How to Change Notepad++ Background and Text Colour

If you are like many Notepad++ users and find the white background too hard on your eyes, you can change it to black (or green or pink or anything else). You can change Notepad++ background and text colour in a window called Style Configurator. You can access that via Main Menu / Settings / Style Configurator…

Where to find Notepad++ Style Configurator

There are many different styles in Notepad++. Besides styles for individual programming languages and file types, there is a group of Global Styles which apply universally. In order to change font for all types of files, make sure you have selected “Global override” in the group “Global Styles”. This style is listed as the first and if you haven’t used Style Configurator before it will be selected by default when you open it.

Selecting a style in Notepad++ Style Configurator

The area where you can change foreground (text) colour and background colour is located in the middle of the Style Configurator window.

Changing background colour in Notepad++

It is important to tick the boxes under the colour selection to make it override all language-specific settings. Then click “Save & Close”.

Enable global foreground and background colour in Notepad++

If you use Notepad++ for programming you probably appreciate that it displays different kinds of text (like function names, variable names, strings or comments) in different colours. In such case you will probably prefer to only override the background colour, but keep the “Enable global foreground colour” unchecked, so that language-specific text colour settings still apply. Unfortunately this is a problem for any kind of text that is also black by default.

A better (and easier and quicker) solution is to change the entire theme rather than only override background colour. Notepad++ has numerous themes which you can select in a dropdown box in the Style Configurator window. Many of these themes (e.g. “Black board”, “Deep Black”, “Plastic Code Wrap”) have dark background and different colours for different kinds of text for programming languages.

Selecting a theme in Notepad++

You can of course further customize any of the themes or (if you have too much free time) create your own. The information for individual themes is stored in XML files in the subfolder “themes” in the Notepad++ folder.