Dealing with UI issues in Visual Studio 2010

One of the “features” of Visual Studio 2010 is an overhauled UI, powered by WPF. Whilst this might make for some nice eye candy it’s also led to some incredibly frustrating display issues which I know I’m not alone in experiencing.

I’ve been finding that the file I’m currently working on will randomly stop responding to mouse input – continued keyboard input is fine, and I can access menus, toolbars, other documents etc with the mouse. I often get strange flickering going on, with inactive files randomly flashing and disappearing again. I’ve even had tabs that have refused to close. Generally the UI feels quite laggy and less responsive than Visual Studio 2008.

Oh and in case you think I’m trying to run this on a netbook or something, my workstation is an 8 core Mac Pro with 4GB RAM and an ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT graphics card (whilst not for your hardcore gamer it’s perfectly capable).

I’ve discovered that disabling hardware acceleration within the Visual Studio options appears to speed things up considerably and so far I haven’t experienced any of the aforementioned quirks. The setting in question is:

Environment > General > Visual experience > Use hardware graphics acceleration if available

If the setting “Automatically adjust visual experience based on client performance” is ticked then you will need to untick it first.

As ever, your mileage may vary depending on your hardware capabilities, but this has certainly helped me out and saved me from ripping out any more of my hair!

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