Personalize the Visual Studio IDE

You can personalize Visual Studio in various ways to best support your own development style and requirements. Many of your settings roam with you across Visual Studio instances — see Synchronized settings. This topic briefly describes different personalizations and where you can find more information.

General environment options

Many personalization options are exposed through the Environment Options dialog box. There are two ways to access this dialog box:

  • On the menu bar, choose Tools, Options, and if it's not already expanded, expand the Environment node.

  • Type environment in the Quick Launch box and choose Environment --> General from the results list.

    Tip

    When the dialog box appears, you can press F1 for help on the various settings on that page.

Environment color themes

To change the color theme between light, dark and blue, type environment in the Quick Launch box, and then choose Environment --> General. In the Options dialog box, change the Color theme option.

To change colorization options in the editor, type environment in the Quick Launch box, and then choose Environment --> Fonts and Colors. See How to: Change fonts and colors.

You can change the main menu casing between Title Case ("File") and All Caps ("FILE"). Type environment in the Quick Launch box, select Environment --> General, and then change the Apply title case styling to menu bar option.

Customzing menus and toolbars

To add or remove menu or toolbar items, see How to: Customize menus and toolbars.

Start page

To create a custom start page for you and your team, see Customizing the Start page.

Window layouts

You can define and save multiple window layouts and switch between them. For example, you can define one layout for coding and one for debugging. To arrange window positions and behavior and save custom layouts, see Customizing window layouts.

External tools

You can customize the Tools menu to launch external tools For more information, see Managing external tools.

See also

Visual Studio IDE overview
Quickstart: first look at the Visual Studio IDE