Creating Your Own Start Page

You can create a custom Start Page either by using the Start Page Project Template or by creating a blank Start Page.

The XAML designer may not provide fully accurate visual representations of custom Start Pages because of dependencies on the Visual Studio application model.

Using the Project Template

The Start Page project template creates a Start Page project that is a complete copy of the Visual Studio Start Page. You can then edit the Start Page to your specifications.

To create a custom Start Page by using the Start Page project template

  1. Download and install the Start Page project template from Visual Studio Gallery.


    At this time the Visual Studio 2010 Start Page project template has not been upgraded. For information about how to upgrade this template, see How to: Upgrade a Visual Studio Custom Start Page.

  2. After you have installed the template, create a new start page project with it.

  3. In the left pane of the New Project dialog box, under Installed Templates, expand the Other Project Types node, and then click Extensibility.

  4. In the middle pane, click Custom Start Page, and then name your project and click OK.

    Visual Studio creates a Start Page project that is a complete copy of the Visual Studio Start Page.

  5. From Solution Explorer, open StartPage.xaml.

  6. Edit StartPage.xaml.

    You can view your work by pressing F5 to open an experimental instance of Visual Studio with the custom Start Page installed.

Creating a Blank Start Page

The easiest way to create a blank Start Page is to use the Start Page project template and then remove the content.

To create a blank Start Page by using the Start Page project template

  1. Create a Start Page project by using the Start Page project template, as described in the previous procedure.

  2. Open StartPage.xaml.

  3. Remove all of the page content, leaving only the outer xml elements and the containing grid Grid element, so that your .xaml file resembles the following example.

       <Grid xmlns=""
                 d:DesignHeight="600" d:DesignWidth="800">
            <!--Add content here.-->
  4. Remove any supporting files you do not intend to use.

    You should keep the .vsix and .pkgdef files for deployment purposes.

    Alternatively, you can create a blank Start Page by creating a XAML file with the correct tag structure to be recognized by Visual Studio. You can then add markup and code-behind to get the desired appearance and functionality. For more information, see Creating a Custom Start Page.

Testing and Applying the Custom Start Page

Do not set the primary instance to run the custom Start Page until you verify that it does not crash. When you have tested your custom Start Page, you can apply it to your system by repeating the last three steps of this procedure in the primary instance of Visual Studio.

To test a custom Start Page

  1. Press F5.

    The experimental instance of Visual Studio opens with the new Start Page installed but not selected.

  2. In the experimental instance of Visual Studio, on the Tools menu, click Options.

  3. In the Options dialog box, under Environment, select Startup. Then, on the Customize Start Page list, select your .xaml file, and click OK.

  4. On the View menu, click Start Page.

    The working Start Page is displayed. You must close the experimental instance, re-copy any changed files, and then re-open the experimental instance to see new changes.

    You can share your custom Start Page by uploading the .vsix file from your bin\debug directory to the Visual Studio Marketplace Web site, or to another Web site or intranet share. For more information, see Deploying Custom Start Pages.

See Also

Customizing the Start Page
Walkthrough: Adding Custom XAML to the Start Page