Colour Theme per project.


hi, i have many projects opened at the same time and in order to keep the confusion down, i want separate colors,themes for each project.

for example, if i have a branch project open, the background for java files will be greenish while the trunk project will have white backgrounds.
i've tried to change this but ended up changing all intellij instances.

is this possible?

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i found something.  this will change the background of the project pane.  not the file editor but that's good enough for me.

Settings>Project Files
add a new one
select "All Files"
pick a color
select "use in project view".
optionally deselect "use in tabs"

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Is there any way to do this for the file editor or the window as a whole? Ideally my two windows would look very different (I'm frequently editing two different projects that look very similar, and it would be easy to apply edits to one that I don't intend, if the editor itself is the same color).

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i've been thinking about this as well. Anyone who works on any sizeable project, where there's different repositories will have run into the problem of accidentally working in the wrong one. Thanks @derek dick for that tip. Better than nothing!

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I can't find "project files" under Preferences (on a mac)

can you be more specific? are you talking about editing Scopes? I can't figure out what you guys are doing.

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OK I got it. Preferences > Appearance & Behavior > File Colors
Then click + to add new to "local colors". Basically we are associating a color with a Scope, so I add "Profile Files" which is my default view. Select a color to go with it, and deselect "Use in editor tabs". you do want to Enable File Colors and Use in Project View.

What you get is a colored project view panel. So I have RED here for my admin project and green for my customer-facing project.

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While Max's suggestion is a good start given the tools we currently have, here's what I think would my ideal scenario.

I'd like to be able to change the header area's background color based upon project, possibly the window decoration bar (though this would have to be done in the window manager and is not the responsibility of intelliJ), and also the icon used when alt+tabbing and/or in the taskbar.

The different icon (or a differentiated version of the same icon) would be most helpful in ensuring that I reach the right workspace, but once I'm there some coloring/theming difference is also required to ensure that I'm not doing work in the wrong place.  Chrome used to have different icons for the different chrome profiles you made that would show up in the alt+tab UI as well as in the taskbar (they have since broken this functionality, much to my chagrin).  I struggled to find a good picture of it online, but here's the best I could do.  While this seems involved (overlaying images on the existing icon), I would be happy with the ability to specify a custom icon per-profile too.


The purpose of doing this, at least for me, is I like to have several branches of work open at once and the easiest way to accomplish this is to have several intellij projects.  I realize this can (and sometimes is) done by stashing work and switching branches with git, this is a very lengthy process and the side-by-side development saves a lot of pain.

Thank you for considering any options to make this process more streamlined.

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Check out for a clever solution that does exactly what I was looking for.  I made a few 1px by 1px pngs of various colors and set them as the background images on different projects.

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Project Labels is a pretty decent plugin for differentiating project windows. Not as distinctive as some of the other solutions here, but definitely helps.


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