About a year ago I pirated Coda, which is probably the best web development platform on the Mac. After the first time I tried to update, I got a pop-up about how I was stealing from a bunch of poor coders that just wanted to make my user experience better. I felt immediately guilty and purchased Coda that day. It was one of the best purchases that I’ve ever made.
Thanks to Cabel Sasser for the image
Coda actually has a great feature that allows you the option of tweaking the color scheme and then lets you export your color settings as a .seestyle file so that you don’t have to worry about losing that perfect shade of whatever it is that you wanted so badly. Some designers have actually set up a bunch of .seestyles so that you can upgrade your coda experience immediately. Here are some of the best examples I found:
Espresso is a web editor much like Coda, and if you’d like, you can now color your Coda UI to look similar to the Espresso UI. I’ve never tried Espresso, though I have tried CSSedit and have to say that the people at MacRabbit do a very good job. That being said, I can get the same sort of functionality that CSSedit provides simply by hitting cmmd+4, so I’ve never been able to cough up the $40. I’ve gone on a tangent, and for that I apologize.
Joe Bergantine is one of my new favorite human beings. I stumbled on his site by accident and found two of the SeeStyles that I included on this post. Specials Board is a super nice, light-on-dark theme that was obviously created by someone who likes color and can appreciate good design.
This theme isn’t a far cry from Birds of Paradise (my personal favorite), but the deep grey background really helps the colors pop. This is an ideal seestyle for anyone who is used to using light-on-dark coding formats but is looking for slightly softer colors to look at.
Birds of Paradise
This is my favorite SeeStyle of the group because it is so different than anything I ever thought about using as a color. Actually, when I’m not using the color scheme I designed for myself, I usually use Birds Of Paradise. It’s so bright and clean, and there’s something about the brown background that makes coding a lot less nerdy and a lot easier to look at for hours on end.
My only real beef is that Joe has made the comments a dark shade of brown that is almost invisible against the background. I resolved that problem by adjusting the contrast of that particular shade all the way to white, which makes it a nice tan color. If you’d like to just download my modified Birds Of Paradise you can do it here, but I still have to give all the credit to Joe for making this color palette in the first place.
Jason Robb’s Colorful Syntax is really fun because there are so many different colors dancing around on the screen. I stumbled upon this SeeStyle theme on Dribbble.com, and immediate fell in love with it. It is one of my absolute favorites, and I can’t endorse it highly enough.
I have had a little bit of a problem getting the right colors to appear when loading it. However, if you have Jason’s site open, you can do some color matching to ensure that your theme looks just as sharp as his does.
On a somewhat related note, if you’re into graphic design at all, you should consider submitting some of your stuff to Dribbble. It’s like show and tell for designers. Which is also their slogan. I’m not that clever.
If you like Coda, you should check out the Panic Blog, which is one of the sharpest looking blogs on the Internet. If you haven’t tried Coda, you can download a trial for free for 14 days, or pirate it and feel like a jackass and then buy it. I’d recommend buying it after the trial ends- it’s shame free.
Do you like Coda or have SeeStyles that you have made and want to share? Put a link to them in the comments and share your themes! Or read my post if you’d like to learn how to make a custom coda seestyle.