Get started with Visual Studio 2017

User Interface

When you open Visual Studio, there are a number of tool windows that let you interact with your code: Visual Studio tool windows

  1. The Code editor is where you write your code.
  2. The Solution explorer shows the files you’re working with.
  3. The Properties pane gives additional information and context about selected parts of your project.
  4. The Output window displays debugging and error messages, compiler warnings, status messages, and other output.

You can add additional tool windows by using the View menu at the top. For example, the Bookmarks tool window lets you bookmark lines of code for quick access. The layout of your tool windows is highly customizable — you can add additional windows, remove the ones you have open, and move them around to best suit how you work.

At the top of the screen, you’ll see Visual Studio’s menus, which you’ll use to run various commands. Here’s a high level overview of the most important ones: Visual Studio menus

  1. The File menu contains commands to create, open, and save projects.
  2. The Edit menu contains commands to search, modify, and refactor your code.
  3. The View menu is where you go to open additional tool windows in Visual Studio.
  4. The Project menu lets you add files and dependencies in your project.
  5. The Debug menu contains commands to run your code and use debugger features.
  6. The Tools menu contains commands to change your settings, add functionality to Visual Studio via extensions, and access various Visual Studio tools.


The Visual Studio toolbar, shown below the menus, provides quick access to the most common commands.

Visual Studio toolbar

You can change what commands the toolbar contains by going to View → Customize

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