AaronCrane.co.uk

Colour schemes in terminal emulators

Some people prefer dark-on-light colour schemes for their terminals. Others prefer light-on-dark.

I’m in the latter camp. I suspect that’s mainly just out of habit, rather than anything well-reasoned; certainly I find myself agreeing with the idea that matching the properties of paper is a good thing.

However, it occurred to me a moment ago that there is a disadvantage to dark-on-light colour schemes, at least for people who want syntax highlighting with varied text colours. You want the text to have a high level of contrast with the background, to maximise legibility. If you have a dark background, the high-contrast colours are bright. But if you have a light background, the high-contrast colours are the dark ones — that is, the ones that are hardest to distinguish from each other.