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How do I enable bracket color in Visual Studio?

Visual Studio is a popular integrated development environment (IDE) from Microsoft that is used by millions of developers worldwide. One of its most useful features for coding is the ability to color code matching brackets, which helps improve code readability and catch errors. Enabling bracket highlighting in Visual Studio is easy to do, just requires a few steps. Here is a guide on how to turn on bracket colorization in Visual Studio.

Overview of Bracket Colorization

Bracket colorization allows Visual Studio to apply color to matching bracket pairs in your code files. This helps differentiate the start and end of code blocks visually. For example, when you place the cursor next to a bracket, its matching pair will be highlighted in the same color, making it easy to spot where code blocks begin and end.

Some of the benefits of using bracket colorization include:

  • Improved readability of code structure and scope
  • Easier to match brackets, especially in nested code blocks
  • Helps find unbalanced or missing brackets quickly
  • Visual aid to understand complex code flow and indentation

The color used for highlights can be customized in the Visual Studio settings. The default is usually a subtle blue color. You can tweak it to stand out more or match your color theme preferences.

How to Enable Bracket Colorization

Bracket colorization is enabled by default in Visual Studio 2019 and later versions. If for some reason it got disabled on your installation, you can easily re-enable it. Here are the steps:

  1. Open Visual Studio and access the Options dialog via Tools > Options.
  2. Navigate to Text Editor > General.
  3. Under Display, check the box for “Highlight matching brackets”.
  4. Click OK to save the changes.

This will instantly activate bracket colorization in the editor. The setting applies globally to all languages and file types in Visual Studio.

Customizing the Highlight Color

You can customize the exact color used for bracket highlighting in the editor schemes options. Follow these steps:

  1. Go to Tools > Options > Environment > General.
  2. Under Color Theme, select the theme you want to customize.
  3. Click on Colors and scroll down to find “Bracket Matching (Highlight)”.
  4. Click on the color swatch to open the color picker and choose a new color.
  5. Click OK to apply the new highlight color.

This will change the bracket color for the selected editor theme. You can choose a brighter color to make it stand out more. Make sure there is enough contrast from regular text for best results.

Other Bracket Options

In addition to colorization, Visual Studio provides other bracket highlighting options:

  • Bracket Indicators – Shows a vertical line in the editor to indicate matching brackets.
  • Brace Completion – Automatically completes closing brackets, quotes etc as you type.
  • Rainbow Brackets – Uses multiple colors to differentiate nested bracket levels.

These can be enabled in Tools > Options > Text Editor > General. Bracket colorization works well alongside these features to improve the bracket highlighting experience.


Bracket colorization is an essential Visual Studio feature for coding with clearer visual structure. It takes just a few clicks to enable it. Make sure it is turned on and customize the color if needed for your workflow. Combined with other bracket options, it helps accelerate development and reduce errors caused by missing brackets.

Option Where to Find Effect
Highlight Matching Brackets Text Editor > General Enables bracket colorization
Bracket Matching (Highlight) Color Tools > Options > Environment > Colors Changes the highlight color
Bracket Indicators Text Editor > General Shows vertical line for matches
Brace Completion Text Editor > General Automatically completes brackets
Rainbow Brackets Text Editor > General Uses multiple colors for nesting

In summary, enabling bracket colorization is simple in Visual Studio’s settings and provides great benefits for reading and writing code. Combined with other features like brace completion and rainbow brackets, developers can work faster with fewer errors caused by mismatched brackets.