Download and Share Visual Studio Color Schemes

As developers we often spend a large part of our day staring at code within Visual Studio.  If you are like me, after awhile the default VS text color scheme starts to get a little boring.

The good news is that Visual Studio allows you to completely customize the editor background and text colors to whatever you want – allowing you to tweak them to create the experience that is “just right” for your eyes and personality.  You can then optionally export/import your color scheme preferences to an XML file via the Tools->Import and Export Settings menu command.

[In addition to blogging, I am also now using Twitter for quick updates and to share links. Follow me at: twitter.com/scottgu]

New website that makes it easy to download and share VS color schemes

Luke Sampson launched the http://studiostyles.info/ site a week ago (built using ASP.NET MVC 2, ASP.NET 4 and VS 2010).

Studiostyles.info enables you to easily browse and download Visual Studio color schemes that others have already created.  The color schemes work for both VS 2008 and VS 2010 (all versions – including the free VS express editions):

image

Color schemes are sorted by popularity and voting (you can vote on whether you find each “hot or not”). 

You can click any of the schemes to see screen-shots of it in use for common coding scenarios.  You can then download the color settings for either VS 2010 or VS 2008:

image

You can also optionally upload color schemes of your own if you have a good one you want to share with others. 

If you haven’t visited it yet – check it out: http://studiostyles.info/  And thank you Luke Sampson for building it!

Hope this helps,

Scott

Published Thursday, April 29, 2010 12:08 AM by ScottGu

Comments

# re: Download and Share Visual Studio Color Schemes

Thursday, April 29, 2010 3:19 AM by Mohamed Meligy

It's a brilliant site.

However, you need to watch out especially with dark schemes that they'll need more tweaks (the highlight and collapse options etc are not very well managed by the generated schemes).

Of course if you use Resharper you need extra tweaking.

BTW my favorite (base for my extra tweaks) is studiostyles.info/.../wekeroad-ink

It's the first in the top rated schemes also.

# re: Download and Share Visual Studio Color Schemes

Thursday, April 29, 2010 3:30 AM by caspar kleijne

Especially the white-on-white scheme is my favorite.

# re: Download and Share Visual Studio Color Schemes

Thursday, April 29, 2010 3:32 AM by Lee Englestone

A site like this is long overdue.

I find that once most developers find their ideal style they never go back.

Although the one I use isn't there. VibrantInk v2 or something.

-- Lee

# re: Download and Share Visual Studio Color Schemes

Thursday, April 29, 2010 3:41 AM by ScottGu

@Lee,

>>>>>>> Although the one I use isn't there. VibrantInk v2 or something.

Submit it and I'll give it a try! :-)

Scott

# re: Download and Share Visual Studio Color Schemes

Thursday, April 29, 2010 5:50 AM by Mohammad Mahdi Ramezanpour

Scott,

It's a cool site but I think the scheme page needs a paging capability. Currently it takes too long too load the page and it's sort of boring.

# re: Download and Share Visual Studio Color Schemes

Thursday, April 29, 2010 7:35 AM by Sreenivas

I downloaded the wekeroad-ink_vs2008 file. What to do with file to change my VS color scheme?

I am a newbie.Please reply.

# re: Download and Share Visual Studio Color Schemes

Thursday, April 29, 2010 8:23 AM by Joe Baker

Genius!  Hey Gu, any chance you have yours out there or could throw it out?  I believe it was requested a while back on one of your posts, but I never saw it.

# re: Download and Share Visual Studio Color Schemes

Thursday, April 29, 2010 10:06 AM by Kamran

THANK GOD SOMEONE DID THIS BEFORE I WAS FORCED TO.

# re: Download and Share Visual Studio Color Schemes

Thursday, April 29, 2010 10:13 AM by zir3

Thanks for info. :)

# re: Download and Share Visual Studio Color Schemes

Thursday, April 29, 2010 10:41 AM by Gipionocheiyort

I don't suppose there's any way to change the color of the Solution Explorer is there?  I've tried switching to dark themes before but my eye always gets pulled off to the brighter toolbars.

# re: Download and Share Visual Studio Color Schemes

Thursday, April 29, 2010 10:56 AM by zoldello

This is okay but nothing exciting. What would excite me is if the Visual Studio 2010 app's background (currently purple) can be customized.

# re: Download and Share Visual Studio Color Schemes

Thursday, April 29, 2010 11:37 AM by Rangoric

Oh hey I looked at this a bit ago and don't remember there being the previews when browsing, and left because of that. Now with the previews it's awesome.

# re: Download and Share Visual Studio Color Schemes

Thursday, April 29, 2010 12:09 PM by atmonline

thanks scott.

@Gipionocheiyort

install VS Color Theme Editor from Extension Manager (VS2010).

# re: Download and Share Visual Studio Color Schemes

Thursday, April 29, 2010 12:15 PM by Rangoric

@atmonline

Actually the solution explorer background is not able to be changed via that extension.

# re: Download and Share Visual Studio Color Schemes

Thursday, April 29, 2010 12:31 PM by fschwiet

Anyone ever find a dark scheme that doesn't look terrible when doing a database schema compare?

# re: Download and Share Visual Studio Color Schemes

Thursday, April 29, 2010 6:31 PM by zoldello

@Brian: Dude, thanks so much for the link on how to change Visual studio app color. Dude, you rock like an unexpected and huge year-end bonus!

# re: Download and Share Visual Studio Color Schemes

Thursday, April 29, 2010 10:55 PM by InfinitiesLoop

The Dark Side of Visual Studio, my biased favorite, has been ported to studio styles :)

studiostyles.info/.../the-dark-side-of-visual-studio

# re: Download and Share Visual Studio Color Schemes

Thursday, April 29, 2010 10:57 PM by Rangoric

Actually it's one of those things that is a PITA when doing in the IDE (open Menu scroll to setting change setting hit ok, ops not good enough open menu etc etc) so your site is really good for dealing with that.

I look forward to XAML support, as it is miles easier doing it on the website rather than in the IDE.

# re: Download and Share Visual Studio Color Schemes

Friday, April 30, 2010 2:06 AM by jack.niu

You just lead the style of visual studio!

# re: Download and Share Visual Studio Color Schemes

Friday, April 30, 2010 5:22 AM by Rasel Jabbar

Great idea! Thanks :-)

# re: Download and Share Visual Studio Color Schemes

Friday, April 30, 2010 8:14 PM by Adham

Given that the 5 top-rated themes are all dark themes, makes you wonder why VS doesn't ship with at least one official dark theme!

# re: Download and Share Visual Studio Color Schemes

Sunday, May 2, 2010 11:51 AM by drd

The site appears to be broken right now in IE8 + Win 7:

All the previews are black text on white background, no colors anywhere.

# re: Download and Share Visual Studio Color Schemes

Monday, May 3, 2010 6:33 AM by tiendq

Yes, many thanks Luke Sampson for building this useful site :)

# re: Download and Share Visual Studio Color Schemes

Tuesday, May 4, 2010 1:28 AM by shawpnendu

OH i tried it & found satisfactory. Nice guideline. Thanks scott.

# re: Download and Share Visual Studio Color Schemes

Tuesday, May 4, 2010 5:42 PM by naiman3000

hi

# re: Download and Share Visual Studio Color Schemes

Thursday, May 6, 2010 5:09 AM by nick

am I the only one who likes PDP-11 theme?