Integrated Development Environment for Visual Basic 6.0 Users

Visual Basic 2008 is fully integrated into the Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 integrated development environment (IDE), which differs in several ways from the Visual Basic 6.0 IDE.

Window and Layout Changes

In Visual Basic 2008, the standard arrangement of windows is different than it was in Visual Basic 6.0. If you prefer the Visual Basic 6.0 arrangement, you can set it by manually arranging the windows—the next time you open the IDE, your arrangement is preserved.

In Visual Basic 6.0, the IDE is set to MDI (multiple-document interface) layout by default; you had the option to set it to SDI (single-document interface) layout. In Visual Basic 2008, the default layout for the IDE is the Tabbed documents layout; SDI layout is no longer supported. To change to the MDI layout, on the Tools menu choose Options, and on the Environment, General tab, select Multiple documents.

In Visual Basic 6.0, you can control the docking behavior for some tool windows by choosing Options from the Tools menu. In Visual Basic 2008, all windows are dockable by default; you can control their behavior with the Dockable command on the Windows menu.

There are also some differences in the available windows between Visual Basic 6.0 and Visual Basic 2008.


In Visual Basic 2008, some of the debugging windows are available only in run mode; when you switch to design mode, the windows are hidden.

The following table shows some Visual Basic 6.0 windows and their Visual Basic 2008 equivalents.

Visual Basic 6.0

Visual Basic 2008

Color Palette

New implementation

Data View

New implementation; replaced by Server Explorer

Form Layout

New implementation

Project Explorer

Solution Explorer


Watch 1, Watch 2, Watch 3, Watch 4

Menu commands in Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 are standardized for all languages; in some cases, Visual Basic 6.0 menu commands are replaced by different commands in Microsoft Visual Studio 2005.

In Visual Basic 6.0, all menu commands are visible at all times but are dimmed when out of context; in Visual Basic 2008, the set of available commands differs according to context.

The following table lists some common Visual Basic 6.0 commands and their Visual Basic 2008 equivalents.

Visual Basic 6.0

Visual Basic 2008

Add-Ins, Add-In Manager

Tools, Add-in Manager

Debug, Add Watch

Add Watch (context menu only)

Debug, Edit Watch

New implementation. Watches are edited in the Watch window.

Debug, Run To Cursor

Run To Cursor (context menu only)

Debug, Set Next Statement

Set Next Statement (context menu only)

Debug, Show Next Statement

Show Next Statement (context menu only)

Edit, Complete Word

Edit, IntelliSense, Complete Word

Edit, Find

Edit, Quick Find

Edit, Find Next

Edit, Quick Find

Edit, Indent

Edit, Advanced, Increase Line Indent

Edit, Insert File

Edit, Insert File As Text

Edit, List Constants

Edit, IntelliSense, List Members

Edit, List Properties/Methods

Edit, IntelliSense, List Members

Edit, Outdent

Edit, Advanced, Decrease Line Indent

Edit, Parameter Info

Edit, IntelliSense, Parameter Info

Edit, Quick Info

Edit, IntelliSense, Quick Info

Edit, Replace

Edit, Quick Replace

File, Make ProjectName

Build, Build ProjectName

File, Make Project Group

Build, Build Solution

File, Print Setup

File, Page Setup

File, Recent files list

File, Recent Projects

File, Remove Project

Edit, Remove

File, Save Project Group

File, Save SolutionName or File, Save All

File, Save Project Group As

File, Save SolutionName As

File, Save Selection

File, Save Selected Items

Format, Size to Grid

New implementation. Controlled by Snap to Grid environment option.

Help, Microsoft on the Web

Community, Developer Center

Project, Add Class Module

Project, Add Class

Project, Add Data Environment

New implementation. Data Environment is not supported.

Project, Add Data Report

New implementation. Data Reports are not supported.

Project, Add DHTML Page

New implementation. DHTML Pages are not supported.

Project, Add File

Project, Add New Item or Project, Add Existing Item

Note   In Visual Basic 6.0, the file itself is added to the project; in Visual Basic 2008 a copy of the file is added.

Project, Add Form

Project, Add Windows Form or Project, Add Inherited Form

Project, Add MDI Form

Project, Add Windows Form or Project, Add Inherited Form

Project, Add Property Page

New implementation. Property Pages are not supported.

Project, Add User Document

New implementation. ActiveX Documents are not supported.

Project, Add Web Class

New implementation. Web Classes are not supported.

Project, Components

New implementation. Components are managed in the Toolbox.

Project, References

New implementation. References are managed in Solution Explorer.

Project, Remove item

Edit, Delete

"Remove item" removed the item from the project but not from disk; "Delete" deletes the item.

Run, Break

Debug, Break All

Run, End

Debug, Stop Debugging

Run, Restart

Debug, Restart

Run, Start

Debug, Start Debugging

Run, Start With Full Compile

New implementation. You can still run without debugging by pressing CTRL+F5.

Tools, Add Procedure

New implementation. Procedures are added in the Code Editor.

Tools, Menu Editor

New implementation. The Menu Editor is replaced by the MainMenu and ContextMenu components.

Tools, Procedure Attributes

New implementation.

Tools, SourceSafe

File, Source Control

View, Call Stack

Debug, Windows, Call Stack

View, Color Palette

New implementation. There is no Color Palette window.

View, Data View Window

New implementation. There is no Data View window.

View, Definition

Go To Definition (context menu only)

View, Form Layout Window

New implementation. There is no Form Layout window.

View, Immediate Window

Debug, Windows, Immediate

View, Last Position

New implementation. Use Bookmarks

View, Locals Window

Debug, Windows, Locals

View, Object

View, Designer

View, Project Explorer

View, Solution Explorer

View, Watch Window

Debug, Windows, Watch

Window, Arrange Icons

New implementation.

Window, Cascade

Only available in MDI layout mode.

Window, Tile Horizontally

Only available in MDI layout mode.

Window, Tile Vertically

Only available in MDI layout mode.

Window, Window list


Keyboard Mapping Changes

Keyboard mappings in Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 are based on a settings profile that you choose the first time you load the IDE. If you chose the Visual Basic profile, the keyboard mappings will be the same as in Visual Basic 6.0. You can change the keyboard mappings or restore them to their original settings in the Tools, Options dialog box. For more information, see Visual Studio Settings.

See Also

Other Resources

Customizing the Development Environment

Debugger Roadmap

Help for Visual Basic 6.0 Users