Layout editor background colour

Hi, Is there a way to switch the background colour of the layout editor from black to white? I find certain layer colours a strain to view against black.



Hi Ron,

Yes. Open a schematic window. Go into preferences and look for > Set Colors Scheme and there you can change the background from Black to White. Look for it on right bottom corner.

I can’t find a setting in the pcbnew ini file for the background color… grid yes, all the layers yes, but not background… even background color for the 3D viewer… sorry :frowning2:

PS: you could try to change those ‘straining’ colors to something else in the meantime. Just doubleclick the color patch in the layer selection tab…

if you are in dev release for 3d viewer you have these settings:

maybe this link helps…

Firstly as a newcomer to KiCad I must say that I am really impressed with the application. As someone who has used Eagle and other PCB CAD programs for many years I believe that KiCad is something really special that has the potential to grow and grow both in scope and in following. I wish I had discovered it earlier!

For clarity I should have described the layout editor as “Pcbnew”, the board layout editor. It appears that despite the other modules having options to change the background, no such feature exists at present within Pcbnew. I should make it clear that this is not just a whim on my part, it really does make a huge difference to the usability of the layout editor for users like me who through age have lost a degree of night vision. Thanks for the suggestion about changing layer colours Joan, I will do this as a work around but I suspect that despite this, the black background will still cause fatigue.

Is there a way to submit this as a future feature request?



Oh, and I should add, thanks for all of your replies!



Not exactly the same…but I’m suggest to ad the possibility to add a background image…not to see some nice flowers or a pinup girl, but to route similar to an old layout published in a magazine or a scan from an old burned original pcb, or to create footprints from ugly complicated parts…

This must be already on the whishlist …but …



you can convert your image to footprint and then import it in pcbnew, using it as a master


Being in the photography hobby nearly more then 40 years and since more then 23 years working photography on Computer Monitors there is one important point which can also cause eye fatigue …

The Brightness adjustment of many monitors is by far much to high. I could now start to explain about colour temperature of a Monitor etc. but I will try to keep it simple …

The whiter you see your Monitor the more blue is in the White and that causes eye stress.

Get some info how to adjust your Monitors Color temperature and a good start is to set it to sRGB Color Profile. That is about daylight.

If you do not process photograhy on your Monitor you can even go down to 5000K Color temperature which is a Warm White (like a sheet of normal typewriter paper)and does not stress too much your eyes.

regards Rainer

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I don’t care for the black background either, for similar reasons, but I’ve learned to tolerate it.

To request a feature you use the “Bugtracker” at, and mark your submission as a “Feature Request”. (Yeah, you gotta create a Launchpad account first.) I have the impression that “Feature Requests” don’t receive a lot of attention, but it doesn’t hurt to register your opinion.


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As @dchisholm already mentioned bug reports and feature requests should go to the bug tracker. (Only a few developers visit this forum.) Discussing its usefulness here is still a good idea.

I bet there is already a feature request for exactly this feature. (Or for something very similar)
If it does already exist simply mark it as “This bug affects me” and maybe leave a comment. (Especially if you feel that your usecase is not well represented in the description or in earlier comments.)


Indeed, and


My thanks for all of your replies and suggestions, I’ve created a Launchpad account and submitted a bug report with a request to offer a palette option as in the other KiCad modules - or as a compromise the option to chose a black or white background in Pcbnew.

Thanks again,


Good news, a fix for user definable background colour in Pcbnew is committed and will be available in release 32185ddcd36da25348044ebb10ce47f8090cb3a3

I look forward to trying it out!

Thanks to all


Now that one year has passed, where can this feature be found? I have Pcbnew from KiCAD version 5.0.0-rc2+dfsg1-3 (Debian) and I cannot find how to set the background color.

Note: A custom adjustment of the colors is very important for colorblind people (who represent 8% of men) and the absence of this capability makes usage a nightmare for some colorblind people…

Layers Manager, Items, Background

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Thank you! That works.