Visual Basic 2008 Programming: Business Applications with a Design Perspective
Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Chapter 8 Chapter 9
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Chapter 2: Visual Basic Programming Concepts
Last change: February 13 2016 18:48:07.

The Solution Explorer

The Solution Explorer is located on the upper right corner of the IDE. This window shows all the forms, references, classes, and modules that your current VB project(s) contain(s), as seen in Figure 2-4. (Note: If you do not see this window, click the View menu and select the Solution Explorer option. Alternatively, press Ctrl+Alt+L.)
There are six icons immediately below the Solution Explorer title bar: the Properties, Show All Files, Refresh, View Code, View Designer, and View Class Diagram icons(see Figure 2.4). If you do not see all these icons, click the form. To identify a particular icon, rest the mouse pointer on the item until its ToolTip appears. Click the View Code icon, and the code window will appear in the middle of the IDE screen in place of the form. Click the View Designer icon, and the form will appear over the code window. When developing a project, you will use these two icons often because you will need to toggle between the Code and Form views. If you have more than one form in your project, the form displayed is the one that is highlighted and the code is the one associated with this form. The Refresh icon refreshes the display of those items in this Solution Explorer window. The Properties icon shows the Properties window (or Properties page) of the item you highlight in the Solution Explorer. For example, if you click My Project in the Solution Explorer window and then click the Properties icon, you will see this project’s properties displayed in the Properties window, located at the lower right corner of the screen. The Show All Files icon toggles the display of all files under each category, such as References, within the solution and can be useful when you have many forms and modules in a solution.

Figure 2-4
The IDE for Visual Basic

Solutions and Projects

As a side note, you may wonder what a solution is. A solution is a container in which items are developed and put together for an application. Physically, it is a file folder. A solution can consist of one or more projects. A project can consist of forms, classes, and modules, all of which work together as a logical unit. When you have the project compiled, it typically produces an executable program (.exe file) or dynamic link library (.DLL file). A typical simple solution can consist of one project in which there is one form.
Look at the Solution Explorer again. Below the icons, you should see the Solution icon with the solution title—‘WindowsSolution1’, in our case. It also indicates that it contains one project. Below the solution title is the Project icon with project title—WindowsApplication1, which is the same as the solution title. Be aware of the existence of these icons and titles. You will need to deal with them from time to time.

Last change: February 13 2016 18:48:10.