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 rookie1024 | February 27 2013

Not available for Express. I find the Light and Dark themes hard to bear and I would like some customization.

by Paul Dowman | February 26 2013

Thank you so much.... with a nice blue theme applied to VS2012 my eyes don't feel like their out on stalks any more :)

As per lots of others... Microsoft shame on you.... I really think you're losing your way. Anyway I'm just off to build an msi for my windows service project in 2012..... oh, wait a minute I can't. doh!

by MIkeTims | February 25 2013

Provides minimal support for a feature that should never have been left out of the original product anyway

by Karel Kral | February 23 2013

by JustinBailey | February 18 2013

please don't touch the font colors >_<

by omw | February 13 2013

Very Well Done :-)

by Xaggre | February 09 2013

by Robert_Perdomo | February 06 2013

Very Good. It is a helpful tool for the developer. Thanks Microsoft

by RyanVGates | February 05 2013

A great tool that simply works and adds color to the editor. Once again though, something that should be part of Visual Studio to begin instead of telling everyone to love staring at a gray-washed ide all day.

by Dan Clarke | February 05 2013

Makes VS much less harsh on the eyes, definitely should have come as standard with RTM. Just need to fix the all-caps menu bar now:

by AntRemo1 | February 02 2013

I typically don't rate/review things...but man am I happy this exists.

The 2 out of the box themee that come with VS 2012 SUCK! This is a life saver.

Thank you :)

by Travis Spomer | January 30 2013

Essential. Makes Visual Studio 2012 a lot less soul-crushing.

by Kevin Westwood Spiricon | January 30 2013

Makes it easy to alter look and feel. Very nice.

by Andreas Vergison | January 28 2013

This is GREAT.
Suggestion: can a theme be linked to a solution? Imagine each solution a developer works on would have its own color scheme ...
Technically this would just require an extra property in the .sln file referring to that scheme.

by lforbes | January 26 2013

PLEASE make one for Office 2013, as soon as possible would be nice. The themes are just horrible. I think you need to fire your artistic designers and hire some real graphic designers.

by Stefan Zapf | January 20 2013

You just made my day. Thank you!

by Roman313 | January 10 2013

conflicts with Visual Assist (C++)

after installed, Visual Assist tooltip colors are black.

by Paul Ballard | January 07 2013

Great work!

by Le Chaud Lapin | January 05 2013

Somewhere, at Microsoft, is a manager. This person probably has a crisp manner of speaking, excellent posture, and uses bombastic words like "deliverable" and "core competency" and "chime in". And that person is a friggin' idiot. To that idiot: I would like to tell you something that neither your mother, your father, your 1st-grade teacher, your first girlfriend (or boyfriend) (or Metro-friend), your high-school counselor, your college counselor, your grad-school counselor, your trust-fund trustee, your grand-parents, or your dog told you: You are a bona-fide idiot. You live in a world where you can be utterly incompetent, and still stay afloat, because other people around you have been pulling your weight from birth. If you had been born into an environment where latte was a type of weapon, I can assure you: VS2012 WOULD NOT LOOK SO HORRIFIC. NO, I AM NOT YELLING AT YOU. I AM MERELY FOLLOWING YOUR LEAD.

by Hani Khoshdel-Nikkhoo | January 04 2013

A cool tool!

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  • 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.
  • 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).
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