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Tip 4.21: You can use Shift+Click to automatically dock an autohiding tool window

November 21, 2014

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

Sara Ford’s Blog

Sara Aside

She thought she had discovered a bug where “Shift+clicking a tool window that is docked at the bottom of the IDE causes the window to disappear instead of docking.” But after repro-ing on someone else’s machine (it is so important to get a repro on another machine when you are not sure), she realized that it occurred anywhere. Then she realized what the “bug” was…. If the tool window is still sliding out, it will dock. But if the tool window hasn’t started to slide out yet, Shift+Click will perform a Hide command. So this tip is based on both behaviors.

Let’s start with “Tool Window 101” training. When a tool window is docked (as discussed in Tip 4.13), you have the option to autohide. Just click the autohide push pin as shown in the following image. Or go to the Window menu and choose Auto Hide to autohide the currently selected tool window.

Clicking this push pin causes the window to autohide, as shown here:

You can mouse over the Solution Explorer and click the push pin again to redock. Or you can go to the Window menu and choose Auto Hide, which unchecks the Auto Hide setting. But what’s the fun in that?

Now for the actual tip. Did you know that you can press Shift+Click on the autohiding tool window (the second picture in this tip) to move it into a docked state?

However, if the tool window is already sliding out (as shown in the next screen shot), it is automatically hidden.

So you are probably wondering, “Okay Sara, so what is Shift+Click really supposed to do?” It is supposed to perform a Window.Hide command. But when the tool window starts to slide, stuff happens in the IDE and it goes into a docked state instead of a hide state.

More than you ever wanted to know about the Visual Studio environment, huh?

Happy Programming! =)

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