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Using the Task List


This article applies to Visual Studio 2015. If you're looking for the latest Visual Studio documentation, see Visual Studio documentation. We recommend upgrading to the latest version of Visual Studio. Download it here

Use the Task List to track code comments that use tokens such as TODO and HACK, or custom tokens, and to manage shortcuts that will take you directly to a predefined location in the code. Click on the item in the list to go to its location in the source code.

In this topic:

The Task List window

When the Task List is open, it appears at the bottom of the application window.

To open the Task List

  • On the View menu, choose Task List (Keyboard: Ctrl+\,T).

    Task List window

To change the sort order of the list

  • Click the header of any column. To further refine your search results, press Shift and click a second column header.

    As an alternative, on the shortcut menu, choose Sort by, and choose a header. To further refine your search results, press Shift and choose a second header.

To show or hide columns

  • On the shortcut menu, choose Show Columns. Choose the columns that you want to show or hide.

To change the order of the columns

  • Drag any column header to the location that you want.

User Tasks

The user task feature has been removed in Visual Studio 2015. When you open a solution which has user task data from Visual Studio 2013 and earlier in Visual Studio 2015, the user task data in your .suo file will not be affected, but the user tasks will not be displayed in the task list.

If you wish to continue to access and update your user task data, you should open the project in Visual Studio 2013 and copy the content of any user tasks into your preferred project management tool (such as Team Foundation Server).

Tokens and comments

A comment in your code preceded by a comment marker and a predefined token will also appear in the Task List window. For example, the following C# comment has three distinct parts:

  • The comment marker (//)

  • The token, for example (TODO)

  • The comment (the rest of the text)

// TODO: Load state from previously suspended application

Because TODO is a predefined token, this comment appears as a TODO task in the list.

Custom tokens

By default, Visual Studio includes the following tokens: HACK, TODO, UNDONE, NOTE. These are not case sensitive.

You can also create your own custom tokens.

To create a custom token
  1. On the Tools menu, choose Options.

  2. Open the Environment folder and then choose Task List.

    The Task List, Environment, Options Dialog Box is displayed.

    Visual Studio Task List

  3. In the Tokens category, in the Name text box, enter your token name, for example "BUG".

  4. In the Priority drop-down list, choose a default priority for the new token. Choose the Add button.

C++ TODO comments

By default, C++ TODO comments are displayed in the Task List window. You can change this behavior.

To turn off C++ TODO comments
  1. On the Tools menu, go to Options | Text Editor | C/C++ | View | Enumerate Comment Tasks and set the value to false.

  2. In the Options dialog box, open Text Editor.

  3. Under C/C++, choose View, and then set Enumerate Comment Tasks to False.


A shortcut is a bookmark in the code that is tracked in the Task List; it has a different icon than a regular bookmark. Double-click the shortcut in the Task List to go to the corresponding location in the code.

Visual Studio Task List Shortcut Icon

To create a shortcut

  • Insert the pointer into the code where you want to place a shortcut. Choose Edit | Bookmarks | Add Task List Shortcut or press (Keyboard: Ctrl+K, Ctrl+H).

    To navigate through the shortcuts in the code, choose a shortcut in the list, and then choose Next Task or Previous Task from the shortcut menu.

See Also

Task List, Environment, Options Dialog Box