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I love the text editor, but all the docking windows give me little room to code.

I really love the text editor in VS.NET, but with all the toolbars and docking windows, there never seems to be enough room to type my code, especially on my laptop. How do I reclaim space for my code without giving up the convenience of the rest of the features?
VS.NET does come with quite a few features and Microsoft is proud of them, which is why they stack them on the edges of your screen in docking windows. Unfortunately, those docking windows take away most of the space left to enter code, leaving only a postage stamp-sized area on some smaller screens. One thing you can do is close those docking windows, but then, when you pull them up with the appropriate menu item or keystroke, they're docked again and you have to close them again. Another thing you could do to right-click on the docked windows and choose the Floating option, but that keeps the window on top of your text editor windows even when you're typing code.

My personal favorite way to solve the 'too many docking windows' problem is to "unpin" the window by clicking on the pin icon in the upper right corner of the docked window, which will pop the window out when the mouse is over it, but slide it to the edge when you're typing code. I do all my work on a laptop with only 1024 x 768 resolution and I'm very happy with all my windows unpinned and hidden 'til I need them.

If even that's not enough coding room, you can choose the Full Screen option from the View menu (Shift+Alt+Enter), which will take away everything but the editor and the menu bar, including the VS.NET title and the shell's taskbar. This is more room than I normally need, but it's certainly handy when you want to concentrate on just the code.

This was first published in October 2002

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