Mar 14, 2013

Visual Studio 2012–LET'S GET UGLY!

I just downloaded a trial version of VS2012 because I wanted to target .NET 4.5 and it turns out you can't do that in VS2010. I don't know if there is a good reason for this or if Microsoft just found a new way to squeeze money out of developers.

I realize that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and there are probably people (at least at Microsoft) that like a white-on-white IDE  where all the panes and sections meld into one another and you can't tell what ends where much like a run-on sentence with inadequate punctuation. I find it hard to believe that there is anyone, anywhere that thought PUTTING THE MENUS IN ALL CAPS ACROSS THE TOP was a good idea, or thought that amateurish logo in the upper right hand corner looked nice.

imageLuckily, you can fix most of this pretty easily (but not the logo). First you can turn off the ALL Caps by creating a new DWORD 32 registry value  at HKEY_CURRENT_USER\
                  SuppressUppercaseConversion. Then set the value to 1. This particular tip can be found in multiple places on the web but I saw it first on Richard Bank's blog.

The white-on-white color theme can be changed two ways. You can select the Dark them in the Tool-Options –Environment-General pane. But to my mind it's no better. The best bet is by using Tools->Extensions and Updates,  choosing the Online tab on the left, searching for "theme editor" and choosing the Visual Studio 2012 Color Theme Editor and installing it. I'm boring so I just used the pre-built Blue theme. but there are a handful of offerings and you can customize your own. Still not as nice looking as VS2010 but that gives us a reason to upgrade to VS2014. Although I imagine we'll be locked out from targeting newer versions of .NET  unless we do anyway.


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Tod Gentille (@todgentille) is now a Curriculum Director for Pluralsight. He's been programming professionally since well before you were born and was a software consultant for most of his career. He's also a father, husband, drummer, and windsurfer. He wants to be a guitar player but he just hasn't got the chops for it.