SQL Developer Quick Tip: Pretty It Up a Bit

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No, not your code. I want you to take a quick look at the visual preferences for SQL Developer. In an earlier post I pontificated on the top 10 options to tweak before starting to use SQL Developer. Now once you have the tool operating the way you want, I think it’s time to make it look the way you want as well. So I suppose this would be #11!

If you’re going to spend many hours a day in the database, your tool shouldn’t be causing eye strain.

I realize that this is a very subjective area, so if you do not like my choice of theme and color, please realize there are a few dozen themes available.


Open the preferences and navigate to the Environment page. The ‘Look and Feel’ and ‘Theme’ controls are what we want to investigate further. According to the docs, the ‘Look and Feel’ allows you to tweak ‘the display colors and shapes of objects like menus and buttons.’

It might be easier to just do some before and after screen captures?


Notice the lack of delineation of the pages and the very light contrast

Sky Yellow

Ah, so much easier on the eyes!

I also enjoy the general grey background going on versus default ‘Fusion Blue.’

Here is the option you want to play around with in the Preferences

Setting to Windows will attempt to match your Windows Theme

Look and Feel

You can bypass the whole theme headache and let SQL Developer attempt to match your Windows (I haven’t tried this on OSX yet) theme. Here’s what that looks like on my Windows 7 machine with the default theme.

Windows Oracle

If you like flat, you might like Windows

This seems much smoother to me

There is no way to ‘preview’ these changes. You’ll need to restart SQL Developer for the changes to take affect. Even so, I think it’s worth a few minutes of your time. If you find a favorite combination, please share it with us below in the form of a comment or screenshot!

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