General, Text Editor, Options Dialog Box

This dialog box lets you change global settings for the Visual Studio Code and Text Editor. To display this dialog box, click Options on the Tools menu, expand the Text Editor folder, and then click General.


The dialog boxes and menu commands you see might differ from those described in Help depending on your active settings or edition. To change your settings, choose Import and Export Settings on the Tools menu. For more information, see Visual Studio Settings.


  • Go to selection anchor after escape
    When selected, pressing the ESC key undoes the selection and moves the insertion point in the editor to the position where the current selection began.

  • Drag and drop text editing
    When selected, enables you to move text by selecting it and dragging it with the mouse to another location within the current document or any other open document.

  • Include insertion point movements in Undo list
    When selected, commands that move the insertion point are tracked in the Undo list. As a result, you can move to previous locations by choosing Undo from the Edit menu, and selecting entries from the Undo list.

  • Automatic delimiter highlighting
    When selected, delimiter characters that separate parameters or item-value pairs, as well as matching braces, are highlighted.

  • Track changes
    When selected, the code editor's selection margin displays a vertical yellow line to mark code recently changed, and vertical green lines next to unchanged code.

  • Auto-detect UTF-8 encoding without signature
    By default, the editor detects encoding by searching for byte order marks or charset tags. If neither is found in the current document, the code editor attempts to auto-detect UTF-8 encoding by scanning byte sequences. To disable the auto-detection of encoding, clear this option.


  • Selection margin
    When selected, displays a vertical margin along the left edge of the editor's text area. You can click this margin to select an entire line of text, or click and drag to select consecutive lines of text.

    Selection Margin on

    Selection Margin off

    HTMLpageSelectionMarginOn screenshot HTMLpageSelectionMarginOff screenshot
  • Indicator margin
    When selected, displays a vertical margin outside the left edge of the editor's text area. When you click in this margin, an icon and ToolTip that are related to the text appear. For example, breakpoint or task list shortcuts appear in the indicator margin. Indicator Margin information does not print.

  • Vertical scroll bar
    When selected, displays a vertical scrollbar which allows you to scroll up and down to view elements that fall outside the viewing area of the Editor. If vertical scrollbars are not available, you can use the Page Up, Page Down and cursor keys to scroll.

  • Horizontal scroll bar
    When selected, displays a horizontal scrollbar which allows you to scroll from side-to-side to view elements that fall outside the viewing area of the Editor. If horizontal scrollbars are unavailable, you can use the cursor keys to scroll.

Several other Options dialogs offer additional settings that can help you configure the editors of the integrated development environment (IDE) to your needs:

See Also


Customizing the Editor


General, Environment, Options Dialog Box

Other Resources

Using IntelliSense