IntelliJ Platform Plugin SDK Help

UI Themes - Editor Schemes and Background Images

UI Themes can also provide custom color and font settings, as well as custom images for display in the IDE application window.

Adding a Custom Editor Scheme

Users of IntelliJ Platform-based IDEs, such as Intellij IDEA, can set preferences to configure the colors and fonts used in the Editor. These custom color and font settings are called Editor Color Schemes.

Creating a Custom Editor Scheme Using Settings/Preferences

Custom editor color schemes can be specified and exported using the IDE Settings/Preferences dialog. Note that editor Colors and Fonts, and Colors for Version Control File Status are customized in different sections of Settings/Preferences.

Use the following procedure to customize an editor color scheme for a UI Theme:

  • Create the desired custom editor color scheme using the IDE preferences.

  • Export the custom editor color scheme to the desired file name. In this example, the file is exported to Lightning.icls

  • Once exported, change the file extension from *.icls to *.xml. In this example, the result is Lightning.xml.

  • See Customizing Editor Scroll Bar Colors to change the colors of editor scroll bars.

Incorporating the Editor Color Scheme in the Custom UI Theme

The next step is to add the color scheme to the UI Theme plugin project:

  • Replace the default generated custom editor color scheme XML file (in this example theme_basics.xml) in the resources folder with the exported custom editor color scheme. In this case, the action is to replace theme_basics.xml with Lightning.xml.

  • In the UI Theme file (in this example theme_basics.theme.json,) replace the name of the generated editor scheme file (theme_basics.xml) with the new (Lightning.xml) file name. The key is always "editorScheme". The value is the name of the editor color scheme file.

The example below adds an editor scheme named "Lightning" to the Theme Basics custom UI Theme:

{ "name": "Theme Basics", "dark": false, "author": "IntelliJ Platform SDK", "editorScheme": "/Lightning.xml", "ui": { } }

Editor Color Scheme XML Files

When an editor color scheme is exported as a file, the color options appear as name- value attributes of option elements. The name is the aspect of the editor to be changed, and the value is the new color in six-digit RGB or eight-digit RGBA hexadecimal notation. For example, the snippet below sets the color of the line numbers displayed in the editor:

<colors> <option name="LINE_NUMBERS_COLOR" value="999999" /> </colors>

For additional examples of name and value attributes, review the editor color scheme XML file for the High Contrast editor scheme.

Customizing Version Control File Status Colors

As described above, colors corresponding to the VCS status of files can be customized and exported via the Preferences/Settings. No other procedure is necessary to customize these colors. In the exported color scheme file the name is the VCS file status, and the value is the new color corresponding to that status. For example, customized VCS colors for a subset of file statuses will appear in the editor scheme file as:

<colors> <option name="FILESTATUS_ADDED" value="62cc47" /> <option name="FILESTATUS_COPIED" value="62cc47" /> <option name="FILESTATUS_DELETED" value="ed864a" /> </colors>

For additional examples of FILESTATUS color name attributes, see the editor color scheme XML file for the High Contrast editor scheme.

Customizing Editor Scroll Bar Colors

Editor scroll bar colors should be coordinated with, and switch together with an editor color scheme. Please note that Custom UI Theme (*.theme.json) files also contain ScrollBar.* name attributes, but these are for scroll bars outside the context of the editor.

Customizing the editor scroll bar colors requires manually changing an editor color scheme XML file. At this time there isn't code completion functionality for changing custom color editor scheme XML files, so the name attributes are described below.

Editor Scroll Bar Attribute Name Format

The typical format of a scroll bar name attribute is ScrollBar.usage, where usage describes where the color is to be applied. In some cases usage itself can be compound such as ScrollBar.Mac.Transparent.thumbColor. In these compound cases, the last portion of the compound usage still describes where the color is to be applied.

Note that the following example snippet uses an eight-digit hexadecimal color value to give ScrollBar.Mac.thumbColor transparency:

<color> <option name="ScrollBar.Mac.trackColor" value="000000"/> <option name="ScrollBar.Mac.thumbColor" value="FFFFFFBE"/> </color>

Editor Scroll Bar Attribute Names

A list of scroll bar name attributes is in the High Contrast editor scheme file. These name attributes cannot be accessed from anywhere in the IDE UI at this time, so they must be manually added to an editor color scheme XML file.

The following list explains the usage format of the name attribute, i.e. where a custom scroll bar color is applied:

  • *.trackColor— The scroll bar thumb moves across this area. At this time the vertical scrollbar track color and transparency cannot be customized.

  • *.thumbColor— The movable rectangle that corresponds to the visible content's size.

  • *.thumbBorderColor— The thumb border.

  • *.hoverTrackColor— Same usage as above but for hover. At this time the vertical scrollbar hover track color and transparency cannot be customized.

  • *.hoverThumbColor— Same usage as above but for hover.

  • *.hoverThumbBorderColor— Same usage as above but for hover.

The name attribute patterns are enumerated below.

Platform Independent Name Attributes

The horizontal scroll bar background color is set by ScrollBar.background. This background color is visible only if the horizontal scroll bar's *.trackColor has transparency.

At this time the vertical scrollbar background color cannot be customized.

Windows/Linux Name Attributes

The name attributes for Windows and Linux scroll bars have the pattern ScrollBar.Transparent.*, where the wildcard portion corresponds to the usage definitions above.

macOS Name Attributes

The name attribute pattern for the vertical scroll bar is ScrollBar.Mac.*.

The name attribute pattern for the horizontal scroll bar depends on the macOS preferences Show scroll bars setting:

  • ScrollBar.Mac.* when the Always setting is selected.

  • ScrollBar.Mac.Transparent.* when the When scrolling setting is selected.

The wildcard portion of these patterns corresponds to the usage definitions above.

Adding a Custom Background Image

The IDE supports setting an image as a background in the application window. Users can do this manually in Preferences.

UI Themes support specifying a background image as a key-value pair in the "background": {} section of a Theme description file:

  • The image key uses the file name of the image as the value. The background image is placed in the UI Theme plugin project's resources folder.

  • The transparency key uses a value of 1-100. A value of 100 is opaque.

  • The fill key uses a value of scale, meaning to expand the image to fill the space as the window gets resized.

  • The anchor key uses a value of center, meaning to locate the center of the image in the center of the window.

The following example adds an image of the Austrian countryside to the Theme Basics Theme description file:

{ "name": "Theme Basics", "dark": false, "author": "IntelliJ Platform SDK", "ui": { }, "background": { "image": "/austria.png", "transparency": 10, "fill": "scale", "anchor": "center" } }
Last modified: 14 January 2021