A very lazy but meticulous blogger

Visual Studio 2010 Dark Expression Blend Color Theme

with 85 comments

image_thumb_04B9B051_thumbAs you guys might already know, that Visual Studio 2010 & .NET Framework 4.0 has been released. All of the latest development tools from Microsoft are full of awesomeness. If you haven’t already got your hands on the latest version of Visual Studio, then below are few links that can get you started:

My Visual Studio Color Scheme

I have always preferred working in dark color schemes, but because the color of visual studio 2005 & 2008 was light, it was difficult to get a complete dark working environment.

But as the new Visual Studio IDE is built using WPF, we can customize the theme of the IDE using the Visual Studio Color Theme Editor. This is one of my favorite extensions for Visual Studio 2010. The extension comes with few built-in color schemes, that are actually quite good. But, I wanted my IDE to be more like Expression Blend. So, I have created my own theme for Visual Studio 2010, which is not yet complete. But, if you like it then give it a try.


Visual Studio 2010 Expression Theme

Some parts of the Visual Studio IDE like the Solution Explorer, Property Window, Scroll Bars etc are rendered natively (your current windows theme). So, there is no way (that I know) to customize the color of those particular parts of the IDE.


To import the Expression theme, install the Visual Studio Color Theme Editor extension and then import the file from the Customize Colors dialog.



The author of the extension has given detailed explanation about how to create the lighter version of the Expression Blend theme on his blog. Check out his post here or click here to download the gray theme.

Visual Studio 2010 Expression Theme

PS: If you enhance this theme, then please share.

Update (05/03/2010):

  • Fixed tool window button colors.
  • Fixed dropdown & combobox colors.

Update (05/20/2010):

  • Fixed panel tab hover colors.
  • Fixed command bar colors.

Written by Zuhaib

April 18th, 2010 at 5:30 pm