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Visual Studio 2008: C# Hello World Tutorial

hello world visual studio 2008

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#1 Guest_Jordan_*

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Posted 30 January 2008 - 02:38 PM

In this VS 2008 tutorial I'll show you how the Visual Studio IDE works using C#. In the end you will create a program that displays the traditional "Hello World" message.

Loading Visual Studio 2008
Once you have completed the installation, which can take a while, load Visual Studio 2008. You will find it under Start/All Programs/Microsoft Visual Studio 2008/Microsoft Visual Studio 2008. If this is the first time you have ran VS2008 you will need to select a default language. I chose C++ but if you are interested in C# choose that. Your layout may look a little different than mine.

Once all of the initialization has finished you will see the Visual Studio 2008 Start Page pictured below.

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In the left column you can see the Solution Explorer and a tab at the bottom labeled Class View.

Solution Explorer
Solution Explorer provides you with an organized view of your projects and their files as well as ready access to the commands that pertain to them. A toolbar associated with this window offers commonly used commands for the item you highlight in the list. To access Solution Explorer, select Solution Explorer on the View menu.

Class View
Class View displays the symbols defined, referenced, or called in the application you are developing. You can open Class View from the View menu. There are two panes: an upper Objects pane and a lower Members pane. The Objects pane contains an expandable tree of symbols whose top-level nodes represent projects. To expand a node selected in the tree, click its plus (+) sign or press the plus (+) key on the keypad.

Icons identify hierarchical structures employed within your projects, such as namespaces, types, interfaces, enums, and classes. You can expand these structures to list their members. Properties, methods, events, variables, constants, and other contained items are listed in the Members pane.

This hierarchical, project-by-project, view clarifies the symbolic structures within your code. You can use Class View to open files and navigate directly to the lines where symbols appear.


On the Right..
You can see the Properties Window and two tabs, Toolbox and Server Explorer (these tabs are vertical along the upper right hand corner). The properties window displays sizes, dimensions and other "properties" for objects. The Toolbox tab is where you select components and add to your form. For a more in depth guide on using the IDE I suggest you pick up a good book or even take a class.

Lets Make Our Program
Select File/New/Project and the New Project window will appear. Select Visual C#. If you don't see this option you may have to click the plus (+) beside Other Languages. This is because you have selected a default language other than C#. Highlight Windows Forms Application. Change the name to HelloWorld which will also change the solution name at the same time. Your window should look like mine:

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Click the OK button.

Designing the Application

You should now see a new new tab in the center labeled Form1.cs [Design]* next to the Start Page. In the center of the window you can see your new form respectively named Form1. Click directly on this. A dotted line will appear around it and the Properties Window will fill with values.

The first thing you should do is name your form appropriately. Find (Name) in the properties window (you may need to scroll) which should have a value of Form1. Change the value to frmMain. Preceding the names of your objects with what they are (frm = form) will create legible, clean code that is easy to read when you edit your code 1 month later. In this tutorial all objects will have a preceding name which specifies what they are.

The 2nd thing you should change is the text of your form which currently states Form1. The text label is simply the "title" of your form. Scroll down (or up) in the properties view until you find Text with a value of Form1. Change the value to "Hello World".

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Adding functionality
Mouse over the Toolbox tab on the right hand side to view the objects you can use:

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Click on Button. Place your mouse cursor over the center of your form (frmMain), left-click and hold. Move your cursor to the right and bottom to create a square. Release the mouse button. You should now see a button in the center of your screen with the Text/Title of Button1.

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First things First
Click on the button (button1) to see the properties of the object. Find (Name) with the value of button1 and change the value to btnHelloWorld. Scroll down and find Text with the value of button1. Change the value to Click Me.

You have now created a button and properly named/labeled it. The next step is adding the code that makes it work. Double click the button (btnHelloWorld) in the center of your form. This actually creates the button click event function and brings up the code window.

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Your cursor is directly below the opening curly bracket { and directly above the closing bracket }. The first thing you should do when a new function is created is comment the code. The Visual Studio 2008 IDE has built in functions that assist you in this task. Press the up arrow three times. Press Enter once. Now press the forward slash (/) three times. As you left of the forward slash the third time XML comments are created for entering function data. Your cursor will be between the summary tags. Enter here what the function below will do. Our function will create a message box with the text "Hello World". Hence, enter:

/// Function to create Message Box with 
/// text "Hello World".
/// </summary>
Notice as you press enter three new forward slashes (/) are entered automatically and your cursor is indented to the correct place. This is one of the great features of the VS IDE, automatic indention. You may not appreciate it much now but if you ever do work in Notepad or a similar non programming text editor you will learn how much it helps.

Move your cursor down below the function btnHellowWorld_Click:

private void btnHelloWorld_Click(object sender, EventArgs e)
Your cursor should be just below the opening bracket { and just above the closing bracket }. Type MessageBox.Show("Hello World");. Notice the autofill drop down that appears. Another feature of the Visual Studio suite that you will find very useful in time. As you type functions are highlighted in this autofill, pressing enter before you finish typing will automatically fill the text in for you.

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MessageBox Function
Displays a modal dialog box that contains a brief application-specific message, such as status or error information. The message box returns an integer value that indicates which button the user clicked.


Running the Code
There are two ways to run the code:

1) Goto Debug/Start Debugging
2) Press F5

Choose either of the options and your code will be compiled and ran.

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Click the button "Click Me". You should see:

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You've created your first Visual Studio 2008 C# Program. You've learned some of the very basics here in this tutorial and I highly recommend getting a Visual Studio 2008 C# Book. If you have any questions or comments please post them here.

Attached Files

Edited by Roger, 09 September 2010 - 09:25 AM.

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#2 eseph


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Posted 27 February 2008 - 05:48 AM

Thanks for this.

Hello World.
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#3 srbworld


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Posted 21 August 2008 - 09:34 PM

Thanks a lot.
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#4 gaylo565


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Posted 21 August 2008 - 09:43 PM

This is an excellent example of a tutorial! Great detail and documentation.
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#5 Xav


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Posted 22 August 2008 - 07:44 AM

When you consider how long it is, the code is kinda basic, but of course this was the point. Well done, +rep. :)

See, I do give rep. :D
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#6 tianhui


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Posted 04 November 2008 - 12:56 AM

it is easy to understand
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#7 WingedPanther73


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Posted 04 November 2008 - 08:33 AM

Nice one, Jordan.
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#8 Guest_Jordan_*

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Posted 04 November 2008 - 09:04 AM

Your welcome all.

I suppose this one is just getting popular? It seems it has created several linkbacks from Yahoo and Kizmo. If anyone needs further assistance just let me know.
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#9 glowinggem888


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Posted 17 November 2008 - 08:11 PM

This is really helpful.
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#10 pavonia


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Posted 18 November 2008 - 03:07 PM

Excellent Tutorial... Helped a lot!!

Jordan, Thanks a lot...

BTW, is it possible to provide a tutorial describing, how to create a new Web project in VS2008, like this Hello World program?

Like user will go to some URL, provide ID/Password and for successful log-in, he/she will get "Hello <User Name>" message.

Thanks again.
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#11 Guest_Jordan_*

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 04:22 PM

Ahh, it sounds like you want an ASP tutorial. I don't know or use ASP so there is no way that I could make that tutorial for you.
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#12 toonamo


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Posted 18 November 2008 - 04:46 PM

this is a great start. thanks!
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