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 Mohamed Ahmedy | July 03 2010

Amazing much more colors for VS thanks alot

by Pepoš | July 01 2010

by JasonShortPhD | June 30 2010

by versute | June 17 2010

by vaughanje | June 16 2010

by Kai Wang | June 09 2010

by IHeartRobots | June 07 2010

Awesome work!

by Rajnis | June 07 2010

that's what I was looking for. Thanks.

by versute1 | June 02 2010

by fbanyai | May 23 2010

This is exactly what I was looking for! Nice and simple!


Flávio Banyai

by Mai Omar Desouki | May 21 2010

realy.. good one.


with my regards;
Mai Omar
Senior Solutions Developer

by Fırat Esmer | May 19 2010

Works Great! Thanks for this great extension.

by Iftekhar Ahmed | May 19 2010

by Philip Wolfe | May 18 2010

Absolutely the best extension I have come across. Thank you for build that which should already be in the product!

Bye bye blues, hello gray!

This is by far the best thing i've seen in a while. Awesome!

by David Lowndes | May 15 2010

Ah, thank you - at last a chance to see the UI without it shouting its colour scheme at me.

by Micky D | May 10 2010

by Dario Hendrix | April 29 2010

Works great with VS 2010 Ultimate.

by igorfrance | April 26 2010

This extension is absolutely fantastic! It should have been built-in to a certain degree, but hey - with this is totally doesn't matter. Great work!

Igor France

by Tres White | April 21 2010

This doesn't seem to work for a Team Explorer only installation.

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  • Scrollbar VS2012 vs VS2013
    1 Posts | Last post February 11, 2014
    • When using the scrollbar Map Mode or Full Mode in VS2012 the scroll bar reflects the same colors.  In VS2013 it appears to use the default scheme.  Is there a way to get that working in 2013?
  • Support for isolated shell applications
    1 Posts | Last post November 19, 2013
    • Hi Matthew,
      I like very much your extension! I have a application based on VS2013 isolated shell.  I could change the manifest so it can be installed.  I can modify existing themes but I can't create a new one. The theme editor tries to write the new theme to the extension folder using "Microsoft.VisualStudio.Pro" as the installation target and the extension manager raises an UnsupportedProductException.
      Would you kindly support the creation of custom themes in isolated shells?
      Best regards,
  • Insufficient memory to continue the execution of the program.
    1 Posts | Last post September 11, 2013
    • I seem to get that error most of the time I hit "Customize colors" menu item.
      Any suggestions on how to solve or even debug this?
  • Can't figure out what some items are
    1 Posts | Last post June 14, 2013
    • Hello,
      I can't seem to figure out what color is for the background of the Solution Explorer window, the designer window background, and the output window background/text. Anyone have any ideas if these are customizable? Thanks!
  • Where is the option to change the theme in vs2010 ?
    1 Posts | Last post May 08, 2013
    • I've installed the manager package.but i'm not getting the option to change the theme of vs2010.
      please, let me know the steps for changing the theme .
      Thanks !
  • Can we get this to work with SSMS 2012
    2 Posts | Last post April 12, 2013
    • Can we get this to work with SSMS 2012?
    • Hi! try running ssms 2012 as administrator.
  • Name vs. Color? Which key/name color chances what?!
    2 Posts | Last post March 20, 2013
    • Hello,
      this question was asked befor, but noone gave an answer. if you select "show all" at the theme editor, you get more than 100 name/color... but which one is controlling what? is there a list for what each key stands for? can perhaps someone provide me with screenshots and the keynames there?
      thanks, mike.
    • That's a very good idea. Right now the only method to properly customize the theme is through trial and error, which is very frustrating. It would be a good idea if it were a screenshot available containing the description for each element, or even better, when you hover an element in the list it could be surrounded by a visible frame in the UI.
  • Settings for Output Window Text and Background
    1 Posts | Last post March 14, 2013
    • Hi Matthew,
      Firstly, thanks for the tool. Now using your tool I applied a Elite dark them from But now when I change the Output Window plain text foreground to Yellow and background to a shade of Dark Grey (from Tools -> Options -> Environment -> Fonts and Colors)and the background renders fine but the text goes black and is sort of highlighted in light grey background. I wonder if you could tell me what setting in your tool I could use to set the text color and background for Output Window? Thanks.
  • Pick up System colors?
    5 Posts | Last post December 09, 2012
    • This is a great extension, and I guess this is more a comment for the VS team. But I'm on XP, with a custom Windows Classic theme, and I hate it when apps decide to use their own color scheme. I wish that either VS or this extension had a way of reading my system colors and basing the scheme on that. I know that I can use this extension to go through one by one and adjust all the colors, and I guess I'll do that when I have an hour to spare, but I wish there were a simpler way.
    • There are some built-in themes, like the Windows Classic theme that uses the system colors. Would be nifty if this same concept could be applied to the new UI style though.
    • I'd also like an option to use current Windows theme colours.
    • How do you install this studid thing?
      When I run it, it installs in VS 2012 instead of 2012.
    • This extension is for Visual Studio 2010 only.  Downloading and double-clicking the VSIX file should prompt to install for Visual Studio 2010 (not 2012).  If that doesn't work I'd be curious to find out why, but as an alternative you can try opening Visual Studio 2010, going to Tools\Extension Manager, and searching from there for "color theme editor".  You should be able to find and install the extension from that dialog.
      If you're looking for the version that supports Visual Studio 2012 it's here:
  • Please let it work with VS 11
    14 Posts | Last post August 31, 2012
    • I've really enjoyed using this.  With VS 11 this extension becomes critically important to me, since MS has stubbornly forced light gray (new RC screenshots) on us.  PLEASE, PLEASE let this work on VS 11. Being able to add some contrast  (like that burgundy screen-shot you have here) is very important to me.
    • I love this extension.  Please make this work with Visual Studio 2012.  There are a lot of us there that would really appreciate it.  
    • +1 I can't go without this extension any more. It really does help people who are sensitive to high contrast. Thanks.
    • +1 I need to throw my hat in with this. Whilst I am a black background coder the dead 2012 UI is like a prison. 
    • +1 Agree on this. Please make it works on vs 2012.
    • +1 again.  VS2012 RTM still looks horribly grey.
    • +100 - please please please make it work with VS2012 - uggghhhh that all that flat grey!
    • Quoting Scott Hanselman in
      "Matt Johnson, one of the developers on the Visual Studio team, developed and released a theme editor extension for Visual Studio 2010 on Studio Gallery. His tool needs additional time and effort to work with Visual Studio 2012 given all the changes we made. As soon as it’s ready we will make it available. With Matt's tool you will be able make a wide variety of theme changes including updating the Status Bar colors to colors of your choosing."
      That'd be great news
    • Scott's got the right information, a VS 2012 version of this extension is nearly ready for release.  Thanks for your patience!
    • Please do this for VS 2012.
      Can't work with the 2 tone look. 
      I don't know that the guys at Microsoft are thinking. No wonder Apple is beating them. If Windows 8 release is like this then Microsoft shares will be penny stock!
    • "Matthew Johnson [MSFT]
      Scott's got the right information, a VS 2012 version of this extension is nearly ready for release.  Thanks for your patience!"
      Thanks Matthew!  Do you have any plans to allow us to change the icons themselves or allow us to revert back to the VS 2010 icons.  The VS 2012 icons make the IDE more difficult to use.  
    • +1! Please add VS2012 support!
    • +1. I hoped through Beta & RC I'd get used to it, or MS'd improve it, but even in RTM VS2012 is bland, gloomy and has awful contrast, making it really difficult to differentiate any of the UI components. It's like working in a dank cave. Very much looking forward to the new build of this extension!
    • Does anyone have trouble using this while working on Windows Workflow Foundation? The flow charts do get rendered well. I have to switch back to default in order to work with WF, 
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