Stack OverflowColor Themes for Eclipse?
[+215] [11] John Stauffer
[2008-09-18 21:06:46]
[ eclipse editor themes color-scheme ]

I am a recovering Emacs user, who is trying to ease into Eclipse usage. (Since I'm encouraging the rest of the team to use it, I guess I should at least try to get along).

My current excuse is that it hurts my eyes. I'm currently using the excellent zenburn [1] theme in emacs, and would love to find it for eclipse. However, I find that changing my color theme every few months makes for a great way to procrastinate, so ideally I'd like to find a repository for eclipse color themes.

There don't appear to be any eclipse themes indexed by Google, so all the great themes must be sitting on your hard disk somewhere. Please share them.


(2) Why did you accept larsivi's answer? It is not an answer to your question. - Nathan Feger
I read it as an answer stating: "It's not possible" - John Stauffer
(1) It is actually possible. - Abarax
(2) Abarax - If it's possible, then please post how, and I'll select your answer as accepted. - John Stauffer
I too would like to be able to adjust the default colour scheme in Eclipse. The black on white default drives me a bit crazy. I don't have the patience to make make all of the hundreds of adjustments necessary to make my own theme but would love to use someone elses - Matty
It is now almost June. Not one Eclipse theme? - leek
Zend Studio is built on Eclipse - does anybody know if these will work for it? - Nathan Long
FWIW, I've created a Github mirror for the color schemes on It includes the script and can be found on - demonkoryu
Gosh. This makes me want to do all of my Java in jEdit. - User1
(24) There already is a site for this: - Thomas Ferris Nicolaisen
[+203] [2009-08-08 07:02:58] user31273 [ACCEPTED]

Update The alternative better solution is the Eclipse Color Theme plugin [1]. My method was in place until somebody created just this plugin. Thanks!

I just found an alternative way of importing/exporting themes from Eclipse that is relatively easier (doesn't require manual editing of a file).

Essentially there are two files we want to copy or overwrite:



(Side note: On Linux/Mac, the directory is [workspace]/.metadata/.plugins/org.eclipse.core.runtime/.settings/, Thanks Scott [2])


org.eclipse.jdt.ui.prefs = Syntax Coloring

org.eclipse.ui.editors.prefs = Text Editors

I converted anonfunc's themes from into the new format. Also I created my own :)

Finally, if somebody wants to create more themes I can post them on my blog [3] with credits. Here are some color schemes [4] ideas to get you going.

Download theres here: ( Alt. site 1 [5], Alt. site 2 [6])

Theme Gallery

Inkpot Inkpot

Sula (My theme) Sula (My theme)

Vibrant Ink Vibrant Ink

Wombat Wombat

Zenburn Zenburn


(2) Thanks this was useful ^^ - Alberto Zaccagni
(1) Awesome! I started to use a dark theme for my Linux Environment (KDE) and without this files I was not able to work with Eclipse because I couldnt see much :) Thanks - lostiniceland
(5) It's worth noting that on Linux/Mac installs of Eclipse, the path is actually: [workspace]/.metadata/.plugins/org.eclipse.core.runtime/.settings/ - Scott Anderson
(1) -1 for all the ads on the Download link. - Jonas
I don't own the file hosting provider, why do I get the down vote? ;-; - user31273
(3) Any other download link? I couldn't figure out how to get them to download. - Jeff Brown
(1) Click where it says click here :) "Save file to your PC: click here" - user31273
(4) There are plenty of better choises including some free source repositories like And thanks for themes. - Petr Gladkikh
(1) That download site really is terrible. Great themes though, thanks! - zombat
(1) Uploaded to two more download sites, also on my blog hosted on Google - user31273
(1) the zenburn theme makes xml files completely unreadable - wanted new colours for android dev but it uses lots of xml - rotary_engine
I removed the outdated rapidshare link (they've taken the file down). - Adam Tuttle
I know this is an old post, but do you happen to have the Sula theme for EPIC (Perl) plugin? I see this was your theme last year and I'd like to make it my theme this year :) - vol7ron
@vol7ron I haven't worked with that particular plug-in. However, feel free to use those colors if you want to manually set the colors. - user31273
@srand: Yeah, I wanted to get started right away, so I manually set the colors. It took forever, It's not Sula, but I got it to how I like it. Something similar, green/white/grey/blue/orange on a dark grey/black background. It's nice. Thanks for the inspiration. - vol7ron
Just wanted to say thanks for the themes! - Rich
(1) This solution is quite outdated, get the eclipse color theme plugin at - Matty F
I agree. Matty can you post it as a new answer too? - user31273
[+130] [2011-01-27 11:19:22] Robert Munteanu

A new service has just launched: Eclipse color themes [1]. It applies one single color theme for the following editors and views: php, ant, sql, java, text, html, css, xml, console, javascript , cpp and more [2].

It supports themes handled by either direct import - .epf file - or by using the Eclipse Color Theme plugin [3].

Site screenshot

There is a how to import a theme page [4] and there are already 22 themes listed. You can even create your own theme [5].


Very nice, will check this out. - demonkoryu
(4) This is by far the easiest and simplest way to install colour themes on Eclipse, that I've seen. This should be the accepted answer. +1. - gpmcadam
thanks that was what I was looking for some time. - systemsfault
Thanks - this is awesome! - GrahamMc
(2) Add color customization to any application and start tapping into peoples' creativity... 4199 themes listed now! - Michael Kjörling
[+20] [2011-01-06 23:15:31] fhd

I'm working on an Eclipse plugin to manage color themes:

There is an update site with an early alpha release that supports the plain text and Java editors. I'm currently in the procress of adding support for more editors, at least XML, HTML, CSS, JavaScript and C++. The currently included themes are Inkpot and Zenburn.

edit: The plugin supports tons of editors by now, and you can download more themes from

the link gives 404? - nimcap
(1) Fixed the link, sorry :P - fhd
(5) By far the best solution to date. - Matty F
Great solution. - drozzy
[+17] [2009-08-05 00:27:09] anonfunc

I've posted some color schemes and an example script to extract them from Eclipse's preference files at

Essentially, I'm treating an subset of the Eclipse preferences as a color scheme, and using Eclipse's import functionality to apply the colors.

Saving a color scheme involves exporting all preferences and then removing non-color settings.

That's awesome that you set this up. I've been secretly hoping someone would do this. Thanks! - John Stauffer
(1) How can I import the default settings? I used some of your themes, and want to turn it back to the default. - Alex Baranosky
I returned it to default using the method of the above answer. - Alex Baranosky
That was pure awesomeness, I was writing the script when I found this answer. I'm keeping all my .epf files under version control from this moment on... - Fernando
Much thanks for the Wombat scheme. It's my favorite Vim scheme. :) - demonkoryu
[+4] [2009-03-07 19:32:14] Trevor Stow

Here's a guy who posted his eclipse preferences.

I just imported the above file. It was painless.

Setting up your own color theme in Flex Builder (which is, I think, built on top of Eclipse, I think) is pretty tedious. I'd recommend looking for a preferences file to import, at least as a starting point.

[+4] [2009-11-29 18:09:05] Krzysiek Goj

I've started proof of concept plug-in that manages color themes.

It's called Eclipse Pimp, and it's free software (3-clause BSD license).

Pimp is in early development and it isn't really usable yet.


I never had time to turn Eclipse Pimp into something serious.

Apparently Eclipse Color Themes [1] is the way to go :)


[+3] [2009-03-06 02:35:38] Marcel Tjandraatmadja

It is possible to import/export colour themes in Eclipse:

File -> Import -> General -> Preferences File -> Export -> General -> Preferences

At this time I am also searching for themes, but I cannot find any.

Oh my gosh! The last time I tried to find a way to import/export particular settings, there was no support for this. I'm glad to see that there is now. - Mike Daniels
[+3] [2009-11-21 22:44:16] Jim

Just wanted to note that it seems that color themes are language-specific, that is, Eclipse-CDT (for C/C++ Development) has different theme files than Eclipse-JDT (for Java Development), etc.

So far, these have been JDT themes, but since you didn't specify your language, I figure I'd throw in a link for a CDT theme.

Consider the Eclipse-CDT Theme Generator here:

[+2] [2009-10-13 17:07:11] user189278

First off thank you srand for your troubles, the Zenburn theme has really helped my eyes during late night programming.

That being said though I do want to point out a couple of things:

1 - The file [org.eclipse.jdt.ui.prefs] does not just contain color attributes and replacing it might overwrite other settings (for me it overwrote "spelling_user_dictionary=/dicts/eclipseDict.txt" and "breadcrumb.perspective=true", besides other values)

2 - The Compare editor for some of the themes makes it very difficult to see the difference between two files (especially if it's a normal text file like).

3 - Some files get really strange colors, for me the SQL files became quite unreadable.

My solution is just to copy the themes for those iknowexactlywhattochangeandwhere programming rushes and then change it back when I'm casually updating files here and there.

Hope the developers at Eclipse take heed to our whinings and make a theme editor (fingers crossed)


This should be a comment on srand's answer, because this isn't an answer. - TreeUK
[+1] [2010-02-10 02:22:47] viking overlord

I loved the pre set themes. I am currently using SULA but I wasn't able to set the "hover" back ground color anywhere using the UI. With the default "yellow" 255,255,225(RGB) you are unable to see the SULA text correctly. I grep'ed the pref files for the "yellow" RGB values.

I found this file for CDT and my c++. I'm sure there will be other lang specific files to adjust.



modify or add these these lines to file. RGB is the color format. Set to value which matches your "theme". I used the SULA theme (many thanks) and so I set the hover BG to black(0,0,0).

////// modified this line

///// had to add this line

[+1] [2010-03-12 02:20:25] Maroloccio

Your prompt: "There don't appear to be any eclipse themes indexed by Google, so all the great themes must be sitting on your hard disk somewhere. Please share them."

My answer: I am not sure whether I have a "great" theme for you but building on some experience writing a Vim colour scheme [1] I have tried my hand at making one for Eclipse too [2]. (It's still in its infancy, mind you, hence the v0.0.1.)

Feel free to use it if you like it (do keep the header with my e-mail in it so that I may receive feedback from users) and especially feel free to customise it if you wish, the structure in it should provide ample opportunity for personalisation. It's not a migration script per se but I think if you know your way around 's/colour1/colour2/g' you should be fine with just a template! It has stubs for:

  • Abstract Text Editor
  • C/C++ (CDT)
  • Build Console (CDT)
  • Java (JDT)
  • HTML (WST)
  • XML (WST)
  • CSS (WST)
  • JavaScript (JSDT)
  • Python (PyDev)
  • Subversion (Tigris) ... and more.

Let me know what you think if you use it...

PS: I almost forgot - here's a screenshot of it highlighting Java.

Java highlighting