Code style preferences

Code style preferences can be set for your C# and Visual Basic projects by opening the Options dialog box from the Tools menu. In the Options dialog box, select Text Editor > [C# or Basic] > Code Style > General.

Each item in the list shows a preview of the preference when selected:

Code style options

Code style options

Options set in this window are applicable to your Visual Studio personalization account and aren't associated with a particular project or codebase. In addition, they aren't enforced at build time, including in continuous integration (CI) builds. If you want to associate code style preferences with your project and have the styles enforced during build, specify the preferences in an .editorconfig file.


This topic applies to Visual Studio on Windows. For Visual Studio for Mac, see Editor behavior in Visual Studio for Mac.

EditorConfig files

Code style settings for .NET can also be specified by adding an EditorConfig file to your project.

Click Generate .editorconfig file from settings to automatically generate a coding style .editorconfig file based on the options you've set on this Options page.

Generate editorconfig file from settings in VS 2019

EditorConfig files are associated with a codebase rather than a Visual Studio personalization account. Settings in an EditorConfig file take precedence over options selected in the Options dialog box. Use an EditorConfig file when you want to enforce coding styles for all contributors to your repo or project.

Preference and severity

For each code style setting on this page, you can set the Preference and Severity values using the drop-downs on each line. Severity can be set to None, Suggestion, Warning, or Error. If you want to enable Quick Actions for a code style, ensure that the Severity setting is set to something other than None. The Quick Actions light bulb light bulb, error light bulb error light bulb, or screwdriver screwdriver icon appears when a non-preferred style is used, and you can choose an option on the Quick Actions list to automatically rewrite code to the preferred style.

Format Document command

You can configure the Format Document command (Edit > Advanced > Format Document) to perform additional code cleanup on a file, such as remove and sort usings or apply code-style preferences. You can define which settings you want Format Document to apply on the Formatting options page.

Code cleanup respects settings configured in an .editorconfig file, or lacking that rule or file, those set in Tools > Options > Text Editor > C# > [Code Style or Formatting].

The first time you trigger the Format Document command in Visual Studio, a yellow info bar prompts you to configure your code cleanup settings.


Rules configured with a severity of None don't participate in code cleanup, but can be individually applied via the Quick Actions and Refactorings menu.

See also