Color Printing Extension Now Available!

Color Printing Extension Now Available!

  • Comments 17

We are pleased to announce the availability of Color Printing as a free extension for Visual Studio 2010!  By default, VS 2010 prints only in black and white; this extension restores support for printing code in color.

Installation and Setup

Installing Color Printing requires Visual Studio 2010 Pro, Premium, or Ultimate (the Express editions do not support extensions).  You should be able to simply download and install this extension from the VS Gallery or via the Tools menu->Extension Manager.

Using the Color Printing Extension

Once you’ve installed the Color Printing extension, you should be able to print as you typically would – simply use File->Print or press Ctrl+P.  No extra steps are required.  You might notice that the print dialog looks slightly different, but it should be very similar to print dialogs you would see in Visual Studio or other applications:

Color Printing Dialog

Known Issues

Although we believe this extension restores most of the color printing functionality available in VS 2008 and earlier, there are a few known issues with this version:

  • There is no option to hide collapsed regions.  In this version of the color printing extension, collapsed regions are always printed as though they were expanded.
  • There is no explicit option in the print dialog to print line numbers.  In this version, line numbers will be printed if and only if the line number margin is turned on via Tools->Options.
  • The margins for the printed page (top/bottom/left/right margins) are not currently customizable.
  • Printing in high contrast black modes may require users to manually update the background color for Plain Text in Tools->Options->Environment->Fonts and Colors->Printer.  This is because the VS color settings for printers will use the black background color from the high contrast theme.


We’re always interested in your feedback on Visual Studio and extensions published by Microsoft.  In fact, this extension was created largely in response to your feedback that omitting color printing from VS 2010 was causing significant pain on a daily basis; we hope we’ve addressed that pain with this extension.  If you have questions or comments about color printing, feel free to post them in the blog comments here.  If you find a specific bug in the Color Printing extension, please file a Connect bug report so we can investigate in more detail.


Brittany Behrens
Program Manager, Visual Studio Editor

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  • Uncomapatible with Adobe PDF Printer. The following is the log generated:

    %%[ ProductName: Distiller ]%%

    01sprby not found, using Courier.

    %%[ Error: typecheck; OffendingCommand: xshow ]%%


    [81 81 82 81 81 82 81 81 81 81 82 81 81 82 81 81 81 81 82 81 81 82 81

    81 81 81 82 81 81 82 81 81 81 81 82 81 81 82 81 81 81 81 82 81 81 82

    81 81 81 81 82 81 81 82 81 81 81 81 82 81 81 82 81 81 81 81 0]

    (O%%[ Flushing: rest of job (to end-of-file) will be ignored ]%%

    %%[ Warning: PostScript error. No PDF file produced. ] %%

  • You've been kicked (a good thing) - Trackback from

  • I would like to hide the hide collapsed regions :(


  • Allowing the margins to be set to narrow would be a great help.

  • Somewhere out there a panda, a polar bear, and a tree are screaming because of this plugin.

  • @Obay and @MikeC:  We agree.  We don't have a set timeframe for updating this extension, but we know that hiding collapsed regions and adjusting the margins are important mini-features.  They're already on the to-do list for color printing in the next release of Visual Studio.

    @nullPtr:  Interestingly, telemetry data on printing commands in VS 2010 don't show an increase in printing since the release of this extension.  Also, printing in color vs. printing in black and white (which is built into VS 2010) doesn't directly affect the amount of paper used :-).

    Happy New Year everyone!

    - Brittany

  • ee

  • With this extension installed, the File->Page Setup item seems to be unavailable.  Is there a way to set printing to landscape?

    Color printing didn't happen to get into SP1, did it?


  • Has there been any updates to this, and/or a timeline for these features??

  • Thanks for this much-needed extension.

    I have found a bug - it does not print ALL the lines! Few lines are missing BETWEEN some pages, not all pages though. It is repeatable because it happens each time when I print. I printed about 10 - 15 pages when this occurred.

    I did not realize this issue until I printed with line # and happened to check the line # from page to page.

  • I'd like to know which file was affected by the installation, and how I can switch back and forth between the original black and the new color printout.

  • Great extension!

    One thing I'd very much like to have added is an additional text formatting option in Visual Studio Tools->Options->Environment->Fonts and Colors->Printer:

    Member function names should be particularly highlighted (e.g. red background or bold font).

    When wading through a collegues class's code, I'm very often searching for that classes member functions and event handlers, resp.


  • I agree. This extension really sucked. Let me know when the new one is released.

  • i know about vs 2010 that is only software for print comment but printing work only photoshop, or adobe studio, so adobe is an important software for printing works


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