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The Solution Explorer window is where you manage your projects and their files. The following are the most common tasks that can be accomplished by using Solution Explorer:

  • Rename an existing solution.
  • Rename, add, and remove a project.
  • Rename, add, and remove files.
  • Add and remove References.
  • Set properties of an existing solution or project.
  • Set a particular project as the startup project.

To see how these work in action, open the MyInternetBrowser project by double-clicking the solution file MyInternetBrowser.sln. After clicking all plus signs, we get the resulted Solution Explorer like Figure 1:

Solution Explorer 1
Fig. 1 The solution explorer of MyInternetBrowser project

The current Solution Explorer shows that the name of this solution is MyInternetBrowser and it has only one project whose name is also MyInternetBrowser. Now click the minus sign besides Property and References, and Form1.Designer.cs to collapse the file branches. Then rename the solution MyProjects by right-clicking the solution name and choose rename. The result should look like Figure 2:

Rename MyInternetBrowser solution to MyProjects
Fig. 2 Rename MyInternetBrowser solution to MyProjects

Add an existing project to this solution by right-click the solution name > Add > Existing Project ..., as shown in Figure 3. In the Add Existing Project dialog, navigate to the file IamWhoIam.csproj and click OK to include the project we created before (see Figure 4), which resulted in Figure 5.

Add existing project to solution window
Fig. 3 Add existing project to solution window

Add existing project dialog
Fig. 4 Add existing project dialog

One solution containing two projects
Fig. 5 One solution containing two projects

Now the solution explorer has two projects: IamWhoIam and MyInternetBrowser. Note that MyInternetBrowser is in bold, which means that this project rather than IamWhoIam is the startup project. You can verify this by run the application by Ctrl + F5. You can set IamWhoIam as the startup project by right-clicking IamWhoIam and choose Set as StartUp Project, as shown in Figure 6. Now if you run the application, the IamWhoIam project will start up.

One solution containing two projects
Fig. 6 Setting the startup project.

Next, let's set the properties of the IamWhoIam project. Right-click the project and choose Properties from the context menu, which will bring up the setting properties interface see Figure 7. This tutorial does not show you how to set those properties, but it shows you how to bring up that file.

One solution containing two projects
Fig. 7 Property interface of the IamWhoIam project.

You can try the other functionalities of the Solution Explorer Window by yourself. In the next tutorial, we'll talk about the Error List Window.

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