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Tip 4.23: Why would you want to make a tool window float?

November 23, 2014

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

Sara Ford’s Blog

Recall from earlier in this chapter how tool windows are available in five different states:

  • Floating
  • Dockable
  • Tabbed document
  • Auto Hide
  • Hide

She would say that the dockable state actually represents two mutually exclusive positions the tool window can be in:

  • Docked The tool window is locked to a specific location, usually to the side of the IDE.
  • Hovering This is her made-up term to describe a tool window that is in the dockable state but is not docked. Recall that the dockable state is different from a floating state, because the floating state cannot be docked.

Most of these states are self-explanatory, especially after a little bit of trial and error, but the floating state may be less obvious. In a floating state, the tool window hovers over the IDE but cannot be docked to a fixed position in the IDE.

How is this useful? Sometimes you just want to position a tool window in a certain area and, unfortunately, the dock targets appear. If you set it to Floating, you never get docking targets for the tool window. (See Tip 4.13.)

Happy Programming! =)

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