Customizing Menu Options in Visual Studio

This is one of the cool features that is offered in Visual Studio 2005. I came across this recently, when one of our customers was unable to find the location of the Java Language Conversion Assistant in the normal File -> Open -> Convert... menu of Visual Studio. When I dug deeper into the same here is what I observed.

Visual Studio 2005 Team Edition comes with 7 options as the default settings which a user can choose. They are
1. General Development Settings
2. Team Test Settings
3. Visual Basic Development Settings
4. Visual C# Development Settings
5. Visual C++ Development Settings
6. Visual J# Development Settings
7. Web Development Settings

When a user starts Visual Studio for the first time, Visual Studio prompts the user to select one of these settings and makes it the default setting for that system. The default menu options for the various Visual Studio menu choices are different for the different settings that a user chooses as default for Visual Studio.

The JLCA tool can be accessed from all but the following settings from the above menu
1. Visual Basic Development Settings
2. Web Development Settings

The normal way to access JLCA from Visual Studio is

This enables the user to reach the dialogue box as shown below to access the JLCA tool

Choosing JLCA in this dialogue box launches the JLCA Wizard where-in a user can feed in the options for converting the Java/VJ++ source code to C#.

For the two settings where JLCA cannot be accessed from the above option, here are the two ways to launch the same:

1. Customizing the Menu Option
2. Changing the default settings for Visual Studio

The way a user can customize the Menu Options in Visual Studio is as follows:

  • Suppose we are in the Visual Basic (or any other) Visual Studio setting
  • Goto Tools -> Customize

  • In the Customize dialog box, goto Commands, choose File

  • Click on Rearrange Commands… button, choose Add, goto File, choose the Convert Command and click OK

  • This would add the Convert... option in the File Menu. The File menu item now look like this

The way a user can change the default user settings is shown below

  • Goto Tools->Import And Export Settings...

  • Choose "Reset All Settings" and click Next

  • In case you want to save your current settings, save as appropriate. Or else, choose to reset settings overwriting the current settings 

  • This would let you choose one of the possible 7 default settings. Choose the wanted setting and click Finish.

Hope this helps you :)