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Fix for the WPF Designer View with a Dark Background

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Filed under .NET, Visual Studio

If you’ve used the designer view while editing XAML files and you prefer the dark theme for Visual Studio 2012 / 2013, you’ve probably run into this problem:


In the default dark color scheme, the design window is too dark to see anything without modifying your code to add an unnecessary background. No need to modify your code.

Bring up “Extensions and Updates” under the TOOLS menu, click on the “Online” section, and search for “theme editor”. Install Visual Studio 2013 Color Theme Editor.

After a restart, you’ll see a “Color Themes” tab. Click on the icon in the top right of the Dark theme to make a copy of the theme. Name it however you wish and use the pencil icon to edit the theme.

In the top right, search for “artboard”. Set the colour of the Cider -> ArtboardBackground to FFFFFFFF and set ArtboardSecondaryBackground to FFEEEEEE. You’ll get a nice white checkerboard pattern from now on after you save the theme and apply it (click on the theme in “Color Themes”).


Based on the first comment by yAak on this post about using a style in your solution to force a white background in the designer.

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