Leave VS 2010 theme (and the theme editor extension) as an option
When you came out with the VS 2010 theme, you said that it allowed you to focus on the code windows. The benefit that the theme provided hasn't changed, so please allow that theme to stay in VS 11, as well as the "Color Theme Editor" extension by Matthew Johnson (http://visualstudiogallery.msdn.microsoft.com/20cd93a2-c435-4d00-a797-499f16402378) so those that want to tweak or even choose another theme can do so. Please don't force us to use a "metro style" theme (even if you add some color). You worked so hard to create a good looking 2010 theme, don't throw it away...that would be such a waste.
If you allow VS 11 to not look Metro, it doesn't mean your new Metro apps will lose traction. If you feel you have to make Studio look Metro to persuade Metro app development, then that would mean there's a self-confidence problem.
Since the VS11 shell is WPF like VS2010 was, please include VS2010's UI theme as a theme for VS11. The theme in VS2010 was on target, very well done, eye appealing, it was not distracting either. Many applications have been themed to look like VS2010 as well around the world (MySQL CE WorkBench, FaultTrack, and many tools). I like the light and dark themes, but I like VS2010 theme better.
VS11 is a complete eye sore Bring the Colors Back Now!!
Before it's too late.
There is no reason to make the sounding contents dull to make developers concentrate on the central content page. Bring back the Chrome!!
Most of my time is spent coding C++ in the VC environment. I know where my code content is, it takes up over 75% of the screen real estate! There is no need to gray out the surroundings.
I am coding! Not animating a character or creating a GUI interface by drawing (in only that case this gray style may be appropriate)
When writing code the number one most important thing to me is navigating between classes, source files, member functions, attributes, directory structures, breakpoints and debugging watch windows etc... And I want to see them quickly (via color cues)
Theses color cues are hardwired into my brain and everyone else's brain fine tuned over 5000000+ years of evolution.
Way to undo all of that human evolutionary advantage for coding in VS11 !!! Microsoft!
I thought I had you pegged as a great company this iteration of VS11 gives me pause on that note...
I’m going to mark this as completed so you can get your votes back – note that Matthew Johnson has released a VS 2012 color theme editor as you requested (link below) – I know it doesn’t have everything you requested in this idea, but hopefully this helps to address your feedback.
Doug Turnure – Visual Studio PM
Still horrible without colored icons. I can't believe, that MS is able to release such depressive and not professional looked GUI.
Valerio Nuke commented
bring back the colored icons. this is TERRIBLE. I can't work like this. I'm NOT moving from vs2010
i couldn't agree more. the bland UI is so ugly and its extremely difficult to find an icon without starring at it for a couple seconds. they seem to have copied the look of content creation programs like maya, 3ds max and blender. it just doesn't work.
not sure what ms is doing lately with windows 8, office 2013 and vs2012. some of their choices are mind boggling. all i can think of is they are so focused on copying apple that they forgot what made them successful in the first place. i don't care if you want to copy apple with tablets and phones but please don't do it at the expense of RUINING YOUR OTHER PRODUCTS. copying is a sure fire way to fail.
" I know it doesn’t have everything you requested in this idea, but hopefully this helps to address your feedback."
Nope. It's 10% of the solution. Do you realize how much time i waste trying to find a stinking button with this new UI? Luckily, the user community has stepped in to fill the horrible gap Microsoft has left. The combination of this theme editor with the utility at vsip.codeplex.com and the NiceVS from the Visual Studio Gallery gets us about 80% to where we NEED to be to remain productive.
Did Microsoft hire some "expert" from Cupertino to design this? Great practical joke on his part, if so.
"1981 called it wants it's CGA graphics card back"
Seriously bring back the colors and proper window look and feel from VS2010 and win7. This flat look is horrendous and sickening to look at!!!
VILIC VANE commented
When I first saw the new vs 2012 logo, I couldn't even believe my eyes! Comparing to the one of VS 2010, it's just a piece of ****. Get my VS 2010 theme back please!
Nelson Robin commented
WOW - THE UPPER CASE REMINDS ME OF WORKING ON MAINFRAMES WHICH I MISS SO MUCH! I ALSO MISS WORKING ON CGA MONITORS WITH 4 COLORS - THAT WAS SO AWESOME!
DUMBING DOWN THE WINDOWS DESKTOP FOR THE MASSES IS ONE THING. DOING THE SAME TO DEVELOPERS IS PLAIN IDIOTIC.
AFTER BEING IN THE WINDOWS CAMP FOR OVER 25 YEARS, NOW I AM CONSIDERING JUMPING TO SOMETHING ELSE. MAC? LINUX?
I have installed the Color Theme Editor and tested some themes.
But with none of the themes I can see, whether the Visual Studio or any other window has the focus.
Which settings changes the color of the top line (with "Projectname - Microsoft Visual Studio (Administrator)") depending on the focus of the Visual Studio?
How could you be ******** enough not to realize that by "theme", people are not talking only about colors but also about icons, borders, spacing, the chrome, etc?
Jan Đonny Záruba commented
Well, thank you for giving me voices back. But the issue is no solved. Themes are nice, but for me it is more important to get rid of that B&W glyphs!
Jersson Dongo commented
I found some bugs using W8x86, I can't found my saved themes.
Sorry, but that blue vs2010 theme isn't even near vs 2010.
Ranga Vadhineni commented
Visual studio 2012 theme editor relesed finally
Blue is VS 2010 theme
This theme is hideous, ligth/dark option is a joke one is too brigth other is too dark, icons in intelliseanse are bad.
Why you throw away something that was perfect like VS2010 theme, and introduce to us this monster, dont force Metro where is not needed !
O. Bleckmann commented
A word on Metro UI Style
At first I thought the metro tiles look like a cheap approach of "coder drawn placeholders" like you would use for prototyping. Furthermore I thought MS knows what they are doing and it would just a matter of time to get used to it. Well, as time passed by - compared to Apples UI design - it still looks ugly to me on W7 Phone as well as on W8. I never would have thought that MS will try to push a bad UI design by all available means. And now, that I had to experience the defaced UI of VS 11, I bet, that this comprehensive "forced fit" of the Metro UI marketing will lead to no good. According to Steve Ballmer this “most important year” might be - at least in my opinion - the decline of Microsoft on a variety of products and/or markets. With the lack of color and therefor of information, I can not use VS 2012 in production. Dispite of the caps, the visual seperation of elements, the strange icons and lots of other things are far beyond the pale. To payfor this products, would be a fraud, to provide it for free, would be insulting, to use it, is definitly an imposition. Sorry Microsoft, you have reached an impasse.
Brian Chavez commented
Hey guys, for those of you who want to modify the colors of the built-in Visual Studio 2012 Light / Dark themes, try this little tool I wrote. Let me know if it works for you :)
Anna Metcalfe commented
@Nick it's certainly possible to change command icons using the command bar control interfaces in EnvDTE. Changing them in this way does not affect the icons held by the command itself - those are used to create the corresponding command bar control and don't change.
I've not yet checked whether you can do the same with built-in icons (we used icons in our own plug-in for test purposes), but you might be able to - or use a comparable VSX interface to achieve the same aim.
The context for us is that we want to change the icons dynamically to match the active theme, as that way we can use colour icons in the light theme without the dark theme mucking them up.
By the way, if you need to check whether the active theme has changed the best way we've found is to trap the AfterExecute event for Tools|Options, and check the VSCOLOR values at that point.
@Anna; I thought you looked familiar after coming across your codeproject earlier in the day... I've pretty much determined the data structure and extracted the color codes. I have yet to look at the structure of VS 2010 to see how they compare but that is left for later as my focus is on VS2012. I'm looking to see if the icons can be statically done as it would be less of a "hack" and more of a natural and permanent approach. Thanks for the suggestion, I'll get in touch with Carlos.
Anna Metcalfe commented
@Nick, you might want to get in touch with us (Riverblade) as in the process of adding support for the dark theme to our Visual Lint product (see http://www.riverblade.co.uk/blog.php#2012080202) we've discovered a few things which might be relevant to the task you're undertaking (e.g. we've been looking at dynamically modifying icons, and have spreadsheets of all of the VSCOLOR data for VS2010 and 2012).
You might also want to start a conversation with Carlos Quintero (http://msmvps.com/blogs/carlosq/default.aspx) as the chances are he's worked out a few things too.
@Tom; I've started work on theme customization for VS2012. I've got pretty far by sheer reverse engineering approach as I don't think any documentation exists on this. I'm at a point where I can modify the colors of every component in the IDE so far. I'm now working on the icons.. Once I get there, rolling out a VS2010 theme or something similar would be pretty easy. Stay tuned.