Add high resolution icons for those who use high DPI screens
When you set your screen to high DPI (>100%) icons in toolbars get really blurry. In VS 2010 it was a pain to create great UI while your ide looked so bad.
Icons should look pixel perfect independently of your DPI.
Thanks to everyone who voted and commented on this issue. In Visual Studio 2013 we made incremental improvements in how we render icons under different DPI scaling. We are also considering future improvements around multi-resolution/DPI icon sets.
Visual Studio UX Team
Patrick Smacchia commented
Will hi-res will go one day higher than 4K ? If yes vectorized icon would make sense, if no two version of the icon 32x32 and 16x16 would be enough.
In the bitmap 16/32 case, I hope facilities in the .VSCT package file would be provided to simplify managing the pairs of icons, like same position in two 16 and 32 bitmaps or same names.
Concerning answering will hi-res will go one day higher than 4K? This is like 16M colors provided by 24 bits, the human eyes cannot see more than 16M colors so this won't evolve anymore. I believe the 4K also reach the maximum capacity of human eyes, unless we code one day with 1 or 2 meters diagonal screen?
I also think vectors are always the way to go when possible.
I think vectored icons is the way to go. We have had vector fonts for ages.
Warren Buckley commented
OK Visual Studio 2013 mostly looks pretty good on my 15" MacBook Pro Retina with Windows 8.1 running in VMWare Fusion.
90% of the app looks good as it's manly text being used in the IDE for menus & writing code obviously, but any where there are icons being used looking a little blurry, so would be good to get these updated and looking a lot crisper.
Thomas Darling commented
Absolutely agree. Visual Studio must support high DPI screens correctly.
Please do proper layout testing at the standard 125%, 150% and 200% DPI settings, and include graphic assets specifically designed for those scales. Currently, all my icons look like a gray, blurry mess at 150%, and that is just plain unacceptable. You already have the icon designs, so redrawing them at more resolutions should be an easy task - ****, I will do it for you for free, if that is what it takes.
Looking at code all day, we are probably among those users who can benefit the most from the clear text and extra workspace provided by a high DPI screen, so supporting it should be an absolute requirement.
I believe this is the same as requesting the return of "large icons" in the Visual Studio toolbars.
VS2008 still had the option, and some programs still offer THREE icon sizes, and different icon sizes for different toolbars in the same program.
For those of us past 50 with less than perfect eyesight, the tiny icons of VS2010 and now the tiny MONOCHROME icons of VS2012 are a total pain.
What a shame that VS2012 is released without medium- or large-font-supoort. VS2010 did this really well so its a basic functionality lost with VS2012. for people like me who's eyes are not the best (accessibility is the topic) this is a pain. We need medium- or large-font support but this is where things get fuzzy and are hardly recognizable. If that's not enough the icons are monochrome so we loose also the help that colors provide to recognize things faster and easier. What a pity. Did anybody do usability-tests/-design and QA on this product? What was the default screen-size MS used when developing? 20"? Nobody found this issue before the release?