IntelliJ IDEA 2018.3 Help

Configuring Colors and Fonts

As a developer, you work with a lot of plain text: the source code in the editor, search results, debugger information, console input and output, and so on. Colors and font styles are used to format this text and help you better understand it at a glance.

IntelliJ IDEA uses color schemes that define the preferred colors and fonts.

Default color schemes for Java

You can use a predefined color scheme or customize it to your liking. It is also possible to share schemes from another IntelliJ IDEA installation.

Select a color scheme

  1. In the Settings/Preferences dialog (Ctrl+Alt+S), select Editor | Color Scheme.

  2. Use the Scheme drop-down list to select a color scheme.

    Select the color scheme

By default, there are three predefined color schemes:

  • Default: color scheme designed for the Light theme.

  • Darcula: color scheme designed for the Darcula theme.

  • High contrast: color scheme designed for users with sight deficiency (the High contrast theme).

Customize a color scheme

You can customize a predefined color scheme, but it is recommended to create a duplicate for your custom color and font settings:

Duplicate a color scheme

  1. In the Settings/Preferences dialog (Ctrl+Alt+S), select Editor | Color Scheme.

  2. Select a color scheme, click The Settings icon, and then click Duplicate.

  3. (Optional) To rename your custom scheme, click The Settings icon and select Rename.

To define color and font settings, expand the Editor | Color Scheme section in the Settings/Preferences dialog (Ctrl+Alt+S). The settings are separated into sections by context related to specific languages, tools, and other elements of the interface where text is used. A lot of color scheme settings are inherited from the Language Defaults and General sections. This is designated by the Inherit values from check box.

Language Defaults section under Color Scheme settings

Semantic highlighting

By default, the color scheme defines syntax highlighting for reserved words and other symbols in your source code: operators, keywords, suggestions, string literals, and so on. If you have a function or method with many parameters and local variables, it may be hard to scan them all. You can use semantic highlighting to assign a different color to each parameter and local variable.

Enable semantic highlighting

  1. In the Settings/Preferences dialog (Ctrl+Alt+S), select Editor | Color Scheme | Language Defaults | Semantic highlighting.

  2. Select the Semantic highlighting check box and customize the color ranges if necessary.

Semantic highlighting

Share color schemes

If you are used to a specific color scheme, you can export it from one installation and import it to another one. You can also share the preferred color schemes between your team members. If necessary, import your favourite color settings from Eclipse.

Export color scheme

  1. In the Settings/Preferences dialog (Ctrl+Alt+S), select Editor | Color Scheme.

  2. Use the Scheme drop-down list to select a color scheme, click The Settings icon, click Export, and then click your preferred option:

    • IntelliJ IDEA color scheme (.icls) is the standard XML format for IntelliJ IDEA color scheme settings. You can then import the file to another installation.

    • Color scheme plugin (.jar) can be uploaded to the plugin repository for others to install. The plugin format has several benefits, including metadata, feedback, download statistics, and versioning (when you upload a new version, users will be notified about it).

Import color scheme

  1. In the Settings/Preferences dialog (Ctrl+Alt+S), select Editor | Color Scheme.

  2. Use the Scheme drop-down list to select a color scheme, click The Settings icon, click Import Scheme, and then click your preferred option:

    • IntelliJ IDEA color scheme (.icls) or settings (.jar) to import the standard file or exported settings (created using the File | Export Settings menu).

    • Eclipse Color Theme (XML) to import color settings from Eclipse.

Fonts

To customize the default font, open Editor | Font in the Settings/Preferences dialog (Ctrl+Alt+S). This font is used and inherited in all color schemes by default.

Customize the color scheme font

You can set a different font for your current scheme.

  1. In the Settings/Preferences dialog (Ctrl+Alt+S), select Editor | Color Scheme | Color Scheme Font.

  2. Select the Use color scheme font instead of the default checkbox.

Customize the console font

By default, text in the console uses the same font as the color scheme. To use a different font in the console:

  1. In the Settings/Preferences dialog (Ctrl+Alt+S), select Editor | Color Scheme | Console Font.

  2. Select the Use console font instead of the default checkbox.

Productivity tips

You can navigate to the relevant color scheme settings for the symbol under the caret using the Jump to Colors and Fonts action. Press Ctrl+Shift+A and start typing the action name to find and execute it.

Last modified: 19 December 2018

See Also