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Save Visual Studio 2010 Windows And Tool Panes Layouts With Perspectives

The window management plugin in Eclipse (famous Software IDE) called, Perspectives, allows developers to save windows positioning and layout for multiple purposes. Perspectives gives a convenient way to view files of your project and organize the windows as you see fit. If you’re struggling with organizing windows and file views manually in Visual Studio 2010, try Perpectives. It’s a small add-in that brings the very same Eclipse Perspective feature for Visual Studio 2010 users. With Perspectives, you wont have to manually set each UI component on the screen manually nor does it require you to find which window got displaced. Just select the saved perspective from the menu to bring back the saved windows with same position and layout. The add-in offers a simple window configuration manager to create new perspectives, and replace and delete existing ones.

To install the plug-in, make sure that Visual Studio is not running in the background. Run Perspectives.vsix from add-in folder to install the plug-in. Now launch Visual Studio and open Extension Manager to verify the installation. The Perspective manager along with saved perspectives are accessible from Window menu.

By default, there are only three perspectives available, namely, Design, Debug, and NoToolWin. To check out the functionality of perspectives, open any source code file and select NoTooWin to remove all the tool panes and other UI components off the screen except source code file editor. Similarly, the Design perspective gives you Solution Explorer at right side along with source code file editor, whereas, the Debug perspective add Command window underneath the code editor with Solution Explorer pane.

design 1

Beside these three perspectives, you can create as many perspectives as you want for different projects by clicking Save Current as in Perspective window. You just have to change the windows and panes layout and then click Save Current As to create a new perspective. You can update previously saved perspectives from Perspective Manager.

perspective manager 1

Perspective is an open source add-in and works on Visual Studio 2010.

Download Perspectives


  1. There is another addin called ‘Layouts O Rama’ in the VS Gallery that does basically the same but has shortcut support for loading windows layouts with keystrokes.

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