Visual Studio Color Theme Editor


Allows users to customize the color palette used for menus, toolbars, tabs, title bars, and other environment colors.

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by Mahendra Varma Keerthipati | August 20 2013

Greatful idea from Microsoft to make developers feel pleasant and suggesting you to provide same kind of plug-in for VS2010 too...

by Ovidiu Ionescu | August 17 2013

by SkewMatrix | June 08 2013

No obvious way to change the color scheme of the Start Page. (The default color scheme is flawed because it uses light-on-dark for left pane and dark-on-light for right/news pane.)

by Dr.Neuron | May 23 2013

Simple but enough powerful. Has potential for further enhancements and room for new features and options. Will impatiently wait new updates with new added capabilities. Thank you developer for his time and effort!

by Syperus | March 18 2013

Great Extension! Comes with a few themes and allows you to create your own theme. Keep up the good work!!

by Girish_Nama | February 15 2013

all the themes cheap.
sari ki sari themes do kodi ki he.

by km_al | February 13 2013

Awesome, quick install, restart VS and adds "Theme" to your toolbar.
I wanted this for big visual clue of what solution I was looking at when I have a lot open, when one VS window is green and the other is brown, it's pretty obvious.

by 7ab | February 11 2013

by davidhunter22 | December 27 2012

Just some feedback on some of the colors. I use the "tan" scheme as a base and found everything great other than two issues that I fixed locally. I suspect they may be issues in other base schemes.

1) Scroll bar handle when not selected has almost no contrast to the background of the scroll bar which makes it very hard to find the handle to move it. When selected it becomes darker and there is more contrast but this is the opposite of when you need contrast.

2) In various places VS uses boxes around "toggle" objects to indicate the're selected. For instance the "Match case" toggle on the find/replace pop up. These boxes, again at least in "Tan", have almost no contrast to the background color so it's very easy to make mistakes.

Other than that awesome!

by Jesse Buesking | December 04 2012

Awesome plugin! Is there a mapping/explanation of what each name represents? (ie What is SortText?). When trying to customize it seems you have to either know what everything maps to already, or you have to apply one change at a time and see if that was the item you were hoping for.

by Ronald Riveros [GeekZero] | November 14 2012

Para los mas exigentes con la apariencias :D

by Peter Juhasz | November 12 2012

I love the blue theme in Visual Studio 2012. Thank you.

by Binori | October 17 2012

This extension make developers happy! :)

by ChuckC | October 10 2012

by Andre.Ziegler | September 13 2012

"must have" addon for VS 2010 because I don't like the default one. I'm now using a VS2008 theme.

by rmoc | September 06 2012

by gr_____________________ | September 05 2012

Until I installed this add-on, I cannot stand VS2010 colors.

Theme editor should be a standard feature in VS. I am waiting for VS2012 version, since VS2012 color schemes are even worse than 2010.

by BillW33 | August 31 2012

Very cool idea, works well.
I'll add my voice to those who would like a 2012 version. :)

by Brian C Chavez | August 28 2012

Hey guys, Visual Studio 2012 Theme editor. Let me know if it works for you.

by stelios84 | August 26 2012

i dont like at all the new them of visual studio 2012 ! Please update it to get color theme!

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  • Dark Visual Studio 2010
    3 Posts | Last post August 17, 2010
    • Hey Matthew,
      I used your tool to create a pretty awesome dark theme. Here it is:
      Thanks for the great work.
      Radi A.
    • Hi,
      Downloaded your theme zip file but I get corrupt zip file error. Can you double-check it please? Ta.
    • Hi,
      cool Theme. I worked some time with the expression theme but, in the source control u couldn't see a different between text an window.
      But with that theme it works pretty fine.
  • Eye dropper feature?
    2 Posts | Last post July 31, 2010
    • Love the addon, couldn't live without it.  However some UI elements can be quite tricky to customise, in that their name is non-obvious in the list, or the element derives its styling from some other unrelated element.  Would it be possible to add a Photoshop-style eye dropper tool to enable hovering over a particular UI element which then highlights it in the list?
    • Ah, have just discovered a workaround.  Acquire the color value of the element via a screenshot loaded into a graphics program, then search for that value in the Customise Colors menu.
  • Document tab colors different for files in solution vs. other files
    3 Posts | Last post June 29, 2010
    • I noticed that color scheme for the document tabs are different for files in the active solution than for other source files (on my machine at least).  Is anyone else seeing this behavior?  If so, can someone point me to the right set of colors to edit so that I can make the different categories of tabs look the same?
      Great extension BTW!  I couldn't stand the default color scheme in VS10.  I'm using the "Expression" theme from Zuhaib.Z with some tweaks right now and I love it.
    • The Pro Power Tools comes with an extension called Document Well Plus, and by default it will change document tab colors.  Are you using that extension as well?  If so, I believe you'll have to customize your colors for tabs in Tools\Options under Environment\Document Tab Well (you can uncheck Color Tabs By Project, or you can change the colors under Environment\Document Tab Well\Color Coding).
    • That was it.  Thanks!!
  • Window tabs
    3 Posts | Last post June 29, 2010
    • Can window tab's, e.g. the selected tab, be changed?
      Which item in the list is it? I don't see any color looking like the window tab color (aero theme).
    • Strange: whatever theme I choose my file tabs are brownish. Anybody an idea?
    • The Pro Power Tools comes with an extension called Document Well Plus, and by default it will change document tab colors.  Are you using that extension as well?  If so, I believe you'll have to customize your colors for tabs in Tools\Options under Environment\Document Tab Well (you can uncheck Color Tabs By Project, or you can change the colors under Environment\Document Tab Well\Color Coding).
  • Matthew
    1 Posts | Last post June 28, 2010
    • Great extension (or so i hear!). I can't seem to install it on Web Express version. Is there any chance you can sign it so that it works with the express version of VS2010?
  • Bug with Devart CodeCompare
    3 Posts | Last post June 12, 2010
    • I am not sure which of the two is to blame but applying a theme crashes Visual Studio 2010 when using this extention in combination with DevArt CodeCompare. 
    • I installed CodeCompare and opened up an empty diff, typed some random things in, and switched themes, but I don't see any crashes.  If you can capture a callstack during the crash, that would help diagnose the problem.
      I can tell you that switching themes is fairly straightforward; it works by writing a color table to the registry, and then sending WM_SYSCOLORCHANGE and WM_THEMECHANGED messages to Visual Studio's window.  These are the same messages that get sent by Windows itself when you change Windows themes, so unless the way the extension sends messages is different in some subtle way, I would expect the same kinds of problems when changing Windows themes.
    • First of all sorry for the late response. Honestly I forgot about the issue after I uninstalled CodeCompare :-) Anyway I have installed the latest version of CodeCompare and I do not see the crash anymore. Judging from the way the themes are actually applied I would guess that the problem was in the version of CodeCompare I was using. Sorry for any inconvinience and thanks for this great extention.
  • Document tab background/border
    1 Posts | Last post June 10, 2010
    • Does FileTab* (FileTabGradientDark, FileTabGradientLight) affect on inactive (not selected) tabs? Should I use another setting to change tab border or background?
      P.S. Windows Classic theme: please fix ToolWindowButtonInactiveGlyph (used by small triangle expandung list with tabs that did not fit) to distinct from background (e.g. to 404040)
      P.P.S. There's a bug with the HEX field of the colorpicker: it resets all color parts to zero regardless of hex you typed in.
  • intellisense box is not exposed?
    1 Posts | Last post June 08, 2010
    • The first thing I did with this tool is to create a new theme based on Default and get rid of all "E5C365" borders. AWESOME! But intellisense box still uses that ugly border color like discussed here.
      It makes the highlighted item almost invisible and hurts my eyes. 
      Doesn't intellisense box also use the shell color service?
  • Alt - m Conflict
    4 Posts | Last post June 01, 2010
    • Nice utility!  However, the use of Alt-m as a shortcut key on the Theme menu conflicts with Alt-m on the Team menu, for those of us who use Team Foundation Server.
    • Yes, it's unfortunate that E is consumed by the Edit menu, H by Help, T by Tools, and M by Team.  Perhaps using H as the mnemonic would have been less obnoxious; fortunately, you can easily change the mnemonic.
      1. In Tools\Customize, click the Commands tab.
      2. The_me should be in the Menu Bar list (shown by default)
      3. You can click "Modify Selection" and change the name from "The
    • Gah, ruined by unescaped ampersand.  The end should have said:
      3. You can click the "Modify Selection" and change the name from "The
    • So, even using HTML entities didn't work...but it just said "change the name from 'Theme' to whatever you want."
  • Visual Studio 2008 like color scheme
    9 Posts | Last post May 20, 2010
    • Hi
      Anybody managed to create color theme to mimic VS2008?
      Thanks in advance,
    • The "Windows"-based themes that are included by default are meant to mimic how VS2008 looked on those various operating systems.  In fact, I used VS2008's core color set as a starting point and added in my interpretation of what colors would look correct for new colors in VS2010.  Some things can't be accurately imitated via colors, though.  For example, VS2008 had lots of borders which have simply been eliminated in VS2010, and no amount of color tweaking will bring back the visual effect those borders had.
      If there's something specific you feel is wrong (color-wise) about the Windows* themes, I'd be happy to consider changing them.
    • E.g. the Windows Aero theme uses dark gray to environment background (at least on win7 x32 
    • Yeah, I'm not incredibly happy about that either, but when I tried to make the environment background lighter, there wasn't enough contrast with tool windows like the Solution Explorer, and it made it hard for me (at least) to visually identify tool windows.  This wasn't a problem in VS 2008 itself since all tool windows had a dark gray border around them, but unfortunately I can't put those borders back with this extension.
      You're of course welcome to modify the environment background if you don't mind the loss of contrast--searching for "Environment" in the Customize Color dialog should quickly find all of the colors you'd need to change.
    • Windows Classic theme somehow does not have the issue. May be, add an Aero Light out of the box? *(c) Mr. Laziness:)
      However, I've done it as I installed the extension (Jan or so on, don't remember).
      Anyway, extension is great. Thanks!!!
    • P.S. Windows Classic theme has another issue - invisible triangle at the right site of the document tab panel (which expands list with tabs that did not fit). I've no studio there, so I cannot see which color key set wrong. I'll post as get it.
    • I'm also using the Windows Aero theme and hate the gray background. Which value do I have to change? And, how do I remove the border around the toolbar? 
    • If you search for "Environment*", these should be the colors you want to change for the gray background.  Changing "CommandBarToolbarBorder" to be the same as "CommandBarGradientBegin", "CommandBarGradientMiddle", or "CommandBarGradientEnd" will mitigate the visibility of the border, although getting rid of it completely isn't possible with this extension--the VS color table doesn't support transparency in colors.
    • Hi Matthew,
      thanks, Changing "CommandBarToolbarBorder" to the color of "CommandBarGradientMiddle" did it :)
      After using the theme for several days, I can live with the gray background.
      best regards
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