Once you go black...

Tuesday, Dec 2, 2008 2 minute read Tags: visual-studio random
Hey, thanks for the interest in this post, but just letting you know that it is over 3 years old, so the content in here may not be accurate.

So about 2 months ago I decided to start playing around with Visual Studio schemes to find something that was just right for dev work.

I'd always been a standard VS scheme user, white back, standard colours for the fonts. The only thing I did differently was use Consolas 10pt font.
Consolas is a beautiful font for coding in and I highly recommend anyone who hasn't tried it to get it going. It's a free download from the MS website, and I believe it's part of the Vista install.

So anyway, I'm out shopping for a new look for VS, white was soo 2003 and I needed a change.
Considering I started my programming back in *nix with Pico and Emacs (nope, never got into vi) I grew up on the white-on-black look.

I got sent this website - http://www.frickinsweet.com/tools/Theme.mvc.aspx, which is for generating VS scheme files with a few easy tweaks. With my exceptional graphics ability and knowledge of colour (I struggle to draw a stick person, and anyone who's met me knows I'm brilliant with colour from a fasion sence) I get cracking.
And it was a distaster, an utter disaster. I couldn't make out the fonts from the horrible contrasts between the black and fluro foreground!

With a quick reset of VS themes I was back on the hunt, and then I came across this - http://www.lnbogen.com/VisualStudioNet2005Colors.aspx.
It was beautiful, so I eagerly downloaded the theme, opened it up in VS and was pleasently surprised, it looked just as I'd hoped. I did a quick tweak to take the font size down to 10pt (I like to have a lot on the screen and smaller fonts help with that) and then I was in dark-scheme heaven.

And now, 2 months on, I couldn't think of changing back to a white-based scheme. When ever I'm helping someone else and they have a white-based scheme it hurts my eyes.

If you've never ventured into the relm of non-standard themes I strongly suggest you do. You don't know what you're missing out on!
There's a nice gallery on Scott Hanselmans blog - http://www.hanselman.com/blog/VisualStudioProgrammerThemesGallery.aspx or if you prefer to get really nerdy, check out the IDE hot-or-not! http://idehotornot.ning.com/