Why not use black background in your code editor ?

I just realized that I spend more time with Notepad++ than my wife :). Well, it’s nothing new for a full time programmer. So why not make my code editor comfortable for me. I have to stare the editor more than 9-10hrs a day. So a huge pressure on eyes. For a long term perspective, i must take care of the eye. The screen distance, the radiation, frequecny- everything must be taken seriously.

My favorite code editor is notepad++. It’s lightweight, sleek and has very good options to code PHP, JS, HTML. The default installation comes with a white background as most others do. But let me show how my code window looks.

Notepad++ Background


I feel more comfortable reading these colored texts on a black and it helps me work more. And actually the radiation from a black screen is obviously less from a white screen. So in the long run, it’s helpful for our eyes.

How to do it  in Windows ?

Download Notepad++ if you don’t have it from http://notepad-plus.sourceforge.net/uk/site.htm

On that page find a section called "Style files" and you’ll see two styles there which are

Ruby Blue (Screenshot) : by tomsolo
Vibrant Ink (Screenshot) : by Tyler Ritchie

  • Download any of them and save the zip file somewhere (possibly  on your desktop).
  • Now unzipping that archive will let you find a file called stylers.xml. Copy this file (CTRL+C).
  • Now type %appdata% in your run panel in start menu. Your application data directory will show up.
  • And now find the folder called notepad++ and paste that xml file which you have just copied.
  • Restart notepad++ and there you go!!

For further customization in colors and fonts you can always change it from "settings->Styler Configurator" and select your language from there (I changed only php and javascript).




Author's gravatar

Md. Mahbubur Rahman

9 thoughts on “Why not use black background in your code editor ?

    Author's gravatar

    Im not sure about the idea though, yes Im agree with u that black background is lot better than white background for our eyes and black background has some other advantages as well, but it harder to read the text on black than white.

    There’s good reason dark text on a light background tends to be easier to read. For most people, it’s harder to focus at close distances than infinity, and as eyes age it gets even harder (re: presbyopia). If text is displayed on a light background, though, the brightness of the background helps to close down the pupils to produce smaller apertures, which makes it easier to focus, much like how a pinhole camera works without a lens.

    Author's gravatar

    It’s tested that concentrating on texts on black back background is better not that how to easily focus. That’s why you’d find all the people who stare at PC more than 9-10hrs a day like in Stock Market, Banks, Air Traffic controller have black screens. And i think it’s easier to find one white dot in an entire black screen than a black dot in an entire white screen. But of course some comfort can vary man to man.

    Author's gravatar

    If you’re using an LCD monitor, it will also save power.

    Author's gravatar

    Thanks diezko for the textmate to npp++ style converter. It was fun.

    Author's gravatar

    I find similar colors to be much easier to differ on black than white. I tried black background but I found too many times I would have to bring up a bright program or web page.

    Oh, and LCD will use the same amount of power in either case. It seems reasonable CRT would use less power with black, though.

    Author's gravatar

    I like use white color for background of notepad++.

    Author's gravatar

    Hi! I’ve been looking for a php editor which I can customized to have a black background. You are right, staring to a white screen for long gives stress to our eyes.

    Thanks for the tip. 🙂

    Author's gravatar

    I can’t understand how black background can be more comfortable. I always boycott websites with dark background. Not pinkish or yellow text but white text disturb most on a dark background. Nevertheless, I like original articles 🙂

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