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Most recent entry - 4/3/2014

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Update every 30 minutes. Last: 4:15 PM Pacific

 
   |  Grid and Flow modes in Visual Web Developer

posted at 11:47 PM | | [1] |

I've seen this question a couple of times on the forums: what happened to Grid mode (and Flow mode) in the Visual Studio Web page designer? In VS2003, the default was Grid mode, with the option to switch to Flow mode.[1] In reality, of course, Grid view is absolute (css) positioning, and flow mode is, uh, no positioning. (I'd say it's "normal" HTML, but I don't think we can say that non-CSS positioning of HTML elements is necessarily the norm these days.)

Anyway, you can still get the effect of Grid mode, no problem. To be able to x/y position a single control, select it in Design view and then choose Layout > Position > Absolute. Drag and enjoy. You can multi-select if you are so inclined.

To emulate a perma-Grid-mode, choose Layout > Position > Auto-position Options. There you will find a checkbox with a caption way too long to type out, so I'll just show you a picture:



Check the box and select the positioning option you need. Note that static is a positioning option that has exactly the same effect as Not Set, which means no attribute set at all.

Selecting this option doesn't turn the whole design surface into using Grid mode -- it just adds x/y coordinates to any new controls you add via the common UI gestures. Controls that aren't already configured for x/y positioning will still be static.

There is actually a reason for this change. An overarching philosophy for the Web page editor in this release was "no designer goo in the page." (To, um, paraphrase slightly.) In VS2003, as you'll remember, we implemented Grid mode by adding non-standard attributes to the <body> tag:

<body MS_POSITIONING="GridLayout">

None of that this time around. We output only the finest, board-approved markup.


[1] Or to drop a Grid panel thingy onto a Flow mode page.

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