Canvas color

Is there a way to change the canvas color in Kicad on Linux. ?
The white canvas is blowing out my eyes.

Use sunglasses?

I never understood much about marketing. Apparently “brightness” is a selling point for monitors. I use the normal wite background for any program that comes standard with it and I’ve never had a problem with it. But I do turn the brightness of my monitor down to 14% (I just checked).

The answer you are looking for is more likely to be: … / Preferences / Preferences / Schematic Editor / Color / Background. But do notice the default color scheme is read-only. You have to create a new color theme before you can change colors.

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There are some dark color themes in Plugin & Content Manager.

You may also have dark themes for your OS, depending on your Linux flavor.

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I am not going to turn all three monitors down just for Kicad. It is silly and counter productive. Sarcasm is also the lowest form of wit. It achieves nothing.

So it is available in the newest version.
It seems it is not available in the version I am using and my distro do not have a newer version available. Past attempts to install newest version from sources on Debian was not productive so I need to wait till a new version is available in Debian repositories.
Which Version of Kicad do you use in above screenshot?
Will give me an idea which version I should look out for.
If you know which is the first version that included themes let me know.

Thanks for clearing it up.
Problem solved.

You can change the colors in KiCad even if you have a really old version. You just can’t install pre-made color themes if your version is from before the plugin and content manager.


Some Color Themes are Tweakable and Createable (since from at least several past Kicad versions). Some are ‘Read’ only… explore them…

In Pref’s you can Tweak, Create and Set them (though not all have equivalent panels, options and settings)

Quick Example of changing Schematic Background…

Thanks that helped a lot. Dont know why I did not notice this in the colors settings.

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You can also either:

  • manually download colour schemes from KiCAD repo and copy them manually to .config directory
  • install colour schemes via Plugin and Content Manager (click Colour Themes tab)

It’s not sarcasm. It was meant quite serious, but with a wink.

Most monitors are still LCD’s with backlight. Having the LED panel produce a lot of light, and then block most of it with the LCD panel is not very energy efficient if you think about it. Therefore I choose regular light themes and just turn down the overall brightness of the display I do have a relatively big monitor (107cm) and it probably uses more energy then the rest of my PC combined (Ryzen 5600G, the fan very rarely gets above it’s slow idle RPM). My new monitor barely gets warm, not nearly as hot as my old 24" HP monitor which still have CLF’s.)

If you have an OLED display, choosing a dark theme makes more sense. Both to reduce energy consumption, and to reduce stress / wear on the display.

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I like a dark theme too and I use one called “Witch Hazel” from the plugin manager.

Hi @retnev

I’m using the “wDark” theme from the Plugins with a much toned down grid on Kicad 8.0.2

The only problem with the kicad themes is they are only for the workspace. See below:

For the surround I use a dark theme from my OS: Linux Mint 21.3 Cinnamon. This Mint has a bucket full of dark themes. See below:

Don’t forget, as @paulvdh mentioned way up, you need to save any read only theme as a personal theme before you can modify it.

I don’t see that as a problem, but more as a feature.

If KiCad already uses the common GUI theme you set on your PC, then it conforms better with your wishes without even changing any sort of settings yourself.

But I also understand it can be confusing, as settings for themes are now divided between KiCad itself and your OS.

I don’t know much about how these themes work (I hardly ever bother to touch such frivolities) but still, would KiCad be able to detect whether you have a “dark” or a “light” theme on your PC, and then also internally select some default “dark” or “light” theme? This may be worth a feature request on gitlab.

Not for me. I’m happy with the current situation.
If I want something changed, I’d rather do it myself. Kicad may differ from me in its thoughts about what I want. :slightly_smiling_face:

This comment was really aimed at the OP who doesn’t like a bright screen. As I commented, Kicad themes only half solve the OP’s problem. :slightly_smiling_face: