Frequently Asked Questions

I can't open the .vssettings theme file I downloaded. What do I do with it?

You need to import the settings into Visual Studio. This might look like a lot of work, but it's pretty easy after you do it a couple of times.

  1. In Visual Studio, choose Tools > Import and Export Settings
  2. Choose Import Selected Environment Settings and select whether you want to back up your existing settings or not
  3. Click Browse... to choose the file you downloaded.
  4. You get a choice which settings you want to import - choose all of them since the file only contains color settings and won't touch your other VS settings.
  5. Click Finish and you'll see the new colors.

Note: if you save the file to My Documents > Visual Studio 2010 > Settings, you'll have quick access to choose the settings file in step 3 above.

Why are the colors wrong when I import them into Visual Studio 2010?

I've noticed sometimes Visual Studio will pick up glitches when you're changing settings, and restarting Visual Studio will fix this. If the colors still don't match what you see on the website, it's quite possible I've messed something up. Send me an email or use the feedback tab (left) to let me know and I'll try to fix it.

How do I change the colors of the Visual Studio 2010 IDE itself (e.g. toolbars)?

Check out this extension by Matthew Johnson.

Are the themes compatible with the free Express versions of Visual Studio?


Are the themes compatible with Visual Studio 2008/2005?

Yes, VS2008 and VS2005 are both supported. Some VS2010 colors that you see in the preview may not appear in older versions.

How do I edit color schemes that I've already submitted?

When you're logged in and viewing a scheme that you created, you should see an "Edit this scheme" link under the scheme title. You can also edit and delete your schemes from your user profile page (click your name/email/open ID at top right).

Is there a quick way to copy a color to lots of settings?

I find it's pretty easy to copy the hex code from one setting to other settings.

Who's behind this website?

I'm Luke Sampson, a web developer from Brisbane, Australia. I built this website in my spare time.

What did you use to make this website?

ASP.NET 4, MVC 2 and of course, Visual Studio 2010. Thanks to the Microsoft WebsiteSpark program for the free, awesome IDE.

Where is this website hosted?

It's hosted by StudioCoast. They're giving me a big discount on bandwidth for this website so I'm biased now, but prior to that I'd used their shared hosting for 18 months and had been very happy with their service and support. If you're an Australian web developer check them out - these guys know their .NET.

You're Australian. Why don't you spell it "colours"?

I prefer US spelling in a lot of cases, even though I was taught in school that it's wrong. There isn't really a 'wrong' in language, only a continuum between having no one and everyone understand you. I think US spelling is more easily understandable to more people, so I like it (sometimes). I don't feel the same way about that other US system, the Imperial measurement system.