Going lean in Visual Studio

Left unchecked, Visual Studio tends to get very cluttered:

I found I don’t use any of these icons.  Copy, Cut, Paste, Undo, Redo?  Those are all keyboard shortcuts.  Comment and Uncomment?  Ctrl+K+C, Ctrl+K+U.  Save All?  Ctrl+Shift+S.

No more, I’m going lean.  None of these toolbars provided me value, taking up valuable screen real estate, so I got rid of them all:


That’s about 80 pixels I saved, and about 5 more lines of code are visible.  Beyond that, I’m no longer distracted by a hundred little icons, each hoping they’ll be clicked juuuuust once to prove their worth.

About Jimmy Bogard

I'm a technical architect with Headspring in Austin, TX. I focus on DDD, distributed systems, and any other acronym-centric design/architecture/methodology. I created AutoMapper and am a co-author of the ASP.NET MVC in Action books.
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  • Wow thanks. I never even realized that I never used them. They were there. I ignored them. I never questioned it.

    It’s kind of creepy. I think I’m a zombie.

  • An easier way to get really lean, really fast is full screen mode.

  • @matt

    Yeah, the full screen is nice. I’m not fond of alt-tabbing through programs though. I still click the toolbar (crazy, I know). Until I get around my alt-tab fear, it’ll be tough to go full screen.

  • An intermediate step [instead of just embracing ALT-TAB] would be to use the window key to get quick and easy access to the taskbar while in VS fullscreen mode.

  • to go even more lean, you can turn off the class/method drop-down boxes below your tabs, which I never use either:
    Text Editor | All Languages | General | Navigation bar

  • David Pritchard

    An alternative to removing the toolbars altogether is to drag the one or two buttons you most use to the right side of the menu bar, where there’s usually a fair bit of free space. Then just hide the regular toolbars and you have the best of both worlds!

  • Hey this was great article. I was not aware of everything in going lean.