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Visual Studio 2010 Ux #fail: finding the Macro Recorder and Context Menus toolbars #VS2010 #Ux

Posted by jpluimers on 2011/03/16

When you want to enable (or disable) a toolbar in Visual Studio 2010, there are three options to go, of which the last two are equivalent:

  1. Right click in the toolbar area to get a Context Menu, then check/unckeck the toolbar
  2. Right click in the toolbar area to get a Context Menu, choose Customize and check/uncheck the toolbar(s) in the dialog.
  3. In the Tools Menu, choose Customize and check/uncheck the toolbar(s) in the dialog.

The first one is the easiest; you can see the resulting Context Menu in the left picture (click on it to enlarge).
The last two require an extra step; you can see the resulting dialog in the right most picture (click on it to enlarge).

Given the size of those lists, you’d think all toolbars are in both.

Wrong!

These are missing from the Context Menu:

  • Context Menus
  • Recorder

I consider this a serious Ux problem; if the Context Menu was much shorter (like 10 entries or so), it would be pretty obvious they are not.

It took me more than 10 minutes to find the Recorder toolbar which would have been vastly shorter if both lists were the same.

(Another Ux failure that caused my search to be this long is that I was looking for ‘Macro Recorder’ since all entries in the menu contain the word ‘Macro’; Recorder could as well point to a Toolbar for screen, video or audio recording).

–jeroen

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