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How to Modify the Options Panels in Visual Basic 2008

Part of the Visual Basic 2008 For Dummies Cheat Sheet

You can change almost everything about how you use your programming environment from the Options dialog box in Visual Basic 2008. Take the time to familiarize yourself with this handy dialog box and set up your environment for just the way you like to work.

You get to the Options dialog box by choosing Tools→Options from the main menu. You navigate through the various options screens using the tree view on the left side. To show the total of all of the options, check the Show All Settings check box in the lower-left corner of the Options dialog box. The following table gives you a rundown of the amazing amount of stuff you can alter from this one spot.

IDE Element Where You Set It What It Does for You
Tab sizes Text Editor – All Languages – Tabs Lets you specify the tab sizes for Visual Basic code (or any other language in Visual Studio, for that matter)
SQL Parameter Prefixes Database Tools – Query and View Designers When Visual Studio creates SQL parameters, it will add these prefixes to the names to meet with your standards.
Comment Tokens Environment – Task List These are the phrases that you can begin comments with in order to add them to the task list.
Opening view HTML Designer – General When you open an ASPX or HTML file, you have a choice to see it in the Designer View or the Code View.
Source control login Source Control – Plug-in Settings If you are using Source Safe, you can set your username here.
AutoRecover timing Environment – AutoRecover In case of blackout, you can set how often Visual Studio saves your code in an AutoRecover file, just like what happens in Office.
Viewing Help Environment – Help – General In Visual Studio, the Help is actually a totally separate application. You can view it inside Visual Studio by changing a setting here.
VB code options Projects and Solutions –VB Defaults If you like your code compiled with Option Explicit or Option Strict by default, you can set it here.
HTML Formatting Text Editor – HTML – Formats If you don’t like the editor adding the close tag to HTML elements for you, you can turn that off here.
Startup Actions Environment – Startup You can set the last project you worked on to load automatically here, as well as customize the RSS feed that the Start page uses.
Online Help Environment – Help – Online When you aren’t connected to the Internet, you may not want the Help software to check online. You can change the option here.
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