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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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  • Copy colors from: Current
    5 Posts | Last post October 29, 2012
    • I should be able to start a new theme and copy all my current settings. If i copy from Light i start with a default light. I have already a bunch of code editor color settings that i want to keep but change to a darker background.
    • I'm having the exact same problem.  I really want to keep all my fonts and colors settings, but use the blue theme.  There is not an easy way that I have found to import those settings into the theme.
    • Hey eatfrog, just letting you know that the update released today seems to fix the issue.  It looks like now the extension doesn't interfere with any of the "Fonts and Color" settings that Visual Studio uses at all.  Now everything is exactly how I want it!
    • Colors you customize through Tools\Options\Environment\Fonts and Colors are specific to your user account and are automatically backed up per theme (but are not part of that theme for other users).  Say, for example, you customize the Keyword color through Tools\Options on the Light theme and then change to the Dark theme.  Your custom Keyword color is backed up (associated with the Light theme) and then the Dark theme Keyword color is applied.  If you switch back to the Light theme, your custom Keyword color is remembered.  This is a feature of Visual Studio 2012, not something that the extension does.
      I'm guessing that Dr. Tobias Funke already performed the import/export process, and now those customized colors are already associated with the theme.
      If you haven't already customized colors through Tools\Options, then customizing them instead in the theme editor is the best option.  That way, the colors will be part of the theme and not part of your per-user customizations.  The only limitation I can think of to this approach is that you can also change the font family and font size from Tools\Options, while color themes don't have a concept of custom font information.
    • That makes a lot of sense, Matt.  I did import my old settings file that had all my Fonts and Colors customized.  I tried to do the same thing in the previous version and it didn't import any of my settings, or it did and the theme overrode them.  I'm guessing this update fixed that problem or I just made a mistake.
  • Exporting Themes as VSIX packages
    2 Posts | Last post October 29, 2012
    • I noticed that when you create a custom theme with this, it shows as an "Extension" in the extension manager.
      Is there a way to Export that to a extension package that I can then Install or Update on another machine?...
      (I have tried to Copy it from the location on disk, but it didn't bring all the colors correctly over)
    • The 2.2 release that just went live today has a new feature to export themes (from the theme designer, next to the save commands) and import themes (from the Color Themes page).  You could export themes and then import them on another machine using this feature.  Let me know if this doesn't work for you!
  • THEME is not visible in the MENU.
    3 Posts | Last post October 29, 2012
    • I installed the Visual Studio 2012 color theme Editor using "Extensions and Updates". After restarting the VS, i cant find "THEME" in the MENU bar.
      Uninstalled & Reinstalled couple times? any idea how to fix this?
    • The update moved the themes and customize option from the THEME menu to Tools->Change Color Theme and below that Customize Colors (they are near the bottom above Import and Export Settings)
    • The update which moved the themes was just released today--Newrad0603 must have had a preview of the extension before it was released.  If the 2.2 update doesn't solve this (with the menu in its new location on the Tools menu), please let me know and I can help diagnose what's going wrong on your machine.
  • Merge two existing themes
    4 Posts | Last post October 27, 2012
    • Hey I really like the tan theme but I also like the dark "editor" theme.  It seems like it would be an easy thing to just merge the two.  However it eludes me.  Is there something that I am missing.  I do not want to select each and every individual text editor element and change its value. I have much better things to do with my time like write code.  :-)
    • You could do this:
      1. Create a new theme based on the Dark theme
      2. Search for "Text Editor" in the search box, and make sure things are sorted by name
      3. Select all of the "Text Editor" category color cells and copy them (Ctrl+C)
      4. Open your Tan theme copy and search for "Text Editor"
      5. Paste on the first "Text Editor" color
      This should fill in all of the Text Editor colors with the Dark theme values.
    • This does not work.  It seems as if nothing is ever copied or pasted.  I used the key stroke (Ctrl-C) copy and (Ctrl-V) paste as nothing is available from any menu with regard to copy, paste operations.  I now have four themes with various names and not one of them is a merge of the two.  I tried to delete some of them and get the following error.
      Field not found: 'Microsoft.VisualStudio.Shell.KnownColorThemes.Light'.
    • It sounds like something unexpected is happening with your setup of Visual Studio, as that field should exist in a DLL installed with Visual Studio (and is not part of the extension).  Can you share what version of Visual Studio (Ultimate, Premium, etc.) are you using?  Can you also capture a log from Visual Studio (running "devenv /log logfile" from the Windows run menu) and see if there are any error entries in the log?
  • Colors in extension
    2 Posts | Last post October 27, 2012
    • Hello,
      I am working on an extension for Visual Studio, and I am going to add support for standard Visual Studio 2012 themes (light, dark, high contrast system) in the near future. I will create records in the registry with my category:
      Will those colors be used in my application or will there be any other colors, if user sets your extension and a custom theme?
    • If the user chooses a custom theme from this extension, and you've defined only Light/Dark/High Contrast themes, the Light colors you've defined will be used.  Unfortunately if you want custom Blue, Red, etc. colors, your best option is a second extension that should only be installed by people already using those themes.  Because of the way theme registration works, if you preemptively include colors for the Blue theme inside your extension, that will "create" a theme with only those colors for users that don't have the rest of the Blue theme registered.  It will show up with an unknown name (as a GUID in Tools\Options).
  • Importing VS2010 editor settings
    2 Posts | Last post October 11, 2012
    • Is there a way of importing my editor settings from VS2010 into a new theme using this editor?
      I would like to do is something like...
      Create a new theme based on the Blue theme and then import just the editor settings from a VS2010 VSsettings file.
      Many thanks
    • When you import settings it seems to go into the active theme, I did that at least, so you should be able to do this.
      You can "Limit" what you import/export thought the standard way.
      Not sure if that helps?
  • thank you for this
    2 Posts | Last post October 11, 2012
    • but still, ms should listen to the developers that use this product.  vs2012 is freakin ugly and they had plenty of people say so.  i boycotted vs2012 and vowed never to use it (vs 2010 works just fine for me), but when i uninstalled it, features in my vs 2010 stopped working, like oh a little thing called the dataset designer (thanks to updated files like Microsoft.Data.Design.BootstrapPackager).  now i am back to installing this ugly crap just so i can work in my old environment.  but maybe with this utility, just maybe.....i might be able to use it without eye strain.
    • Personally it has grown on me and i Love the new style in Office and Visual Studio... Maybe those who hasn't complained feels somewhat the same way?
      Anyways, it follows the new style set out by MS, so I doubt they will go away from that for a single product... 
  • Why isn't this available for Web Express????
    2 Posts | Last post September 30, 2012
    • Why don't you offer this for the Web Express edition? That's not cool.
    • I agree.  A version for Visual Studio Web Express edition would be nice.
  • Has anyone made a VS2008 theme?
    2 Posts | Last post September 30, 2012
    • For VS2010 I've used a modified version of the included "Windows Aero" Theme which looks like VS2008. Has someone made such a Theme for VS2012?
    • I would be very interested I can a VS2008 theme as well. Please let us know if you that is possibl . Thank you! 
  • Feature Ideas
    4 Posts | Last post September 27, 2012
    • Since there are so many colors to control, perhaps there could be a short list of common colors in addition to the full list? Perhaps a simplified visual editor which would have a simple picture of the environment and you could click on the elements you want to change?
      Also since there are so many colors, a cool ability would be to replace a color everywhere its used. So if I changed something from blue to black, it could have an extra button to find and replace blue to black everywhere.
      I would also like the ability to save and share themes with my co-workers.
    • +1 to replacing all instances of a colour with another.
      With nearly 2,000 editable items - most of which share a fairly small range of individual colours - creating a new colour scheme is a major task.
    • Replacing all colors with another is possible: 
      - search for the color value (hex number) and that will filter and show all theme entries using that value. 
      - now modify one of them to the new desired value
      - select the cell with the new value. Ctrl+C copy value
      - select all color value cells (e.g. with Shift-down)
      - Ctrl+V to paste the value to all colors of interest
      Btw, if you do bulk color replacements you should also consider Colorize and Modify Hue/Saturation options in context menus after multi-selecting.
    • Brilliant, thanks! I hadn't even spotted the search box, let alone the context menu. That does make things a lot easier.
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