SQL Server Management Studio 2012 Color Theme Extension Support

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I’m a big fan of the new SQL Server Management Studio…

Not so much a fan of the fact it doesn’t support themes as Visual Studio or have the well put together interface for extensions that Visual Studio does.  I mean – it uses the shell.. why not?  Either way, in an attempt to add theme support – I’ve found that extensions work pretty easily (at least the color theme for VS 2010 does).  See the screenshot above – do the following to replicate it on your box.

Note the use of the dark expression theme: http://www.nerdpad.com/visual-studio/visual-studio-2010-dark-expression-blend-color-theme

The source VS 2010 plugn: http://visualstudiogallery.msdn.microsoft.com/20cd93a2-c435-4d00-a797-499f16402378/

Unzip this to your SQL Server Management Studio path in the extensions folder ( for me was C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SQL Server\110\Tools\Binn\ManagementStudio\Extensions).


Start/restart SSMS, and customize the theme as necessary.

Also note that you can easily import existing syntax color themes from wherever (http://studiostyl.es/) as well.  I’m currently digging VS11 – Dark.

Have fun!

Comments

  1. Chris

    March 25, 2012

    Very cool,
    Could you post the instructions to get a Visual Studio Extension working with SSMS, I tried it with my extension but it didn’t work. I added to the vsixmanifest
    ssms
    I tried replacing

    Visual Studio MPF

    with

    and put it in the directory you pointed out.

    There’s a chance it’s failing because it needs something SSMS doesn’t have but I’d like to clarify I’m doing everything I need.

    • Avatar of bradgearon

      bradgearon

      April 27, 2012

      Which extension – I’m not sure everything will work. I will try to post some steps though.

  2. Chris

    March 25, 2012

    Looks like some of the XML didn’t work properly…
    Very cool,
    Could you post the instructions to get a Visual Studio Extension working with SSMS, I tried it with my extension but it didn’t work. I added to the vsixmanifest

    <IsolatedShell Version=”1.0″>ssms</IsolatedShell>

    I tried replacing

    <References>
    <Reference Id=”Microsoft.VisualStudio.MPF” MinVersion=”10.0″>
    <Name>Visual Studio MPF</Name>
    </Reference>
    </References>

    with

    <References />

    and put it in the directory you pointed out.

    There’s a chance it’s failing because it needs something SSMS doesn’t have but I’d like to clarify I’m doing everything I need.

  3. Colin Blakey

    March 27, 2012

    Brad,

    Thanks for figuring this one out. I’m just at this point and you’ve saved me a lot of time

  4. sanme98

    April 8, 2012

    Hi,

    I try installed it at SQL Server Management Studio 2012 64bit, but it seem like not working. Don’t have Theme menu come out.

    How to solve this problem?

    Thank you very much.

  5. Bill Mitchell

    May 1, 2012

    This is just what I am looking for. Thanks, Brad!

    I haven’t got it to work though. I am using SQL Server 2008 R2 64bit. There is no folder structure as you listed (i.e., C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SQL Server\110\Tools\Binn\ManagementStudio\Extensions).

    Mine looks like this: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SQL Server\100\Tools\Binn.

    I created the \ManagementStudio\Extensions\VSTheme structure under that and placed the files there, but nothing showed up in the menu after restarting SSMS.

    Am I barking up the wrong tree?

  6. Bill Mitchell

    May 2, 2012

    On further review, I didn’t notice at first that you are referring to SQL 2012, so I am barking up the wrong tree. From all indications, extensions are not natively supported in versions prior to 2012.

    If anyone comes up with a solution for SQL Server 2008, that would be wonderful.

    Blessings,

    BIll

  7. Aaron

    May 11, 2012

    I have SQL Server 2012 (32 bit) installed and am unable to get this to work.

    I have the VSTheme folder sitting (extracted) in this folder:
    C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SQL Server\110\Tools\Binn\ManagementStudio\Extensions

    When I fire up SSMS it gives me the warning about an Extension not working and about using the Activity Log.

    Any thoughts?

    Thanks,
    -Aaron

  8. MNDBA

    May 15, 2012

    I got it to work by copy my files from C:\Users\xxxx\AppData\Local\Microsoft\VisualStudio\10.0\Extensions\Microsoft\Visual Studio Color Theme Editor\1.3 into folder C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SQL Server\110\Tools\Binn\ManagementStudio\Extensions\VSTheme

    • dave

      August 8, 2012

      Thanks MNDBA, and Brad. This is very much needed for SSMS and the simple copy paste of those files fixed it.

  9. Jason

    September 21, 2012

    If you receive an error message on start up on SSMS. I got it working again by removing the PublicKeyToken= ############ from ThemeManagerPackage.pkgdef file.

    The the numbers and letters. Leave the work public token=.

    # are numbers/letters.

  10. Brad

    November 1, 2012

    Is there a version of this tool that works with the new “Visual Studio 2012 Color Theme Editor”?

    Current extension just gives an error message…

  11. Arthur

    November 27, 2012

    hey guys, using the suggestions above, i finally got it to work for SQL Management Studio 2012 ..

    1. install the 2010 plugin: http://visualstudiogallery.msdn.microsoft.com/20cd93a2-c435-4d00-a797-499f16402378/
    2. find the files somehwere in “C:\Users\xxxxx\AppData\Local\Microsoft\VisualStudio\10.0\Extensions\” .. for me, it was in “\shvn3avp.com” for the current version of the plugin.
    3. copy those files to a new folder: “C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SQL Server\110\Tools\Binn\ManagementStudio\Extensions\VSTheme”

    4. now get the extension.vsixmanifest file from brad’s vstheme.zip file and replace the one in “…ManagementStudio\Extensions\VSTheme”.

    The important difference in the vsixmanifest files is the lines:

    ssms
    instead of visual studio product numbers

    good luck!

  12. Arthur

    November 27, 2012

    removes angle brackets..

    The important difference in the vsixmanifest files is the lines:

    <SupportedProducts>
    <IsolatedShell Version=”1.0″>ssms</IsolatedShell>
    instead of visual studio product numbers

    good luck!
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

  13. Alex

    December 7, 2012

    I tried everything. Copied files from VS location. Used both manifest files (VS’s and one from download), played with public key.

    Still complains about VSColorManager

  14. c4rlos

    December 12, 2012

    Hi there,

    I haven’t been able to make this work. I’ve already tried everything, but i get an error just as I run SSMS 2012. The error message is:

    The ‘VsColorManager.ThemeManagerPackage,
    ThemeManagerPackage, Versión=1.0.0.0, Culture Neutral,
    PublicKeyToken=b77701e8b495028a’, package did not load correctly.

    The problem may have been caused by a configuration change or by the installation of another extensión.

    Right now, I don’t know what else to try

    • Lucidus

      April 10, 2013

      @c4rlos
      Same problem here .. but it worked at the beginning till i installed SSMSBoost Add-In.
      After installation it throws this error every time i start up SSMS and/or when i load a saved session via SSMSBoost Add-In.
      So it seems to be a Add-In compatibility problem.
      Looking forward for a “solution” ;-)

    • Markul

      April 11, 2013

      For those who have the folloing problem

      The ‘VsColorManager.ThemeManagerPackage,
      ThemeManagerPackage, Versión=1.0.0.0, Culture Neutral,
      PublicKeyToken=b77701e8b495028a’, package did not load correctly.

      You have to run SSMS 2012 with Administrator rights! That’s all.
      To avoid error on startup you can simply remove that VSTheme folder, the theme will remain.

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