Enhanced colorization

The Visual Studio Code C/C++ extension now supports semantic colorization, when IntelliSense is enabled. Use of enhanced colorization is controlled by the C_Cpp.enhancedColorization setting. This setting is enabled by default.

"C_Cpp.enhancedColorization": "Enabled"


Colors can be associated using the existing support for theming and color customization in VS Code. See the VS Code Themes documentation for more information.

Colors are associated with semantic tokens as well as TextMate scopes.

C/C++ Themes Extension

We've created a set of VS Code themes that closely resemble the default Light and Dark themes in Visual Studio, and include colors for semantic tokens. These themes can be found here.

IntelliSense Tokens and Scopes

Token Semantic Token name Fallback TextMate Scope
Class Template templateType entity.name.type.class.templated
Enumerator enumMember variable.other.enummember
Event (C++/CLI) event variable.other.event
Function function entity.name.function
Function Template templateFunction entity.name.function.templated
Generic Type (C++/CLI) genericType entity.name.type.class.generic
Global Variable variable.global variable.other.global
Label label entity.name.label
Local Variable variable.local variable.other.local
Macro macro entity.name.function.preprocessor
Member Field property variable.other.property
Member Function member entity.name.function.member
Namespace namespace entity.name.namespace
New / Delete newOperator keyword.operator.new
Operator Overload Function operatorOverload entity.name.function.operator
Operator Overload Member memberOperatorOverload entity.name.function.operator.member
Parameter parameter variable.parameter
Property (C++/CLI) cliProperty variable.other.property.cli
Reference Type (C++/CLI) referenceType entity.name.type.class.reference
Static Member Field property.static variable.other.property.static
Static Member Function member.static entity.name.function.member.static
Type type entity.name.type
User-Defined Literal - Number numberLiteral entity.name.operator.custom-literal.number
User-Defined Literal - Raw customLiteral entity.name.operator.custom-literal
User-Defined Literal - String stringLiteral entity.name.operator.custom-literal.string
Value Type (C++/CLI) valueType entity.name.type.class.value

Customizing Colors in Settings

Colors can also be overridden globally, in settings:

    "editor.semanticTokenColorCustomizations": {
        "rules": {
            "templateType": {
                "foreground": "#ff0000",
                "fontStyle": "italic bold underline"

Or, overridden on a per-theme basis:

    "editor.semanticTokenColorCustomizations": {
        "[Visual Studio Dark]": {
            "rules": {
                "templateType": {
                    "foreground": "#ff0000",
                    "fontStyle": "italic bold underline"