Spice Up Eclipse with Eye-Candy Themes

Eclipse is by far the best IDE (Integrated Development Environment) out there for web developers. From auto code-template generation to tailored perspective views, Eclipse is comprehensive, yet clean (and lean). Its plugin eco-system is as vibrant as the main IDE itself.

One of the long-cherished feature request for Eclipse is the support for dark themes. Eclipse Luna and above now sports an option to switch to chocolate-gray dark theme from the default vanilla-white. Go to Window->Preferences->Appearance; you’ll find the Theme option defaulting to “classic” theme. Click on the drop-down symbol to discover the dark theme along with Windows, Windows XP {Classic, Olive and Blue} themes. Selecting Dark and applying will change the window materials to a eye-candy dark color.


The only problem is that the code editor won’t change its color-scheme making you feel like eating a delicious samosa without any sauce on it!

Worry not. That’s exactly why we have awesome plugins. Follow these steps to morph Eclipse from silk-saree to punk-jeans.

Step #1: Download the eclipse-color-theme-update-site.zip file. Unzip it into a folder.

Step #2: Open Eclipse’ Install Software window which is available via
Help->Install New Software....
Add a new local repository with a name local and the theme archive path. You can choose the name to be anything sensible. The archive path should point to the eclipse-color-theme-update folder from the last step. For whimsical reasons, adding by browsing to the .zip file didn’t work. Add the entries manually:

Repo Name - Any name
Location - file:/path/to/eclipse-color-theme-update-site/update

For example, in my case it’s,

Repo Name - Local
Location - file:/C:/Users/DeepakD/Downloads/eclipse-color-theme-update-site/update


Take special care about the file: keyword and forward slash /. Note that the update folder should be included in the path as it contains the artifacts.jar and content.jar files.

If the path has correctly given, Eclipse color theme plugin gets detected under available software list.

Note: If you’re connected to Internet, just type the plugin name in the Install Software window to install a plugin.

Step #3: Proceed with the installation by following the on-screen instructions. You’ll be asked to agree the license agreements.


If security warnings pop telling you’re installing the software from untrustworthy site, ignore it as you’ve downloaded the plugin from the official Eclipse market place.

You can see the progress of the installation process in the lower-right corner of the Eclipse window.


Step #4: After the plugin installation, go to Window->Preferences->Appearance->Color Theme. In the next sub-window, you’ll find a list of popular color-schemes. Pick a color-scheme and apply to see whether it’ll affect the code highlighting in the editor.


Note that you may need to restart the Eclipse for the color-scheme to take effect. Also don’t change the dark theme of the Eclipse window which we’ve done before all these steps.



Solarized Light

There you go… A collection of eye-soothing dark themes at your disposal so your eyes don’t get strained after hours of coding.

Helpful link: StackOverflow | How to install plugin for eclipse from .zip