May 032012

I’m normally not a fan of messing with Management Studio’s default configuration unless I’m going to be using that version for a long, sustained period – I frequently use other environments that don’t allow me to have customised settings.

At the moment, I’m mainly using just two computers, and thought a change of scenery would be nice. Here’s a pretty screenshot:


There’s two main components here – font selection and colour selection. Anyone who’s used Visual Studio or Management Studio 2012 will recognise the Consolas font (11pt), which is incredibly nicer to read than the default Courier New. I believe Consolas is available with Word 2007, so most machines should have this preinstalled.

The colour scheme was originally inspired by Solarized which is incredibly well designed and thought out. I made quite a few adjustments to add a few more vibrant colours (such as the white for SQL operators, a brighter green, a brighter yellow, and a blacker background, heavily influenced by Son of Obsidian), and this has had the detrimental effect that pasting coloured text onto a white background (such as email) doesn’t work too well. The original Solarized is great in that it works well on either light or dark backgrounds.

Switching back to the default colours does significantly shock your eyes due to the brightness, so I’m enjoying the comfort of the soft colours.

To install, simply backup your [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Microsoft SQL Server\100\Tools\Shell\FontAndColors\{A27B4E24-A735-4D1D-B8E7-9716E1E3D8E0}] registry key, and load in this new set (standard disclaimer about being careful with your registry, make sure you know what you’re doing, don’t blame me, etc). You can then either restart SSMS, or go to the Tools, Options, Environements, Fonts and Colors and simply click OK.

Enjoy, and if you make any changes, please let me know – I’d be interested in trying it!

Update – August 28, 2012: Bill Hurt has sent through a slightly modified version which changes the line numbers and background colours to a deep black/brown that goes well with the rest of the colour scheme. It’s certainly worth a look! Download here.