Color Palettes

Click the Customize button next to the drop-down list with color palettes in File Types|Colors and Syntax to choose the colors EditPad's editor control will use.

Color Palettes

At the top of the window , you can select one of the preconfigured color palettes. Selecting one of the preset configurations will change all of the individual colors.

Changing Individual Colors

To change an individual color, simply click on its name. Click on the Background Color or Text Color button to show the color picker. You can pick a common color by clicking on the colored rectangle. You can pick a more specific color by clicking the More button to show the color hexagon. The colors on the outer edge of the hexagon are always fully saturated. The colors nearer to the center of the hexagon are progressively desaturated towards white, gray, or black. Click on the vertical grayscale slider to change the luminance of the colors in the center of the hexagon. If you want to pick a pure grayscale value, click on the horizontal line of small gray hexagons. If you want pure white or black, click on the larger black or white hexagon to the left or right of the gray hexagons. If you want to use a specific RGB value, enter three numbers between 0 and 255 in the edit boxes that are shaded red, green, and blue.

At the top of the color picker there is a button labeled Default. The default color depends on the color item. The default colors for "editor: plain text" are the window text and background colors configured in the Windows Control Panel (as part of the Windows theme or via the advanced appearance settings). The default colors for "editor: selected text" are the selection text and highlight colors specified in the Windows Control Panel. The default colors for all other items are the text and background colors you selected for "editor: plain text" in this palette.

It is possible for multiple colors to apply to the same text. In increasing order of priority, a piece of text may have two levels (subscheme and element) of highlighting by the syntax coloring scheme, may be on a highlighted line (file comparison and active line highlighting), and may be selected. Background and text color are determined separately. EditPad displays each bit of text using the individual color with the highest priority that applies to that text. If that color is set to "default" or is set to the exactly the same color as that for "plain text", EditPad takes the color with the next highest priority. If all colors are set to "default" then the colors for "plain text" are used to display the text. The text color and background color are determined separately. An individual color that uses "default" as its text color and a specific color as its background color gives the appearance of a highlighter. An individual color that uses "default" as its background color and a specific color as its text color gives the appearance of color-coded text with a transparent background. An individual color that has specific text and background colors will appear opaque. An individual color that has both text and background set to "default" is effectively disabled.

If you want to use exactly the same color for two items, and those items are not related via the "default" mechanism, then first select the item that already has the color you want. Click on the Background Color or Text Color button to show the color picker. Observe whether the More button appears flat or depressed. If it is flat, observe which of the squares above the More button has an enclosing bevel. If the More button is depressed, observe whether one of the small hexagons that make up the large color hexagon is surrounded by a thick border. If there is, observe its location as well as the location of the small triangle next to the vertical grayscale bar. If there is not, observe whether one of the black, gray, or white hexagons below the color hexagon is marked. If there is none, make note of the RGB numbers. Making note of the RGB numbers works for all colors, but observing which rectangle or which hexagon is selected is probably faster once you understand the way the color picker works.

After observing the color, click on the item in the list that should have the same color. The color picker automatically closes when you do this. Click on the Background Color or Text Color button again to open the color picker for the new item. If you observed a color square having a bevel, click that square to select the color. If you observed a small hexagon in the large color hexagon having a thick border, first click on the vertical grayscale bar to move the small triangle to the observed position. Then click on the small hexagon in the large color hexagon to select the color. If you observed a black, gray, or white hexagon having a thick border, click that hexagon. If you noted RGB values, enter those values using the keyboard.

The color hexagon, along with the vertical grayscale slider, makes it easy to pick related colors. The concepts that follow may be easier to understand if you see the large color hexagon as a circle with discrete steps, and the small hexagons that comprise it as positions at a certain radius and angle. Colors with the same distance to the center (same radius) have the same amount of saturation. The colors at the edge are always fully saturated and the color at the center is always fully desaturated. You can change the hue without changing the saturation selecting another color at the same distance (same radius, different angle). You can change the saturation without changing the hue by selecting a color closer to or further away from the center (different radius, same angle). For colors that are not fully saturated, the grayscale slider controls the luminance. To make a color lighter or darker, first click on the grayscale slider to change the luminance. Then click on the same spot in the color hexagon to select the same color with the different luminance.

Syntax elements that use colors of different hues but similar saturation and luminance allow those elements to be distinguished without drawing attention to some over the others. Syntax elements for important structural parts of the file can be given colors with more luminance while syntax elements for less important parts or more common parts (large blocks of text) can be given colors with less luminance to make it easier for the eye to gravitate towards the important elements. This can be further enhanced by using bold text for the most important syntax elements. If the base (plain text) color of the scheme is white, gray, or black, then setting the luminance slider at that level of white, gray, or black allows you to use more saturated colors for important elements and less saturated colors for less important elements, as an alternative technique to using luminance. Color schemes that use very saturated colors appear bolder, while color schemes with (somewhat) desaturated colors (using luminance instead of saturation for highlighting) appear more relaxing.

If you prefer to use the standard Windows color selection dialog box to pick your colors, right-click the Background Color or Text Color button. This dialog allows you to specify hue and saturation using a two-dimensional grid and luminance using a vertical slider. You can also enter HSL or RGB values with the keyboard.

List of Individual Colors

The colors prefixed with "syntax" are the named colors used by syntax coloring schemes. The descriptions given here are the suggested uses of these colors. The syntax coloring schemes provided with EditPad Pro strictly follow these suggested uses, though most schemes do not use all of the colors. Syntax coloring schemes created by other EditPad Pro users may use these colors to highlight other things.

The colors prefixed with "editor" are used to draw various parts of EditPad's editor control. These colors are not used by syntax coloring schemes. The editor uses these colors even when syntax coloring is disabled.

The colors prefixed with "regex" are used by the Search Panel to apply syntax coloring to regular expressions. Only the full search panel does this. When the search panel is closed, the drop-down lists on the search toolbar do not apply syntax coloring to the regular expression.


When configuring syntax highlighting colors, you can select one of the available colorings schemes to see an example. Each coloring scheme has its own example text that shows the most important color elements of the scheme. The example does not necessarily show all color elements. You can type in or paste in your own example to test the colors. Your example won't be saved. If you select a different coloring scheme in the drop-down list then the example will be reset to what is stored in the scheme.