Ubuntu: How to Set a Dark Background Color in Geany Software & Sites 07 MAR 2013

Geany is a text editor using the GTK2 toolkit with basic features of an integrated development environment (IDE). It was developed to provide a small and fast IDE, which has only a few dependencies from other packages. It supports a fair number of languages (like PHP for example) and has most of the features that you would require from a simple IDE, making it a worthy tool for me to use on my sluggish home desktop PC, in place of the a bit too resource heavy, JAVA-powered NetBeans IDE.

Anyway, the default is for Geany to have a bright white background with a dark foreground, but if you’ve been in the programming game for as long as what I have, then you’ll undoubtedly know that working on a dark background with a light foreground is far superior when it comes to wanting to try and reduce eye-strain brought on by long bouts in front of the screen!

Unfortunately it isn’t immediately apparent how to set a dark background color in Geany, but thankfully the option is there if you just search a little harder:

(From the main menu) Edit -> Preferences -> Editor. Once on the Editor options level, select the Display tab to the far right of the dialog, and you will notice a checkbox marked “Invert syntax highlighting colors”.

Check this and you’ll return to a beautifully black background with a light foreground.


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About Craig Lotter

South African software architect and developer at Touchwork. Husband to a cupcake baker and father to two little girls. I don't have time for myself any more.

  • innotech

    Thanks this helped me a lot, I’m a new python developer starting out on small projects and the eye strain and light was too much for me after long hours.

    • No problem. I find that the dark background helps me eliminate eye strain quite effectively!

  • Darald

    thank you. very helpful. wish geany had a real fullscreen. meaning i type f11 and eveythting hides but my textfield…

  • Mike Black

    yes so helpful. thanks!

  • bumkailashkumar

    thank you back to white