Step 1: Create a Windows Forms Application project
When you create a picture viewer, the first step is to create a Windows Forms Application project.
For a video version of this topic, see Tutorial 1: Create a picture viewer in Visual Basic - Video 1 or Tutorial 1: Create a picture viewer in C# - Video 1. These videos use an earlier version of Visual Studio, so there are slight differences in some menu commands and other user interface elements. However, the concepts and procedures work similarly in the current version of Visual Studio.
Open Visual Studio 2017
On the menu bar, choose File > New > Project. The dialog box should look similar to the following screenshot.
New project dialog box
Choose either Visual C# or Visual Basic on the left side of the New Project dialog box, and then choose Windows Desktop.
In the templates list, choose Windows Forms App (.NET Framework). Name the new form PictureViewer, and then choose the OK button.
If you don't see the Windows Forms App (.NET Framework) template, use the Visual Studio Installer to install the .NET desktop development workload.
For more information, see the Install Visual Studio page.
Open Visual Studio 2019
On the start window, choose Create a new project.
On the Create a new project window, enter or type Windows Forms in the search box. Next, choose Visual Basic from the Language list, and then choose Windows from the Platform list.
After you apply the language and platform filters, choose the Windows Forms App (.NET Framework) template, and then choose Next.
If you do not see the Windows Forms App (.NET Framework) template, you can install it from the Create a new project window. In the Not finding what you're looking for? message, choose the Install more tools and features link.
Next, in the Visual Studio Installer, choose the Choose the .NET desktop development workload.
After that, choose the Modify button in the Visual Studio Installer. You might be prompted to save your work; if so, do so. Next, choose Continue to install the workload.
In the Configure your new project window, type or enter PictureViewer in the Project name box. Then, choose Create.
Visual Studio creates a solution for your program. A solution acts as a container for all of the projects and files needed by your program. These terms will be explained in more detail later in this tutorial.
About the Windows Forms Application project
The development environment contains three windows: a main window, Solution Explorer, and the Properties window.
If any of these windows are missing, restore the default window layout by, on the menu bar, choosing Window > Reset Window Layout. You can also display windows by using menu commands. On the menu bar, choose View > Properties Window or Solution Explorer. If any other windows are open, close them by choosing the Close (x) button in their upper-right corners.
- Main window In this window, you'll do most of your work, such as working with forms and editing code. The window shows a form in the Form Editor. At the top of the window, the Start Page tab and the Form1.cs [Design] tab appear. (In Visual Basic, the tab name ends with .vb instead of .cs.)
- Main window In this window, you'll do most of your work, such as working with forms and editing code. The window shows a form in the Form Editor.
Solution Explorer window In this window, you can view and navigate to all items in your solution. If you choose a file, the contents of the Properties window changes. If you open a code file (which ends in .cs in Visual C# and .vb in Visual Basic), the code file or a designer for the code file appears. A designer is a visual surface onto which you can add controls such as buttons and lists. For Visual Studio forms, the designer is called the Windows Forms Designer.
Properties window In this window, you can change the properties of items that you choose in the other windows. For example, if you choose Form1, you can change its title by setting the Text property, and you can change the background color by setting the Backcolor property.
The top line in Solution Explorer shows Solution 'PictureViewer' (1 project), which means that Visual Studio created a solution for you. A solution can contain more than one project, but for now, you'll work with solutions that contain only one project.
On the menu bar, choose File > Save All.
As an alternative, choose the Save All button on the toolbar, which the following illustration shows.
Save All toolbar button
Visual Studio automatically fills in the folder name and the project name and then saves the project in your projects folder.
To continue or review
To go to the next tutorial step, see Step 2: Run your program.
To return to the overview topic, see Tutorial 1: Create a picture viewer.