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by Jiří {x2} Činčura

Operators with different color in Visual Studio

24 Sep 2021 1 mins C#, Visual Studio

When writing some code day or two ago I noticed one operator color in Visual Studio being different color than it usually is. I initially thought it’s a fluke in syntax highlighting that will eventually go away. When it didn’t, I decided to investigate.

Look at this image, with double font size to make it more visible.

Different operator color

The first + sign is clearly different color than the other. What’s going on? It’s actually pretty easy to explain. If you have a custom type with overloaded operator, using it results in this highlighting.

class Program
	static void Main(string[] args)
		var x = new Test();
		_ = x + x;
		_ = 1 + 1;

class Test
	public static Test operator +(Test lhs, Test rhs) => default;

Plus operator is probably not overloaded that often, but for i.e. (in)equality, this might become handy. You’re clearly going to see the type has some handling of the (in)equality and whether that’s expected.

Profile Picture Jiří Činčura is .NET, C# and Firebird expert. He's focused on data and business layers, language constructs, parallelism, databases and performance. He's Microsoft Most Valuable Professional and frequent speaker. You can read his articles, guides and tips and tricks at