Leading on from the question Can I change font Color and/or Type for IDE 1.5.6r2?, in 1.6.0, or 1.6.11 it does not seem to be possible to change console.color or console.error.color. To be precise, you can change the settings in the preferences.txt2 file, but they appear to be ignored when the IDE is restarted. Have these become hard coded? I see from the preference.txt example file that

# Some colors have been hardcoded into the source in app/ in order to ensure
# consistency with the images distributed and stored with the application.
# They have been commented out below so that users who install an old
# version of the software will not get incorrect colors left-over from this
# config file.

However, the settings to which I refer are not commented out, and so would led me to believe that they can be changed. Orange text on black is just horrific to read.

For example:


but I still get white/orange(red?) text for the output and error messages respectively.

I am making the edits while the Arduino IDE is not running.

1 In 1.6.3 the ignored console.color etc. lines appear to have been removed from the preferences.txt file.

2 C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\Arduino15\preferences.txt

2 Answers 2


It turns out that the theme.txt configuration file is not located alongside the preferences.txt file, but alongside/under the Arduino application's .jar files. Thus, for the current version (1.6.3):

  • on OS X, .../Arduino-1.6.3.app/Contents/Java/lib/theme/theme.txt
  • on Win7, C:\Program Files\Arduino\lib\theme\theme.txt
  • on Linux, .../arduino-1.6.3/lib/theme/theme.txt
  • on Windows 10, when installed as an App, C:\Program Files\WindowsApps\ArduinoLLC.ArduinoIDE_1.8.10.0_x86__mdqgnx93n4wtt\lib\theme\theme.txt, however it does not seem possible to edit it - it can be opened in notepad++ but a save fails.

See an associated Github issue, IDE Background and print color options needed, for a little more discussion.

  • Thanks for that. BTW, the Windows path is C:\Program Files\Arduino\lib\theme\theme.txt. It does beg the question why are the console.error and console.color lines in the preferences.txt file if they are ignored. The Arduino IDE truly is a shockingly terrible piece of software. However, having said that, I notice that in version 1.6.3 the lines appear to have been removed. Apr 10, 2015 at 16:25
  • If you've put those lines in preferences.txt (as I did), then they'll still be there after the IDE has read and re-dumped the properties, even though the IDE ignores them. Myself, I don't much like the IDE editor, so I use an external editor (setting the appropriate preference), and just use the IDE to compile and upload – for that, for me, it works well enough. Anyone out there who can add the path to the theme file under Linux? Apr 10, 2015 at 18:41
  • I've added the Windows and Linux paths to your answer. Hope you don't mind. Apr 11, 2015 at 11:09
  • @Greenonline Looks great! Apr 11, 2015 at 20:49

Download the Dark Theme of Jeff Thompson from Github: jeffThompson/DarkArduinoTheme

Jeff Thompson's - Dark Arduino Theme


Screenshot of Jeff Thompson's - Dark Arduino Theme

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