The Visual Studio Color Theme Editor provides you with a central location to control all your IDE colors. No more having to painfully edit each individual Fonts and Colors under Tools Options.

green visual studio theme

Personally, this extension rocks because it was the very first extension I ever wanted when I joined the VS team back in 2001. There was a joke among my coworkers in my office about why anyone would ever do this. And I said, “I would totally theme VS in a heartbeat!” 9 years later, it comes as no surprise I picked this extension to kick off the series.

To Install

Please see my post How To Install Visual Studio Extensions.

To Use

Once the extension is installed (see my guide for help), you’ll see a Theme menu option become available. The Theme menu lists multiple themes for you to choose from, including the old school Windows Classic look.

Windows Classic theme

To Customize

You can also create your own themes by clicking Theme – Customize Colors and choose from the hundreds(!) of color types Visual Studio has control over (i.e. UI elements that use the VS Color Service).

hundreds of colors exposed by the VS Color Service

You can create new themes

UI to create new theme

and save them as .vstheme files (just .xml) files to share with others.

Groovy groovy jazzy funk.vstheme xml file shown

More information

Make sure you check out the author’s blog post for a in-depth overview of the extension. It also includes instructions on what to do if you should hit the “Rainbow” bug if you had  this extension installed previously on Beta 2 before upgrading to the RC. (Don’t panic! The workaround is very easy.)

And don’t forget to check out what Zain’s been up to with his Visual Studio 2010 Tip of the Day series!

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