solution Explorer Enhancements

Visual Studio 2012 Solution Explorer Enhancements

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Visual Studio 2012 comes with a lot of enhancements. One of the significant one is the Solution Explorer enhancement and it has many. Solution Explorer looks like a build from scratch. The new Solution Explorer is the combination of Object Browser, Class View, Find All References etc. Ideally you do not need to go to any other Window to work

Here are the few

Solution Explorer is now Object Browser

Solution Explorer now behaves like Object Browser. So you can see fields, methods etc. from solution explorer windows itself


Solution Explorer let’s you search

From Solution Explorer can search anything from the file and its content. Then you hit ENTER it opens the file.


It is contain search. That is because


You can also search using Pascal breaking


Navigation would open the file in Editor

So when you select a file in Solution Explorer it opens the file in editor. You do not need to double click to open. Once navigated away it then closes the file. This opens in a separate tab called “Preview Window”. This is reusable Tab and every time we select a different file it uses the same window to open the content. When you type then the Tab gets committed and opens in left. Otherwise it stays at right. Also you can click on the tab to open and commit the tab to left.


Scoping down to small list

From a big list of solution explorer content you can scope it down to one file and view the content from there.


Then the window looks like this,


To be back from this view use the short cut Ctrl + Right Arrow

Multiple Solution Explorer Windows

You can have multiple Solution Explorer windows and this helps in multi monitor scenario.


Apart from this you also have

  • Base Types
  • Derived Types
  • Derived By
  • Is Used By
  • Calls
  • Is Called By

Solution Explore Shows only the open files

So if you have 5 files open out of 100, it will only show them



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  • Oh, so you mean they've renamed the VS2010 Solution Navigator to Solution Explorer, then completely removed the Solution Explorer window?  Frankly, this sucks.  The Solution Navigator doesn't work for crap and that's why I've avoided it like the plague, as have everyone I work with.  Now in VS2012 there will be no choice.  Just great.  Yet another reason this version of VS blows.  I really hope my next contract takes me out of MS land.

  • > To be back from this [scoped] view use the short cut Ctrl + Right Arrow

    It is Ctrl - Left Arrow for me, but thanks anyway, it got me on the right track!

  • It doesn't seem to matter if MS has figured something out years ago... They always need to "change" things; for better or worse. I'm so sick of having something "completely wired" and then have to figure out how to do the same thing over again.

    A wheel is a wheel... Stop trying to reinvent it!!!!!!!

    I just want to show the solution folder in the Explorer (or whatever it's called in this version). I want to add projects to it. Now, I need aspirin, again. (vs 2012)

  • Is is possible to group files such as tables/schemas/stored procedures in the solution explorer windown.

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