If you are still using Visual Studio 2010 (or older?), then you can just ignore this. Apparently, Microsoft’s UI design team decided to change the icons to a more “monochrome” color palette in VS 2012, so what you get is essentially gray icons for everything. These icons are a far cry from what we have come to know as save, open file, open folder, etc. However, I personally don’t really care to be honest, unlike most developers. If you seriously use Visual Studio 2012, then there is no reason you shouldn’t do these two things:
- Learn those shortcuts! This is a must. Visual Studio has so many shortcuts that most actions take two keys plus a modifier! It sure beats having to look through context menus that are so big, they fill up more than 1,080 pixels vertically…
- Customize the layout where everything is somewhere you can find immediately. Re-arrange the toolbars and memorize the icons’ respective locations. Even if you know all the shortcuts (unlikely), there are still some things I prefer doing with the mouse–namely opening files, as it’s easier to use the mouse to browse through the files.
If this still isn’t enough, there is always the NiceVS Visual Studio extension, which appears to bring back the colored icons so many people have come to miss so much. Use at your own risk, however, as I didn’t even bother to test this plugin. If Microsoft’s made a UI decision that coincides with the Metro UI (which everyone also seems to hate), it isn’t going away easily. There’s no sense in installing a plugin to try and undo what Microsoft has done, in my opinion.