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.

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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!


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!

by Matt Moss | October 06 2014

by Ed (DareDevil57) | August 14 2014

Awesome, thanks for this

by fokytapia | July 29 2014

by Sten2005 | May 30 2014

Some nice themes.

by Sampath-Lokuge | May 02 2014

Excellent. :)

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.

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 !!!!

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

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.

by Thiago Martins Coelho | November 01 2013

by Leonardo Lourenço Silva | November 01 2013

Very NICE !!!

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.

by Dario_T | October 18 2013

by jhewett | October 17 2013

Doesn't import the Visual Studio 2010 Color Themes.

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?

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.

by 叶泽霖 | October 04 2013


by Sevanmarc | September 25 2013

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  • How to find what color corresponds to a window?
    1 Posts | Last post May 13, 2013
    • Hi there.  In standard Dark Theme, the Issues grid in the Pending Changes window is White-on-almost-White for non-selected rows.  i.e. invisible until you select the row.  Does anyone know which color theme setting corresponds to this behavior?  I love the Dark Theme, but it's only this one setting that I would like to change.  Thanks for the extension!
  • Couple of Questions
    3 Posts | Last post May 08, 2013
    • 1) Is there any site like that was created for posting shared VS2010 themes for themes created with this extension?  I really would like to get my editor to have the "Humane Studio" color scheme.  It would look good in the "Tan Theme"
      2) I would like to update the background color of the text editor, is there an easy way to update all the background settings for the Text Editor without doing all of them individually?
      3) From what I have read all the theme settings are stored in the registry, is that correct?  So to back a custom theme up you would have to export the theme, the same way you would if you wanted to share it, correct?
    • I would like to know about 2) - I am using a customized dark theme and would really like to change Text Editor background colour from dark gray to black - what is the easiest way to do so? 
      Thanks in advance. 
    • 1) I'm not aware of a site like this yet, sorry!
      2) Text Editor → Plain Text → Background is the main text editor background color.  Other editor-based tool windows have their own background, if you search for "plain text background" you should be able to quickly edit them all.  There may be a handful of other colors that you think of as background colors (for example, Text Editor → Indicator Margin → Background is the background for the "breakpoint" margin).  I don't have an exhaustive list, unfortunately.
      3) The safest way to back up your themes is to export them and them save them yourself, as you would to share them.  While installed, themes are stored in the registry as well as being stored as a part of an installed VS extension (that's stored in the filesystem in your %localappdata%\Microsoft\VisualStudio\12.0\Extensions folder by Visual Studio's Extensions and Updates manager).
  • Reset to default themes
    2 Posts | Last post May 08, 2013
    • Is there a way to reset to default themes the extension offers?
      Thanks in advance,
    • You can delete each custom theme (there's an "X" icon on each theme in the Customize Colors page--this would restore you back to the default list.  Is this what you're asking for?  You can also uninstall each custom theme individually from the Extensions and Updates page, which should have the same effect.
  • wher ecan i get extra color sets for use with this
    1 Posts | Last post April 29, 2013
    • as the topic asks ??
  • Sharing Theme
    2 Posts | Last post April 24, 2013
    • How to export a theme so it can be shared and imported by others?
    • You can only export themes you can edit.  When in the edit screen, the 3rd button in the toolbar is the export command.
  • Version 2.2 bug
    2 Posts | Last post April 18, 2013
    • I don't know where to send bugs so....
      Main Window -> Status Bar -> Default -> Text modify Environment -> StatusBarText.
      It must modify Environment -> StatusBarDefaultText instead.
      And not actually bug... Editor don't store/restore selected element on ctrl+tab. This is annoying.
    • Command Bar -> Toolbar -> Overflow Button -> Pressed has wrong name and image.
  • Copy from system colors?
    1 Posts | Last post April 13, 2013
    • How about a copy option from system colors?
      Office has its own skinning. The Live suite also its own. Visual Studio its own. It's a nightmare !!! None of them has an option to use OS color scheme. The whole IT world is going for this skinning frenzy and a desktop is looking like a chameleon.
      Something is definitely wrong with Microsoft's BAs !
  • Cannot enable extension
    1 Posts | Last post April 08, 2013
    • The enable button for my theme editor is disabled? I reinstalled it and restarted, still no luck?
      Anyone have ideas?
  • Lost all my themes :(
    2 Posts | Last post April 05, 2013
    • I seem to have lost all the pre-built themes except for "Dark". I've uninstalled this plugin and reinstalled, but the themes don't return.
    • Seems like installing VS 2012 Update 2 has made my themes reappear.
  • Can't find key for highlighted term in preview
    5 Posts | Last post April 03, 2013
    • I've been googling for awhile, and can't come up with anything, but i'm not completely sure which terms to use.
      Here is my example workflow:
      I do find in files for "save()" and the find symbol results shows several files and containing lines for this search string.
      I click one of these and a Preview opens for the containing file and the current search string is higlighted. For the Dark theme, this is a very dark color and hard to see apart from the rest of the Text Editor.
      What is the key in the theme color editor for this highlighting?
    • Sorry, I meant Find All References, not Find In Files
    • I'm not quite sure what you're referring to but these might help:
      This is the color that highlights the items that match your input caret location (e.g. if your caret is on "Save", this matches that "Save" and the other "Save" instances in the document)
      Text Editor → Highlighted Reference → Background
      This is the color that's used to highlight Find results:
      Text Editor → Find Match Highlight → Background
      This is the color that's used to highlight the entire line the input caret is on when the editor is focused / unfocused:
      Text Editor → Highlight Current Line (Active) → Background
      Text Editor → Highlight Current Line (Inactive) → Background
    • Matthew,
      Steve (and a bunch of others, myself included) is talking about the contents of the Find Results windows, not the Text Editor windows. The Find Results window comes up when you do Edit > Find and Replace > Find in Files, enter a term and Find All. Here's the output using the Dark theme; as you can see, the search term 'json' is rendered in dark blue on the dark gray background, and is nearly illegible:
      What setting controls this color?
    • This is fixed (for me, at least) by installing the latest version of VSCommands, version VSCommands contains a feature to color-code search results in the output window, and it used a dark blue foreground color. In version, that's been changed to use a yellow background, and the results are legible in both the Light and Dark themes.
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