If you code (or hack and slash your way through other people’s code) then you’re likely very familiar with Notepad++ as it is one of the best free tools for the job. One thing that has always bugged me about Notepad++, however, is the default background color, foreground color, and font. When looking around for how to change the font and colors it might not be obvious how to do so, so let’s take a quick look and explain how it works.
In Notepad++ the fonts and colors are controlled by the built-in Style Configurator. This option is found under Settings > Style Configurator…
If you want to immediately customize things, there are two main (separate) styles to look at. These are the Default Style and the Global override.
- The Default style is what will be used when you open a new notepad and begin typing. Once your notepad has been saved as a particular file type Notepad++ will then recognize its language and apply the Language-specific style to it.
- The Global override is a universal mask that can be set to control the font style and background colors regardless of what language or filetype you are working with.
Customizing the style is pretty straightforward once you look at it. You can set for things to be bold, italic or underlined. The font family can be adjusted as well as the size. And both the background and foreground colors can be changed.
Note the background color is the canvas and the foreground color is the text color.
In the Global override style, there is a total of 8 checkboxes. Each one will completely override all other styles set in the configuration or theme to only display what the Global override is set to. This doesn’t clear other settings, it just essentially disables all custom settings except for global override for each particular categorized checkbox.
The easiest way to go about changing the colors, however, is to set a different theme. Notepad++ has 21 built-in themes. You’ll probably find that only a few of them are useful, though. More themes can be added or created, Azulia has a list of some of the most popular from the web, even though its list is biased.
To install a theme just drop its XML file into your C:\Program Files (x86)\Notepad++\themes folder.
That’s all there is to customizing how Notepad++ looks.