Arrange and dock tool windows

By default, designer windows and editor windows that display documents are arranged on tabbed panes in the editing frame of the integrated development environment.

Tool and document windows can be arranged by dragging, by using commands on the Window menu, and by right-clicking the title bar of the window to be arranged. Toolbars can be arranged by dragging, or by using the Customize dialog box.

To move a dockable window without snapping it into place, press CTRL while you drag it.

Floating Windows

Any tool window or document window can be undocked from the IDE and moved anywhere on the desktop. If two related document windows are displayed at the same time, both are updated when the content is edited in either.

To position a tool window or document window outside the IDE

To return a tool window or document window to its most recent docked location

Docking Windows

Editor windows are arranged on tabbed panes in the editing frame of the IDE.

Tool windows can be fastened to one side of a frame in the IDE. A guide diamond appears when you drag a tool window to another location in the IDE. The guide diamond helps you re-dock the window on one of the four sides of the IDE, or to a location in the editing frame.

The image above shows the guide diamonds that appear when you drag a tool window toward the center of the IDE. The diamond on the right edge only appears when you drag a tool window toward the edge of the IDE.

To dock tool windows and document windows

  1. Click the tool window or document window you want to dock.
  2. Drag the window toward the middle of the IDE.
    A guide diamond appears.
  3. The four arrows of the diamond point toward the four sides of the editing pane. If the window is a tool window, an additional four arrows point to the four edges of the IDE.
  4. When the window you are dragging reaches the location where you want to dock it, move the pointer over the corresponding portion of the guide diamond. The designated area is shaded.
  5. To dock the window in the position indicated, release the mouse button.

For example, if Solution Explorer is docked on the right edge of the IDE and you want to dock it on the left edge, drag Solution Explorer toward the middle of the IDE, move the pointer over the far left arrow of the guide diamond, and then release the mouse button.

Alternatively, you can dock a tool window to a portion of one of the side walls of the IDE by dragging it to the side until you see a secondary guide diamond. Click one of the four arrows to dock the tool window to that portion of the side wall.