I suggest you ...

Add some color to Visual Studio 2012

Usability studies have shown that both shape and color help to distinguis visual elements in a UI. The upcoming/current beta release of Visual Studio 2011 has removed color from the toolbars and from icons in e.g. the Solution Explorer.

Please make this optional so those of us that want a more accessible and user friendly IDE can have their cake and eat it too.

13,351 votes
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    MichielMichiel shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    Thomas Krueger MCTS Thomas Krueger MCTS shared a merged idea: Visual Studio 2012 need mor Color. It is increadible bad the black and white !  ·   · 
    Umar RiazUmar Riaz shared a merged idea: I hate the chrome of the new Visual studio 2012. PLEASE BRING COLORS BACK!  ·   · 
    Anonymous shared a merged idea: fix the color theme for VS2012, cause it causes too much eye strain  ·   · 
    Ray CarpenterRay Carpenter shared a merged idea: Colors, Colors, Colors!!! Visual Studio 2012 reminds me of the old Monochrome monitors days.  ·   · 
    Ifthekhar HasanIfthekhar Hasan shared a merged idea: Go back to drawing board to design look and fill of UI of VS 2012  ·   · 
    keyur shahkeyur shah shared a merged idea: Please make the developer life colorful with new VS2012. We finding ourself more busy in identifying new tool rather doing our development.  ·   · 
    AnonymousAnonymous shared a merged idea: Color in Visual Studio 2012  ·   · 
    VS11VS11 shared a merged idea: Add some color.....  ·   · 
    AnonymousAnonymous shared a merged idea: Add More Color to Visual Studio 11 RC and remove the CAPS!  ·   · 
    zerqzerq shared a merged idea: PLEASE!!!!!! Switch to a sane color scheme who ever had the idea to remove colors and contrast have him tared and feathered!!!  ·   · 
    Roman SallinRoman Sallin shared a merged idea: Use of color in Visual Studio 2011  ·   · 
    completed  ·  Visual Studio TeamAdminVisual Studio Team (Product Team, Microsoft) responded  · 

    Updated Status: 7/2/2013

    Thanks to everyone who voted and commented on this issue. Visual Studio 2013 has increased color and contrast use within the user interface while continuing to focus on giving the content you are creating and editing visual prominence. We’ve utilized the feedback you gave us to help refine our approach to color and contrast within three main areas: 1) we added color to icons and reduced line weights to improve icon scan-ability and to better communicate icon meaning and categorization; 2) we added line work and raised contrast levels to increase visual separation between screen regions; 3) we included a built-in “Blue” theme option at product first launch to better support user choice.

    In keeping with these three areas we have made many changes to the Visual Studio 2013 built-in themes. In high utilization and icon intensive areas of the product, such as common toolbar actions and code hierarchy elements, we refined the color and/or line weight of over 1,000 commonly used icons resulting in color being applied to ~80% of standard and debug toolbar icons, ~75% of code hierarchy icons, and 100% of active notifications. In both the Light and Dark themes we increased contrast levels and introduced more border line work to better highlight the edges of content areas such as input fields, tool window borders, active selection states, etc. We also introduced the ability to choose the theme that best meets your preferences and work environment needs as a part of the product first launch experience.

    Many of the changes we’ve made are subtle in nature but broad reaching in their application. As Visual Studio 2013 Preview has now shipped, we’re closing this item to give your votes back for you to use on emerging topics. We encourage you to try out the changes we’ve made and then share additional feedback you might have.

    Visual Studio UX Team

    Hi folks,

    Take a look at the VS 2012 Color Theme Editor – it is an option for creating and editing your own Visual Studio themes.


    Doug Turnure – Visual Studio PM


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      • Jorge PedrazaJorge Pedraza commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Dear Visual Studio Team.

        You must understand the situation. We are requesting the VS 2010 user interface or better for the next version of Visual Studio.

        Visual Studio should not be part of a strategy Microsoft (Style Metro and more).

      • exaltingexalting commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        >The suggestion was for VS2012 that we are using now, NOT for future versions
        Don't be ridiculous. When changes are made, it always become "future version".

      • Tudor TurcuTudor Turcu commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        The suggestion was for VS2012 that we are using now, NOT for future versions that we might use or not after a few years, so the request was NOT completed.. :(

      • factormysticfactormystic commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        "Please add color to VS 2012." "We added color to VS 2013, item complete!" ...well no, not if VS 2012 doesn't also get this update.

      • AnonymousAnonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Are the menus NO LONGER SCREAMING AT ME without requiring a registry hack? Is the washed out, dirty water grey now a real black? Sigh. I had such high hopes after 2010 came out. It appears that VS releases suffer from a similar predicament as Star Trek films: every Nth one is destined to be less than satisfactory.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Visual Studio 2013 - Better.

        I like the color scheme of the common action icons. The color usage is conservative but much more effective than the black and white.

        The border line work - better. I think it's important to have it there. I would include the color of the border lines in the color editor.

        Solution Explorer looks better. The icons at the top of the window need color. Maybe follow the common action coloring?

        I would still like to see support for Aero in the main window border. The dialog boxes all support it, why not the main window?


      • exaltingexalting commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Need an option to load user-defined icons. With such speed of "fixes", this seems the only way to restore normal icons in a reasonable timeframe.

      • Jesse McGrewJesse McGrew commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        This week the Xbox team surprised a lot of people by walking back the controversial Xbox One policies that sparked so much backlash. The Visual Studio team could learn a few things from them.

      • brianbrian commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Not sure why anyone see this as a problem. The visual Studio we use is just about perfect.
        Should add we are using VS2008 !

        Microsoft get off your high horse and fix 2012 your take on Modern doesn't work.
        Then you might just see some Windows 8 apps - Till then we are sticking with a usable version
        despite having purchased VS 2012 for each developer - not one wants to use it!

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