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 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

by chessfan | May 14 2013

I downloaded this specifically to get the Blue theme (the VS 2010 look), but it doesn't have it. Please include the Blue theme with this and put a link where I can import the Blue theme.

Matthew Johnson [MSFT] May 14 2013
| Edit |

The Blue theme is now part of Visual Studio 2012 Update 2:

This is the preferred way to get the Blue theme--the extension no longer contains the Blue theme itself.

by JoseQuinonesII | May 14 2013

the new grey theme was hell on my eyes. this helped! awesome job!

by E. P. Hekkert | May 14 2013

Great tool. The default colours of VS2012 were depressing.

This and the registry change to get rid of the shouting menus made VS2012 acceptable. Now if you could only get rid of those awful looking icons. I tried the icon patcher but it doesn't restore all of the origional icons and a mixed icon set is even worse then the new icons.

by jeanie77 | May 14 2013

A must-have tool, the default VS2012 theme is too bright for everyday use.
Please, could anyone share with me his Blue theme? I installed the update today, and suddenly 'Blue' disappeared from the list of available themes... :'(

Matthew Johnson [MSFT] May 14 2013
| Edit |

The Blue theme is now part of Visual Studio 2012 Update 2:

This is the preferred way to get the Blue theme--the extension no longer contains the Blue theme itself.

by Carsten Siemens | May 02 2013

by Carlos Pisani | April 30 2013

I just really enjoy it,

by wdhamilt | April 18 2013

I love the blue theme! Reminds me of VS2010. It was unbearable having the default white on grey background. This extension is a must have.

by Osama Al Shammari | April 17 2013

Wonderful!! really amazing tool!... I combined the new "Blue" theme with "Dark Editor". Now, I have magnificent window and very comfort editor..

Here is the theme if anyone needs it:

by Peter Pressacco | April 09 2013

by Tom Lambert (Koopakiller) | April 04 2013

Thanks a lot, I like the green theme :)

by Koen Verbeeck | April 03 2013

by benengr42 | March 29 2013

by NTierArchitect | March 29 2013

Pathetic, what you need is to return the look and feel back to Visual Studio 2010.

by Mario F. Rodriguez | March 28 2013

I'm new to VS2012, but it gives a "special touch" if you will. Congrats, nice!

by RE DiGiovanni | March 23 2013

I'm using Express version of VS12 and wish this was available for it as the available Light and Dark themes are so bad, that it makes using VS12 a horrible experience. VS10 is a much, much better IDE in this respect. Why did MS ruin the visual theme, and then give no option to change the appearance? I love VS10, and don't even want to use VS12 as it is so completely horrendous! What the deuce? What were they thinking? It's supposed to be Visual Studio!, but everything visually about it is terrible!! It's hard to even tell the what the icons specify....

by Bryan Seltzer | March 16 2013

The editor is very helpful. The fact that the VS2012 UI was changed so much and so poorly with such limited built in control reflects badly on MSFT and the VS team.

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  • Dark Editor in SSIS, Light in Code
    1 Posts | Last post October 20, 2015
    • I like the Dark theme when using SSIS, but when in a script task I don't like writing code in the dark theme. Is it possible to only have a dark editor if not in code?
  • Request a working version for SSMS 2012
    3 Posts | Last post August 26, 2015
    • Matt is it possible for you to build a quick working copy of this tool for SSMS 2012?
      I had it working bases on the recommendations from this site listed bwlow and had it working. But then the second day it stopped working.
      If you can DBAs cross the world would be happier.  :-)
    • Matt,
      I did get it working again by removing the PublicKeyToken=  ############ from ThemeManagerPackage.pkgdef file.
      # are numbers/letters.
    • HI Jason,
      I smanaged to install into SSMS but after that how did you change the color? I cannot see any option! Would you help me please?
  • 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.
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