Several months ago I started my hunt for a decent low contrast theme for Visual Studio and I came across a very extensive article on the subject by Scott Hanselman. I tried several themes but the one that caught my attention was Oren Ellenbogen’s Dark Scheme which is based on the Zenburn theme.
One thing that I do not like about the original themes, being a Silverlight and a WPF developer, is the fact that the XML colors were not configured. In addition to that, the output window uses a horrifying green-colored font that can make your eyes pop. Apart from those two problems I consider the two themes to be the best low contrast themes available.
I have made some adjustments to the original themes and I came up with my version which I use every day. Now the output window uses more subtle font color and the XML markup look a lot better. Here is the Zenburn Remixed:
I have attached a zip file that contains a Visual Studio 2008 setting file that you can use to apply the Zenburn Remixed theme. To do that just open Visual Studio, go to Tools –> Import and Export settings, and follow the wizard.
Many thanks to the guys that compiled the original themes.