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 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

by mkanet2 | November 24 2013

Why is this limited to the Professional/Ultimate versions only? How do I get custom themes from the Express version?

by k_samsonov | November 07 2013

Implement fast filter full color list with color below mouse with Ctrl-Shift pressed. This can realy help customize themes...

by Steven.A.S | September 21 2013

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  • Solarized dark theme except editor
    1 Posts | Last post Wed 7:19 AM
    • 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?
  • How do I change the color scheme for Javascript?
    1 Posts | Last post March 05, 2014
    • I been trying a lot and I still can't change the color scheme for javascript, Could you please help me?
  • Map and Full Mode scrollbars
    3 Posts | Last post February 13, 2014
    • I've noticed that in 2013 it doesn't seem to pick up on the colors for use in the Map and Full Mode scrollbars like it does in 2012. Is this a bug, setting or limitation in 2013?
    • In Visual Studio 2013, you want to edit this color's value for the Map Mode scrollbar background:
      Text Editor → Overview background → Background
      The other colors for the Map Mode scrollbar all start with "Text Editor → Overview".
    • Thank you for the tip!
      I know it has nothing to do with the Theme Editor but the extended scroll bar just doesn't look as good in VS2013 compared to 2012.  But getting rid of the depressing default color will help. 
  • How do I copy an existing theme?
    5 Posts | Last post January 24, 2014
    • I wish to copy an existing color theme (and subsequently edit it, of course).
      I have been unable to copy an existing theme.
      I am using:
      Visual Studio 2013.
      Visual Studio Color Theme Editor v3.1.
      Upon "bringing up" the Color Theme Editor within Visual Studio, I was presented with a list of installed themes.
      Also, with an "import theme" link and the text "... or use the Create Copy of Theme button on one of the existing themes".
      However, the "Create Copy of Theme" button is non-existant.
      Becoming stymied, I found a video in which the theme editor is discussed by its author.
      In that video, when the theme editor is active, it presents the existing color themes in the manner in which I see them.
      However, in the video, the "left pane" is entitled "New Theme", and presents an obvious means of copying an existing theme.
      For me, the left pane is "Solution Explorer". I can, of course, change it to "class view", etc.
      However, I see no means of bringing up the "New Theme" pane.
      As an alternative means of performing a copy, I considered exporting and importing an existing theme, figuring I might be able to change the name of the imported theme, but found no means of exporting a theme.
      This is quite annoying.
      Any help appreciated.
    • Bannerdog,
      To copy an existing theme, mouse-over one in the "Color Themes" tab you describe as bringing up the Color Theme Editor.  
      Upon mouse-over, in the upper-right of the theme's highlighted rectangle should be a small square-ish icon with a "*" on it.  Mouse over THAT icon, it should say "Create Copy of Theme" -- and clicking it should add a new entry under the "Custom Themes" section of that tab.
      Hope that helps!
    • MechEthan,
      I appreciate your response, but don't follow you.
      You said:
      'To copy an existing theme, mouse-over one in the "Color Themes" tab you describe as bringing up the Color Theme Editor.'
      I don't know what you mean by this.
      I "bring up" the Color Theme Editor as follows:
      From within Visual Studio:
      Visual Studio Main Menu->Tools->Customize Colors.
      This causes a "Color Themes" tab to appear on the "right pane".
      The "content" associated with the tab is a set of existing color themes, each depicted by a large icon.
      I've no idea what you mean by "mouse-over one in the 'Color Themes' tab". One what?
      The "Color Themes" tab "itself" has, in addition to the "Color Themes" label, a "Toggle Pin Status" buton, and a "close" (i.e., "X") button.
      I see no "*" anywhere on the screen, no matter what mousing I do.
      I took a window-shot to upload with my original post, but noticed no means of attaching it the post.
      This could all be made sooooooooooo much clearer, soooooooooooo much more easily if I could just attach a pic to my post.
    • I just posted the question to another forum, along with a relevant image:
    • See: 
  • Title bar height
    1 Posts | Last post January 06, 2014
    • Hi
      I think I lost my previous comment. Do you know a way to customize the excessive height of VS 2013 toolbar ? 
      Thanks, great tool !
  • Select Element Tool
    1 Posts | Last post December 28, 2013
    • I would love to have a tool similar to IE's select element tool. It would be nice to have it display the name of the element that you hover over and if you click the element have that element selected in the list of elements in the color editor. Perhaps it could show all variants of that element (hovered, selected, etc) as well.
      Great job! :)
  • Problems with searching by color
    1 Posts | Last post December 02, 2013
    • First of all, I love the new preview column of the theme editor.  Very helpful.
      When I imported my theme from VS2012 there were (as expected) a few new colors that didn't look right that I wanted to change.  The problem (as has been stated before) is that it's hard to find the right name for the color when all you can see is where it's used.  One thing I've done to make this easier is to search by color instead of by name.  In order to do this, I change a color (any color will do) then use the eyedropper to capture the color of the item in question in the UI, then copy the color value of the changed color, then undo the change, then paste the color value into the search box.  
      This kind of works, but it still didn't find the color I needed to change.  The reason was that the particular color (which I finally found by name after two days of looking) was set to "default" instead of the color value.
      From this, I have a couple of suggestions:
      1. Make searching by color easier by adding an eyedropper tool to the search box.
      2. Make searching by color find things that are that color, even if the actual value is "default" or "automatic".
  • Apply Theme To Editor Only?
    1 Posts | Last post December 01, 2013
    • Is there an easy way to apply a theme only to the editor or only to the outer VS chrome?
      For example, I like the solarized dark theme for the code editor but I find the dark theme for the outer VS chrome to be distracting. Is there an easy way to mix solarized dark for the editor with light for the outer chrome?
  • Switching themes changes font/size to Consolas 10
    1 Posts | Last post November 22, 2013
    • VS 2013, v3.1
      Every time I change the colour theme, the font reverts to Consolas 10.
      I know that some people love Consolas, but I'm not one of them (I prefer Lucida Console 8).
      Could you please consider NOT changing the font&size when the theme changes?
  • C# colors
    3 Posts | Last post November 15, 2013
    • Where are color settings for C#? "String (C# @ Verbatim )" for example; it's colored with default color.
      Also I couldn't find how to change color of user types structs,enums,classes); in previous versions these elements were colored, now they have default color.
    • For C#, strings should be colored with either "Text Editor → String → Foreground" (for verbatim strings that begin with @) or "Text Editor → String → Foreground" (for normal strings).  Many other C# colors have names that include "User Types", for example:
      Text Editor → User Types (Delegates) → Foreground
      Text Editor → User Types (Enums) → Foreground
      Text Editor → User Types (Interfaces) → Foreground
      Text Editor → User Types (Type parameters) → Foreground
      Text Editor → User Types (Value types) → Foreground
      Hope this helps, please let me know if one of these colors seems not to be doing what's expected.
    • "Text Editor → String → Foreground" colors only normal strings.
      Text Editor → User Types...
      I don't have any, neither in this Theme editor, nor in Optons->Environment->Fonts And colors. There only exist similar for C++ and VB.
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