Tuesday, April 20, 2010 1:38 PM InfinitiesLoop

Join the Dark Side of Visual Studio 2010

Hard to believe it’s been so long, but it was almost 4 years ago when I published Join the Dark Side of Visual Studio. That was when a lot of people were still using VS2003, and importing and exporting environment settings required a custom add-in, VSStyler, which has since fallen off the planet and is hard to find (link, anyone? Let me know). Three versions of VS later, and I’m still using and loving the dark side. Pleased, I am (haha). In fact, that article for one reason or another is still one of my most popular blog entries, thanks in part to a link from Scott Hanselman and a commenter on Coding Horror. I will point out selfishly that my article predates both of these :) But, yes, it’s sad when one of your top referrers is from a link in a comment on another blog. Not even the first comment, either.

That article even inspired someone out there to register a new domain: http://darksideofvisualstudio.net/

Now that Visual Studio 2010 is out, I decided to repost with my latest settings, exported from Visual Studio 2010. So here you go. It’s mostly the same as the original, but with some improvements. I lightened up some of the blues which are hard to read on some not-so-great monitors. Set the font to Consolas (though you may prefer Inconsolata). Also fixed a few neglected settings like the refactoring view and XML.

I should also point out that unfortunately, even in the new WPF based VS2010, you are very limited in what colors you can change in the environment itself, such as the Solution Explorer. However, there is a very nice add-in from the Visual Studio Platform team that lets you theme many aspects of the IDE that you can’t normally change. Not all, unfortunately, since not everything in VS is WPF yet. But if you use this in combination with the theme settings in windows itself, you can get pretty close to an all-dark theme in all windows. If anyone out there has success with this, please do share your exported theme settings from this add-in as well as your windows theme settings, I will be sure and update this article with the details.

Here’s a quick preview of some code from the AjaxControlToolkit:

DarkSide2010

Download The Dark Side of Visual Studio 2010

For older versions, see the previous article.

UPDATE: Rate the scheme on StudioStyles.info! The Dark Side of Visual Studio

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Comments

# re: Join the Dark Side of Visual Studio 2010

Tuesday, April 20, 2010 5:43 PM by Jon Sagara

Fantastic.  Once again, thanks for sharing.  I have been using your themes for several years now.

# re: Join the Dark Side of Visual Studio 2010

Wednesday, April 21, 2010 12:25 AM by Gerardo Contijoch

I still remember when I saw your original post the first time. After I tried 'the dark side' I couldn't go back. I still program using the same theme.

# re: Join the Dark Side of Visual Studio 2010

Wednesday, April 21, 2010 2:16 AM by Nemesis116

Looks great. Can you take an export of your VS2008 settings? :)

# re: Join the Dark Side of Visual Studio 2010

Wednesday, April 21, 2010 5:09 PM by InfinitiesLoop

@Sean: Done

# re: Join the Dark Side of Visual Studio 2010

Thursday, April 22, 2010 3:04 PM by Andrei Rinea

I have a big trouble convincing people that a black background is easier on the eyes than a white one. Could you help me with some info?

# re: Join the Dark Side of Visual Studio 2010

Thursday, April 22, 2010 4:34 PM by Andrei Rinea

let me rephrase my comment into a better English : I have a hard time convincing other developers that a black background will be easier on their eyes. Can you help me (by giving some good reasons) convince them?

# re: Join the Dark Side of Visual Studio 2010

Thursday, April 22, 2010 5:01 PM by jlechowicz

Tell them staring into a white background is like staring into a light bulb when it's on. If they don't believe you, tell them to open up an instance of Visual Studio full screen with their white background, and then shut off all sources of light in the room. Then have them note how illuminated the room is just from the computer screen.

# re: Join the Dark Side of Visual Studio 2010

Friday, April 30, 2010 9:25 AM by admiral u

thanks for updating, love the theme!

# re: Join the Dark Side of Visual Studio 2010

Wednesday, August 4, 2010 6:38 AM by chapluck

My eyes like it!

# re: Join the Dark Side of Visual Studio 2010

Monday, February 7, 2011 11:20 AM by Mani

I have a problem with the theme and I can't seem to find the answer.

When I search (ctrl+F) all the text that the search find is in black on black so I can't see it. I have visual assist installed but I deactivated its color coding.

anybody have an idea?

thks

# re: Join the Dark Side of Visual Studio 2010

Tuesday, September 13, 2011 3:05 PM by Jorge Altamirano

Thanks I had the one for VS 2008 and this for 2010 is as great or greater than the last one :)

# re: Join the Dark Side of Visual Studio 2010

Friday, November 4, 2011 1:25 AM by rasika

I love the 2008 theme. Imported 2008 theme to VS2010 still works as a charm!

Cheers