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Effective Use of Visual Studio 2005 - Named Commands

Command Window: Ctrl+Alt+A

Named commands are used to access VS features from Command Window. Visual Studio 2005 provides full intellisense support in the command window. I experienced that using named commands is much faster than accessing these features with mouse.

Named commands allow you to access and use menu commands in the command window. To use named commands, simply type the name of menu. Press '.' and VS will provide intellisense. Type the name of the menu option or select it from intellisense.

Example:

To access Find Results 1 window you have to

  1. Click on the 'View' menu and then
  2. Click on the 'Find Results' and
  3. Finally choose 'Find Results 1'.

Now if you want to use named commands,

  1. Press Ctrl+Alt+A to activate command window.
  2. Type View.findresults1. You don't need to type full text. Intellisense provides yoy write text. Just press enter.

Some Examples of Named Copmmands:

  • Window.NewWindow: Open a new window on your code.
  • Tools.Options: Bring up Options dialog box.
  • Edit.ViewWhiteSpace: (Ctrl+R, Ctrl+W) Replace white spaces with a dot.
  • Convert tab to spaces: Ctrl+K, Ctrl+D
  • Window.ActivateDocumentWindow: Switch to document window.
  • Window.AutoHide: Hide command window. (Use Ctrl+Alt+A to show command window)
  • Window.AutoHideAll: Hide all windows except document windows. It will hide even pinned-up windows too.
  • Window.ShowEzMDIFileList: Show Easy MDI File List.
  • Window.Split: Split code window into two. Both windows show same files but you can scroll them independently. Issue same command to close splitting.
  • Window.Windows: Open 'Windows' window. More Info
  • Edit.ClearAll: Clear Command Window.

Named Command and Keyboard Shortcuts

Usually VS features can be accessed in two ways: using keyboard shortcusts or using named commands. But using named commands is easier than using keyboard shortcuts:

You need to learn keyboard shortcuts. But named commands are not required to learn, as they are based of the menu navigation which is most commanlyt used.
Keyboard shortcuts are customizable. You (or anybody else) can change them. If you are working on some other machine, you may not have same keyboard shortcuts.
There is no help (intellisense) provided for keyboard shortcuts.
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