SCIFI User Interface Designer Lukasz Wieczorek
Posted on October 18, 2012 by lukasz on arduino

Custom arduino dark theme syntax highlighting and skin

ATM, this only works for OSX, however it shouldn’t be too hard to port it over to windows. I will do writeup on it soon.

A few days ago I posted about a Processing dark theme hack I did, it generated some interests so I did one for arduino too. Had a few ask how it was done, so here you go!

first download: wu-arduino-theme

Unzip and place here: /Applications/ click and view contents here)/Contents/Resources/Java/lib/theme

This has all the skin files you need to get it set up. Make sure you back up old ones incase something goes wrong. You can always download new version of arduino as well.

open up arduino and go into your preferences: Adruino > Preferences… and you will see a line that says “more preferences can be edited directly in the file” and then it has a file location. You can click that location and it will take you directly there.

Now make sure you close arduino IDE else you will overwrite your changes when you close (arduino IDE saves pref files on close).

Ok, now open up: preferences.txt and change the following lines:


and Voilà! you’re done.

Join the discussion 7 Comments

  • Reply


    October 19, 2012 at 11:55 pm

    What are you supposed to do with the theme files after you’ve downloaded them?

    • Reply


      October 21, 2012 at 6:19 pm

      Yikes! seems that I have missed a critical step huh? Must have been tired… I have amended the tutorial, they need to go in: /Applications/

      thanks for the catch.

  • Reply


    November 20, 2012 at 6:37 am

    You may see the serial port initially when the IDE starts, but the TX/RX leds do nothing when uploading. You may have previously changed the baudrate in the serial monitor to something it does not like. Edit ~/.arduino/preferences.txt so that serial.debug_rate is a different speed, like 115200.

  • Reply


    December 5, 2012 at 3:31 am

    Now make sure you close arduino IDE else you will overwrite your changes when you close (arduino IDE saves pref files on close).

  • Reply


    December 18, 2012 at 6:18 am

    The ‘preferences.txt’ file will not exist if the Arduino program has never been run. In this case, it will be created automatically the first time the program runs and the ‘upload.reset_dialog’ option will be set to ‘true’ by default.

  • Reply

    Jerold Poole

    January 23, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    Using a programmer is another option and all of these are configured in the file Programmers.txt that you can find inside the folder .\hardware\arduino\ in your Arduino installation.

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