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 Pulsating Ambience | September 19 2013

It is perfect addin. Now my Visual Studio interface is perfect too.

But I need a more powerfull color peek dialog, like one in VS Options (with separate RGB and Favourites colors). Also you can add Web Colors predefined palette.

by TNJMAN | September 03 2013

How NICE is THIS? I have been needing ability to edit themes. Thank you!

by 黃宇祥 | August 27 2013


by Shane Fatzinger | August 19 2013

Fantastic add in. I really disliked the limited options for themes that came built in to VS2012. This add in works perfectly to fix that. The base theme for VS just doesn't do enough to visually delineate the different components that make up the IDE.

With this program you can choose from a set of pre-built themes, or customize the color for everything in the IDE. In fact, I had no idea that so many different items existed to be customized.

On my laptop, there is no performance impact at all. Thanks!

by Josef Bláha | August 07 2013

by Waqar Aziz | July 22 2013

It's just so easy to use. Great job!

by WRD1982 | July 13 2013

This would be a life saver if I could get it to work.

But I've given it 5 stars simply because I know what it's made to do and that is something I wholeheartedly need considering this insult of a UI. I am bereft of civilized words and criticism due to sheer frustration after installing VS2012 and all of it's extraneous junk just to get a kick to my eyes.

by t_eb | July 04 2013

It's appalling that this extension is required at all. VS2012's UI, as at least one person has already noted, really SUCKS HUMONGOUS WIND! I hate it with a burning passion. Doesn't MS trial software before it goes out the door? What sort of bumpkins okayed this UI?

The extension is usable/passable without being brilliant. Using it to alter my text editor background to black prevents the editor from working properly. Lines get orphaned, edits are hidden, a whole raft of problems ensue.

I know with MS there's no going back, so I hope some crafty developer is somewhere hard at work to enable decent folk to get back, without too much sweat, to the decent UI that was VS2010 ...

by Peter Taslimi | June 29 2013

Thank you. I hated going into VS2012 to do any work. With the themes and VS commands it is much more pleasant. Hope MS is listening!

by Ali.Alikhani | June 28 2013

by Mel L | June 22 2013

This helps a little. But really msft should not have touched
the UI at all, vs2010 was a nice mature interface with the
right colors. vs2012 SUCKS. Ask me its like msft is
going backwards, what is up with that ? Trying to make
everthing look like windows8 ? The vs2012 looks too square
and rigid, vs2010 was slick and hip.

BTW here's how to change the tool bar to LoWer CaSE!!
Just cut and paste the txt below to a .reg file and voila,
credit belongs to somewhere on google.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00


by Jolia_Wadson | June 21 2013


by BonianSazanShomal | June 16 2013

Theme Color Visual Studio Demo Map are data base in MSDN MSET.

by BillW33 | June 10 2013

An essential extension for VS2012 to get rid of the truly ugly default color theme. This extension plus the registry change to get rid of the ALL CAPS menus make the visual experience for VS2012 tolerable.

by komeni | May 25 2013

Great Stuff

by Henry Desouza | May 24 2013

Found it as the best addition to VS12, it is exactly what was required for VS2012 UI & it will be good to see the same for the Web Access site.

by leohh1 | May 22 2013

thanks a lot :)

by FlsZen | May 20 2013

Blue theme was removed. Extension is now useless out-of-the-box. I can't install VS 2012 Update 2 due to some of the new bugs that it introduces. I wound up installing v2.2 from the Internet Archive and will have to ignore Visual Studio's pleas to update the extension, just like I have to ignore its requests to update to Update 2. What a hassle.

by Rudedog2 | May 17 2013

I have bad eyes and found the VS2012 visual theme somewhat harder to look at than previous versions. This package gave me the flexibility to modify the theme back in time, to something more colorful and familiar. This is a great package. My greatful thanks to whomever is responsible.

Rudy =8^D

by Arthununesq | May 16 2013

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  • syntax colors disappear
    1 Posts | Last post September 14, 2014
    • Whenever i start to edit .cpp file, custom syntax colors are disappear.
  • method explanation colors
    1 Posts | Last post April 01, 2014
    • hi,
      I am using "light with dark editor" theme and i have a problem with the explanation area. I don't know the exact name of it, so I will explain: when I write an object name and press the dot, intellisense brings the usable properties and methods. And while I am moving on the methods with the arrow keys, an expalantion bubble pops that has information about the method or property. I want to change the colors of this bubble's text because I cannot see it with the current settings.
      Can you help me about this problem please?
  • Dynamic Changing of Color Scheme
    1 Posts | Last post March 28, 2014
    • Hello Matthew,
      Is there anyway to change the default color settings of the Fonts inside Tools/Options/FontsAndColors dynamically through code? I've figured out how to catch the Theme change event and I would like to switch my color scheme to predefined values after a theme switch, but I can't figure out how to access the color values through code. Would I have to somehow rewrite the registry values or is there an easier way to do this?
  • Document tab colours
    1 Posts | Last post November 12, 2013
    • Hi. On my copy of VS2012 the colour of the document tabs seems to be fixed: aspx forms and code behind get a rather nasty brick red, .cs classes a sort of British Racing Green. The document with the focus doesn't really stand out, particularly for green tabs and it sometimes takes me a while to realise I'm not on the tab I thought I was. This doesn't seem to be under the control of the theme editor - is there any way to change it?
  • Support for non-Professional versions?
    1 Posts | Last post November 07, 2013
    • I'm using VS 2012 as a component of Sql Server Data Tools. As such this is the "integrated" version, not "Professional. As a result I apparently can't install this extension, which is a bummer, because I can't stand the look of VS 2012!!!!
      Is there w reason why you can't support other versions?
  • Color Theme for Each VS Instance
    1 Posts | Last post October 24, 2013
    • Hi,
      The Color Theme Editor for VS 2010 let me set a color theme for each instance of VS while it was running.   That is, after I started an instance of VS 2010 I could select a Theme.  Then I could start a second instance of VS 2010 and set its Theme to a different color.  This made it easy to identify which instance I was working with.
      In VS 2012, if I have two instances running and change the color of one instance it also changes the color of the second instance.
      Is there any way to include the logic from the 2010 version.  It was very useful.
  • Broken VS
    1 Posts | Last post October 24, 2013
    • Hello,
      I installed the plugin while having my custom colors. I noticed that it changed some of the colors here and there and I tried to import them back from settings file. I realized that the studio has stopped importing colors and fonts. I uninstalled the plugin but this didn't fix the problem. So now I have a spoiled color theme and broken import settings feature. Also on every change of theme the font is reset to some strange font and I have to go change it manually from the options. All this is happening on VS 2012 Professional.
      Can you suggest any fix other than uninstall and install of VS?
  • Pick-up Windows Color option?
    2 Posts | Last post October 17, 2013
    • Hi I have setup my windows colours so that I don't feel like I'm staring at the sun all day with the glaring white paper that is Visual studios default.
      However I cannot see (no pun intended) how to change VS2012 workspace background colours to my windows colour.
      It would be good if there was an option to Pick-up the windows (theme) colour either entirely or per item.
      Until I can change the paper colour I'll have to give VS2012 a miss or ask my lawyer about what come back on MS there would be for consequential damage from using the UI (joke).
      Please help us that customise windows colours for Usability reasons!!!!
    • I can think of two options:
      1. Use a High Contrast windows theme, and customize those colors.  In this case, Visual Studio will use only Windows theme colors.
      2. Customize Visual Studio colors using this extension to be what you want (perhaps starting from the Dark theme is closer to what you want).
      The big problem with "using Windows colors" is that Windows exposes a very, very small set of colors, but Visual Studio is a complex application that requires more nuanced color choices.  This extension currently gives you maximum control over that nuance.
  • SSIS designer background colors
    2 Posts | Last post October 15, 2013
    • What element in the Theme Editor determines the background color when working with SSIS packages?  Specifically the Control Flow and Data Flow pages.  I copied the Dark installed theme and wanted to tweak a few colors, but leave the background like it was in the installed theme.  However it changes the background color to an off-white color after copying the installed theme.
    • I'm not familiar with SSIS packages, but based on the description of the problem, my guess is that its UI has handled theming incorrectly in some way (perhaps their "Dark" colors are tied specifically to that theme's ID rather than defining colors that can be redefined for any theme).
  • Feature request: colour preview?
    3 Posts | Last post October 01, 2013
    • The standard "fonts and colors" dialog in VS has a preview box that shows a sample line of code in the selected colour. This is helpful for visualising the colour in context and is the only thing I miss from this extension.
      Any chance of implementing that, either in this or the 2013 version? Thanks.
    • That would be a great feature--I will add that to my list.  For the colors that come from Fonts & Colors, it should be straightforward to show the same type of preview.  For colors that are outside the editor, there's not currently metadata about what type of text to draw on that color in all cases, so that may be trickier to implement.
    • Awesome, thanks for listening :-) 
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