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Make It Your Way: XojoThemes

As developers, we often like to have things set up and configured in our own way and our favorite IDE itself, Xojo, is certainly no exception. Xojo allows you to customize it in lots of way but today I want to talk about theming the IDE, or specifically the code editor.

Xojo has always had the ability to customize colors of tokens in the code editor. For example, you can open up Xojo’s Preferences and change the colors of keywords, strings, comments and much more, as well as the font and font size. Other than making things look pretty, there are practical reasons for doing all of this. You may find certain themes are easier on your eyes, especially as you age. Or you may want to have one color scheme for daytime, such as a light background with bright colors for the tokens, and a different color scheme for late night coding, such as a dark grey background with more subdued token colors.

Xojo Code Editor Preferences

In 2014 I built a little app called XojoThemes which allows you to create and name your own themes for Xojo. A theme is effectively a collection of these preferences saved into a single file. So, a theme contains your favorite font, font size and colors for various tokens in the IDE. This also means you can share themes with your developer friends and you can download some of my favorites at the XojoThemes site.

XojoThemes 3.0

XojoThemes originally did its work by modifying the Xojo preferences behind on the scenes, but as of Xojo 2016r3, Xojo and XojoThemes support the same XML-based .xojo_theme files. So now you can create your favorite themes in Xojo itself, export each as a file, and then apply them as you see fit. My little XojoThemes app has thus largely been Sherlocked, but it’s still maintained and updated. It still has a couple of little tricks up its sleeve, such as maintaining a list of all your themes for easy theme switching, and it’s available for Mac, Windows and Linux.

My personal favorite for the morning is Sunset (it probably would have been better named Sunrise!) and Solarized Dark for the evening. Check them out and contribute your own!

Space Grey theme

Sunset theme

Solarized Dark theme

Visit the XojoThemes website for more themes.

Gavin Smith has been using Xojo (and its predecessors) since 1998 and has been running LibertyApp Ltd for 8 years. Find out more about Server Ranger or purchase it. Please feel free to email me at or follow me on Twitter @gvnsmth.