.Net, Programming, Software, Visual Studio 2010, Visual Studio 2013

Server Objects & Events Drop Down

VS2013 Enable Nav Bar
VS2013 Enable Nav Bar

In past versions of Visual Studio, two useful drop-down lists existed over your main development window that would let you easily add new auto-generated page or object level events. These drop-down lists are commonly known as Server Objects and Events. Microsoft counter-intuitively calls these drop-down lists the Navigation bar.

In Visual Studio 2013 the Server Objects and Events drop-downs are disabled from displaying by default. In past versions of Visual Studio, the drop-downs were enabled, so developers who are expecting to see them when they first boot up Visual Studio 2013 may be surprised.

Maybe Microsoft got complaints from developers about these drop-down lists taking up too much screen real-estate, and so set them to hidden by default. I personally find them useful enough to justify the extra space that they take up. Either way, it’s useful to know how to enable or disable the Server Objects and Events drop-downs based on your particular development preferences.

Steps to Enable or Disable

As I mentioned above, I find the functionality of these drop-downs to be very useful and I like to have them showing when I am putting together new code. The drop-downs will help you address both Server-Side as well as your Client-Side (JavaScript) objects and events.

Regardless of whether you want to always show the Server Objects and Events drop-downs, or completely hide them, you will need to know how to navigate to the right management section in Visual Studio. As you can see in the screen-shot at the start of this article, to enable the drop-downs by default in Visual Studio 2013:

  1. When in your Visual Studio project, click on the Tools menu option on the top bar.
  2. In the Tools drop-down menu list click on Options
  3. You will now see an Options Pop-Up Window
  4. In the pop-up window, expand the Text Editor option on the left hand navigation bar
  5. Then Click on the All Languages option
  6. Then Click on the General option
  7. You will see a Check Box labelled Navigation bar. Check this Check Box and click OK to apply your changes.
  8. You should now see the Server Objects and Events drop-downs

Once you have enabled display of the Server Objects and Events drop-downs for all languages, you can tweak for what languages they appear. For example if you do not want to see the drop-downs for C# code:

  1. Open the Visual Studio Options pop-up window
  2. In the Options nav bar expand Text Editor
  3. Then click on C#
  4. In the Settings pane for C# you can now un-check the Navigation Bar option. This will ensure that you do not see the Server Objects and Events drop-downs when you are working with C# code.

Tip: Press Control-F2 while coding to jump to highlight the Server Objects and Events drop-down. You can then select the object you are interested in using the up/down arrow keys, followed by the Tab key to jump to the event that you want to assign, and then click the Enter key to have Visual Studio auto-generate your new method.


I am impressed with the extensive customizability of Visual Studio, although the sheer extent of the options can be confusing at times. The settings in this article is one example of the level of detail that the Visual Studio development environment gives you to manage your preferences.


3 thoughts on “Server Objects & Events Drop Down”

  1. I find the Visual Studio – Client Objects & Events drop down list to be helpful.
    I also find the concept of a bold font for events that have actual code segments very useful.
    Since I use the bold font as way to quickly jump to a desired location it would be great if the sort order for the drop list could be all of the bold font items first.
    I have not located a way to configure this.
    Does anyone know if it exists or how to turn it on?

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