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Visual Studio 2013 Tips & Tricks: Themes, Fonts and Colors

imageThis is probably going to date me, but does anyone out there remember the old green screens that developers had to work on back in the day?  Well, I do.  They were really black screens with green text (or black on green in some cases), but as you know, we have come a long way.

Fast forward to today and we have super high resolution monitors with millions of colors.  The development environments now have icons, text, controls, animations, etc.  Enter, Visual Studio 2013.  Okay, for those who have been using previous Visual Studio versions, know very well, that this isn’t something new, but it supports a bunch of ways to customize your development environment, such as overall themes, fonts and colors.  Let’s take a look…

Visual Studio 2013 has three built in themes, Blue, Dark and Light.  To access them, simply type in Theme in the Quick Launch box and select Environment –> General


You will see the following Options screen, which allows you to pick the Visual experience.  Go ahead and play around with the three settings and see which one you like the best.  My latest personal favorite has been the Dark theme.  It really helps me focus.  Here is what the three themes (Light, Blue, Dark) look like in Visual Studio 2013.







Fonts and Colors

Outside of the actual themes, you can also change the fonts and colors of your text editor for a specific theme.  So, in a sense, you can create your own look and feel.  You can change font sizes, colors and even highlighting.  Simply go to Tools | Options | Environment | Fonts and Colors.  You can also use Quick Launch, by typing in Fonts and Colors.

Once the option is selected, you should see the following dialog:

From here, you can change your font, it’s size, background color and even set it to ‘Bold’.  Notice that you can set each individual display item and customize it to your desire.  For example, you can set plain text to orange, line numbers to white, and class block to red:

Pretty awesome huh?  Well, play around with it and happy theming!

If you liked this post, please share it with someone.  Come on back again for more tips, tricks and great posts.


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