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Ruby In Steel Color Schemes

Customizing the colo(u)rs of the IDE...
by Huw Collingbourne
Friday 11 January 2008.

Since our recent launch of the Text Edition a number of people have told us how nice it looks. Or at least, how nice our screenshots look. A couple of people were disappointed when they fired up the software to find that their copy didn’t look like that at all. So what’s different...?

The answer is simple: the colour scheme.

Recently I’ve been experimenting with dark colour schemes and you will see some of these in the screenshots on the page introducing the Text Edition. We’ve bundled up a set of eight alternative colour schemes with the Text Edition. This is how to load one of them:

- Select the Visual Studio Tools menu, then Import and Export Settings.
- Select Import selected environment settings. Click Next.
- Optionally select ‘Yes, save my current settings’ and browse to a directory in which to save them. Select Next.
- Select a colour scheme from those listed (or Browse to find a settings file). Click Next.

- Verify the options you are about to import (should be Options->Environment->Fonts and Colors).
- Click Finish. Then click Close to exit the wizard.

The Text Edition already has some colour schemes installed so you shouldn’t need to browse to find them. We haven’t yet got around to installing extra schemes into the Developer Edition so you may need to browse to locate them (the default location is C:\Program Files\SapphireSteel Software\Ruby In Steel\v1.0\Extras\Color Schemes). You can also download copies of all the colour schemes provided with the Text Edition from this page: Customize the Colours of the Ruby In Steel IDE; here you will also find a step-by-step tutorial on creating and saving your own colour schemes.

Bear in mind that our default colour schemes use standard Windows fonts such as Courier New and Lucida Console (one of my personal favourites). You can select fonts in the Tools->Options->Environment->Fonts and Colors dialog.

Some people prefer the Monaco font which is used on the Mac and seems to be a particular favourite among users of the Mac-based TextMate editor. If you like Monaco, you can download a Windows version from the WebDev Kung Fu site.

The Dark Ink Scheme (above) in Courier New

Dark Ink in Lucida Console

And finally, Dark Ink in Monaco...

So, in brief, now you know how to change the look of Ruby In Steel and Visual Studio, you can customize away to your heart’s content.

Have fun!

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  • Ruby In Steel Color Schemes
    13 January 2008, by Frank

    Very cool. I don’t see those vssettings files with the Developer Edition. Is that Text Edition only feature? Thanks.

    • Ruby In Steel Color Schemes
      13 January 2008, by Huw Collingbourne

      Users of the Developer Edition can download all our standard schemes from this page: The schemes work in both editions. We just happen to have integrated them more tightly into the Text Edition at the moment (in fact, the schemes are also available under the installation directory of the latest release of the Developer too).

      These colour schemes are proving to be quite popular so we shall probably create a few more over the next few months. Naturally, if any users come up with some nice schemes that they’d like to share, we’d be very happy to put them online for the benefit of others... ;-)

      best wishes


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