As a developer I spend probably way too much time in front of Visual Studio, and if you are like me you start optimizing the color schemes, fonts, and layout of code for maximum readability. And it is a huge pain in the butt if you have to port these settings and preferences across multiple computers for work, home, and whatever other computer you sometimes program at. That is why I was delighted to stumble across studiostyles.info, which allows you to configure the color schemes of Visual Studio. It even generates compatible settings files for Visual Studio 2005, 2008, and 2010, so there is no more need to keep multiple settings files in sync across your machines for the different flavors of Visual Studio you program in.
While most of the top styles are dark themes, I was delighted to see that Jeff Atwoods theme was in the top 10 as of writing this and it was a light theme. I don’t particularity like the dark themes, but they seem to be popular with a certain crowd, and I can’t really fault people for using what helps them be a more productive coder. But my preferences are with a lighter theme, actually a slightly modified Visual Studio default theme.
The reason I eventually stumbled across this set of colors and styles was out of necessity of quickly seeing the different elements in the code with out having to study the code too hard. Here are the basics:
- Interfaces, Delegates, and Numbers are all Magenta
- Pre-processors are all Bold Purple
- Strings are Brick Red with a slight Yellow background.
- Line Numbers are White with Dark Grey background.
- Everything else is default Visual Studio
The two elements of my style that standout the most are the Magenta colored Interfaces, Delegates, and Numbers and the Strings with the slight Yellow background. I did this on purpose, because I wanted to in the case of Interfaces, Delegates, and Numbers differentiate them from the Aqua colored User Types, because they act differently than User Types and should be brought to your attention when you are using them. In the case of the strings I really wanted to notice the start and end of strings, and the Brick Red color just wasn’t doing it for me, so I added the slight Yellow background and it has made all the different in bringing strings to the forefront of my focus. Because to be honest I hate using strings, because they cause headaches if you pass too many of them around, so I wanted to notice them, plus I use to have this bad habit of not adding the end quote to the string.
Like it or hate it this Visual Studio scheme represents me.
If you like it, or think it is a good starting point for your preferences, please feel free to download it from here, http://www.studiostyles.info/schemes/coderjournal