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Visual Studio Color Theme Editor


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

4.5 Star
Visual Studio
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5 Star
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...

5 Star
by Ovidiu Ionescu | August 17 2013

1 Star
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.)

5 Star
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!

5 Star
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!!

1 Star
by Girish_Nama | February 15 2013

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

5 Star
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.

3 Star
by 7ab | February 11 2013

4 Star
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!

4 Star
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.

4 Star
by Ronald Riveros [ronpy] | November 14 2012

Para los mas exigentes con la apariencias :D

5 Star
by Peter Juhasz | November 12 2012

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

5 Star
by Binori | October 17 2012

This extension make developers happy! :)

5 Star
by ChuckC | October 10 2012

5 Star
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.

5 Star
by rmoc | September 06 2012

5 Star
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.

5 Star
by BillW33 | August 31 2012

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

3 Star
by Brian C Chavez | August 28 2012

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

5 Star
by stelios84 | August 26 2012

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

1 - 20 of 122 Items   
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  • Kills the Workflow Designer
    5 Posts | Last post March 01, 2012
    • This seems to destroy the WF4 designer...I'm not getting any lines or arrows being drawn
    • I concur. This renders the WF designer utterly unusable and illegible; nearly everything is the same colour!
      Any chance of a update to fix this or a workaround? 
    • Has anyone found a fix for this? I barely used this tool and never used the WF designer until this past week, and now I can't see lines/arrows either. 
    • Here's the answer: 
      reg delete HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\VisualStudio\10.0\UseDebugColorScheme /f 
      reg delete HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\VisualStudio\10.0\ThemeColorCache /f
      These keys left hanging around will prevent the WF designer from looking correct. Removing these keys fixed it all up for me. 
    • Awesome plugin. Thanks! Any chance of being able to edit text editor transparency?
  • VS 2011
    3 Posts | Last post January 31, 2012
    • Any chance we could get a VS2011 version of this software :) when  I try to install it (Changing in the install files so it install to vs2011) I get this :) (No matter which theme I choose)
    • +1 I would love to see a VS11 version :)
    • Working on the Developer Preview and upcoming releases of Visual Studio have been consuming all of my time right now, but please keep an eye out for some announcements in the near future!
  • Does the Theme Editor work in a custom Isolated Shell?
    3 Posts | Last post January 31, 2012
    • Hi Matthew, great feature for the VS2010.
      I work at a company called ISaGRAF. We produce software for industrial applications. Our new platform, which is a compiler for embedded applications, is based on Visual Studio 2010 isolated Shell. We have brand labelled the msdev.exe to Acp.exe (for Automation Collaborative Platform). Now my question is:
      is it possible to use your theme editor in the ACP?
      btw, once installed, we have our own registry keys... this is why i'm assuming that the theme editor wont work out-of-box.
    • Issue solved,
      I didn't have to recompile anything. Simply copying the VsPackage in my LookInFolder directory makes the VsPackage available.
      Where does the color theme gets persisted? In the registry?
    • I'm glad you figured that out!  Sorry I haven't been able to keep more up-to-date on the forums, it's been a busy few months.
      Yes, the theme values are stored in the registry.  The registry key that immediately affects rendering in Visual Studio (using devenv's registry root as an example) is HKCU\Software\Microsoft\VisualStudio\10.0\UseDebugColorScheme\VSColors.  Other data from the extension is stored in HKCU\Software\Microsoft\VisualStudio\10.0\ThemeColorCache (the serialized set of custom themes, the ID for the current theme, etc.)
      Caveat: this themeing system is not guaranteed to be future-proof (that is, there can be breaking changes in the future versions of the Visual Studio shell that affect how this works).
  • Theme Gallery
    2 Posts | Last post December 14, 2011
    • Where can I download a new theme packs? Do you think to prepare for this gallery?
    • I've created a (freeware) app that lets you create VS themes quickly by letting you select lots of colours and, for example, randomize a particular channel. The zip also includes 3 themes. I've put it at Sorry if I'm breaking some rule by putting this link here. Not sure how to share my app. 
  • ToolTip Color
    2 Posts | Last post November 05, 2011
    • Is it possible to change the background and foreground colors of tooltips? I've tried changing anything that says "background" or "tool" in it. I run a high contrast theme in Aero, so the text in my tooltip is white, but so is the background.
    • Most tooltips in Visual Studio use default system colors.  As far as I know, tooltips wouldn't use any colors this extension can influence.  When you say you run a high contrast theme in Aero, do you mean that you're using one of the Windows system high contrast themes (like "High Contrast Black" or "High Contrast #1"?
  • TooWindowTabInactiveTab name? (ToolWindowTabSelectedTab opposite?)
    2 Posts | Last post November 05, 2011
    • Is there a way to color the inactive tabs at the bottom, ie when you are on Error List, Output, Pending Changes, etc. are inactive?  I cannot find this property easily.  Thanks.
    • If I understand correctly, then I don't think there's a way.  Tabs which aren't currently the selected tab have a transparent background, and the environment background shows through.  Sorry!
  • Cannot change the colors of menu
    2 Posts | Last post October 29, 2011
    • There were some themes and when I change them then the background of menu changes, but when I try to use the "Customize colors" I cannot change it, it is possible to change some another backgrounds, but not the menu.
    • Answer to myself:
      The menu background is controlled by COMMANDSHELF_BACKGROUND_GRADIENT...
  • Andy Lee
    3 Posts | Last post October 19, 2011
    • What about VS 2010 Express themes
    • I second AndyLee71, could you make it installable for Visual Studio Express C# please?
      Great work.
    • Add-in extensions are not supported in Express editions of VS.
  • Can you share some sample theme configs?
    2 Posts | Last post July 13, 2011
    • I'm inherently lazy (I think we all are).  Matthew/Anyone - can you reply back with some sample themes?  
    • I've created a (freeware) app that lets you create VS themes quickly by letting you select lots of colours and, for example, randomize a particular channel. 
      The zip also includes 3 themes. I've put it at
      Sorry if I'm breaking some rule by putting this link here. Not sure how to share my app.
  • "Theme" menu won't show?
    8 Posts | Last post March 19, 2011
    • Hi Mat, been looking forever for something like that, installed it immediately, only to find out the extension menu doesn't show. Tried to find that 'allow-non-admin' option (advice by Ryan Molden, in Tools>Option and could not.
      Tried to run VS as admin - still not good enough... Any ideas?
      My config is win7 x64, VS10 over VS08 (side by side). Perhaps an interesting detail would be that due to space limitations, had to install VS10 on 'D' drive, while VS08 is on 'C' drive. 
    • Does the extension show up at all in the Extension Manager (Tools\Extension Manager)?  It should NOT say [Disabled] next to the name.  Selecting it should show Disable and Uninstall buttons next to the extension.  Alternatively, you can check to see if the extension is installed by verifying that the folder "%LocalAppData%\Microsoft\VisualStudio\10.0\Extensions\Microsoft\Visual Studio Color Theme Editor\1.3" exists and has several files in it (including ThemeManagerPackage.dll).
      If it does show up in the extension manager and is enabled, but doesn't work, I'll follow up with you to find out some more things.  Hopefully this is the issue though!
    • Hi, thanks for the prompt answer! Yes, the extension MGR does see it and it is 'installed' 
    • Hello again, somehow MSDN site cut me off in the middle of transmission and later did not allow me to login.. Anyways, let me try again the post. 
      The extension is both installed and enabled; files are where they are supposed to be, here is their listing:
      And, since I really like (need, actually) that extension, tried uninstall VS10, cleanup C drive, re-install in C (boy, that was tedious, mildly put). Too bad, no effect, exactly same behavior.
    • P.S. Forgot to add that running "devenv.exe /log" produced no entries in log containing any of the listed files; nor did "devenv.exe /setup" help in any way.. :(
    • I'm sorry to hear that (and sorry for the delay)!  Can you try this?
      1. Go to Tools\Customize
      2. Change to the Commands tab
      3. Choose "Add New Menu"
      4. Select the "New Menu" that was just created from the "Menu bar:" dropdown
      5. Choose "Add Command..."
      6. In the command list, there should be a category called "Theme" and there should be two commands in it. "cmdidDynamicThemeList" is the list of themes, and "cmdidThemeCustom" is the "Customize" command.
      If the "Theme" category doesn't show up at all, can you verify if "Theme Manager 1.0" shows up in Help\About Microsoft Visual Studio's list of installed products?  Showing up in that list should at least indicate that the extension did load successfully.
    • The Theme bar does not show up for me as well.
      -The extension is appears in the extension manager and is not disabled.
      -%LocalAppData%\Microsoft\VisualStudio\10.0\Extensions\Microsoft\Visual Studio Color Theme Editor\1.3 exists and is populated with the same files as Asparuh.
      -It does not appear in the help box.
      -The themes category does not exist in the command list.
      I am using Windows 7 x64 Enterprise with Visual Studios 2010 Professional.
      Is this extension still supported? 
    • I wonder if you might both be hitting a bug in Visual Studio itself.  Normally, when an extension is installed, Visual Studio's menu cache is invalidated, and Visual Studio rebuilds the cache to include menu items added by the extension.  If that step didn't happen for some reason, it could explain why you don't see the extension's menu.
      Can you try running "devenv /setup" from a Visual Studio 2010 command prompt?  This command runs setup-type activities (like rebuilding the command cache), and shouldn't take more than a minute to complete.  It also should not affect any of your user settings.
      Hopefully this helps--I'm running out of ideas for why this doesn't work only a small percentage of the time.
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