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My Current Dark And Light Theme in 2019

There are two hard things in computer science: cache invalidation, naming things, and deciding which editor theme to choose. I've been lately trying out a light theme and wanted to take the chance also for looking for a new dark one. In this article, I show you where I ended up with my themes.

Both of my current themes in one image combined

I'm looking all day at my editor, and this is why I care about what it looks like, and this is why themes are essential to me. I want to feel comfortable with the tools I use, and design is a big part of that. After switching my IDE theme in 2017 it is now time for another change.

Light Or Dark

This has been a big question lately: Should I use a light or dark theme? It all started with light themes quite some time ago. Then, some years ago, it was cool to use a dark theme. People also sad it was better to read and better for your eyes.

Then, last year, I saw more and more developers changing back to a light theme, and now it is a trend. There have also been researches showing that light ones are better for your eyes after all. Brent is dealing with this topic a lot.

I am still a fan of dark themes, but in the end, it comes down to personal taste. Every look has its advantages and disadvantages. Make your own opinion and decide for yourself.

I wanted to give the light side a try and customized a theme so I can use it as a light and dark theme.

The Theme Is Just One Piece Of The Cake

There are a lot of things that define your editor's visual appearance. A theme mostly defines just colors. There are exceptions to that, but mostly this is the case. Besides colors, you then also have to think about a font type and font sizes. If you have a shitty font, your editor will look shitty as well. It is important to match all these parts together:

  • Color Theme
  • Font
  • font Sizes
  • Console

I have also added the console to this list because some editors let you use their integrated console. I use it all the time with PhpStorm. In this case, it is also important what your console looks like, which could be a topic for itself.

What Theme I Currently Use

Now, when I say theme I'm referring to the overall look of my editor. If you find a better word let me know. Let's go through each of the parts together.

Color Theme

This time I tried some new color themes from Rainglow by Dayle Rees. He got a huge collection of beautiful light and dark themes. I have looked at all for them and decided to go with Jewel.

Screenshot of the Jewel theme

I did the same search for my light theme, and surprisingly I went for Jewel here as well.

Screenshot of the Jewel theme

I like bright colors and good contrast. This led me to Jewel.

Font

When you first install a theme into your editor, it will probably look awful and entirely different from where you have first seen it. I mentioned it already. This is because the theme only defines your colors. There is still some work to do to make it fit your needs.

I always wanted to use Operator Mono. It is the most beautiful code font out there, but it is really expensive. (starts with €199) So I was looking for a similar one which is a bit cheaper. (Christoph Rumpel 2017)

One of those things is choosing a font. The last years, I've been using Fira Code. It's the best free font I found out there for coding. In 2017, I wasn't ready to pay for a font. This changed this year, and I decided to buy Operator Mono. It is costly at $200, but since I have my own company now, I feel like it is worth it.

Font Sizes

Again, a great font is worth nothing without the correct sizes. This is still a personal taste decision. I like my font and line height big, so I can concentrate on the view lines of code I see. These are the font settings I currently use for both themes.

Screenshot of my PhpStorm font settings

Console

As already mentioned, styling your console is a whole topic for itself. I already spend dozens of hours on creating my custom console in the last years. But it got a lot easier since I'm using oh my zsh with the Agnoster theme. You probably have seen it before, because it is quite popular.

In PhpStorm I only had to change the console colors to make them better fit the new theme colors.

The Result

In the end, you should choose what you like. I hope I could help you a little bit with that decisions by telling you about my new themes.

Finally, here are screenshots of both of my light and dark theme.

Screenshot of my light theme Screenshot of my dark theme

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