Visual Studio 2013 Color Theme Editor

Microsoft Free

Allows users to create and edit Visual Studio themes. Themes can customize colors used for menus, toolbars, tabs, titlebars, the text editor, and other environment colors.

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by sagenth | August 07 2014

Reporting Buggy behaviour.. The extension doesn't play nice with the built in "Fonts and Colors". If you use the fonts and colours menu to change any colours it will not update properly inside this extension. Then when/if you go to tweak the settings inside of the extension it will not apply the new colour because of the aforementioned fonts and colors tweaking that took place.

by FunPro | July 30 2014


by Dot Net Giri | July 28 2014


by Yann Duran | July 17 2014

If it wasn't for this extension, I would never have even started using VS 2012. I'm so happy that it eventually came to VS 2013 as well.

I *really* don't understand why this functionality hasn't been included in VS itself. Surely MS has heard by now that their customers want to be able to have more than 3 preset choices, and to be able to *customize* their working environment.

You only have to look at how many time this extension has been downloaded. And that doesn't count the unhappy people who have never even heard of this extension. Let's hope that MS has finally rectified this in VS 2014.

by BillyNguyen | July 15 2014

These themes make happier coders and more productive psychologically speaking.

by Expression2 | June 23 2014


by Mehrad1362 | June 04 2014

I have tried this plug-in cuz I had problem seeing Productivity tools code block indicator on the scroll bar in the original Dark theme.

However, every single theme I tried from this list had a problem or two. The light with dark editor theme has a Black cursor blinker on the black background. Seriously !!!
The Solaris comments and main code aren't distinguishable in the dark version.
Don't take me wrong. it's a great add-on but missing a practicality factor.

by Hugo Nunes | April 04 2014

by Sappharad | March 30 2014

This is the most important extension that I install after installing Visual Studio. I wish there was a similar extension for Office 2013.
Having said that, I've posted a few themes over the past year and they don't seem to be getting any search engine placement. There also doesn't seem to be any place maintaining a list of downloadable themes. If anyone wants a few more themes, here are ones I've posted:

by bill_csharper | March 10 2014

Where are the themes for Windows Classic or Visual Studio 2008?
I really miss these old themes there were available in "Visual Studio Color Theme Editor" for VS2010.

by Petr Škaloud | February 24 2014

It helped me very much to customize my Dark theme. Thank you very much, 5*.

by Enrique Thedy | February 18 2014

It's perfect for me. Thnak you for this extension!!

by framic | February 17 2014

Should be included as a Standard - very nice!

by Michail77 | February 11 2014

This is the first extension I add to new installs. VS would be horribly depressing without it.

by akerd | February 11 2014

Very nice extension, it is really easy change the whole theme using order and multiple edit features.

by Andrew Greenwright | February 09 2014

This is a must have for those who like to customize VS. Thank you!

by kyzylsungur | January 13 2014

Superb! Better than default "Dark" version. This little extension provides "Dark with Light Editor".

by dk.basket123 | November 28 2013

Thanks for this. It would also be great if we could somehow right click on a string in the editor and change the colour of the category that it's under.

by Binori | November 25 2013

Can you imagine VS without this addin?

by Alin Constantin - MSFT | November 25 2013

@mkanet2: Visual Studio Express does not allow extensions to be installed (well, not without some PLKs provided by Microsoft for exceptional cases). A normal extension is limited to VS Integrated Shell/Professional/Premium/Ultimate.
For people trying to colorize Express editions, see

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  • VS14 compatible Version
    2 Posts | Last post September 01, 2014
    • Will there be a VS14 compatible Version? The Default UI still sucks so I Need the addon to customize the Colors.
    • ok, I modified the manifest and can use the 2013 version now on VS14.
  • Light Theme - Issue
    2 Posts | Last post August 01, 2014
    • First of all thanks for this awesome app, now it seems like copy of the Light theme does not work i mean the copy do not have any color combinations. The light theme is the best but in 2013 the Razor code has dark highlighting which makes it difficult to read and i am looking for a way to get rid of it, can anyone help.?
    • OK i think i have found a way to change the highlight razor background.
      In the theme editor or Tools > Options > Environment > Fonts and Colors
      Search for: 'HTML Razor Code Background' and change 'item background' to 'Automatic'
  • customize control flow background for SSIS
    1 Posts | Last post June 20, 2014
    • Is it possible to change the background color when editing a ssis package. In the Dark theme it is dark but when I copy the dark theme to edit it so I can change some other colors the background in the control flow goes from dark to light which is very hard on the eyes to distinguish the whites, light grays and silvers.
  • IntelliSense List Members text color broken in the Blue with Dark Editor
    2 Posts | Last post June 20, 2014
    • I've made a Blue with Dark Editor by coping "text editor" over from Dark Editor to Blue theme. It worked just fine. But the Solution Explorer is still in the Light Editor style which doesn't fit with the lovely Dark Editor well. So I followed the way you gave to someone to change the Solution Explorer in some VS2012 Color Theme Editor's comments: copied "TreeView →" from Dark Editor over. Now the Solution Explorer in my Blue with Dark Editor look great. But I found that this change also made the IntelliSense's List Members drop-down now unreadable (Only the highlighted one in it is readable)! Before applying "TreeView →", the IntelliSense's List Members is in the Light Editor style, and after applying this it has become sort of Dark Editor style, but it's unreadable :(
      Looks like a bug, it somehow did not apply  the text color properly to the IntelliSense's List Members drop-down. Could you please help?
    • Finally I found that IntelliSense's drop-down list members font is controlled by "Environment → CommandBarTextActive" which also controls VS IDE Menu and some other things! So, the dilemma is that now the IDE is in light style (blue), but I'd like the IntelliSense to be dark style in the Editor! Well I did find a fairly alright colour can be readable in both.
      To make it even worse, I also found that applying "TreeView →" from dark style to my Blue with Dark Editor (VS2013) makes the Source Control Explorer very funny now, i.e., the folders panel in the left hand side now has dark background in the area which doesn't have icons and text, but still light style in the area which has icons and text inconsistently! But when doing the same in VS2012, the Source Control Explorer won't be affected, i.e., it's all in light style. So VS team has made some changes to Source Control Explorer, and cause funny/buggy effect. Damn. I think some ways the VS team has organised those UI elements into seem a bit messy and not very logical.
  • changing the background of the editor
    1 Posts | Last post May 29, 2014
    • ok, i must be an idiot, but am I missing a way to change the main text editor background? 
      I know I can change it though Tools/Options. 
      I looked at the Common Elements and nothing seemed to jump out at me with that name.
      thank you,
  • VS2013.2 Update and custom Themes
    1 Posts | Last post May 12, 2014
    • it looks like update had deleted all my custom themes.
      is there a way maybe that they are still somewhere on the disk? if so, where?
  • I can't install this to VS 2013 desktop, Why?
    1 Posts | Last post May 09, 2014
    • 9.5.2014 18:55:49 - Microsoft VSIX Installer
      9.5.2014 18:55:49 - -------------------------------------------
      9.5.2014 18:55:49 - Initializing Install...
      9.5.2014 18:55:49 - Extension Details...
      9.5.2014 18:55:49 - 	Identifier      : 4df54bca-f28d-429e-8f72-1946d928bac9
      9.5.2014 18:55:49 - 	Name            : Visual Studio 2012 Color Theme Editor
      9.5.2014 18:55:49 - 	Author          : Microsoft
      9.5.2014 18:55:49 - 	Version         : 2.3
      9.5.2014 18:55:49 - 	Description     : Allows users to create and edit Visual Studio themes.  Themes can customize colors used for menus, toolbars, tabs, titlebars, the text editor, and other environment colors.
      9.5.2014 18:55:49 - 	Locale          : en-US
      9.5.2014 18:55:49 - 	MoreInfoURL     : 
      9.5.2014 18:55:49 - 	InstalledByMSI  : False
      9.5.2014 18:55:49 - 	SupportedFrameworkVersionRange : [4.5]
      9.5.2014 18:55:49 - 
      9.5.2014 18:55:49 - 	SignedBy        : Microsoft Corporation
      9.5.2014 18:55:49 - 	Certificate Info : [Subject]
        CN=Microsoft Corporation, OU=MOPR, OU=OPC, O=Microsoft Corporation, L=Redmond, S=Washington, C=US
        CN=Microsoft Code Signing PCA, O=Microsoft Corporation, L=Redmond, S=Washington, C=US
      [Serial Number]
      [Not Before]
        25.1.2013 0:33:41
      [Not After]
        25.4.2014 1:33:41
      9.5.2014 18:55:49 - 	Supported Products : 
      9.5.2014 18:55:49 - 		Microsoft.VisualStudio.Pro
      9.5.2014 18:55:49 - 			Version : [11.0]
      9.5.2014 18:55:49 - 
      9.5.2014 18:55:49 - 	References      : 
      9.5.2014 18:55:49 - 		-------------------------------------------------------
      9.5.2014 18:55:49 - 		Identifier   : Microsoft.VisualStudio.MPF.11.0
      9.5.2014 18:55:49 - 		Name         : Visual Studio MPF 11.0
      9.5.2014 18:55:49 - 		Version      : [11.0]
      9.5.2014 18:55:49 - 		MoreInfoURL  : 
      9.5.2014 18:55:49 - 		Nested       : No
      9.5.2014 18:55:49 - 
      9.5.2014 18:55:49 - 
      9.5.2014 18:55:49 - Searching for applicable products...
      9.5.2014 18:55:49 - Foun
  • I think the Light with Dark Editor is broken
    1 Posts | Last post May 05, 2014
    • I just updated to Update 2 (RC) and noticed that all the HTML helpers in cshtml pages cannot be read.  It looks like the text is highlighted in the "Light" format.  Can't see any of the code unless you click on the line.  The "Dark" looks fine.
  • I think the Light with Dark Editor is broken
    1 Posts | Last post May 05, 2014
    • I just updated to Update 2 (RC) and noticed that all the HTML helpers in cshtml pages cannot be read.  It looks like the text is highlighted in the "Light" format.  Can't see any of the code unless you click on the line.  The "Dark" looks fine.
  • Solarized dark theme except editor
    1 Posts | Last post April 16, 2014
    • How can I import all editor font styles from Dark(default) into Solarized Dark theme such that only editor retains the Dark style while other elements have the Solarized Dark style?
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