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cobalt2: a theme for Sublime Text

Update: November 2014 – these theme has received a major UI upgrade for new Sublime Features and editor tweaks.

I love text editor colour schemes. I’ve tried dozens of them over the years but always found myself coming back to trusty old cobalt. I liked this theme quite a but but I didn’t love it. So, over the years I’ve tweaked and tuned cobalt into a theme that I am very happy with. Its easy on the eyes, works well across many languages and takes note of those little UI elements like the caret, searches and bracket matching.

I have had quite a few friends use my theme and they seem to be sticking with it. So, I’ve decided to release it to the masses. To download it, head on over to the github repo. As always, would love to hear any feedback you may have 🙂

Quick aside: I wrote a book on sublime text which comes along with a video series. If you like my themes and blog posts on Sublime Text, you will love this!

A Sublime Text theme based on our old blue friend cobalt.

A refined colour scheme that is easy on the eyes and takes small UI elements into account. Includes full sublime theme (sidebar, search, tabs, etc…) as well as support for SublimeLinter, git diffing and a growing number of plugins.

See below for examples. Read more at http://wesbos.com/cobalt2-theme-sublime-text-2/


With Package Control

  1. Open package control tools → Command Palette and type Install Package
  2. Search for Cobalt2 and hit enter
  3. Lastly, open Preferences → Settings - User. Add the following two lines:
"color_scheme": "Packages/Theme - Cobalt2/cobalt2.tmTheme",
"theme": "Cobalt2.sublime-theme",

If these are the last two lines of your settings file, make sure to omit the trailing ,


Sidebar Icons

Dirty Tab and Selected Tab

Indentation Guides — Guide, Stacked Guide and Active Guide

Use "indent_guide_options": ["draw_normal", "draw_active"] for this

GitGutter Support


Command Palette

GoTo Anything

Tabs, Spaces and Comments

Folding Lines


Highlighted Line








While cobalt2 covers all languages, I write mostly JavaScript and CSS so I welcome any additions for other languages.


Some icons from Soda Theme by Ian Hill

Kyle Knight for pushing cobalt2 past the code screen and styling the entire editor.

Seti UI Atom theme for the sidebar icons

Official Colours

Yellow: #ffc600
Blue: #193549
Dusty Blue 35434d
Dark Blue: #15232D

You may also like:

Cobalt2 Theme for iTerm https://github.com/wesbos/Cobalt2-iterm

Sublime Text Power User Book

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75 Responses to cobalt2: a theme for Sublime Text

  1. Thanks.

    I love using Cobalt especially with a Monaco 16pt. font.

  2. Very, very nice. Thanks for releasing it. Looking forward to your book.

  3. Francesco says:

    Just installed it, i have to say that it’s “relaxing”, thanks for sharing 😀

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  5. Chad says:

    just installed your color scheme and I must say..I was pulling my hair out trying to find a color scheme that I would like. but yours is wonderful and brilliant. Thanks for this so much! My eyes thank you too!

  6. Jay says:

    Really nice theme, however my sidebar always stays light grey no matter which theme I use. Anyone have any ideas?
    thanks again!

    • wesbos says:

      Make sure you put both of the lines in your settings file:

      "color_scheme": "Packages/Theme - Cobalt2/cobalt2.tmTheme",
      "theme": "Cobalt2.sublime-theme",

      The first one colours your code, the second line colours the editor chrome (things like the sidebar)

  7. leo says:

    amazing theme! gonna be my default theme 🙂

  8. oluc says:

    Very good theme, adopted!
    Thank you!

  9. wilson sy says:

    how do i download this theme?

    i am confused with this step: Drop in the Theme – Cobalt2 directory here (Right into /Preferences/)
    where can i get the theme-cobalt2 directory?
    The other site (github) says download the ‘repo’. what is it?


    • TGU says:

      Currently, under ST3, packages installed with “Package Control” are stored as compressed archives. Under Windows, please click the ‘Preferences -> Browse Packages’ and once the explorer window pops up, select parent directory of the current one (usually “Sublime Text 3”). There you’ll find a sub-directory called “Installed Packages” where you can see the package archive you’re looking for, i.e. ‘Theme – Cobalt2.sublime-package’. Using any zip like utility you can access all the stuff stored there.

      I’m not sure about MAC (I’m not using it) and Linux (where I still have ST2 installed). I hope it helps.

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  12. Andres Herrera says:

    Thank you man, I used blackboard or cobalt because of the blue but didn’t like at all the rest of the scheme. This one is just perfect!!

    I wanna read your book this summer, I’m sure it will be worth it!

  13. JJ says:

    Love the theme however the sidebar, while styled properly doesn’t have the icons. Is there something extra that is needed for them to show up?


  14. Steven says:

    My side bar icons don’t show up. What should I do?

  15. Zach says:

    I can’t get the “Sidebar Icons” to work? I installed it via package control. The theme and color scheme work, but no “Sidebar Icons”.

    • wesbos says:

      Use "theme": "Cobalt2.sublime-theme" in your settings file

      • Julien G says:


        First of all, thanks a lot for this awesome theme.
        However, as Zach, I cannot find anyway to display the icon sidebar.
        I have this User/Preferences.sublime-settings file (including the lines mentioned above):
        “font_size”: 11,
        “color_scheme”: “Packages/Theme – Cobalt2/cobalt2.tmTheme”,
        “theme”: “Cobalt2.sublime-theme”,
        “translate_tabs_to_spaces”: true,
        “word_separators”: “/\\()\”‘-:,;[email protected]#$%^&*|+=[]{}`~?”

        If it can help, I’m using Win7 and Sublime Text 2.
        Thanks again 🙂

      • tilapiatsu says:

        I have properly added “theme”: “Cobalt2.sublime-theme” in my setting file but the Sidebar Icons won’t show up !

        Any clue ?

      • Pranav says:

        I have added `”theme”: “Cobalt2.sublime-theme”` in my settings file, and can see it take effect in the search bar, chrome etc. But the icons dont appear. Have tried restarting ST too.
        Any pointers?

  16. Monting says:

    Thanks for the great work!
    For anyone on ST3 the icons don’t show, make sure you’re on build 3065

    build 3065 – “Added sidebar icons”

  17. Guario says:

    I really like the color scheme for everything but HTML. I’m like you that I deal mostly in CSS and JavaScript but I do a lot of HTML markup and there is just not enough element differentiators. If that would be added I would use it in a heartbeat. Still using the theme, just not the color scheme.

  18. Bob Walsh says:

    Excellent job on Cobalt2! Like most developers, I’m extremely fussy when it comes to SB themes – Cobalt 2 sets a new standard.

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  20. Les says:

    I’m on Windows 7, using ST3, build 3065, and I’ve added to settings – user:

    “color_scheme”: “Packages/Theme – Cobalt2/cobalt2.tmTheme”,
    “theme”: “Cobalt2.sublime-theme”,

    But I don’t see the icons.

  21. Bishoy A says:

    I call that a “FULL” Theme for sublime 🙂 We rarely come across those. And I am already a cobalt fan!

    Thanks for making it.

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  23. Luis Robles says:

    Please, how can use cobalt2 thema in kile.

  24. Luis Robles says:

    Please, how can use cobalt2 thema in kile Latex.

  25. Kurt Roesener says:

    I am a newbie at sublime and have sublime 3 installed, trying to install your theme.
    I downloaded the github zip file and tried to extract the folder to the “Packages” folder under sublime 3 but I can’t seem to get the complete theme to work after adding those lines to my User settings file.

    Am I supposed to unzip the complete ZIP file to the “Packages” directory?
    If not, what parts need to be there?

  26. Rashied Imambaks says:

    I Love this theme. But I do not understand ahigh-light feature: in CSS the first-line has a different colour why??

    See screenshot: http://i.imgur.com/lCyqpDw.png

  27. Arnie97 says:

    I copied the sidebar icons into the Soda Theme I’m using and they worked fine with it. Cool!

  28. Paul Nguyen says:

    Is there a way to only activate the icons and not the rest of the theme?

  29. Phu Nguyen says:

    I installed the theme and it is very nice. But it didn’t show autocomplete popup when I type. I added “auto_complete”: true to user setting but it didn’t work. It worked with Flatland theme.
    Any sugguest?

  30. Tracker says:

    I’m trying to install your theme, and am new to Sublime Text.
    I’ve followed the instructions, and it shows up in my preferences –> Color Scheme

    After I add the lines to my user prefs:
    “color_scheme”: “Packages/Cobalt2/cobalt2.tmTheme”,
    “theme”: “Cobalt2.sublime-theme”

    though, I get:
    Error loading colour sceme Packages/Theme – Cobalt2/Cobalt2/Widget – Cobalt2.stTheme: Unable to open Packages/Theme – Cobalt2/Cobalt2/Widget – Cobalt2.stTheme

    Any help?

  31. bkize says:

    Hi Wes,

    I’m using the Cobalt2 theme on ST3 Dev Build 3082. The theme and the color scheme are both excellent so kudos the substantial effort you’ve put in to creating both.

    I have noticed two relatively minor discrepancies and wanted to get your feedback.

    1) The “dirty file” indicator dots on tabs are grey instead of yellow as shown in the theme screenshots above. I would prefer yellow dots as I think the standard ST3 grey dots are too subtle.

    2) The sidebar icons for file types are only displayed for files in Project Folders but not for files listed under Open Files. I’m thinking this might be standard ST3 behavior but it would be nice if the icons were shown in both places.

    I’m seeing both of the behaviors above on both Windows 8.1 and Ubuntu 12.04.5.

    Thanks again for your work.

  32. I just found my new theme, and I am loving it!!

  33. John says:

    This theme is AWESOME! Thank you!!!

  34. Marcel says:

    Just wanted to let you all know that I have worked on a Vim version of Cobalt 2. You can find it here: https://github.com/herrbischoff/cobalt2.vim

    It’s nowhere near as polished as Wes’ Sublime Text theme but it’s a nice start. Collaborators are very welcome!

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  36. Drake says:

    This theme is super nice. My agency doesn’t allow us to install sublime but we have notepad++. Is there a version for notepad++? Thanks!

  37. saurabh says:

    nice theme.But my sidebar turned black,I want it blue as shown in screenshots.help.thanks.
    Otherwise nice theme.

  38. Dave says:

    When in Sublime Text 2, when I try step 1 – Open package control “tools → Command Palette” and type “Install Package”, it doesn’t work for me – it doesn’t find anything 🙁
    So I can’t search for the Cobalt2 theme – what am I doing wrong! :-/

  39. Anton says:

    Great theme! Thank you!

    Is there a way to remove background color (#1f4662) of the selector in css? http://postimg.org/image/62elgp3ld/


  40. Craig says:

    Thanks for the theme wesbos! Can you tell us how we can increase the font size in the sidebar?

  41. sg says:

    I’m using Sublime Text 3.

    I’ve successfully installed and configured Highlight CSS Colors for Sublime per your web page.

    I’m trying to get Cobalt2 Themes to work
    a. Cannot see Icons in Open Files
    b. Screen Color looks ok

    I went to your git page:

    I clicked on Download Zip.
    cobalt2-master.zip was downloaded


    I move cobalt-master to:

    C:\Users\misc\Downloads\Sublime Text Build 3083 x64\Data\Packages\User

    cobalt2-master has following folders:


    and following files



    I followed instructions below, but didn’t see Cobalt2.

    So I did preference / browser for packages and saw they were here:

    C:\Users\misc\Downloads\Sublime Text Build 3083 x64\Data\Packages\User

    Inside this folder is following folders:

    cobalt2-master ( see above for contents of this folder )
    Color Highlighter
    Package Control.cache

    and these files:

    Package Control.last-run
    Package Controle.sublime-settings


    With Package Control
    1.Open package control tools → Command Palette and type Install Package
    2.Search for Cobalt2 and hit enter
    3.Lastly, open Preferences → Settings – User. Add the following two lines:
    “color_scheme”: “Packages/Theme – Cobalt2/cobalt2.tmTheme”,
    “theme”: “Cobalt2.sublime-theme”,


    I made sure Preference / Settings – User contained following

    “color_scheme”: “Packages/Theme – Cobalt2/cobalt2.tmTheme”,
    “theme”: “Cobalt2.sublime-theme”,


    I closed and reopened Sublime Text 3 ( version 3083 ) its licensed

    Everything appears to be working except the icons in side bar & folding lines.

    side bar no icons
    folding lines, no bold vertical bar at end of line

    Dirty Tab and Selected Tab – ok
    Indentation Guides – Guide, Stacked Guide, and Active Guide – ok
    Autocomplete – ok
    Command Palette – ok
    GoTo Anything – ok


    Python – ok
    HTML – ok
    CSS – ok
    JS – ok


    Please advise…

  42. Norbert says:

    Nice theme!!

    The only thing not working form me is font colors in scss files – css is ok.

    Using sublime text 3 on a mac.

    Any ideas?

  43. GJ says:

    I’m using your Cobalt2 theme, I like it a lot, because I’m colorblind and your theme helps me very much when I code in PHP.
    Recently, the sidebar (where the icons for files also are), are getting displayed a bit weird, see: https://i.imgur.com/oi99NT6.png.
    Is there a way to fix this? I made a clean install, but didn’t help at all. 🙁 Any help would be appreciated!

  44. GJ says:

    My error has been fixed; I used all the options mentioned on the github! 🙂

  45. Rob Simpson says:

    Wes, is there anywhere that you have your user preferences? I would be very interested in how you have ST setup.

  46. ali manzoor says:

    how can i make my phpstorm like this

  47. DJ Collier says:

    I really love this color scheme, only thing I am not crazy about is the highlighting of certain objects/variables/the word function, could we possibly get a setting for toggling this off?


  48. Reedyseth says:

    Hi Wes,

    What is the name of the Font that you use on the comments, I have seen that you added that a few months ago to help you visualize while you are teaching.

    Do you have a tutorial to setup that font?

    Also how to apply that same font to the extends word like the example on your image here https://github.com/wesbos/cobalt2/issues/103.

    Thanks in advance. Great Job !

  49. Gilberto Diaz says:

    After installation and setting “color_scheme” and “them”, everything seems to work but I don’t get the icons.
    Any setting I’m missing here?

  50. Josh Reynolds says:

    Hi Wes,

    Love the theme, but I’m now getting an error with my Color Highlighter plugin.
    Is there one that works with Cobalt2? I really enjoy this feature and want to continue using it with your theme!


  51. Nicola Furlanis says:

    Hi Wes,
    great theme! tried many but eventually I’sticking with yours.
    I found minor issues with VBScript syntax coloring (package VBScript via Package Control): guess they depend on Cobalt2 color scheme, since with default ST3 theme and Monokai everything is ok. So here I am to kindly ask if they could be fixed :-).
    Most of the times, variables are white on a sort of dark blue highlight but sometimes they are vivid white whithout higlight (this happens also when the same variable is on the left and on the right side of an equation, like var1=0*var1 – the right one is in vivid white).
    If you can help, I can provide some screenshots.
    Thanks in advance.

  52. Trung says:

    What kind of fonts have you used? It’s really cool

  53. Allan says:

    Hi Wes,

    I like Cobalt2 very much. I’d like to buy you a beer. How do I do that?

  54. Bryan Snyder says:

    It’s 2017 and I love this theme!!

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  56. Chirag Bhansali says:

    The syntax highlighting works but all other features such as the editor ui, icons and other components don’t change. How can I fix this?

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