Ever wanted to work more on your code, but you eyes wouldn’t let you do so? Well, the cure to your problem is – change your Visual Studio Theme. Visual Studio is one of the most pluggable software ever than you can see. You can almost do anything with it. One of the most important one is its theme.
I used to wonder why Windows Vista shifted in black theme as the default. Well black color or basically dark colors can really save your eyes, its been scientifically proven. Old DOS with its black background and white foreground is more human friendly than the present day OS. Not only that, if you are a CRT user, you will know that the black pixel can save lot of power (LCD has negligible amount of power difference due to its nature).
Below is the screenshot of my Visual Studio in Black theme hope you will like it. Its actually a slight modification to the original ghost rider theme which can be downloaded from here. It adds better color support for XAML and snippets like the ones in for-each.
It seems to work totally well with visual studio 2008 but seems to have a problem with visual studio 2010 beta 1 due to a bug. I have already posted the bug to Microsoft Connect. Hope they solve it soon. (Even others seems to be having problems with their own themes. Visual Studio 2010 beta 1 doesn’t tend to remember the background color so always resets to white when it is restarted.) This bug has been fixed. For more info please read my Visual Studio 2010 Beta 1 Theme Patch post to learn how to fix it.
Note: The font used is Consolas which comes preinstalled with Windows Vista and up. But incase you want to use it for your Windows XP, Windows Server 2003 or others you can either download from below or from the official Microsoft link over here.
CurrentSettings.vssettings (252.68 kb) (Right Click and Save Target As …) This same theme for Eclipse IDE can be downloaded from http://blog.prabir.me/post/Dark-Eclipse-Theme.aspx . [UPDATE] An updated version for Visual Studio 2010 can be found at http://blog.prabir.me/post/My-Dark-Visual-Studio-Theme-Update.aspx or directly downloaded at Prabir.vssettings (209.98 kb) [For VS2010] (Right click and Save Target As ...)
Due to the popularity. I moved moved the themes to be in source control, which can be found at http://gitorious.org/themes. If any one of you would like to contribute your own theme or extend my dark theme please post it in the comment below. My dark themes for various IDEs and text editors can be download from http://www.ohloh.net/p/themes/download