Visual Studio 2008 xaml editor doesn't paint properly - by Erin Fitzhenry

Status : 

  Won't Fix<br /><br />
		Due to several factors the product team decided to focus its efforts on other items.<br /><br />
		A more detailed explanation for the resolution of this particular item may have been provided in the comments section.

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ID 465834 Comments
Status Closed Workarounds
Type Bug Repros 2
Opened 6/10/2009 12:21:43 AM
Access Restriction Public


The following problems keep occurring in the xaml editor in Visual Studio 2008 SP1:

* The scrollbars disappear
* Some of the text is offset and/or disappears

Often, the problem can be fixed by clicking the upside down << icon to switch between the split design/xaml view and the xaml-only view.  Sometimes, however, even that doesn't work, and I have to minimize and maximize the whole VS2008 window.
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Posted by Scorn Emperor on 10/31/2009 at 3:52 PM
This happens if you have an "Environments -> Fonts and Colors -> Display Items" value set to draw something with a background color in the XAML window. For example, I set "String" to draw with a beige background and the XAML window stopped repainting properly. Resetting any special colored backgrounds for the tokens that appear in XAML will resolve the problem.
Posted by Mark Wilson-Thomas on 8/19/2009 at 2:11 PM
Some customers have found that raising the number of GDI handles ( has details of the registry key which controls the limit) from the Windows XP/Vista default of 10,000 to 20,000 and report that it makes a big difference in stability of Visual Studio 2008 against this sort of problem for them.

Please let us know if this workaround works well for you too.

Mark Wilson-Thomas
PM, WPF & SL Designer Team
Posted by Mark [MSFT] on 6/30/2009 at 2:20 PM
Hi Erinb545

Thanks for providing the screenshot and further information.

Having reviewed the issue, I'm sorry to inform you that because the repaint problem does not cause any permanent issues, and can be very readily and quickly worked around (by minimize/maximize or the other methods you have identified), we will not be pursuing a Visual Studio 2008 Hotfix to rectify it. However as you may be aware, the entire Visual Studio shell has been completely reworked in the next major release of Visual Studio (Visual Studio 2010), and we do not believe you will encounter the same problem in the new release. If you wish to evaluate the Beta releases of Visual Studio 2010, you can do so here:

With respect to the WPF designer hotfixes for Visual Studio 2008 SP1, here's the list you should be aware of:

1. KB958017 ( which has been out for quite a while now and is also rolled-up into the Silverlight 2 Tools for Visual Studio 2008 SP1 - please don't install it if you already have the Silverlight Tools) fixes a number of late-breaking issues in VS2008 SP1's designer (including some crashing issues). You should consider installing it if you don't already have the Silverlight 2 Tools for Visual Studio 2008 installed.

2. The more recently issued KB963035 ( solves an intermittent hanging issue in the designer which some customers had reported. You should consider installing it if you ever see the "Visual Studio is Busy" system tray icon when working in the WPF designer and experience freezes/hangs.

3. The CLR team has recently issued a hotfix for an issue that affected some WPF designer users and could cause "hard crashes" in which no Watson dialog would appear ( - it says it's for MS Exchange but also fixes the WPF designer "Grant Set Exception" failure). If you ever see hard crashes of Visual Studio 2008 when working with WPF files, you should consider installing this Hotfix.

Should you wish to contact me directly about this or any other WPF and Silverlight designer feedback, please do not hesitate to email me at mwthomas at microsoft dot com (quoting Connect ID 465834 in your subject line).

Mark Wilson-Thomas
Program Manager, WPF & Silverlight Designer, Visual Studio
Posted by Erin Fitzhenry on 6/29/2009 at 11:13 PM
Thanks for looking into this. Here are my responses to your questions:

1. Yes, I do see this problem for all WPF projects.
2. N/A
3. I've attached a screenshot of the problem. I was able to reproduce the problem this time by expanding, pinning, then unpinning and collapsing the Toolbox on the left. I'm not sure if this is the procedure that always causes the problem.
4. The problem has occurred for as long as I can remember.
5. Unfortunately, I do not have access to any other PCs with VS2008 installed.
6. I don't see KB958017 or KB963035. Should I install them? I also have Silverlight 2.0 and VS2008 SP1 (I believe that this problem started prior to installing the Silverlight stuff and upgrading to VS2008 SP1, but I couldn't guarantee it).
Posted by Mark [MSFT] on 6/25/2009 at 4:28 PM
Hi erinb545

According to my records, I haven't heard back from you since my posting of 6/15 below.

If I don't hear from you I will need to close this issue since we are unable to reproduce or action it any further.

Mark Wilson-Thomas
Program Manager, WPF & Silverlight Designer Team, Visual Studio
Posted by Mark [MSFT] on 6/15/2009 at 1:57 PM
Hi erinb545

I'm sorry to hear of the issue you are seeing with repaint in the Visual Studio 2008 XAML editor.

So far we have been unable to reproduce this condition in our labs, and I'd like to ask for some further information which may help us do so:

1. Do you see this problem for all WPF projects, or just a particular one (i.e. if you create a brand new WPF project, and work in it for a while, do you see the problem).
2. If the problem comes from a particular project, are you able to share it with us?
3. Can you provide a screen-shot of the problem happening, so we can visualize it more easily (you can attach a file to this bug)
4. Has the problem always happened, or did it recently begin happening?
5. Do you have access to any other PCs with Visual Studio 2008 installed? If so do they show the issue as well?
6. Do you have any of the following installed?
a) KB958017 hotfix (see installed updates in add/remove programs control panel)
b) KB963035 hotfix
c) Silverlight Tools for Visual Studio 2008 (if so, which version - Silverlight 2 or 3?)
d) Visual Studio 2008 Service Pack 1

Thank you
Mark Wilson-Thomas
Program Manager, WPF & Silverlight Designer, Visual Studio
Posted by Microsoft on 6/12/2009 at 1:46 AM
Thanks for your feedback.

We are escalating 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.

Thank you,
Visual Studio Product Team