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Font Smoothing for Windows Server 2003 RDP

Posted in General | .NET | Visual Studio at Wednesday, 09 July 2008 06:59 Pacific Daylight Time

A few days ago Peter Provost blogged about Brad Wilson's Dark Visual Studio color scheme. I decided to try it out (again) since I felt like I needed a little change in my coding environment. For my current project we are using Windows Server 2003 for our virtual machines and I'm using Hyper-V to run them. One of the things I like to do with my Hyper-V machines is RDP into them since that gives me better clipboard support and I can connect my local drives to the machine and access them easily.

The problem is that Brad's color scheme uses the Consolas font which doesn't render very nicely if you don't have clear type font smoothing. Well after a little digging around I found out that Microsoft just recently released a hotfix to enable font-smoothing in RDP on Windows Server 2003. So I gave the hotfix a try and as long as you check the "enable font-smoothing" checkbox in the RDP connection it works perfectly.

Before the hotfix:


After the hotfix:


Much better on the eyes. And I think I like the dark color scheme. I'll give it a few days and see how it goes.

Wednesday, 09 July 2008 07:02:54 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)
I run the same way, using VMs. But I use Win2k8 VMs on HyperV, and since 2K8 already has the font-smoothing patch installed, I didn't see that issue.
Wednesday, 09 July 2008 07:56:54 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)
Thanks for the link to the hotfix; I wasn't even aware it existed! Great stuff.

But I'll stick with my own nightingale scheme ;)
Wednesday, 16 July 2008 06:14:49 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)
Bryant, ever since I switched to a dark theme, my eyes don't get tired as much.

Here's a link to my theme, if you'd like to test-drive it: http://www.aspnetresources.com/blog/join_the_dark_side.aspx
Monday, 20 October 2008 02:35:37 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)
Any idea if this works on Windows Home Server which has a code base of Windows Server 2003. I applied the Hotfix, checked the "Font-smoothing" in the client, & no dice.
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