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Friday, 5 April 2013

SSDT syntax highlighting disappeared. How I fixed it.

I recently struggled with a problem where I seemed to lose the syntax highlighting in Visual Studio 2012 for SSDT projects.  Took me a while to stumble onto a solution after multiple reinstalls and almost giving up to rebuild the PC (I like syntax highlighting)

The tldr solution is:
  • Open a Visual Studio Command Prompt (as administrator)
  • Run:
    DEVENV /SETUP

The problem (no pretty colours)

I'd been having an issue with my PC build where my SQL 2012 installation seems to lose some WMI settings.  I can temporarily fix that with a mofcomp command, but getting frustrated with that I decided to reinstall SQL Server 2012.  That was my first mistake.  After the reinstall of SQL Server 2012 I noticed I'd lost all the syntax highlighting for SSDT projects as per this Stack Overflow question (not mine by the way): http://stackoverflow.com/questions/14365678/limited-vs2012-sql-syntax-highlighting

That article has the rather unhelpful "Hey it just fixed itself" answer.  No such luck for me.  After a general failing of my Google foo, I thought it would be just easier to reinstall Visual Studio 2012, SSDT etc.  So that's what I did.  Alas I still had no syntax highlighting.  And no options for the SQL "types" to manually update the colours.

To list all I had tried;
  • Removed and reinstalled SQL Server 2012
  • Patched SQL Server 2012 with SP1
  • Reinstalled SSDT for Visual Studio 2012
  • Removed and reinstalled Visual Studio 2012
  • Patched Visual Studio 2012 with Update 1
  • Tried an earlier version of SSDT
  • Updated SSDT (again)
All yielded no difference.

Twitter failed me too.

The solution

I had pretty much given up and decided to get the PC rebuilt.  But one last Google search yielded a couple of potential fixes that I thought I would try.  These were two further Stack Overflow articles about problems that were (at best) vaguely similar to mine:
  • http://stackoverflow.com/questions/15643145/cannot-find-user-keywords-section-in-visual-studio-2012
  • http://stackoverflow.com/questions/11988077/plain-c-sharp-editor-in-visual-studio-2012-no-intellisense-no-indentation-no
The second one looked more promising, but infinitely more difficult for a simple DBA.  So I thought I'd give the first article a go first.

The first stack overflow article says to perform the following steps:
  • Open a Visual Studio Command Prompt (as administrator)
  • Run:
    DEVENV /SETUP
After all my reinstallations I really couldn't see this making any difference.  I was happy to be wrong!  These simple steps brought back the options to update colours for syntax highlighting.

2 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. Hi Kent, thanks for the trick ! I'm tearing my hair out with it ! But consider this :

    http://blogs.msdn.com/b/ssdt/archive/2014/07/15/sql-server-data-tools-july-update.aspx?PageIndex=2#comments by Thomas J :

    "...I had fixed my syntax highlighting problem by deleting following registry key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\VisualStudio\12.0\FontAndColors\Cache. This clears the cache and my syntax highlighting for sql files is coming back ;-)..."

    Herve B.

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