VS 2010 Beta2: Workaround for Raster Font Settings Issue

VS 2010 Beta2: Workaround for Raster Font Settings Issue

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In addition to making announcements, showcasing features, posting walkthroughs, and sharing Visual Studio tips and tricks, we’ll also be using this blog to raise awareness of commonly-encountered bugs and explain their workarounds.  As many of you know, we’ve rebuilt the editor using WPF for Visual Studio 2010.  This allows for a wealth of new visualizations and enables many new extensibility scenarios, often making previously impossible tasks possible and previously difficult tasks much easier.  However, because WPF renders only TrueType fonts, it also means that the Visual Studio editor no longer supports raster or bitmap fonts.

The Bug:
Attempting to use a non-TrueType font in Visual Studio 2010 Beta2 throws an exception when opening a file, usually with the message “Object reference not set to an instance of an object.”  The editor will not load.

The Workaround:
In Tools->Options->Environment->Fonts and Colors, change any raster or bitmap font settings to a TrueType font, or simply click OK to have any raster fonts fall back to the default font (Consolas on English systems).  The editor should then load correctly.

Fix Status:
Already fixed for Visual Studio 2010 RTM.

The most common way to encounter this bug is to import settings that include a non-TrueType font from a previous version of Visual Studio.  Running "devenv /resetuserdata" will also resolve the issue, though it will reset all of your settings to the defaults and therefore change more of your preferences than is necessary to fix the problem.  This bug has already been fixed for VS 2010 RTM, where importing or selecting a non-TrueType font will cause the editor to fall back to the default font (Consolas on English systems) and load successfully instead of throwing an exception.

We also discovered that although most bitmap fonts were removed from the default Fonts and Colors list, we inadvertently missed a few.  They are:  Courier, Fixedsys, Modern, MS Sans Serif, MS Serif, Roman, Script, Small Fonts, System, and Terminal.  These fonts have already been removed from the default list for VS 2010 RTM.

Again, this is a bug in Visual Studio Beta2 that has already been fixed internally for VS 2010 RTM.  If you have any questions about this bug or its workaround, please feel free to post a comment below and we’ll do our best to help.

Thanks for trying Visual Studio 2010 Beta2!

Brittany Behrens
Program Manager, Visual Studio Editor Team

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  • Please add 8 and 7 and type the answer here:
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  • I have found a workaround for actually using Raster fonts and the line spacing issue as well:


  • Awesome job Erik! I jost hope this set of actions works for VS2010 final.

  • Folks,

    I'm using Microsoft Visual Studio Professional 2010 Beta2.

    Getting the message - failed to start.

    I do not know how to fix this problem.



  • I really don't understand why something as simple as font rendering - which we've been doing quite successfully for DECADES now - has become so complex that it seems impossible to get clear text on the screen...

    BlurType (tm) [misleadingly referred to as "ClearType" in marketing-weasel-speak] is HORRIBLE. Why on earth would ANYONE want bizarre color fringes on the text they look at all day? Yes, I've tried the BlurType color tuner - I can make the bizarre color fringes different, but no matter what they still appear. And they still look like absolute CRAP.

    OK, I understand that VS2010 simply can't display FON fonts any more (though why such a rock-solid technology would be abandoned is completely beyond me), but can't someone build a set of TTF fonts for COURIER and the other popular FON fonts (and no, courier NEW doesn't cut it)?

    In case anyone's wondering, the test case is actually quite simple: display a file in VC2008 with COURIER 10 and the same file in VC2010 with your proposed solution. Now, if even 1/3 of a pixel is different, you're not done yet!

  • @Mark V:

    You may be interested in some very recent improvements that the WPF text team has made since the VS 2010 RC.  They've been doing a lot of work recently to achieve text rendering that's closer to the GDI rendering you see in VS 2008.  WPF just blogged about this today:  http://blogs.msdn.com/text/archive/2010/03/05/additional-wpf-text-clarity-improvements.aspx.  If you're still not satisfied, I'd encourage you to leave a comment for the WPF text team on their blog or e-mail them directly via their blog's contact link:  http://blogs.msdn.com/text/contact.aspx.

    - Brittany

  • I just experienced this issue on my version of Visual Studio 2010 Professional and Web Developer Express.

    This article's steps worked; however, the RTM has not been completely fixed.  I used ProcMon to monitor what was failing, and the last things before crashing were fonts and a theme DLL that was created.

    In the event it helps you find the bug I outputted my statement Application Error Event Log Below:

    Faulting application name: devenv.exe, version: 10.0.30319.1, time stamp: 0x4ba1fab3

    Faulting module name: unknown, version:, time stamp: 0x00000000

    Exception code: 0xc000041d

    Fault offset: 0x740d4cad

    Faulting process id: 0x728

    Faulting application start time: 0x01caebcd189dce0d

    Faulting application path: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 10.0\Common7\IDE\devenv.exe

    Faulting module path: unknown

    Report Id: 3ff41d03-57cb-11df-a58a-002622036e0e

  • Why isn't there a good true type replacement for FixesSys. There is no font that comes close in readability.


  • Why isn't there a good true type replacement for FixesSys. There is no font that comes close in readability. Or if the bold attribute would work at least!


  • @GerhardP:  Creating fonts is complex and expensive.  Although there is a wide variety of fonts available for Windows and Visual Studio, we unfortunately haven't had the time or resources to create an exact TrueType replica of FixedSys.  Regarding the bold attribute, what's not working?

    Brittany Behrens | Program Manager | Visual Studio Platform - Editor

  • I found the old 8x12 size of the Raster Font was easy to read all day. It had serifs for comfort, the right height and width proportions, it was fat enough to not require bolding, but when bolded didn't blur. The san-serif fonts are thin and too crisp for these old eyes.

    Please tell me where I can get a Truetype font of that 8x12 Raster?


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