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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
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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.

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  • VS 2013
    3 Posts | Last post July 04, 2013
    • Hi,
      Are you going to release this great add-in for the new VS 2013?
      Please respond 'Yes'!
      thank you very much
    • Hi,
      Please download this file:
      This is patched version of this extension. I only changed target version number. No more changes applied. It will install without an error.
      Plus, I love VS2012 UI colors WITHOUT PANE/WINDOW BORDERS so, this theme for VS2013. This theme will change VS2013 to VS2012 look and feel.
    • Please note that, while import and create your own theme or even save, it shows an error message. But don't worry. It just works :) Just switch between themes and you will see that it is working.
      This is the only solution until Microsoft create an extension for 2013...
  • Fonts?
    2 Posts | Last post June 30, 2013
    • In "Key Features", it says "Customize your editor fonts and colors from the Theme Editor UI".
      However, I don't see any place to customize the fonts (i.e. Font family and bold checkbox) in the theme editor.
      Am I missing something?
    • Me Too
  • Quick Launch color key
    1 Posts | Last post June 27, 2013
    • Where is the color key for the Quick Launch on the title bar for VS2012?
  • Import from VS2010
    1 Posts | Last post June 26, 2013
    • How can I import a *.vstheme file created with Visual Studio Color Theme Editor for VS 2010 into Visual Studio 2012 Color Theme Editor?!?
      I put a lot of time into creating a comfortable theme for VS2010 and of course want to use that in VS2012 too!
  • Scrollbars
    1 Posts | Last post June 22, 2013
    • Is it possible to change the color of the scrollbars? I like the rest of the color changes, but really wish the scrollbars stood out more.
  • What are the codes for the (various) Window background colors
    5 Posts | Last post June 21, 2013
    • One of the main reasons I wanted the Color Theme Editor was to tone down the glare from "pure white" window backgrounds, but I can't find any references to "Solution Explorer", "Server Explorer", etc., or even "background".
      There are too my #FFFFFF's for me to experiment with them individually.
      On my system, with VS2012 / Update 2, and with my "custom" copy of the "Green" theme:
      • Solution Explorer: White background
      • Server Explorer: White background
      • "Installed Themes" of the theme editor: White background
      • Class view (an exception): Control Panel window background color
      Of course I'd GREATLY prefer most of these windows to simply honor the Windows "Control Panel" color (in my case, RGB 192,220,192 / money green), but failing that, I was was hoping that the Color Theme Editor would let me tone down the FFFFFF's to something less aggressive.
      Thanks for making the CTE extension available!
    • P.S. I shouldn't have written that I couldn't find any "background", just not any background to the windows in question.
      I's still really like to tone down the colors.  I'll check back again in a few weeks.
    • Try these:
      Environment → Window
      This controls the background of many windows, including Class View, Object Browser, Error List, and others.
      TreeView → Background
      This controls Solution Explorer, Server Explorer, and the per-theme editing page
      Environment → StartPageTabBackgroundBegin
      Environment → StartPageTabBackgroundEnd
      These two affect the background of the content portion of Color Themes page (and the Start Page).
      There are some "Text" colors that go with each of these--you can update these as well, if you need to change the default text.
    • Right on the money, Matthew!  Thanks!
      I've now been able to tone down the FFFFFF [or nearly white] colors in all of the windows I regularly see.
    • I have been looking for a way to change the Build Explorer background color without success.  I even changes ALL the colors to one and it still remained white.  Any ideas?
  • Is it possible to disable the inversion of the icon colors?
    1 Posts | Last post June 12, 2013
    • Hi there,
      Fantastic extension! I've used the 2010 version for a while now and it's even more useful (arguably essential!) in 2012.
      I'm a fan of the dark themes, but would like to change it so the icon colors aren't inverted when using them. Is this currently possible?
  • Where is the blue theme?
    2 Posts | Last post May 20, 2013
    • I am trying to get rid of the horrendous VS2012 default theme because after 6 months of using it there is no way I can get used to it and I have had enough of staring at my screen trying to work out where to click my mouse. However, all the colour themes here are also horrendous. I got to this download through a blog where it said install the colour theme editor and select the 'blue' theme. There is no blue theme. I don't see the point in having themes which are all practically the same and all awful. How do I get something resembling VS 2010, which was a fine theme and nice to work with?
    • If you're unable to update to VS 2012 Update 2 for some reason, (newly introduced bugs is my reason) you need to get version 2.2 of the color theme editor. This is the last version to have the Blue theme. You can download version 2.2 from the Internet Archive at the below link since previous versions appear do not appear to be available on this site.
  • Isolated Themes
    2 Posts | Last post May 15, 2013
    • I thought that one of the most valuable aspects of the 2010 theme chooser was its isolation to the current vs session. It was easy to have several projects running and differentiate between them by giving them different themes. This version seems to globally change themes so you can't do that - is it something you can change?
    • This is unfortunately a behavior built into the way VS 2012 deals with themes.  Themes immediately save in the registry and broadcast a notification that other Visual Studio instances are listening to.
      The only way currently to create isolation is by running VS with a different /rootsuffix prefix.  For example, you can run "devenv /rootsuffix Green" to create a completely isolated environment for everything (including themes).  The downside, of course, is that every VS feature is isolated in this context, not just themes.
  • Find a color
    1 Posts | Last post May 14, 2013
    • Here's a suggestion I'd like to see:  sometimes I'll be working in Visual Studio and see a color that I'd like to change.  It can be hard to figure out what the name of the item is so I can then change the color.  What I'd like to do is go into some "find this color" mode where the theme editor uses the color at the current mouse location and shows all of the theme items that are set to that color.
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