Windows Console

Microsoft has now released the Windows Console Colortool. With Build 16257, Windows Console got a new default colour scheme (first overhaul in more than 20 years) and the company promised to release a tool to make it easier to change the default console colour to the desired colour palette. The ‘Colortool‘ does just that.

The Colortool is available as an open-source project on GitHub and you can find the tool inside of this Github repository. You are free to clone and fork it.

How to Use the Tool

To install it, build the tool using Visual Studio, or use the included filebuild.bat from the command line to try and auto-detect your msbuild version.

Copy colortool.exe (executable file) along with the schemes folder to a local directory. Ensure that colortool.exe and the schemes folder are in the same folder.You can also place

You can also 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.

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:

Points to be noted:

  1. If you clean-install a new build of Windows 10 >= 16257, you’ll get the new colours as the default Console scheme.
  2. If you upgraded to this new build of Windows, you will still see the original legacy colours, not the new defaults.