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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.

1 - 20 of 233 Items   
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  • 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.
  • Error Pop-up on Install
    1 Posts | Last post April 03, 2013
    • I got an error pop-up when I tried to install:
  • Can you colour 3rd party addons
    1 Posts | Last post March 28, 2013
    • I use VisualHG and so far have been unable to work out how to change the colour of the "HG pending changes" window. Is it possible to do or is it something VisualHG needs to hook into first?
  • Installation problem resolved
    1 Posts | Last post March 27, 2013
    • First of all prefer the installation from the site ( the .vsix file )
      After that the issue for me was that only option was my VS2010 which i dont use. So I had to uninstall visual studio 2010 uninstall the extension from inside VS2012 and install from the .vsix for the proper version appeard. Now at last i can change my theme yeey :)
  • Anyway to not edit text editor?
    1 Posts | Last post March 18, 2013
    • I've already got the text editor the way I like it.  Is there anyway to not edit the text editor and only touch the rest of the UI?
  • Suggestions For Extension
    2 Posts | Last post March 18, 2013
    • 1) Categorize settings by UI and Code Syntax (Text Editor) settings.  The in the editor allow them to filter using those 2 top level categories.
      2) Once #1 is implemented it would not be hard to update the import process to allow the user to import the whole theme, just the UI settings or just the Code Syntax (Text Editor settings)
      3) Make is easier to change the same setting under a certain category.  For example, changing the background for all the Text Editor settings.  One possibility would be to allow users to filter what settings show on the editor list.  That way I could filter on Text Editor -> background setting and it would only show the different background setting related to the Text Editor.  I could then easily select all the ones I want to change.
      Overall, this is a great extension and is something the VS2012 team should have included as part of the base application. This should not be something that requires an extension.
    • One more suggestion, take a look at the following page to create themes for VS2010 ( Some things it has that could improve this extension are: 
      1) Show example Text Editor window and you can click on different elements and change the foreground/background color. I was able to change the background color of the text editor with this within a couple of minutes.
      2) The color editor control is very flexible: use color wheel, enter RGB value or enter hexidecimal.  Also, the RGB and hexidecimal values change as you change the color on the wheel.
      Seeing an example of the items that can be change and just clicking on them to change the background/foreground is really nice.
  • ColorThemeEditor.vsix "The Extension Manifest is Invalid"
    4 Posts | Last post March 18, 2013
    • I clicked on the download button above and downloaded ColorThemeEditor.vsix and am receiving "The Extension Manifest is Invalid".
      How to fix the problem?
      I have Visual Studio 2012 Professional installed.
    • Check your VSIX extension, it is most likely pointing to a previous version of Visual Studio. Fix the extension to point to VSIXInstaller.exe, usually somewhere around <Program Files>\Microsoft Visual Studio 11.0\Common7\IDE
    • That resolved the issue on one of my computers and will try on the other this evening.  Thank you.
      Missing fropm the product are two things, one of which is standard Microsoft, sadly.
      1. Dark blue editor.  The application can be the off black, called Dark.  I like that, just takes getting used to.  The dark blue editor is missing, though.
      2. The ability to select a prebuild theme from a file or to save a color scheme to a file.  In tha way, people can share themes or post themes.  VS2010 had something like that.  I had a dark blue Turo Pascal theme, which I used.
    • Couple of Questions
      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?
  • document tabs color
    5 Posts | Last post March 14, 2013
    • How to change the color of these tabs?
      They once changed to the green color from the Green theme.
      Unfortunately the color does not change any more by selecting a different theme. Creating a new theme does not change it either.
      Is this is bug, or do I miss something?
    • I've got the same issue. It's quite annoying since now it can't read the text in the document tab and don't know which document's i've opened.
      I also tried changing themes and creating a custom theme. The color which i set is not applied (even after restarting Visual Studio).
      I believe the issue was caused by the last update to visual studio or the theme plugin, i didn't have the issue until recently (max 2 weeks).
      Can somebody help? Can somebody at least confirm that the newest stable Visual Studio 2012 update & theme editor do not necessarily result in this issue? In that case i might try reinstalling Visual Studio (and Resharper and and and...)
    • One thought: do you have the Productivity Power Tools extension installed?  Productivity Power Tools has a sub-extension called Custom Document Well which, among other things, color-codes document tabs by project.  If this is the problem, you can either turn the Custom Document Well part off (in Tools\Options\Productivity Power Tools) or you can uncheck "Color tabs by project" on the Productivity Power Tools\Custom Document Well options page.
      If you don't have Productivity Power Tools, are there any other extensions installed?  I'm using the latest VS update on my machine, and I haven't noticed issues.
    • @Matthew
      Thank you. You were completely right. Disabled "Custom Document Well" and everything works again. Updated Productivity Power tools on 15.02.2013.
      Thank you again.
    • @Matthew
      Many thanks!
  • Importing from VS2010
    1 Posts | Last post March 13, 2013
    • Hi is it possible to import my theme from Visual Studio Color Theme Editor (2010) in the future? I checked the file and XML format is different, so I can't import at the moment.
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