Setting up Color Themes in Visual Studio 2017 for Mac

I ran into a persnickity problem with VS2017 for Mac: it doesn’t support the Visual Studio .vsix file type that VS uses for extensions and plugins. That means you are not able to browse through the VS marketplace to download extensions using the Mac version of VS2017. Pretty sucky.

I very badly wanted a better visual theme for coding with, like Dracula, so I found a workaround: download the theme you want, unpack it, then manually copy the files over to the place VS2017 expects them to be.

Screen Shot 2017-12-06 at 11.56.53 AM.png

  1. Download the VS2017 theme you want. I like Dracula because it’s easy on my eyes.
  2. You’ll either download a .zip file or a .vsix file. If it’s a vsix file, rename the extension to .zip. Yup, VSIX files are just zip files.
  3. Extract the zip file into a folder.
  4. In VS2017, hit ⌘, to go to Preferences.
  5. Under the Text Editor → Color Theme heading click the Add button.
  6. Browse to the folder you extracted your theme’s zip files into.
  7. If you downloaded a .vsix file, browse to the themes folder and click on the .tmTheme file. If you downloaded a .vssettings file, browse to that file instead.
  8. Click Open and you’re all set. Restart VS2017 for the changes to take effect.
  9. You can now switch to your new theme by going back to Text Editor → Color Theme.
Published on December 6, 2017