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Accessibility problems with VS2012 Update 3 by Aidtopia


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Type: Bug
ID: 794105
Opened: 7/16/2013 6:01:05 AM
Access Restriction: Public
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Description

* The new look in VS 2012, without resize borders and without a distinct title bar make the product harder to use. The border and title bar are the only way to tell which window is active. I'm constantly unable to tell if Visual Studio is currently the active window, especially on a multi-monitor system. Trying to resize the window by gripping the edge is an exercise in frustration, since you actually have to grab _next to_ the window. There's no visual affordance to click and drag.

* The code editing windows no longer honor High Contrast Mode, as they did in VS2010. Not only does this result in a tremendous amount of glare for people with certain types of visual problems, but it is also impossible to read parts of the code, because the default for things like namespaces becomes white-on-white (or something very close to it).

(Fortunately, High Contrast Mode as least restores the title bar cues as to which window is the active window.)
Details
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Posted by Aidtopia on 2/4/2014 at 6:03 AM
Note that the comment from Microsoft on 11/4/2013 is incorrect. These issues have not been addressed in VS 2013. The same bug open in VS 2013 has been closed as By Design, even though that design is in direct conflict with the Microsoft Windows Style Guidelines (which say that "chromeless" UI is _only_ allowed in immersive full screen applications). http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/aa974173.aspx
Posted by Aidtopia on 12/15/2013 at 3:17 PM
Only the High Contrast Mode issue has been fixed. The problems with the invisible resize borders and the indistinct title bar persist in Visual Studio 2013.
Posted by Microsoft on 11/4/2013 at 12:50 PM
Hi Aidtopia - Your issues have been addressed in Visual Studio 2013. Thanks!
Posted by Aidtopia on 11/4/2013 at 12:43 PM
Any update on this? The workaround doesn't work, and I'm not eager to upgrade to VS 2013 without assurance that these accessibility issues are fixed.
Posted by Aidtopia on 8/6/2013 at 8:28 AM
I followed you directions with the new EditColors.pkgdef file, but it made no visible difference. The edit window looks exactly as it did before in the screen shot I originally posted on 7/19.
Posted by Microsoft on 7/31/2013 at 11:46 AM
Forgot to attach the pkgdef file. Here it is...
Posted by Microsoft on 7/31/2013 at 11:46 AM
Thanks for your reply. Apologies for marking this bug as "Not Repro." This is our standard resolution for bugs where we haven't heard back from customers within the alloted time.

I just saw yesterday, that we have a bug already tracking the editor theme not switching when using a High Contrast theme (http://connect.microsoft.com/VisualStudio/feedback/details/786381/accessibility).

We just checked in a fix for it into the Visual Studio 2013 branch but you won't see the fix applied to Visual Studio 2012. In order to workaround this issue, please follow these steps:

- Save the attached EditorColors.pkgdef file over the existing one in %ProgramFiles%\Microsoft Visual Studio 11.0\Common7\IDE\CommonExtensions\Platform\EditorColors.pkgdef
- In the Visual Studio Command Prompt run “devenv /updateconfiguration”
- Start VS and now the Editor and Output/Command/Immediate/FindResults windows will have updated colors to match the OS theme in HC modes.
Posted by Aidtopia on 7/30/2013 at 8:19 PM
I'm not picking a particular high contrast scheme, I'm turning on high contrast mode with the LeftAlt+LeftShift+PrintScreen key combo.

(High Contrast Mode != High Contrast Scheme http://blogs.msdn.com/b/oldnewthing/archive/2008/12/03/9167477.aspx)

I don't know which scheme high contrast mode uses by default, but, yes, it's a light-on-dark one. From the screen shot I posted, you can see that Visual Studio in general does switch, but the editor panes do not.
Posted by Microsoft on 7/30/2013 at 9:19 AM
Thanks for your reply. For #3 are you switching to High Contrast Black?
Posted by Aidtopia on 7/29/2013 at 8:31 PM
Sorry about not replying. Connect failed to send me a notification about your questions posted on 7/22. It's strange, because I did get notifications for the 7/19 and 7/29 posts.

Regarding #1: I've added my voice to the others with regard to the inability to determine if the Visual Studio window is the active window. The problem is that accessibility _bugs_ are by their nature important only to a small minority of users, and thus will never rise above the bar in a popularity contest like User Voice.

Regarding #2: I'm not talking about the bars between the panes within Visual Studio. I'm talking about the main window's resize border. It's not a matter of contrast--it's completely invisible in 2013.

Regarding #3: The screenshot illustrates two problems. First the editor window does not respond to the switch to high contrast mode. It should have switched to a light on dark color scheme. Secondly, the fact that some of the text changes to white-on-white makes the text unreadable. I don't understand why you marked this at Not Repro, as it's trivial to reproduce: (1) Start Visual Studio, (2) switch to High Contrast Mode.
Posted by Microsoft on 7/29/2013 at 8:51 AM
Hello - Since we haven't heard back from you, I will be resolving your bug as Not Repro. Please let us know if you'd like us to take another look at it and I can reactivate the bug.

Thanks,
Cathy Sullivan
Posted by Microsoft on 7/22/2013 at 11:19 AM
Hello - I'm sorry to hear you don't find the change we made to the IDE title chrome to be sufficient to distinguishing between instances of open IDEs. If you believe we should continue to tweak this, please add a suggestion our UserVoice site please (explicitly for VS 2013): https://visualstudio.uservoice.com/

Thank you for also uploading a screen of issue #3. Are you specifically referring to what looks like some of the text in the editor being white on white in your Cpp file?

Thanks,
Cathy
Posted by Aidtopia on 7/19/2013 at 8:34 PM
I just read Zain's blog post. The proposed highlighting for distinguishing the active VS window is way too subtle. It's too much cognitive overhead to look at all my regular windows with their regular borders (all the way around) and then have to look at VS--the one oddball on my screens--and have to *think* about something that should be visually obvious. I would not consider that an acceptable fix at all.
Posted by Aidtopia on 7/19/2013 at 8:20 PM
Glad to hear that #1 and #2 are being addressed. I've attached a screenshot for #3 (editor window doesn't handle high contrast mode).
Posted by Microsoft on 7/19/2013 at 1:58 PM
Hello,

Thanks for sending us your feedback and for using Visual Studio 2013. Issue #1 you mention has been addressed in the Visual Studio 2013 Preview. See Zain's blog post for more details: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/zainnab/archive/2013/07/04/visual-studio-2013-preview-distinguishing-multiple-instances-of-visual-studio.aspx

For issue #2 we've also increased the contrast (in Visual Studio 2013 Preview) around regions in the IDE so you can more easily resize windows and find the gripper point.

For #3 could you provide us a screenshot so we can investigate this issue? Please attach it directly to the bug.

Thank you,
Cathy Sullivan
VS IDE Team
Posted by Microsoft on 7/19/2013 at 1:57 PM
Hello,

Thanks for sending us your feedback and for using Visual Studio 2013. Issue #1 you mention has been addressed in the Visual Studio 2013 Preview. See Zain's blog post for more details: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/zainnab/archive/2013/07/04/visual-studio-2013-preview-distinguishing-multiple-instances-of-visual-studio.aspx

For issue #2 we've also increased the contrast (in Visual Studio 2013 Preview) around regions in the IDE so you can more easily resize windows and find the gripper point.

For #3 could you provide us a screenshot so we can investigate this issue? Please attach it directly to the bug.

Thank you,
Cathy Sullivan
VS IDE Team
Posted by Microsoft on 7/17/2013 at 2:52 AM
Thanks for your feedback.

We are rerouting this issue to the appropriate group within the Visual Studio Product Team for triage and resolution. These specialized experts will follow-up with your issue.
Posted by Microsoft on 7/16/2013 at 6:50 AM
Thank you for your feedback, we are currently reviewing the issue you have submitted. If this issue is urgent, please contact support directly(http://support.microsoft.com)
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Posted by Microsoft on 7/31/2013 at 11:47 AM
- Save the attached EditorColors.pkgdef file over the existing one in %ProgramFiles%\Microsoft Visual Studio 11.0\Common7\IDE\CommonExtensions\Platform\EditorColors.pkgdef
- In the Visual Studio Command Prompt run “devenv /updateconfiguration”
- Start VS and now the Editor and Output/Command/Immediate/FindResults windows will have updated colors to match the OS theme in HC modes.
File Name Submitted By Submitted On File Size  
vs2012_high_contrast_mode.png 7/19/2013 98 KB
EditorColors.pkgdef 7/31/2013 40 KB