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Tip 6.4: You can add your own files to the Import And Export Settings–Reset page list

May 6, 2012

“Visual Studio Tips, 251 ways to improve your Productivity” in Visual Studio“, courtesy of ‘Sara Ford’

Sara Ford’s Blog

If you go to the Reset page on the Tools–Import And Export Settings Wizard, you’ll see the list of files you can reset to. These settings files are the ones created by the Visual Studio team. But, let’s say that one of the default files has some small option that just annoys you or you want to add your own file to the list, as shown here:

These files live at \Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 11.0\Common7\IDE\Profiles. You’ll need administrator rights to access Program Files, so please use this tip at your own risk.

In this folder, you can add your own .vssettings files or modify the existing ones. She uses the General Development Settings, but any time she does a reset, the Tools–Customize–Show Shortcut Keys In ScreenTips option becomes unchecked. This option shows you the keyboard shortcut for a toolbar button in the ToolTip, a visual cue she absolutely must have.

If you find yourself in a similar situation, where you want to make small tweaks to one of the default settings files provided, you can do the following:

    1. Reset to General Development Settings.
    2. Enable the setting or settings you prefer.
    3. Do a full export (for example, check all options in the Export page), and write over the General Development Settings.
    4. Copy this file over the existing General Development Settings file that lives in \Program Files.

The next time you reset using these settings, you’ll see your preferred settings. And in her case, she’ll see her keyboard shortcuts in her ToolTips!

Happy Programming! =)

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