Color Schemes for the Visual Studio Editor


Developers with a bit of time on their hands have built some beautiful color schemes for the Visual Studio Editor. You can save download these settings files to your …\Documents\Visual Studio 2008\Settings directory. You can then access them by choosing:

  • Tools | Import and Export Settings
  • Import Selected environment settings
  • No, just import new settings
    • (Consider saving the old settings the first time you do this.)
  • Select the new settings from the "My Settings" folder as shown in Figure 1
  • Choose next and import All Settings.
    • As shown in Figure 2, these files only have data from the Fonts and Colors sections of your VSettings file, so nothing else will be overwritten

 

Figure01

Figure 1: Selecting the new fonts and colors for the Visual Studio Editor

 

Figure02

Figure 2: You will only import new Fonts and Colors, the rest of your settings will be untouched

If you have color schemes you want to share with others, you need merely reverse the process, as follows:

  • Tools | Import and Export Settings
  • Export Selected Environment Settings
  • Unselect all settings, then drill down to choose the Fonts and Colors Settings (All Settings | Options | Environment | Fonts and Colors)
    • See Figure 3
  • Press Next and choose a name for your file
  • Click Finish

Figure03


The Color Schemes

Various people, such as

Scott Hanselman, and Adam, have called out these schemes in the past. Here are a few of my favorites:

Here are the default settings to get you back where you started:

Some of these settings files rely on custom fonts. Here is an explanation of how to install fonts on Vista, and here are a few of the more popular fonts for developers:

kick it on DotNetKicks.com

Comments (5)

  1. You’ve been kicked (a good thing) – Trackback from DotNetKicks.com

  2. Can Erten says:

    I like mine a lot too, <a href="http://www.canerten.com/my-visual-studio-color-scheme-friendly-ide/">friendly ide color-scheme</a> optimized for C#, F# and C++ 🙂

    Thanks for sharing your favourites

  3. JFR says:

    I use the SubtleBlue theme now for C#.

    Thanks for sharing.

  4. MLE says:

    These are just what I was looking for.   Thanks for sharing!  Love the vibrant ink…

  5. Pierpaolo Simoncini says:

    Try my Elegant Blue scheme:

    <UserSettings>

    <ApplicationIdentity version="10.0"/>

    <ToolsOptions>

    <ToolsOptionsCategory name="Environment" RegisteredName="Environment"/>

    </ToolsOptions>

    <Category name="Database Tools" RegisteredName="Database Tools"/>

    <Category name="Environment_Group" RegisteredName="Environment_Group">

    <Category name="Environment_FontsAndColors" Category="{1EDA5DD4-927A-43a7-810E-7FD247D0DA1D}" Package="{DA9FB551-C724-11d0-AE1F-00A0C90FFFC3}" RegisteredName="Environment_FontsAndColors" PackageName="Visual Studio Environment Package">

    <PropertyValue name="Version">2</PropertyValue>

    <FontsAndColors Version="2.0">

    <Categories>

    <Category GUID="{2E5C7FFD-9738-4A39-9816-B10231B82AE6}" FontIsDefault="Yes">

    <Items>

    <Item Name="Text" Foreground="0x02000000" Background="0x02000000" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="SelectedText" Foreground="0x02000000" Background="0x02000000" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="InactiveText" Foreground="0x02000000" Background="0x02000000" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="DesignerSurface" Foreground="0x02000000" Background="0x02000000" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="LinkLabel" Foreground="0x02000000" Background="0x02000000" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="ElementTitle" Foreground="0x02000000" Background="0x02000000" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="NonElementTitle" Foreground="0x02000000" Background="0x02000000" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="Grid" Foreground="0x02000000" Background="0x02000000" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="GridHead" Foreground="0x02000000" Background="0x02000000" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="TagType" Foreground="0x02000000" Background="0x02000000" BoldFont="No"/>

    </Items>

    </Category>

    <Category GUID="{358463D0-D084-400F-997E-A34FC570BC72}" FontName="Tahoma" FontSize="13" CharSet="0" FontIsDefault="No">

    <Items/>

    </Category>

    <Category GUID="{3FFB3681-9B54-42B2-81D5-52453ADF56A6}" FontName="Tahoma" FontSize="8" CharSet="4" FontIsDefault="No">

    <Items>

    <Item Name="Surface" Foreground="0x02000000" Background="0x02000000" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="LinkLabel" Foreground="0x02000000" Background="0x02000000" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="Shape" Foreground="0x02000000" Background="0x02000000" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="ShapeTitle" Foreground="0x02000000" Background="0x02000000" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="SelectedShapeTitle" Foreground="0x02000000" Background="0x02000000" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="ActiveShapeTitle" Foreground="0x02000000" Background="0x02000000" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="SelectedShapeBorder" Foreground="0x02000000" Background="0x02000000" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="ShapeBorder" Foreground="0x02000000" Background="0x02000000" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="Grid" Foreground="0x02000000" Background="0x02000000" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="RelationLine" Foreground="0x02000000" Background="0x02000000" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="RelationLabel" Foreground="0x02000000" Background="0x02000000" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="SelectedRelationLine" Foreground="0x02000000" Background="0x02000000" BoldFont="No"/>

    </Items>

    </Category>

    <Category GUID="{40660F54-80FA-4375-89A3-8D06AA954EBA}" FontIsDefault="Yes">

    <Items>

    <Item Name="Plain Text" Foreground="0x02000000" Background="0x02000000" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="Selected Text" Foreground="0x02000000" Background="0x02000000" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="Inactive Selected Text" Foreground="0x02000000" Background="0x02000000" BoldFont="No"/>

    </Items>

    </Category>

    <Category GUID="{47724E70-AF55-48FB-A928-BB161C1D0C05}" FontIsDefault="Yes">

    <Items>

    <Item Name="Selected Text" Foreground="0x02000000" Background="0x02000000" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="Inactive Selected Text" Foreground="0x02000000" Background="0x02000000" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="Indicator Margin" Foreground="0x0100000B" Background="0x02000000" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="Line Numbers" Foreground="0x01000009" Background="0x02000000" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="Visible White Space" Foreground="0x01000009" Background="0x02000000" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="Bookmark" Foreground="0x02000000" Background="0x0100000B" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="Brace Matching (Rectangle)" Foreground="0x0100000B" Background="0x02000000" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="Breakpoint (Disabled)" Foreground="0x00FFFFFF" Background="0x00463A96" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="Breakpoint – Advanced (Disabled)" Foreground="0x00FFFFFF" Background="0x00463A96" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="Breakpoint – Mapped (Disabled)" Foreground="0x00FFFFFF" Background="0x00463A96" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="Call Return" Foreground="0x01000002" Background="0x0100000D" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="Code Snippet Field" Foreground="0x02000000" Background="0x00B4E4B4" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="CSS Comment" Foreground="0x01000005" Background="0x02000000" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="CSS Keyword" Foreground="0x0100000F" Background="0x02000000" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="CSS Property Name" Foreground="0x0100000C" Background="0x02000000" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="CSS Property Value" Foreground="0x0100000F" Background="0x02000000" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="CSS Selector" Foreground="0x01000004" Background="0x02000000" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="CSS String Value" Foreground="0x0100000F" Background="0x02000000" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="Current List Location" Foreground="0x0100000E" Background="0x01000007" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="Current Statement" Foreground="0x01000002" Background="0x0100000E" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="HTML Attribute" Foreground="0x0100000C" Background="0x02000000" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="HTML Attribute Value" Foreground="0x0100000F" Background="0x02000000" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="HTML Comment" Foreground="0x01000005" Background="0x02000000" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="HTML Element Name" Foreground="0x01000004" Background="0x02000000" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="HTML Entity" Foreground="0x0100000C" Background="0x02000000" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="HTML Operator" Foreground="0x0100000F" Background="0x02000000" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="HTML Server-Side Script" Foreground="0x01000002" Background="0x0100000E" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="HTML Tag Delimiter" Foreground="0x0100000F" Background="0x02000000" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="Memory Unreadable" Foreground="0x01000002" Background="0x0100000A" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="Number" Foreground="0x01000002" Background="0x02000000" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="Other Error" Foreground="0x01000005" Background="0x02000000" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="Read-Only Region" Foreground="0x01000002" Background="0x0100000A" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="Refactoring Current Field" Foreground="0x02000000" Background="0x00B4E4B4" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="String" Foreground="0x02000000" Background="0x02000000" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="Tracepoint (Disabled)" Foreground="0x00FFFFFF" Background="0x00463A96" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="Tracepoint (Enabled)" Foreground="0x00FFFFFF" Background="0x00463A96" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="Tracepoint (Error)" Foreground="0x00A3DBFF" Background="0x00463A96" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="Tracepoint (Warning)" Foreground="0x00FFFFFF" Background="0x00463A96" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="Tracepoint – Advanced (Disabled)" Foreground="0x00FFFFFF" Background="0x00463A96" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="Tracepoint – Advanced (Enabled)" Foreground="0x00FFFFFF" Background="0x00463A96" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="Tracepoint – Advanced (Error)" Foreground="0x00A3DBFF" Background="0x00463A96" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="Tracepoint – Advanced (Warning)" Foreground="0x00FFFFFF" Background="0x00463A96" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="Tracepoint – Mapped (Disabled)" Foreground="0x00FFFFFF" Background="0x00463A96" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="Tracepoint – Mapped (Enabled)" Foreground="0x00FFFFFF" Background="0x00463A96" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="Tracepoint – Mapped (Error)" Foreground="0x00A3DBFF" Background="0x00463A96" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="Tracepoint – Mapped (Warning)" Foreground="0x00FFFFFF" Background="0x00463A96" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="Track Changes after save" Foreground="0x02000000" Background="0x0100000D" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="Track Changes before save" Foreground="0x02000000" Background="0x0100000E" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="User Types" Foreground="0x01000007" Background="0x02000000" BoldFont="Yes"/>

    <Item Name="Warning" Foreground="0x01000008" Background="0x02000000" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="Warning Lines Path" Foreground="0x00A50000" Background="0x0062EEFF" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="XML Attribute Quotes" Foreground="0x02000000" Background="0x00FFFFFF" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="XML CData Section" Foreground="0x02000000" Background="0x02000000" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="XML Name" Foreground="0x01000004" Background="0x02000000" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="XSLT Keyword" Foreground="0x01000009" Background="0x02000000" BoldFont="No"/>

    </Items>

    </Category>

    <Category GUID="{4C889E8A-2BBB-4DC8-AE21-B1E4799D7631}" FontIsDefault="Yes">

    <Items>

    <Item Name="Diagram Background" Foreground="0x02000000" Background="0x02000000" BoldFont="No"/>

    </Items>

    </Category>

    <Category GUID="{5C48B2CB-0366-4FBF-9786-0BB37E945687}" FontIsDefault="Yes">

    <Items>

    <Item Name="Selected Text" Foreground="0x02000000" Background="0x02000000" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="Inactive Selected Text" Foreground="0x02000000" Background="0x02000000" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="Current List Location" Foreground="0x00A3DBFF" Background="0x01000007" BoldFont="No"/>

    </Items>

    </Category>

    <Category GUID="{6BB65C5A-2F31-4BDE-9F48-8A38DC0C63E7}" FontName="Consolas" FontSize="14" CharSet="0" FontIsDefault="No">

    <Items>

    <Item Name="Plain Text" Foreground="0x0000FFFF" Background="0x00800000" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="Selected Text" Foreground="0x02000000" Background="0x02000000" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="Inactive Selected Text" Foreground="0x02000000" Background="0x02000000" BoldFont="No"/>

    </Items>

    </Category>

    <Category GUID="{8259ACED-490A-41B3-A0FB-64C842CCDC80}" FontName="Tahoma" FontSize="13" CharSet="0" FontIsDefault="No">

    <Items/>

    </Category>

    <Category GUID="{9973EFDF-317D-431C-8BC1-5E88CBFD4F7F}" FontIsDefault="Yes">

    <Items>

    <Item Name="Selected Text" Foreground="0x02000000" Background="0x02000000" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="Inactive Selected Text" Foreground="0x02000000" Background="0x02000000" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="Current List Location" Foreground="0x00A3DBFF" Background="0x01000007" BoldFont="No"/>

    </Items>

    </Category>

    <Category GUID="{9E632E6E-D786-4F9A-8D3E-B9398836C784}" FontIsDefault="Yes">

    <Items>

    <Item Name="Plain Text" Foreground="0x02000000" Background="0x02000000" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="Selected Text" Foreground="0x02000000" Background="0x02000000" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="Inactive Selected Text" Foreground="0x02000000" Background="0x02000000" BoldFont="No"/>

    </Items>

    </Category>

    <Category GUID="{A27B4E24-A735-4D1D-B8E7-9716E1E3D8E0}" FontName="Consolas" FontSize="15" CharSet="0" FontIsDefault="No">

    <Items>

    <Item Name="Plain Text" Foreground="0x00FFFFFF" Background="0x005A0000" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="Selected Text" Foreground="0x00FF0000" Background="0x00FFFF00" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="Inactive Selected Text" Foreground="0x02000000" Background="0x00000000" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="Visible White Space" Foreground="0x02000000" Background="0x02000000" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="Brace Matching (Highlight)" Foreground="0x00FF00FF" Background="0x02000000" BoldFont="Yes"/>

    <Item Name="Brace Matching (Rectangle)" Foreground="0x02000000" Background="0x00808080" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="Breakpoint (Disabled)" Foreground="0x00800080" Background="0x02000000" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="Breakpoint (Enabled)" Foreground="0x00FFFFFF" Background="0x000000FF" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="Breakpoint (Warning)" Foreground="0x00FFFFFF" Background="0x00800080" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="Comment" Foreground="0x0000FF00" Background="0x005A0000" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="Compiler Error" Foreground="0x0000FFFF" Background="0x02000000" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="CSS Keyword" Foreground="0x02000000" Background="0x00800000" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="Current Statement" Foreground="0x00FF0000" Background="0x0062EEFF" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="Definition Window Current Match" Foreground="0x00800080" Background="0x02000000" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="Error Message" Foreground="0x00FFFFFF" Background="0x000000FF" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="MarkerFormatDefinition/HighlightedReference" Foreground="0x00000080" Background="0x00808080" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="Identifier" Foreground="0x00FFFF00" Background="0x005A0000" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="Keyword" Foreground="0x00BFBF00" Background="0x005A0000" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="Literal" Foreground="0x00FF00FF" Background="0x02000000" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="Number" Foreground="0x00FFFF00" Background="0x005A0000" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="Operator" Foreground="0x00008080" Background="0x005A0000" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="Other Error" Foreground="0x00FF00FF" Background="0x02000000" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="Preprocessor Keyword" Foreground="0x00FFD382" Background="0x005A0000" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="Refactoring Current Field" Foreground="0x02000000" Background="0x00FF0000" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="Refactoring Dependent Field" Foreground="0x001643F8" Background="0x02000000" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="Smart Tag" Foreground="0x02000000" Background="0x02000000" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="String" Foreground="0x00C0C0C0" Background="0x005A0000" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="Syntax Error" Foreground="0x00FFFFFF" Background="0x02000000" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="Text" Foreground="0x00FFFFFF" Background="0x02000000" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="Track Changes before save" Foreground="0x02000000" Background="0x00FFFFFF" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="User Types" Foreground="0x0048A4FF" Background="0x02000000" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="User Types(Delegates)" Foreground="0x00FF00FF" Background="0x02000000" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="User Types(Enums)" Foreground="0x0048A4FF" Background="0x02000000" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="User Types(Interfaces)" Foreground="0x0048A4FF" Background="0x02000000" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="User Types(Type parameters)" Foreground="0x0048A4FF" Background="0x02000000" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="User Types(Value types)" Foreground="0x0048A4FF" Background="0x02000000" BoldFont="No"/>

    </Items>

    </Category>

    <Category GUID="{A7EE6BEE-D0AA-4B2F-AD9D-748276A725F6}" FontName="Tahoma" FontSize="13" CharSet="0" FontIsDefault="No">

    <Items/>

    </Category>

    <Category GUID="{CE2ECED5-C21C-464C-9B45-15E10E9F9EF9}" FontIsDefault="Yes">

    <Items>

    <Item Name="Plain Text" Foreground="0x02000000" Background="0x02000000" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="Selected Text" Foreground="0x02000000" Background="0x02000000" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="Inactive Selected Text" Foreground="0x02000000" Background="0x02000000" BoldFont="No"/>

    </Items>

    </Category>

    <Category GUID="{EE1BE240-4E81-4BEB-8EEA-54322B6B1BF5}" FontName="Consolas" FontSize="12" CharSet="0" FontIsDefault="No">

    <Items>

    <Item Name="Plain Text" Foreground="0x0000FFFF" Background="0x00800000" BoldFont="Yes"/>

    <Item Name="Selected Text" Foreground="0x02000000" Background="0x02000000" BoldFont="No"/>

    <Item Name="Inactive Selected Text" Foreground="0x02000000" Background="0x02000000" BoldFont="No"/>

    </Items>

    </Category>

    </Categories>

    </FontsAndColors>

    </Category>

    </Category>

    </UserSettings>