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Monday, August 24, 2009

Visual Studio 2010 Toolbox

I’ve been flipping through Visual Studio 2010 for the last little while and I think I’ve come across something that would be really useful.  This isn’t an original idea, by far, but one that would bring a more modern take to the good old toolbox.

Here’s what you might see when you start up a new project in 2010:

toolbox selections in Visual Studio 2010

Pay no mind to the drawing errors on those expanders; I think this is a display bug in Visual Studio 2010 when you’re using a bigger font in your visual settings in Windows 7.

Beyond the stretchy plus sign, there is a fairly good categorical breakdown of all the controls types in Visual Studio.

What’s missing?  Search. Check out what they’ve been doing in Adobe After Effects for eons. 

With the contains filter up at the top, you are easily able to narrow down to effects (in this window), project items or elements on a composition timeline.

Take that one step further, now: what if I could type in “panel”, and any control that had “panel” in the name or the description tags would appear.  This would certainly helpful, especially if there was a “related items” filtered list as well.  So, I search for panel and see FlowLayoutPanel and Panel, but I would also see – under ‘related items’ – SplitContainer, TabControl etc.


  1. i have not toolbox into my vsX

  2. It's probably just been closed. Try View -> Toolbox or press CTRL + W -> X.