No Black Backgrounds For Editors

It seems this is becoming more and more the case. Granted most programs allow you to create your own theme, unless you have several hours to do so, its a pain to set them up. That’s one of the reasons I’ve always like Crimson Editor, it comes with 3 themes, white, gray and black. Dreamweaver and Aptana both give you the standard white background editor. While its clean, staring at a blinding white background while coding usually makes your eyes tired. Ever since Windows, white backgrounds have been more the norm, rather than the old black or dodger blue of the DOS days. I’ve looked into trying to style Dreamweavers and unless I put aside like 10-20 hours (includes testing) I dont think I could make a good theme, unfortunately, no one has one available for download as well. Even Notepad++ gives you only the white background theme. Although someone has a made a ruby blue port. Although one of the major problems with Notepad++ is things are changing in each release and often times I have to manually edit a few things here and there. Of course you only have to modify the languages you use.

Here is a addition to the ruby blue port, which includes the styles for Python (keep in mind this is for Notepad++)

<LexerType name="python" desc="Python" ext="py">
<WordsStyle name="DEFAULT" styleID="0" fgColor="FFFFFF" bgColor="112435" fontName="" fontStyle="0" fontSize="" />
<WordsStyle name="COMMENTLINE" styleID="1" fgColor="8DB0D3" bgColor="112435" fontName="" fontStyle="0" fontSize="8" />
<WordsStyle name="NUMBER" styleID="2" fgColor="808080" bgColor="112435" fontName="" fontStyle="0" fontSize="" />
<WordsStyle name="STRING" styleID="3" fgColor="7BD827" bgColor="112435" fontName="" fontStyle="0" fontSize="" />
<WordsStyle name="CHARACTER" styleID="4" fgColor="808080" bgColor="112435" fontName="" fontStyle="0" fontSize="" />
<WordsStyle name="KEYWORDS" styleID="5" fgColor="FFFF80" bgColor="112435" fontName="" fontStyle="1" fontSize="" keywordClass="instre1" />
<WordsStyle name="TRIPLE" styleID="6" fgColor="F08047" bgColor="112435" fontName="" fontStyle="0" fontSize="" />
<WordsStyle name="TRIPLEDOUBLE" styleID="7" fgColor="F08047" bgColor="112435" fontName="" fontStyle="0" fontSize="" />
<WordsStyle name="CLASSNAME" styleID="8" fgColor="4A9BEA" bgColor="112435" fontName="" fontStyle="1" fontSize="" />
<WordsStyle name="DEFNAME" styleID="9" fgColor="4A9BEA" bgColor="112435" fontName="" fontStyle="0" fontSize="" />
<WordsStyle name="OPERATOR" styleID="10" fgColor="F0804F" bgColor="112435" fontName="" fontStyle="1" fontSize="" />
<WordsStyle name="IDENTIFIER" styleID="11" fgColor="FFFFFF" bgColor="112435" fontName="" fontStyle="0" fontSize="" />
<WordsStyle name="COMMENTBLOCK" styleID="12" fgColor="8DB0D3" bgColor="112435" fontName="" fontStyle="0" fontSize="" />
<WordsStyle name="STRINGEOL" styleID="12" fgColor="730080" bgColor="112435" fontName="" fontStyle="0" fontSize="" />

Here’s how the fonts work in Notepad++
fontStyle 1=bold 2=italics 4=underline add the # for multiple options, so a 3 would be bold and italics. I’ve also noticed that if you use Courier New as your font the bold doesn’t show up so well.

I’ll share what changes I’ve done with my stylers.xml files for Notepad++


Comments 1-2 of 2 to “No Black Backgrounds For Editors”

  1. 1 · Kevin Sawicki says:


    After reading your post I wanted to point out that Aptana does have a new colorization system that allows for background colors to be set on per editor basis. We recently rolled out this new colorization system and a screencast of it can be found at The screencast showcases the foreground options and we are currently working on an updated screencast that highlights the background options we exposed for our JS, HTML, CSS, XML, and PHP editors (background color, caret color, line highlight color, and selection foreground and background). Our colorization system allows the base Eclipse background settings to be used or they can be overridden and redefined on a per language editor basis. This system can also export currently colorizations to a simple XML format that can be shared and imported into Aptana. The colorizations can be built either using our XML editor and imported or using our colorization interface. Any colorizations idea or feedback would be greatly appreciated, we are striving to expose the entire suite of customizations users want when building their own colorizations.

  2. 2 · blogger says:

    It had been awhile since I last tried Aptana, but I tried the new colorization and its definitely an improvement. 🙂

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