Introducing the Windows Console Colortool


Last week we announced the exciting news that Windows Console has a new default color scheme, and also promised you that we would release a tool to make it easier to change the console to your desired scheme. The Windows Console team is proud to present 'Colortool' which will give you this functionality!

Get the Tool

You can find the tool inside of this Github repository. It's an open source project provided under the MIT license so feel free to clone and fork it!

You can also download the initial release of colortool here as a .zip.

How to Use the Tool

After building colortool, to install it, copy colortool.exe along with the schemes folder to a local directory.  Ensure that colortool.exe and the schemes folder are in the same folder!  For easy use from a command line place colortool in a location that's included in your PATH.

Changing the properties of a Window

Open up Command prompt and run:

  • colortool [scheme name in schemes/ e.g: campbell]
  • Right click on the window title to access the ‘Properties’ dialogue box
  • Once the properties dialogue box opens press OK (which saves the color change)

Applying a color scheme to your defaults

Open up Command prompt and run:

  • colortool -d [scheme name in schemes/]
  • Your current window will not be affected but your defaults now correspond to that theme

Applying a color scheme to both the Window and defaults

Calling 'colortool -b [scheme name in schemes/]' will change both the Window's current theme and the defaults.

For more information on the tool please read the README inside of the Github page.

Note: the new default color scheme of the Windows Console has been titled campbell, and the legacy scheme is titled cmd-legacy inside of the schemes folder.

Included Schemes

The colortool will work with any .itermcolors scheme. We have also included some useful themes inside of the schemes folder for the tool. This tool makes it easier for users to change their color scheme based on their accessibility needs, and we are excited to promote that by adding a color scheme called deuteranopia targeted towards users who have trouble distinguishing red and green. Here's a description of each:

  • campbell : The new default color scheme for Windows Console
  • campbell-legacy : The first iteration of the campbell scheme
  • cmd-legacy : The legacy defaults of the Windows Console
  • OneHalfDark : A dark vim-airline theme by Son A. Pham
  • OneHalfLight : A light vim-airline theme by Son A. Pham
  • solarized_dark : The dark version of a popular color scheme by Ethan Schoonover
  • solarized_light : The light version of a popular color scheme by Ethan Schoonover 
  • deuteranopia : A color scheme targeted towards making red and green clearer to users with red green colorblindness, and deuteranopia.

For example, here is solarized_dark:

We hope you have fun customizing the Windows Console color scheme to look just how you like it!


Comments (2)

  1. Jonas says:

    This is great and I’m really looking forward to trying it when pull request #1 is merged.
    I do have 2 issues:
    What about shortcuts that have coded colors? As I understand this tool will only be able to change the colorscheme of the current process (by running colortool.exe in the session) or change the registry. Are you planning to be able to save the changes to a shortcut somehow?

    Why do you have to open properties and click ok? is this a limitation that cant be dealt with?

    1. Craigaloewen says:

      The tool does change the colorscheme of the current process. By right clicking properties and then clicking OK, that saves the current color scheme to the settings from where that Console Window was loaded.

      So yes this already does work with shortcuts. If you open a Window from that specific shortcut and then run colortool and right click properties and then hit OK that will save that color scheme for that specific shortcut, no need to run colortool again.

      The properties and then click OK method is there because of the current architecture of Windows Console settings. It’s something we are taking a look into improving.

      The settings can be a little confusing so this article is written to help answer some of those questions! https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/commandline/2017/06/20/understanding-windows-console-host-settings/

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