Look and Feel – Feel Free to Go Crazy

thatjeffsmith SQL Developer 8 Comments

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Apparently SQL Developer doesn’t look super awesome on some Windows high-resolution displays (Macs are apparently A-OK!) 4 and 5k monitors. But that’s OK – it’s fixed in Java 9, and that appears to work just fine with SQL Developer v17.2.

That’s no fun, but he got it fixed running Java 9 out of the box!

But another question came up – how can I make SQL Developer look…different?

Well, the easiest way is to look at your OS Theme settings.

On Windows 10, that would be something like this.

Yeah, this applies to your ENTIRE OS.

Pick something you like…a LOT.

OK, let’s see how this looks.


This won’t happen by default. You’ll have to:

  1. Go into preferences, and change the Look and Feel from ‘Oracle’ to whatever your OS is
  2. Restart SQL Developer
  3. Play around with your OS setting to find something you like/li>

Oracle looks better but Windows will run leaner

I’d show you how this works on a Mac, but I don’t have a Mac anymore. Same key concept, change your look and feel to OS X. Then configure your Mac as appropriate.

Other Benefits

Apart from being able to control exactly how your application will look, you’re ALSO telling Java that it can rely on the OS to take care of this. If you’re going to use the Oracle Look and Feel, then that will ‘cost a bit extra’ – or in other words, it might take more resources to run. If your machine is already a bit slow, this won’t help matters any.

And if you have a hi-res display, you’ll definitely want to use the native look and feel…and run Java 9 JDK on Windows.

You’ll PROBABLY be OK, but we can’t officially support you since Java 9 is still in beta.

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Comments 8

    1. thatjeffsmith Post
  1. Themes like Classic, Desert blue, Desert green, Desert yellow, Desert red are good if they are back to this new version ( like how they are available in SQL Dev v3.2)

    1. thatjeffsmith Post
  2. What about creating a new theme as described in
    Is it still up to date?
    “This document was last modified 02:27, 18 April 2007”


    1. thatjeffsmith Post
      1. I just tried to add a theme but then I get
        at oracle.ideimpl.IdeUIManagerImpl.getPlasticThemes(IdeUIManagerImpl.java:580) …
        Maybe it is possible to replace fusionblue.jar with a modified fusionblue.jar but the theming as described in the document no longer works.
        One clue would be that there is no drop down list of available themes as there has been until 3.2.2 if you chose Oracle look and feel.

        1. thatjeffsmith Post

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