Your extension will be available shortly on the Visual Studio Marketplace at this link.

Visual Studio 2012 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.

4.3 Star
Visual Studio
Download (637,499)
E-mail Twitter Digg Facebook
Add to favorites
Sign in to write a review
Sort by:

4 Star
by Humaira Syed | March 10 2016

This is Amazing. Thanks for it.

4 Star
by H.Phuc | November 26 2015

4 Star
by Mr. Humphries | March 31 2015

This is a great extension! However, I almost invariably have more than one instance of VS running at a time so one one thing that would make it a fabulous five for me, is if I could set a theme for each solution. Please consider this!


4 Star
by Squirrel_Deng | March 17 2015

I'm happy to see this took.But why it only has five color exactly?Please bring the deep blue theme like 2010's for us!Thanks a lot!

5 Star
by Matt Moss | October 06 2014

5 Star
by Ed (DareDevil57) | August 14 2014

Awesome, thanks for this

5 Star
by fokytapia | July 29 2014

4 Star
by Sten2005 | May 30 2014

Some nice themes.

5 Star
by Sampath-Lokuge | May 02 2014

Excellent. :)

5 Star
by YvonneNeuland | March 07 2014

I absolutely love this add-on. I like to set all the different text editor font settings to different colors so that I can instantly recognize what each piece of code is at a glance. The built in options menu let you do this, but it was a total pain and took forever. With this add-on, it is a breeze. I love it.

3 Star
by LeonardoButelli | February 05 2014

I'm desperate.
Is there a way, an add-on, that let me change that FUCKY, SHITTY "old-style" CGA-like button ??
I want the "old" office 2010 style where folder icons where Yellow and the we could see better what there was inside a "button".

It's unbelievable that users HAVE to use "non standard" and "non offical" method to use this product.
Thanks to non-profit users we can continue to work with this product that while it has been improved a lot , it has became worste in grafic aspects and icons (HORRIBLE, SHITTY, UGLY .....).
Was it too difficult to give the user the opportunity to change the theme back to the well known and clear themes,grafic, icons .. etc ?
Was it too difficult the made this ?
People could choose if using the new shitty aspect or the "old" one.
It's called "metro-ui" ... i call it "UNDERGROUND-UI".
"Visual studio 2012/2013 for the blindness peoples......
it doesn't help to makes us become !!!".
PS: The same is for Office 2013 ......

It makes me laugh a lot thinking that MS payed also a lot designers to achieve this UGLY result !!!!

1 Star
by nossie | November 21 2013


I'm happy to see that I'm not just a grumpy old man yet and that there are zillions of others that are rightly pissed off over this heap of muck for a skin. This W8 iconolgy is utter bolox. It's nonsense that we have to spend time looking for this plugin.
Even after the effort put into this Editor they still packed more shit with it and onus is on you to make it look right. They still haven't got the message if they're including a poxy purple skin.
I think when Steve Jobs died his dirty black soul possessed Microsoft and decided to force all us all to doing only what they want.

This guy shows a decent hack for the VS2010 look

4 Star
by StartedWithDOS | November 11 2013

I've spent quite a bit of time (slowly over time) making a VS-2010 style theme that works with this extension. It's a lot closer to the original VS-2010 than the "blue" theme that comes with this extension (better contrast, sharper text, etc.). I'm willing to share it, but I would want to upload it somewhere where anyone could get it. I don't know if there's a place dedicated to that. If you know of one, reply here so I can see it.

I've got several clear screenshots available.

5 Star
by Thiago Martins Coelho | November 01 2013

5 Star
by Leonardo Lourenço Silva | November 01 2013

Very NICE !!!

1 Star
by Andrey Dimitrov | October 24 2013

Spoiled my current colors.
Broke Import/Export settings VS functionality so that I can't reimport colors.
I will never ever install such thing.

5 Star
by Dario_T | October 18 2013

1 Star
by jhewett | October 17 2013

Doesn't import the Visual Studio 2010 Color Themes.

5 Star
by autumnyard | October 17 2013

It is as easy as customizing colors in vs2012 can be.

I haven't encountered any problem yet, nor I found anything else I wish this extension had, so 5 stars.

Is there a place to share themes already?

5 Star
by LoudRock | October 11 2013

Thank you!

The "bright white" of VS2012 was blinding me.

This makes it quick and easy to tone it down.

1 - 20 of 233 Items   
Sign in to start a discussion

  • Which Option For Preparing Solution Dialog?
    2 Posts | Last post September 27, 2012
    • Does anyone happen to know which color option is to change the dialog caption text and background for the said dialog?
      Here's a link to an image of the dialog I'm referring to:
      Thank you.
    • The background is Environment -> EnvironmentBackground and the foreground is Environment -> ToolWindowText.  I've logged a bug against the product to change the code that renders the header for this dialog, but until then you'd have to live with a different environment background color or a different color for text in tool windows if you want to change this color.  Sorry that there's nothing I can do from the extension's side to fix this!
  • How To Crash VS 2012
    2 Posts | Last post September 27, 2012
    • - Create a custom theme and then edit it.
      - Double click on an item to open up the color selector.
      - Now click in the theme editor's Search and type something in to search
      - Starts the search and the kablooey
      I was able to duplicate this under two environments so should be easy to duplicate.
    • Thanks for the report--I can reproduce this as well.  I'm looking into the root cause now.
  • Bronco Theme
    1 Posts | Last post September 26, 2012
    • Has anyone created a Denver Bronco Theme that is willing to share?
  • Name to IDE element mapping?
    6 Posts | Last post September 25, 2012
    • Ideally, I should be able to point to an area in the IDE and have it go directly to the name value that should be edited.  Similar to the select element button in the IE html developer tools work.  
      The names don't make a lot of sense, and there are a LOT of them.  For example, what is the name for the area where the words "Solution Explorer" appear?  
      Another option would be to have something I can print out or view alongside to see the names..
    • +1 as I was about to suggest the same thing.
      In the meantime, any idea which option changes the color for the "vs is busy with a background process..." dialog that pops up every so often?  I want to change the dialogs title bar color and text.  I've tried a myriad of changes but none have worked.  Thanks.
    • +1 as well. Great suggestion.
    • Very good idea!!!
    • +1 I ran into the same problem where I got a Dark Purple theme going but I can not for the life of me find the property that let's me set the background color for the popup intellisense windows (dark theme changes it ok so I know it can be done).
    • @NewKiwi looks like this is actually a bug.  If I create a new theme and copy colors from the Dark theme, then the first line of the function tooltip shows up a different color than the Dark Theme (in my case, the function declaration line of the tooltip shows up white bkg with white text).  Exporting the registry entries for the Dark and the Dark-Copy themes shows considerable difference between them, and I'm not willing to sort through two 500KB registry exports to determine which difference is the culprit.
      In the meantime, best workaround I've found is the Editor Tooltip Plain Text Foreground.  Set the color to something that is visible on both color backgrounds so you can read it.  
      Dev bugfix please?
  • Quick-access Keys
    1 Posts | Last post September 19, 2012
    • @Author: Is it possible to add quick-access shortcut keys to VS2012 extensions?
      Like CTRL-ALT-1, 2, 3, etc to select which theme quickly?
      I find your extension perfect for the 5 to 6 VS2012 windows I have open at once across 3 monitors.  Two mouse clicks and I can change any color.  
      Would be better if I had shortcut keys for it.  (And maybe prefix the themes with what index they are: 
      1 - Blue
      2 - Dark
  • Where are themes stored
    2 Posts | Last post September 18, 2012
    • Where are the theme files stored?
      Also, as others have said, it would be good to group the 'main' colours near the top, and have something to automatically set colours which normally be the same as the main colours. A simple and advanced mode in other words.
    • Hi Nick,
      I have found all the themes in the registry, by exporting\importing the related registry key you will be able to transfer your themes:
      each subkey represents a different theme
  • A version for the VS2012 Express versions?
    1 Posts | Last post September 18, 2012
    • It's a relief to have some colour back in VS2012, thanks. Now the Expression versions feels really bland. Could a build/version be made for them?
  • Key for Main Menu's Foreground and Background Colors
    1 Posts | Last post September 18, 2012
    • I wonder what key to change the main menu's (File, Edit, View, etc.) foreground (text) and background colors. I simply couldn't find it.
  • It seems there are some bugs...
    16 Posts | Last post September 17, 2012
    • For examples:
      - When I click Theme/Theme List, it doesn't perform a thing
      - When I click Theme/Customize Colors:
        -- In the Copy colors from combo box, it shows some GUIDs instead of theme names.
        -- If a right click a custom theme and then click Save and Apply theme, I got an exception window: Object reference not set to an instance of an object.
        -- If I create a custom theme and then edit it, the grid in theme editor is empty. It doesn't show any names and colors at all.
      How am supposed to fix this? Perhaps a way to reset the whole theme settings of this extension.
    • I take a look at ActivityLog.xml, and I got this:
      Construction of frame content failed. Frame identifier: ST:0:0:{65d61de1-c41c-4504-8c3d-c97027b25ca8} Frame caption: Themes Exception details: System.Reflection.TargetInvocationException: Exception has been thrown by the target of an invocation. ---> System.InvalidOperationException: Failed to compare two elements in the array. ---> System.IO.EndOfStreamException: Unable to read beyond the end of the stream. 
          at System.IO.MemoryStream.InternalReadInt32() 
          at System.IO.BinaryReader.ReadInt32() 
          at Microsoft.VisualStudio.Themes.Data.FontAndColorCategory.FontAndColorDefaultsProxy..ctor(SettingsStore settingsStore, String categoryPath) 
          at Microsoft.VisualStudio.Themes.Data.FontAndColorCategory.LoadInfoFromCache(IVsFontAndColorCacheManager cacheManager) 
          at Microsoft.VisualStudio.Themes.Data.FontAndColorCategory.EnsureCached() 
          at Microsoft.VisualStudio.Themes.Data.FontAndColorCategory.FontAndColorGroupDefaults.<.ctor>b__0(FontAndColorCategory c1, FontAndColorCategory c2) 
          at System.Array.FunctorComparer`1.Compare(T x, T y) 
          at System.Collections.Generic.ArraySortHelper`1.InsertionSort(T[] keys, Int32 lo, Int32 hi, IComparer`1 comparer) 
          at System.Collections.Generic.ArraySortHelper`1.IntroSort(T[] keys, Int32 lo, Int32 hi, Int32 depthLimit, IComparer`1 comparer) 
          at System.Collections.Generic.ArraySortHelper`1.IntrospectiveSort(T[] keys, Int32 left, Int32 length, IComparer`1 comparer) 
          at System.Collections.Generic.ArraySortHelper`1.Sort(T[] keys, Int32 index, Int32 length, IComparer`1 comparer) --- End of inner exception stack trace --- 
          at System.Collections.Generic.ArraySortHelper`1.Sort(T[] keys, Int32 index, Int32 length, IComparer`1 comparer) 
          at System.Array.Sort[T](T[] array, Int32 index, Int32 length, IComparer`1 comparer) 
          at System.Collections.Generic.List`1.Sort(Comparison`1 comparison) 
    • ... (continuation)
          at Microsoft.VisualStudio.Themes.Data.FontAndColorCategory.FontAndColorGroupDefaults..ctor(FontAndColorCategory owner, IVsFontAndColorGroup group) 
          at Microsoft.VisualStudio.Themes.Data.FontAndColorCategory.LoadInfoFromCache(IVsFontAndColorCacheManager cacheManager) 
          at Microsoft.VisualStudio.Themes.Data.FontAndColorCategory.EnsureCached() 
          at Microsoft.VisualStudio.Themes.Data.FontAndColorStorage.LoadCategoryInfo() 
          at Microsoft.VisualStudio.Themes.Data.FontAndColorStorage.get_Categories() 
          at Microsoft.VisualStudio.Themes.Data.ColorCategory.get_IsFontAndColorCategory() 
          at Microsoft.VisualStudio.Themes.Data.ColorTheme.<SynchronizeWithFontsAndColors>b__2(ColorEntry c) 
          at System.Linq.Enumerable.WhereEnumerableIterator`1.MoveNext() 
          at System.Collections.Generic.HashSet`1.UnionWith(IEnumerable`1 other) 
          at System.Collections.Generic.HashSet`1..ctor(IEnumerable`1 collection, IEqualityComparer`1 comparer) 
          at Microsoft.VisualStudio.Themes.Data.ColorTheme.SynchronizeWithFontsAndColors() 
          at Microsoft.VisualStudio.Themes.Data.RegistryThemeIO.ReadRegistryThemes(ColorManager manager) 
          at Microsoft.VisualStudio.Themes.Designer.VsThemeDesignerPackage.get_ColorManager() 
          at Microsoft.VisualStudio.Themes.Designer.ThemesToolWindowPane..ctor() --- End of inner exception stack trace --- 
          at System.RuntimeTypeHandle.CreateInstance(RuntimeType type, Boolean publicOnly, Boolean noCheck, Boolean& canBeCached, RuntimeMethodHandleInternal& ctor, Boolean& bNeedSecurityCheck) 
          at System.RuntimeType.CreateInstanceSlow(Boolean publicOnly, Boolean skipCheckThis, Boolean fillCache, StackCrawlMark& stackMark) 
          at System.RuntimeType.CreateInstanceDefaultCtor(Boolean publicOnly, Boolean skipCheckThis, Boolean fillCache, StackCrawlMark& stackMark) 
          at System.Activator.CreateInstance(Type type, Boolean nonPublic) 
          at System.Activator.CreateInstance(Type type) 
    • ... (continuation)
          at Microsoft.VisualStudio.Shell.Package.CreateToolWindow(Type toolWindowType, Int32 id, ProvideToolWindowAttribute tool) 
          at Microsoft.VisualStudio.Shell.Package.FindToolWindow(Type toolWindowType, Int32 id, Boolean create, ProvideToolWindowAttribute tool) 
          at Microsoft.VisualStudio.Shell.Package.Microsoft.VisualStudio.Shell.Interop.IVsToolWindowFactory.CreateToolWindow(Guid& toolWindowType, UInt32 id) 
          at Microsoft.VisualStudio.Platform.WindowManagement.WindowFrame.ConstructContent()
    • Same issue for me.  Here's my VS Configuration:
      Microsoft Visual Studio Ultimate 2012
      Version 11.0.50727.1 RTMREL
      Microsoft .NET Framework
      Version 4.5.50709
      Installed Version: Ultimate
      Architecture and Modeling Tools  
      LightSwitch for Visual Studio 2012
      Office Developer Tools   
      Team Explorer for Visual Studio 2012   
      Visual Basic 2012   
      Visual C# 2012   
      Visual C++ 2012   
      Visual F# 2012   
      Visual Studio 2012 Code Analysis Spell Checker   
      Visual Studio 2012 SharePoint Developer Tools   
      .NET Reflector Visual Studio Extension
      All-In-One Code Framework Sample Browser   1.
      ANTLR language support for Visual Studio   1.0
      Color Theme Designer   1.0
      Devart Code Compare   2.80.6
      JetBrains dotCover 2.0   Full Edition build 2.0.425.12
      JetBrains JetBrains TeamCity Addin 7.1 EAP
      JetBrains ReSharper 7.0.1   C# Edition build 7.0.1098.2760 
      LightSpeed Designer for Visual Studio 2010   
      NestIn   1.0
      NuGet Package Manager   2.0.30625.9003
      OneCodeQuickLaunchPackage   1.0
      PreEmptive Analytics Visualizer   1.0
      Review Assistant   1.0
      SQL Server Data Tools   11.1.20627.00
      tangible T4 Editor   2.0
      Visual Studio 11 Editor Extension   1.0
      Web Developer Tools   1.0.30710.0
    • I have the exact same error.
    • I too have the exact same error.
    • I also ran into this bug. Perhaps it's related to having ReSharper 7 installed (both I and user cjlotz have it installed). I remember seeing a bunch of custom ReSharper colors listed in the color editor grid, and it could be a problem parsing those on startup, if the color theme extension is loaded ahead of ReSharper. It’s only a guess, though.
      You can remedy the problem easily by opening Extensions and updates from the Tools menu and disable or uninstall your custom color theme (there’s no need to uninstall the color theme editor, instead keep it and wait for an updated version). If necessary, start Visual Studio in safe mode using “devenv /safemode”, which disables all custom extensions.
    • Yes, I have ReSharper 7.0.1 installed. I'll try to disable it then, and see what would happen.
    • +1. ReSharper 7.0.1. The same problem.
    • I'm also unable to use the extension due to the same bugs. I have ReSharper 7.0.1 installed.
    • I have ReSharper 7.0.1 installed also, for me the issue only occurs in the top toolbar THEME menu. However I can use the preset themes (blue,green etc.) by going to Tools -> options -> Environment -> General. This is a sufficient workaround for now.
    • So, any word from either party?
    • Thanks guys for the detailed information!  I'm looking into the root cause right now, and I'll post back when I know more.
    • The installation of ReSharper exposed a bug in how the extension reads colors for the editor.  A fix in this extension should be available sometime next week.  Thanks to everyone for the helpful info!
    • Thanks, Matthew! It seems to be working now.
  • Code editor and other styles are reset with theme selection
    1 Posts | Last post September 13, 2012
    • If I use customized colors for the code editor elements (like ones from, choosing a theme resets them. 
      I can understand if I am selecting one of the "With Light/Dark Editor" themes that it would do this, but it would be nice if it didn't reset my editor customizations for the other selections.
91 - 100 of 106 Items