SQL Stuff

SSMS 2016 Fonts And Colors What Is What

Here’s a quick and dirty guide to see where to modify certain fonts, and colors.

If you want to skip directly to the download… The Download is also available as .doc All you need to do is drop the .doc extension, and load up the .vssettings file.


Here’s everything I modified on my 2016 Management Studio.

Plain Text

Selected Text

Line Number

Brace Matching

BreakPoint (Enabled)

BreakPoint – Selected

Collapsible Region


Find Scope Highlight


SQL Operator

SQL Stored Procedure

SQL String

SQL System Function

SQL System Table



Track Changes Before Save

Track Changes After Save

Outlining Margin Square

Outlining Margin Vertical Rule

Starting with ‘Plain Text’. As you can see here; you can modify the basic text colors, and more importantly the background.

Plan Text is found here:

Once you do this you’ll notice the highlighting of the current line becomes almost too bright, and can be quite annoying, and maybe even throw of your rhythm. So; to remove that you’ll need to go to the general options and uncheck ‘Highlight Current Line’.

Here’s how to turn off the Current Highlighting. To go Tools, Options, and then click on ‘General’. Uncheck ‘Highlight Current Line’.

If you want to change the general highlighting color whenever you select a bunch of syntax you can use the ‘Selected Text’.

Selected Text found here:

Here’s where the ‘Line Number’ is located.

Line Number can be found here:

The ‘Brace Matching’ is when the bracket you’re using gets closed, and you see the first one also highlighted. In this example I am using the Parenthesis around the number 16.

Brace Matching can be found here:

All the breakpoint colors and fonts can be found here and are all located together so I’ll just show you what I modified, and you can experiment with the rest. Here you have the breakpoint color modified along with it’s border.

In this case the ‘Breakpoint (Enabled)’ was modified, and the border color you’ll see below. Whenever you click on the text within the breakpoint it will shows the border color.

Here’s where you modify the border color of the breakpoint once it’s selected. It’s called ‘Breakpoint – Selected’.

Here’s the ‘Collapsible Region’. Normally this is super bright and really messes with your eyes while you work through your logic cause every time the cursor passes over the collapsible region it flashes at you. Here; I’m modifying it to be nearly the same color as a usual highlight or (Selected Text) as you see above.

Here’s where you can find the Collapsible Region’:

Here’s where you can modify the ‘Comment’ color. Here; as you can see I’m using the green you’ll usually find in Monokai.

The Comment color can be found here:

Here’s where you can find the bullet icon in the left margin for whenever you do a ‘find’ on your syntax. This is the ‘Find Scope Highlight’

Here’s where you can find the ‘Find Scope Highlight’.

Here’s where you can modify the ever so popular ‘Keyword’.

Keyword can be found here:

To modify the ‘SQL Operator’ color you can (and probably should) use a bright color which is basically dedicated only to the operators. I know some of you already wondering what the operators are. There are all kinds. Most basic would be the Logical, Compound, and Numeric operators.

Things like this = &, %, (), <> ALL, AND, ANY, BETWEEN, NOT, OR, SOME, EXISTS etc… More on operators can be found here if you’re curious:

SQL Operators can be found here:

‘SQL Stored Procedures’ are using a color from the Monokai theme. Incidentally; I’m using this for both the stored procedures, and the SQL Strings.

Here’s where you can find the ‘SQL Stored Procedure’:

To change the colors of the strings simply find the ‘SQL String’. You’ll see in my examples that the strings use a Monokai color, as do the Stored Procedures.

The SQL String can be found here:

I colored the ‘SQL System Function’ to be purple based on the Monokai theme.

The SQL System Function color can be found here:

My ‘SQL System Table’ colors are bright green. I might end up changing this at a later point, but you can easily find them in your logic this way. Extremely helpful in Joins.

You can find the SQL System Table color here:

I added this next one in for kicks. Although we already addressed the ‘SQL String’ colors above; we can still make the general ‘String’ color consistent by making it the same.

As with ‘Text’; I went ahead, and made it the same as the Plain Text above.

Whenever you modify a line, delete a line, add a line you’ll see on the left of the editor a vertical line which is keeping track of changes. That line in the SSMS is called the ‘Track Changes before save’ item. Formerly this was bright green. It goes away once it’s saved, but for a dark theme the bright green was too much so I made it a lite shade of red.

Here’s where you can find the Track Changes before save item:

Additionally; you can always change the color to something else; to show syntax was modified. However; as with my theme I made it the same color as the background so it disappears once the changes are saved.

Here’s where you can change the ‘Outlining Margin Square’. This modifies the collapsible reference on the left side of all statements. This is usually pretty bright so I reduced the color to be 2 shades of grey.

Here’s where you can find the Outlining Margin Square color:

You can also modify the vertical rule beneath it. It’s called the ‘Outlining Margin Vertical Rule’.

Here’s where you can find the Outlining Margin Vertical Rule:

Categories: SQL Stuff

3 replies »

  1. Could you perchance do an export of only Fonts and Colors and post the resulting text in the .vssettings file to here e.g. on your /2016/06/03/how-to-modify-the-ssms-2016-theme-with-monokai-reference/ or simply to pastbin if that would be more convenient? Your mikes_ssms_2016_theme.zip file does not contain the fonts and colors info SSMS 2017 is looking for, and I’m curious to see what SSMS 2016 exports for solely Fonts and Colors.

    (And example of an SSMS 2017 Fonts and Colors export is located here: pastebindotcom/LSJXrHpG)

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