The Toolbox

The Toolbox

The Visual Studio 2005 Toolbox has been significantly enhanced. It is now used to provide more than just access to the many controls when building forms. It now provides access to nearly anything that can be dragged onto one of the many designers used for creating forms, XML schemas, class diagrams, and the like. As an example, if you are building a web form, the Toolbox provides the many controls, grouped for easier access, which can be added to the form. Furthermore, if you are working on a class diagram, the Toolbox will give you access to classes, enums, and interfaces that can be added to the diagram.

Figure shows the Toolbox in a standard configuration (undocked from the IDE) for building a web form. Note that the "Standard" group of controls is closed up to highlight some additional control groups. Note also some of the many new controls that have been added to ASP .NET (more on these in Chapter 11, "Writing ASP .NET Applications").

10. The Visual Studio Toolbox configured for a web form.


You can customize the Toolbox to your liking. For example, you can add your own groups (called tabs). You can also configure the Toolbox to show more icons on the screen at a time. As you familiarize yourself with the various standard controls, you can turn off their text descriptions and simply show them as icons. To do so, right-click the control group (tab) and turn off list view. Figure illustrates the additional screen real estate you will gain in doing so.

11. The Visual Studio Toolbox configured for more screen real estate.

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