Editing Text, Code, and Markup

The Visual Studio Code Editor provides a number of features designed to help you write and edit code. The exact features and their locations vary somewhat, depending upon your development language and your active settings.


The dialog boxes and menu commands you see might differ from those described in Help depending on your active settings or edition. To change your settings, choose Import and Export Settings on the Tools menu. For more information, see Visual Studio Settings.

There are various ways to open a file in the Code Editor:

  • Select a form or module in Solution Explorer and click the View Code button.

  • With a form open in a Design view editor, choose Code from the View menu.

  • Right-click on any control on a Design view surface and choose View Code from the shortcut menu.

  • On the File menu, choose Open File or New File and open a source code file for editing.

The Code Editor also serves as the Source view editor for the HTML Designer and XML Designer, among other.

As you edit Visual Basic, Visual C#, Visual J#, or Visual C++ files in the Code Editor, the language service offers suggestions on how to complete the statements you are writing via IntelliSense. When you open a text document or add a new document to a blank solution, the Code Editor acts as a plain text editor.

When designing applications to run on the UNIX or Macintosh platforms, you can save project files in platform-appropriate document formats. To do this, choose Save As from the File menu, select Save With Encoding from the Save button, and then under Line Endings choose Unix or Macintosh.


If you share files with developers at remote sites who use site-specific encoding, specify an appropriate Unicode encoding page as you save your files. This action helps ensure that your files remain readable to all users. For more information, see How to: Manage File Storage.

In This Section

Each topic introduces procedures on configuring and using the Code Editor.

These topics provide further guidance on how to use and customize the Code Editor.

  • Editing Resources
    Information about how to use various resource editors when working in Visual C++ code.

  • Customizing the Editor
    Options and settings that adjust the appearance and position of text and code.

  • Coding Aids
    Describes IntelliSense, the Toolbox, Class View, and the Object Browser.