Thursday, June 7, 2012

Developing in style with Visual Studio 2012

So I am really excited about Windows 8 coming out. High profile applications such as Visual Studio and Photoshop are giving us a look at the new improved designs of Windows 8. Just a couple days ago the new Windows 8 preview came out and along with it they released the Visual Studio 2012 RC (Release Candidate). Normally I go to DreamSpark for all my Microsoft dev downloads, which is just their educational software channel. Check it out if you are a student. Actually though, for this download it is not needed. Anyone can download Visual Studio 2012 RC from here. Microsoft allows developers to use even the Professional and Ultimate versions of the software in order to get feedback on the applications before their official release in order to make it less buggy when it finally is released for a hefty price. After it is released anyone who has some kind of student eligibility can head over to Dreamspark to download it.

One thing that is immediately obvious about the changes between VS2010 and VS2012 is the massive design differences. The aesthetics are immediately obvious at the applications splash screen, which is metro-esque and dark. Dark is how I like my editors. There is great news for anyone who thinks like I do because they have finally allowed me to change the color scheme of my Visual Studio installation. Well sort of.. They let you choose between Light and Dark currently. Here are some screenshots of the dark color scheme interface:

You can head over to this MSDN article to learn How to: Change the Fonts and Colors Used in the IDE

The dark scheme I am talking about only applies to the menus and such. The text editor colors are controlled from the Preferences (see MSDN link above). What is cool is that they have this website called where they host exported vs settings files that contain only text editor font settings. You can choose from many many different themes, such as my personal favorite Visual Studio 11 Dark Theme. You then download your favorite one, import it into Visual Studio and suddenly our IDE has almost as much style as The Dev-(b)log.


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