Manage editor modes

With Visual Studio, you can view the code editor in various display modes.


The dialog boxes and menu commands you see might differ from those described in this article depending on your active settings or edition. To change your settings, for example to General or Visual C++ settings, select Tools > Import and Export Settings, and then select Reset all settings.

Enable full screen mode

You can choose to hide all tool windows and view only document windows by enabling Full Screen mode.

  • Press Shift+Alt+Enter to enter or exit Full Screen mode.

    -- or --

  • Issue the command View.Fullscreen in the Command window.

To view or change this option, go to Tools > Options > Environment > Keyboard and then enter 'View.FullScreen' in the Show commands containing section.

Screenshot of the View.FullScreen command from the keyboard mapping scheme available from the Options dialog.

To learn more about keyboard shortcuts and their associated commands, see Keyboard shortcuts in Visual Studio.

Enable virtual space mode

In Virtual Space mode, spaces are inserted at the end of each line of code. Select this option to position comments at a consistent point next to your code.

  1. Select Options from the Tools menu.

  2. Expand the Text Editor folder, and select All Languages to set this option globally, or select a specific language folder. For example, to turn on line numbers only in Visual Basic, select the Basic > Text Editor node.

  3. Select General options, and under Settings, select Enable Virtual Space.


    Virtual Space is enabled in Column Selection mode. When Virtual Space mode is not enabled, the insertion point moves from the end of one line directly to the first character of the next.