BlueForest - A dark color scheme for IntelliJ IDEA
Up until last November I had been working exclusively with bright editor backgrounds for all my development work. Mostly because the IDEs I used always came with a dark-on-bright default color scheme and I didn’t bother fiddling around with color settings, especially since modern syntax-highlightings makes appealing color schemes much more complex to create.
Then however, at the beginning of the last northern hemisphere winter, I got a new monitor that was brighter than all the other ones I had before. Even though it gave me lots of highly appreciated additional screen space I did find that working on a bright IDE background in a largely dark room for hours on end was somewhat more unpleasant than before. My eyes felt like they were tiring faster and I had the impression I was squinting more.
Since all twiddling with the screen brightness and contrast settings left me unsatisfied I had a go at creating a dark color scheme for my current IDE of choice, IntelliJ IDEA. All existing ones I could find either didn’t please me aesthetically or did not come with proper syntax highlighting for Scala.
This is what Scala source looks like in IDEA with the BlueForest scheme:
Over the last 7 months I continuously tweaked the scheme and added missing settings while more and more co-workers adopted it. It now contains matching color settings for these languages/file types:
- Bash (the BashSupport plugin)
- Markdown (the idea-markdown plugin)
The color scheme lives on github, so it should be easy for you to add more languages and/or apply fixes and tweaks and let these changes flow back to me (if you’d like).
PS: If you are interested in some more or less scientific background on the question whether dark-on-bright or bright-on-dark color schemes are better for extended screen working you might want to check out this stackoverflow question.