Check tutorial of How to Use BBEdit Dark Mode Color Schemes on Mac
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BBEdit, the excellent text editor for Mac, includes some very nice, beneficial dark mode color schemes, each of which complements the Mac Dark Mode theme well.
If you spend a significant amount of time in a text editor scripting, programming, developing, coding or writing and editing with a markup language, and you also work on a Mac at night or in dimly lit rooms, or even if you give simply prefer darker color themes and syntax highlighting with a darker theme for your text editing, then you’ll almost certainly want to explore and use BBEdit’s various dark color schemes.
To be clear, using the dark color schemes in BBEdit doesn’t require a dark mode on the Mac, it just goes well together. You can use the same color schemes in Light mode, or in many earlier versions of Mac OS (or BBEdit).
Using dark mode color schemes in BBEdit
Access to BBEdit’s dark color schemes is easy:
- Put the Mac in dark mode and open BBEdit *
- Open the “BBEdit” menu and choose “Preferences”
- Select the “Text Colors” preference from the sidebar
- Pull down the ‘Color Scheme’ drop-down menu and choose one of the dark color schemes: ‘BBEdit Dark’, ‘Xcode Dark’, ‘Toothpaste’, ‘Douce nuit 4’ or create your own by choosing ‘New’
* BBedit can use the dark color schemes without having the overall macOS appearance set to dark mode, but if you’re aiming for a cohesive dark mode experience, you’ll want to enable dark mode first.
The effect is immediate and assuming an active window is open you will immediately see the visual change.
The BBEdit Dark color scheme looks great with the wider Dark Mode theme in Mac OS, but if you want a bit more contrast then the “Xcode Dark” color scheme might be what you are looking for as it uses brighter text.
Some of the other dark schemes are quite nice too, but as with all aspects of the look, what you like and prefer is just a matter of personal preference.
You can always go back to the default color scheme or one of the BBEdit light color schemes at any time by simply returning to the same Color Scheme preferences section of the app.
Now I know what you’re thinking; if you’re a BBEdit user, you probably already know these dark color schemes exist, right? Well, that’s true for many of us who have been using BBEdit users for a long time, but certainly not everyone is, and I’ve spoken to people who were unaware of the look of text editors in general (or even Terminal.app) can adjust. And with something like dark mode in macOS, which many users seem to expect to integrate the dark themes into all aspects of other apps, these app-specific color customization options may be new to them, which are completely separate from the wider look of the dark mode theme in macOS.
Note that if you change the color scheme in BBEdit in this way, that color scheme will persist even if you switch back to Light mode in Mac OS. So if you’re using something like this to schedule dark mode, you should realize that app-specific appearance tweaks like this won’t follow on the ride.
It’s worth pointing out that TextEdit also has a dark mode that works well enough with plain text, but BBEdit is just a world beyond TextEdit in functionality and features, so they are not really comparable to each other.
Oh and for the stranger, BBEdit is basically a programmer text editor with syntax highlighting and loads of features most relevant to those developing software and websites (regex, diff, etc.), it is not a word processor like Pages or Word. BBEdit is arguably the best text editor out there for Mac, it’s also free to download and use, and it offers a full 30-day trial period for the full set of advanced features. Even if you don’t upgrade at the end of the trial, it’s still the best text editor out there for Mac, and the free version basically takes the place of TextWrangler and BBEdit Lite.
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