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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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  • Status Bar Text Color seems to be bugged
    2 Posts | Last post December 22, 2012
    • I edited the "Main Window -> Status Bar" settings to make the status bar grey with black text. The "Highlighted message Ln 123" demo text shows up just fine in all four examples in that section, however when i applied the changes the status bar became grey but the text is white. It doesn't seem to matter what color i set the text to in the editor, it remains white in the actual status bar.
    • Thanks for reporting this--the color in the Show Common Elements view isn't hooked up correctly.  Until I get the fix published, you can switch to the Show All Elements view in the toolbar and search for "Environment → StatusBarDefaultText".  That's the color you want to change to affect the normal text.
  • VS Integrated Shell Support
    1 Posts | Last post December 21, 2012
    • Is it possible to add support for visual studio 2012 integrated shell mode?
  • Copy current text editor color to theme
    4 Posts | Last post December 07, 2012
    • I first chose theme A, but was not satisfied with the text editor color, so I used Tools/Options to customize.
      But then I found the look of VS in theme B more beautiful, so I changed to theme B. Now I want my text editor color customized as the same as the settings done while I was in theme A using Tools/Options.
      Normally I could switch to theme A and Export .vssettings and then switch to theme B to Import. But I want to make a theme C that contains VS color in theme B and text editor color in theme A, so that I could share it with me later on other machines more easily.
      Looks currently I can't do this.
    • I agree here - the relationship between the colors inside the theme for Text Editor and the colors in Tools Options Text Editor is mystifying.  I have a custom dark theme that I used Tools Options to set the Text Editor colors for.  Whenever I switch to that custom theme, the Text Editor colors I set in Tools Options come back, but when I use "Copy Colors From" in the Theme Editor to copy my custom theme, the new theme does *not* have the Text Editor colors I set with Tools Options.  
      I wonder if you could use Tools > Options > Import and Export Settings to export the fonts and colors while theme A was active, switch to theme B, and import them.  I haven't tried it.
    • Matthew does explain the relationship between Tools/Options colors and themes in another discussion further down (currently).
    • Right now, customized colors from the Fonts and Colors page (either directly via the dialog or indirectly via Import / Export Settings) are never written into the theme.  I can't promise I'll get to implementing it, but my feature wishlist includes a way to import all of your current customized colors into the theme (essentially a way to copy anything customized from the Fonts and Colors options page into the theme).
  • Background color of Autos/Locals/Watch/Call Stack
    2 Posts | Last post December 07, 2012
    • Having trouble figuring out what the incantation is to change the background colors of the Autos/Locals/Watch/Call Stack windows.
    • This is the rather-generic "Environment → Window" color (also used for a number of other windows, including Object Browser and Class View).
  • Solarized Theme
    2 Posts | Last post November 14, 2012
    • Has anyone created a Solarized theme for VS12 yet?
    • I found a solarized theme here:
  • Need help !
    3 Posts | Last post November 10, 2012
    • I have installed Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows Desktop, but when tried to run this editor, it is throwing VSIXInstaller.NoApplicableSKUsException: This extension is not installable on any currently installed. Is this not for Express version? Somebody help me out please !
    • Express SKUs can't load any extensions--this is part of the design of Visual Studio and not something I can easily remedy in the extension.
      Alin Constantin has a great blog post about how you can at least get themes from the extension (or that other people have created in Visual Studio Professional and higher) to work on VS Express:
    • One thing I'll also add is that you can get the themes directly from the extension VSIX instead of from Alin's site.  Version 2.2 has color changes to fix bugs in the themes, and I'm not sure Alin's copy of the themes have those bug fixes.  You can follow all of Alin's instructions, but instead of using Alin's ZIP file as the source for themes, download ColorThemeEditor.vsix and rename the "vsix" extension to "zip".  Then, you can unzip the archive and find all of the themes in the Colors folder.
  • Intellisense tool tip text colour is wrong
    7 Posts | Last post November 06, 2012
    • If I use the Light with Dark Editor theme, the tooltips for the auto-complete list are pretty much unreadable. If I type "Application.Enab", I get a dropdown list showing "EnableVisualStyles", and to the right of that, the tooltip that reads "void Application.EnableVisualStyles() / Enables visual styles for the application". Looking closer, the background colour is that of "Environment > ToolTip", but the font colour is that of "Text Editor > Plain Text > Foreground" instead of "Environment > ToolTipText". Is this something that can be fixed within the extension, or would that require help from Visual Studio?
    • Correction: the font colour is exactly the same as that "Text Editor > Plain Text > Foreground", but changing the latter has no effect on the former, so it just happens to be the same by chance.
    • I tried this on my machine, but the tooltips are readable.  The background comes from "Environment → ToolTip" while the foreground (strangely) comes from "Editor Tooltip → Plain Text → Foreground".  On the Light with Dark Editor theme, this should result in a light background (FFE7E8EC) with black text (the value should show up as Default, and the default value should be black).  Let me know if your default value isn't black, and if you have not customized the Editor Tooltip category in Tools\Options\Environment\Fonts and Colors (the Editor Tooltip has its own category by itself, separate from the Text Editor category).
    • I had taken a screenshot at the time, which I have uploaded to That was without customizations (well, except for what I described, my attempt to change Text Editor > Plain Text > Foreground to black). When I try it now, I get the behaviour you describe, which is readable black text. I will try to figure out when it does and doesn't work.
    • I do not yet know when it does and doesn't work, but it got messed up again. "Editor Tooltip → Plain Text → Foreground" does appear as black. The colour in the tooltip appears to come from "Text Editor → Text → Foreground": changing that to black makes it show up correctly. Note that this is *only* the tooltip attached to the Intellisense dropdown list, the tooltip I get when simply hovering over an identifier was already readable.
    • Culprit found: it happens when the Roslyn CTP is installed and active. Yuck. I had not realised it recreated Visual Studio editor display bits, except with some subtle differences.
    • Good to know--thanks for following up!  I'll check with the Roslyn team to see if this is something they can fix for future CTPs/their final release.
  • Modify SearchBox, ComboBox, DropDown, TextBox in v2.2?
    3 Posts | Last post November 04, 2012
    • The latest 2.2 version is just awesome for providing such detailed visuals... :D
      Few things are missing though, as far as I notice:
      - search box, along with its popup, like in Quick Launch (Ctrl+Q), or per document (like when editing a theme), or in NewProject dialog (Ctrl+E).
      - combo box, drop down in CommandBar and NewProject dialog
      - text box in NewProject dialog
      - and perhaps some others I'm not aware yet
      So they were all previously available, but as of 2.2, I couldn't find them anymore.
      Hopefully, they will make it in vNext.
    • Thanks for pointing these out.  There were several elements I had hoped to get done for v2.2 but didn't have time for--I'll try to fit as many of these into the next release as I can.  For now, please let me know if there's a color you can't find in the full list and I can try to help out!
    • Thanks for the reply.
      Actually, I should have been clearer that they're only missing in [Common Elements] tab, but still available in [All Elements] tab.
      For SearchControl, for example, I think it would make sense to put them in [Common Elements].
      For NewDialogProject, I'm not so sure though. But it would be nice if they could make into it.
      I've reported some issues with VS2012 theme in here:
      Not sure though, if they're related to this extension or not.
      Still, I really appreciate for the hard work done on this.
      Thanks again.
  • Unable to open xaml files when in theme edit window
    3 Posts | Last post November 02, 2012
    • I get this:
    • Thanks for the video, I was able to reproduce this as well.  This appears to be a bug in the XAML designer, where the designer assumes that the previously-active document has an absolute path (but the theme documents don't currently have an absolute path).  Because the XAML designer doesn't handle the resulting exception, the whole document load fails.  I've logged a bug for the XAML designer issue, and I'll see if I can work around it in the extension by pretending to have an absolute path without any side effects.
    • Good to know. Thanks for the follow-up.
  • Need available for VS Espress
    3 Posts | Last post October 30, 2012
    • Default grays are terrible
    • Yes, I agree with this too.
    • For VS Express see
      Alin Constantin's blog: Using color themes with Visual Studio 2012 Express Editions
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