Visual Studio 2013 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 Ondřej | March 13 2015

Playing with colors when I get bored from coding raises my mood.

by Baris Konag | January 16 2015

A perfect plugin. But dark editor now has some problems in visual studio 2013 with the latest update.

by Stormjack | December 18 2014

This is a great tool. It would warrant 5 stars if it had better documentation with pictures. In VS 2013, I had difficulty finding the correct settings for some areas, like dialog background colors. This was particularly difficult with a dark theme that I customized from the installed "Dark" theme. For a few settings that were difficult to identify, I resorted to using the VS menus of Tools > Options > Environment > Fonts and Colors, and paging through the various colors.

Please consider putting an "Export Theme" button next to the "Edit Theme" and "Create Copy of Theme" buttons that appear in the custom themes selection boxes. It's not readily apparent that you can export a theme by first selecting "Edit Theme" and then choosing the "Export Theme" button. I was eventually able to find it, but it took several minutes of hunting.

by Nadim Kobeissi | November 22 2014

Thank you for this! Wonderful addition to VS. Superb.

by gr_____________________ | November 13 2014

Can't live without it - I wish this kind of color tweaking available on Windows 8+, to customize OS colors for all apps (hardwired bright white background is killing my eyes).

While not without some glitches (e.g. "Fonts & Colors" getting out-of-sync), 5*.

by ElsaBrooks | November 13 2014

Very nice overall, but doesn't work well with the "Fonts and Colors" visual studio settings relating to the text editor, it keeps mixing them up and the "Import settings" button the extension provides is bugged.
So if you stay on one theme all the time you won't encounter much problems, but if like me you switch between themes depending on the time of the day (light during the day, dark during the night) the Fonts and Colors bug(s) prevent you from switching between multiple custom themes (you can only switch between a custom theme and a regular theme without fucking up the Fonts and Colors).

by zee89757 | October 21 2014

I like it!!

by Bart W. Kemps | October 13 2014

I used to have the 'tan' window colors with solarized editor colors. I don't know if it's the settings import/export functionality or the theme editor, but it's close to impossible to set it up like that now.

Now i've succeeded getting things just the way I want them, I'd like to export my current color settings as a theme. You should add that feature.

by Julius Holmberg | October 10 2014

Easy and good. All I could want is more themes.

by John--W | September 23 2014

After installing VS 2013, my whole theme defaulted to the dark version. The light & blue just didn't cut it. I found this and immediately fell in love with it!
The default themes are great and an added bonus was the ability to edit the themes or create your own. So if I get bored with any of the default themes I can easily edit any of them.
Great addition to my VS2013 software. I highly recommend it!!

by sagenth | August 07 2014

Reporting Buggy behaviour.. The extension doesn't play nice with the built in "Fonts and Colors". If you use the fonts and colours menu to change any colours it will not update properly inside this extension. Then when/if you go to tweak the settings inside of the extension it will not apply the new colour because of the aforementioned fonts and colors tweaking that took place.

by FunPro | July 30 2014


by Dot Net Giri | July 28 2014


by Yann Duran | July 17 2014

If it wasn't for this extension, I would never have even started using VS 2012. I'm so happy that it eventually came to VS 2013 as well.

I *really* don't understand why this functionality hasn't been included in VS itself. Surely MS has heard by now that their customers want to be able to have more than 3 preset choices, and to be able to *customize* their working environment.

You only have to look at how many time this extension has been downloaded. And that doesn't count the unhappy people who have never even heard of this extension. Let's hope that MS has finally rectified this in VS 2014.

by BillyNguyen | July 15 2014

These themes make happier coders and more productive psychologically speaking.

by Expression2 | June 23 2014


by Mehradzie | June 04 2014

I have tried this plug-in cuz I had problem seeing Productivity tools code block indicator on the scroll bar in the original Dark theme.

However, every single theme I tried from this list had a problem or two. The light with dark editor theme has a Black cursor blinker on the black background. Seriously !!!
The Solaris comments and main code aren't distinguishable in the dark version.
Don't take me wrong. it's a great add-on but missing a practicality factor.

by Hugo Nunes | April 04 2014

by Sappharad | Sun 12:48 AM

This is the most important extension that I install after installing Visual Studio. I wish there was a similar extension for Office 2013.
Having said that, I've posted a few themes over the past year and they don't seem to be getting any search engine placement. There also doesn't seem to be any place maintaining a list of downloadable themes. If anyone wants a few more themes, here are ones I've posted:

by bill_csharper | March 10 2014

Where are the themes for Windows Classic or Visual Studio 2008?
I really miss these old themes there were available in "Visual Studio Color Theme Editor" for VS2010.

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  • Can't install
    2 Posts | Last post Tue 11:21 PM
    • Can't install to VS 2013 Premium. The log says:
      Install Error : Microsoft.VisualStudio.ExtensionManager.MissingTargetFrameworkException: The extension 'Visual Studio 2013 Color Theme Editor' requires a version of the .NET Framework that is not installed.
      Sometime ago I was able to install it, but now I can't. I think it's an incompatibility with VS2015 CTP 5.
    • I have the exact same issue. I installed VS 2013, and then deleted my account, and re-created it to fix an entirely unrelated issue. I don't this had anything to do with it, but it was working before I did this.
      I've tried Repairing VS, and I've tried uninstalling and then installing VS and didn't work. So I gave up by now. I'm gonna miss Solarized themes.
  • This extension is not installable on any currently installed products
    1 Posts | Last post March 24, 2015
    • Apparently this does not support VS 2013 Express. Is there another version that does or am I just SOL?
  • Name hunting
    2 Posts | Last post March 11, 2015
    • I'm looking for what VS calls the text for data binding in Web Forms "<% %>" and the directives for MVC "@". The current theme that I'm using (Jellybeans on changes these to an ugly and hard to see color.
    • I found what I was looking for on When you go to create a new scheme it tells you what the that bit of text is. In this case it was HTML Server Side Script
      I do have another question though. How do you get the theme editor to work after importing color settings? If you import color settings from a vssettings file, the colors are not reflected in the theme. I first tried to change the color with this extension but the color did not change after I saved. I had to edit it through the menu TOOLS > Options > Font And Color.
  • There is no theme menu
    1 Posts | Last post February 14, 2015
    • I installed it but there is no Theme menu in visual studio 2013 that I can use.
  • VS14 compatible Version
    5 Posts | Last post January 02, 2015
    • Will there be a VS14 compatible Version? The Default UI still sucks so I Need the addon to customize the Colors.
    • ok, I modified the manifest and can use the 2013 version now on VS14.
    • how did you change the manifest?  regards, AM
    • 1) Download this vsix. 
      2) Change the extension to .zip and unzip it.
      3) Open extension.vsixmanifest
      4) Delete everything inside
      5) Replace it with the XML in the next few post.
      6) Zip it up again
      7) Change the extension back to .vsix
    • <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
      <Vsix xmlns:xsi="" xmlns:xsd="" Version="1.0.0" xmlns="">
        <Identifier Id="3030D7A2-0F79-48EA-AD6F-E46A7A414179">
          <Name>Visual Studio 2013 Color Theme Editor</Name>
          <Author>Microsoft Corporation</Author>
          <Description xml:space="preserve">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.</Description>
            <VisualStudio Version="14.0">
          <SupportedFrameworkRuntimeEdition MinVersion="4.0" MaxVersion="4.5" />
        <References />
  • Really glitchy with Update 4
    2 Posts | Last post December 10, 2014
    • I've been using this with previous updates of VS2013, and it was working flawlessly (though creating a theme can be tedious). However, updating VS to Update 4 caused some abnormalities. Custom themes all show an error message when loading, the custom theme selector is a bit funky, and all options to customize font colors for pretty much every type of identifier except enums disappear. Is anyone else getting this?
    • Maybe I'm missing it, but I don't even see the menu item in the Tools menu to open the theme editor. I am also using 2013 update 4, so I don't know if it's related or if I am just looking in the wrong place.
  • Map Mode - nested level bar colours
    2 Posts | Last post November 19, 2014
    • I use a dark theme which is great but the Map mode scrollbars are giving me a problem. The coloured bars that show the nesting level of the code is almost invisible against the dark scrollbar background. Does anyone know the setting to change these to be more visible?
    • I am also looking for adjustments that can be made to the editor scrollbar color.
      Nearly invisible =p
  • Will there be a version for VS 2015?
    1 Posts | Last post November 17, 2014
    • This extension is awesome! Will there be a version for VS 2015 once it is released? Look forward to that.
  • changing the background of the editor
    3 Posts | Last post November 14, 2014
    • ok, i must be an idiot, but am I missing a way to change the main text editor background? 
      I know I can change it though Tools/Options. 
      I looked at the Common Elements and nothing seemed to jump out at me with that name.
      thank you,
    • Did you ever find the answer? I'm stuck too!
    • Text Editor -> Plain Text -> Background
  • HTML Razor Code Background - Unreadable
    3 Posts | Last post November 05, 2014
    • "Text Editor → HTML Razor Code Background → Background"
      Should be FF073642 but is 'Default', which makes the text virtually unreadable.
      Where is the github repo I can submit a pull request? Come on MS keep up.
      Please fix and release a new version. K thx.
    • That's on the solarized dark theme.
    • and another:
      Text Editor → ReSharper Todo Item → Foreground
      suggestion: FF36A5CA
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