I have to say first that I am a total keyboard-freak. I use keyboard shortcuts for all Visual Studio and ReSharper commands. Over Christmas, my main dual-24”-screen development machine developed a fault, and I fell back to my (excellent and highly recommended) Lenovo ThinkPad X201. Of course screen real estate was suddenly an issue, and I decided to do something radical.
I got rid of all the toolbars.
Yep – all of them.
Literally, I right-clicked the toolbar, and un-checked every single one, in both design mode and debugging mode. I then found and installed the Hide Main Menu plugin for Visual Studio.
Now Visual Studio looks like this:
This is good, I like this. Then I fixed my desktop PC, and didn’t want to lose the goodness, but also wanted to make use of VS2010’s improved multi-monitor support. I exported All Settings->General Settings->Window Layouts options to SingleMonitor.vssettings, put that file into my shared DropBox folder to sync it to the desktop, imported it, and customised VS to look like this:
I’ve exported those window layouts to MultiMonitor.vssettings, so I can easily switch between them. Sometimes I move to a single screen even on the desktop in order to read documents/websites on the secondary monitor, or when screen sharing with my colleagues.
If you want my window layout files, you can find them on my box.net page.
- Don’t forget when customising your window layouts to also customise them when debugging, as VS will switch between layouts as you start and finish debugging.
- Try closing toolwindows too. If you learn the shortcuts to get them back (or alternatives) it makes for a much cleaner feel.
- Try replacing the solution explorer with ReSharper’s “CTRL+T” command. It’s faster and doesn’t take up space.
- Try working in full-screen mode when actually coding (toggle using SHIFT+ALT+ENTER).
I appreciate I may have taken this as far as I could without using vi or something, but hopefully it serves as a little inspiration.