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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 DriveBlind | September 25 2012

3 Star
by LeoMrozek | September 24 2012

Crashes IDE when ever I go to edit a color in the Customize

5 Star
by Hugo Rumayor | September 24 2012

Very useful if you get bored of the default gray color.

5 Star
by Mystcreater | September 24 2012

Why this extension was not added in the Visual Studio setup? :)

5 Star
by CodingGorilla | September 24 2012

Just what the new VS2012 UI desperately needed!

5 Star
by Jasoncleme | September 21 2012

Awesome feature! To bad Microsoft didn't add it to begin with.

5 Star
by | September 19 2012

Well done indeed! By far the best feature for me is the toolbar "THEME" quick access menu with a number of pre-defined colors. Having multiple VS2012s open at once across three monitors could all merge together into one large goop pile after starring at the monitors for 14 hours. Now with 2 mouse clicks, I can change the theme of each one.

Hopefully the author adds quick-access shortcut keys in the future. But it's damn good as-is.

Using VS2012 RTM

5 Star
by JasonCoffee | September 19 2012

Well done.
This makes Visual Studio 2012 usable.
Seriously, well done.
I would have paid cold hard cash for this add-on.
I hope the bigwigs at Microsoft are paying attention to you!

5 Star
by Mike Paterson | September 19 2012

Awesome and simple. I love the dark theme.

1 Star
by Nels Oscar | September 19 2012

It appears to be broken for the Visual Studios 2012 Ultimate RC. After installing it just hangs on the splash screen.

Matthew Johnson [MSFT] September 19 2012
| Edit |

The extension depends on APIs and features only available in VS 2012 RTM, I'm afraid it will not work on the RC or Beta builds. Unfortunately there are not extension targeting options to prevent extensions from being installed on pre-release versions of Visual Studio.

5 Star
by Looooooka | September 18 2012

Version 2.1 finally works.
now if only someone could add visual studio 2010 color settings.
visual studio 2012 default style is simply horrible.
it's something out of those Linux_dork_living_in_a_basement_with_lights_switched_off fantasies.
simply horrible!

Matthew Johnson [MSFT] September 18 2012
| Edit |

The Visual Studio 2010 color settings are included in the extension (the theme name is called "Blue").

5 Star
by NickAJH | September 18 2012

Great extension. I really like the new Metro / Modern UI in Windows 8, and I'm all for change where it makes things better, but the default Visual Studio 2012 UI is simply bad. There's not enough contrast in the 'Light' theme to define the outlines of the UI elements clearly. Staring at that for 8 hours a day hurts your eyes.

*Idea for improvement* - Make it easy / easier to add new theme files. A site like could have a list of popular themes.

5 Star
by Jiri Polasek | September 18 2012

5 Star
by Yovav | September 18 2012

Thank god... 90% better now... I thought I'm getting blind...

5 Star
by Lee Gray | September 16 2012

Thanks so much for providing this relief from the awful default appearances! Thanks also to Alin Constantin who showed how to use the theme files in the Express editions.

To all the negative reviewers: I don't get it. Matthew provided a tool that does exactly what it says and no more. There are other extensions that provide some of your other requests; do a little searching.

5 Star
by imparente | September 16 2012

Thanks for that. The default themes are very confusing and ugly.

5 Star
by Piggy | September 16 2012

Thank you very much from me and from my eyes!
Now can finally take advantage of the new Visual Studio 2012 features.

Outstanding job!!!


5 Star
by Rudolf Grauberger | September 15 2012

5 Star
by ThankfulHeart | September 15 2012


Very cool!

It would be possible and nicer if I can copy codes in Html format and paste into Forum or blog, as the style I've applied to VS……

Just like the function of CopyAsHtml……

4 Star
by Alain_____ | September 15 2012

Thank you so much for providing this tool! I can finally use some 4.5 features now without getting a headache!

A great feature would be to also to get the old 2010 icons back, but you already made my day!

141 - 160 of 233 Items   
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  • Error list -> inactive (unfocused) selected item
    1 Posts | Last post July 08, 2016
  • 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?
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