MS Visual Studio Customization – Colors & UI

So I’m using Visual Studio 2012 as my weapon of choice because it still seems to be the best selection for a C++ IDE on Windows.

But I’m not a huge fan of the interface.  I know they’ve worked on it, and it’s definitely come a long way.  But it’s so… BUSY.  When you’re writing code you want as few distractions as possible.  For a person with ADHD like myself, more shiny icons = more distractions.

Here’s what I’ve done to make the interface a little more minimalist:

  • Removed all toolbars
  • Removed all “View Menu” items shown and made sure only Toolbox, Solution Explorer, Properties, Command Window, Output are shown on the far right side of the screen and are set to auto-hide.
  • Installed VSVim – A plugin for MSVS that offers a VIM-like functionality and UI
  • Installed TextSharp to enable control of font aliasing & ClearType options
  • Installed Visual Studio Color Theme Editor so I could modify the color scheme, which is a bit bright for my tastes.  Switched to the “Dark” color theme
  • Installed Source Code Pro font, using Medium thickness

And here’s what we ended up with:

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