Visual Studio/The IDE

The First BootEdit

When you first launch Visual Studio, you are asked to choose a default environment that best corresponds to the language(s) you plan to develop. While the keyboard shortcuts and other settings will try to match the language used, you can always change this within Settings. Note that if you are upgrading from a previous version of Visual Studio (whether that version still resides on the hard drive or not), you may not see this screen. You will not see this screen if you are updating within the same version of Visual Studio (for 2017).

You will also be given an opportunity to enter a license key (for paid editions) or account details (Visual Studio 2013 onwards) if required.

The first startup will take more time than usual; this is Visual Studio setting up the default environment.

Welcome screenEdit


This section applies to VS 2019 only. Visual Studio 2017 and earlier versions will automatically go straight to the IDE.

When VS 2019 first launches, it goes to a welcome screen which shows the latest recent projects and some useful places (like creating a new project) to start. If you click the "Continue without code" option, it goes straight to the IDE, much like older versions of Visual Studio.

Selecting a new projectEdit

Once you are in the IDE, go to File>New>Project.


By default, it will point to the language you selected at startup. Choose a name and hit OK. In this case, we chose a C++ Windows Console Application.

Configuring .NET Feamework versionEdit

For some projects, you can choose the .NET Framework version you wish to target. In the screenshot above, the target is set to v2.0. Note that this is not applicable for every type of project, if it isn't applicable, then the version you select will have no effect.

This feature is most important on VB and VC# projects as the features available depend on the version you choose to target. This will, naturally, also impact the Windows versions the program can run.

Initial wizardsEdit

When you select a project, you will (often) be faced with a set of wizards which configure the initial properties of your project. The options are mostly self-explainatory and differ with the project you chose.

Once you complete the wizard(s), you will directly face the code environment.