Visual Studio 2012

Visual Studio 2012
Version of Visual Studio
Visual Studio 2012 logo.png
Vs2012 startpage dark.png
Latest build11.0.61219.0 (Update 5)
Support end
Visual Studio 2010
Replaced by
Visual Studio 2013

Visual Studio 2012 (codenamed "Dev11") is the eighth major release of Visual Studio, released on 12 September 2012. This release introduces the dark mode, All-Caps menus, and improvements to performance and stability along with a redesigned user interface based on the Metro design language. It was released alongside the then-new .NET Framework 4.5.

This version drops support for Windows XP and Windows Vista and, unlike older versions, it cannot record and edit macros. Visual Studio 2012 lost support on 10 January 2023.

Features and changes[edit | edit source]

Quick Launch[edit | edit source]

The Quick Launch search box in Visual Studio 11 Beta, searching for the Start page

Visual Studio 2012 introduced Quick Launch, where menu items and options can be searched for. This can also be customized by extensions, like the Productivity Power Tools extension.

All-caps menus[edit | edit source]

Comparison of the All-caps menu bar in Visual Studio 2012 RC (top), and the All-caps ribbon bar in Office 2013 (bottom)

The Visual Studio 2012 RC introduced All-caps menus, in order to be more consistent with the product experiences of other Microsoft apps that adopted the Metro guidelines, like Office.[1] This led to developers resorting to camel case, because this made the menus harder to read. A registry key can change the menu bar appearance to revert to the old style:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00


Dark mode[edit | edit source]

The Visual Studio 11 Beta introduced the dark mode. This made VS2012 one of the first Microsoft products to officially support dark mode.

Color[edit | edit source]

The Visual Studio 11 Beta removed the usage of color throughout the entire UI, which resulted in a backlash due to lack of contrast, clarity and "energy".[2] The usage of color on icons and other controls returned in the RC.

Other changes[edit | edit source]

Apart from UI changes, Visual Studio 2012 includes other features, such as support for semantic code colorization, reference highlighting, a new and improved Solution Explorer, or member list filtering.

The RTM build of VS2012 lacked support for Windows XP targets, although this was brought back in Update 1.

List of known builds[edit | edit source]

Developer Preview[edit | edit source]

Beta[edit | edit source]

Release Candidate[edit | edit source]

RTM[edit | edit source]

Updates[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]