New Window Management Features for Visual Studio 2005

As I've mentioned before, I own feature area testing outside of Accessibility Testing.  One of the feature areas i own is Window Management.  Here is a listing of some of the new Window Management features you'll see in the Technology Preview release.

File Tab Channel


File Tab Channel



  • Files enter channel from left to right

  • Files drop off when there is no more room on channel

  • Menu drop down listed on the right-hand side shows all files, whether they are still on the file channel or have been dropped off

  • Shark-fin tabs allow user to better differentiate the active file from the inactive ones

  • The design keeps your most active files on the left-side of the channel



IDE Navigator


IDE Navigator



  • Similar to the windows alt-tab dialog, this dialog is shown by pressing Ctrl+Tab, keeping the ctrl key depressed

  • All open tool windows and open files are shown in the IDE Navigator

  • Dismissing the IDE Navigator will set focus on the selected item, either tool window or file



Tool Window Docking

Tool Window Docking Targets



  • Docking Targets – provide easy way to drop a tool window exactly where you want it to go
  • Improved docking model
  • 5 states a tool window can be in
    • Floating
    • Dockable
    • Tabbed Document (in the mdi space)
    • AutoHide
    • Hide
  • The transition between states has changed.  In Visual Studio .NET 2003, the user could toggle the dockable state.  For example, to make the tool window undockable, the user unchecked the “Dockable” state.  Now, if the user were to try to do that, nothing would happen.  This is because tool windows now move to a new state, instead of toggling states.  To make a dockable tool window undockable, the user must move to the “Tabbed Document” state.

 Let me know your thoughts!