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Italic syntax highlighting in Visual Studio 2005  

I came across a posting by Thomas Restrepo about a theme for Vim he likes called Wombat and how it wouldn’t be worth porting to Visual Studio as it doesn’t support italic syntax highlighting – as we all know.

This got me thinking and I was able to port it with italics although the process is a bit of a hack.

If I can figure out a way of making this hack re-distributable without infringing on copyrights I’ll follow this one up.

In the meantime here’s a screen-shot of it in action using Consolas.

Visual Studio 2005 with italics

I can’t stand using vim for .NET – I’ve got better things to do than commit the entire .NET Framework to memory. I remember watching a WPF screen-cast where the guy was using “his trusty editor” (vim or emacs – I forget ;-) and going on about the great keyboard short-cuts whilst constantly trying different method names, compiling yet again and finally looking up help in the absence of IntelliSense.

I did however check out the latest trunk of SharpDevelop this weekend and was quite impressed with both the product and the source code. There was a bit of flickering with the solution explorer and the icons seem to be a bit of a steal-and-mash but otherwise looks first class.


7 responses  

  1. Well, you don’t have to use Vim, you can use ViEmu in VS.NET.

    Rik HemsleyJuly 11th, 2007
  2. That looks pretty cool. Do you mind sharing what the trick was? :)

    Tomas Restrepo – July 11th, 2007
  3. It involves modifying files so I’m trying to put together a binary patcher as I obviously can’t redistribute the files themselves.


    Damien GuardJuly 11th, 2007
  4. I still use Vim as a general purpose text viewer / editor, even though I use VS for actually writing code. It’s just very useful for quickly examining / altering patch files, scripts, XML, config files, sometimes hacking VS project files manually because it’s faster than using a wizard / property page etc. I’m not a fan of trying to use VS for absolutely everything, I tend to pick and choose the best tool for each job.

    steveJuly 11th, 2007
  5. Well the trick is to basically modify the italic version of the font to give it a new name and to present itself as bold.

    I intend on putting together a simple app to do this to any installed font but in the mean time I did it by hand on my own Envy Code R font.


    Damien GuardAugust 19th, 2007
  6. Did you ever write that app? I’ve been mucking around with a hex editor and the TTF spec, but have only succeeded in screwing up my fonts royally so far :)

    If there’s no app, do you have any hints about which bits to flip?

    Blorg – August 19th, 2008
  7. I decided against after consulting with a few people but you can probably achieve a similar effect using FontForge or other font editing programs (just make sure they preserve hinting)


    Damien GuardAugust 19th, 2008

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