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Visual Studio Tip: The Difference Between Start Without Debugging and Start with Debugging

This isn't so much a tip as a clarification: I often find that people are confused about what happens when you press F5 vs. when you press Control_F5. Here's the best description I've found (and it's from the blog where I've found most of the Visual Studio tips that I talk about here).

However, the blog's claim that there isn't much difference between F5 and Control_F5 isn't quite true; there are a number of differences I keep stumbling upon. I suspect that, from a technical/internals point of view, the statement that there aren't many differences is true. But for a developer using Visual Studio, there are a number of "operational" differences.

For instance, if you want to test your user interface's error handling, use Control_F5. With plain old F5, Visual Studio stops on the line that throws the exception; with Control_F5, Visual Studio lets your Try…Catch blocks handle the exception.

Here's another one: If you run a Console application with plain old F5, the console window flashes on the screen and disappears, unless you add a Console.ReadLine to your code; with Control_F5, the console window is held on the screen until you hit the Return key.

I bet that's not all of the differences. What ones do you know about?

Posted by Peter Vogel on 10/22/2013


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