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New Poll: Light on Dark or Dark on Light?

Published by Chris Coyier

New poll! Just for funzies. Do you prefer...

Light Code on Dark Background

Like this:

or...

Dark Code on Light Background

Like this:

Those are just examples. Doesn't have to be those exact syntax highlighting themes. But I believe all themes fall into those two categories.

Comments

  1. I personally prefer to code light on dark, but not white on black that’s too much. I use the birds of prey theme for text mate.

    • birds of paradise* not birds of prey.

    • mike
      Permalink to comment#

      I prefer my code to be light on dark. I think the color differences in the syntax are easier and quicker to see and make the sections of code more readable. I don’t like a total black background, more of a 36,36,36 rgb color

      However, when viewing websites, I prefer dark text on light backgrounds because the inverse leaves imprints in my eyes and when I look away I see lines. This doesn’t happen when I code all day for some reason.

    • Light code on dark!

      I prefer use light code on dark, the syntax of code are very easy because of the color differences.

      Other motive is… I LOVE black color for everything…

    • Birds of prey sounded more awesome. :)

    • Light code on a dark background

    • Permalink to comment#

      Same. Especially at night when I do a lot of my personal work.

    • Permalink to comment#

      Light on Dark background

  2. Permalink to comment#

    Light code on dark FTW!

    dark code on a light background is difficult to read as the light background is too “bright” for the eye to read the dark code. It’s like reading a white web page in the dark – it hurts the eyes!

  3. Even though i use dark on light on a day to day basis, i still think the dark background above is far easier to read.
    Maybe i need to re-evaluate my IDE!

  4. Light on dark for my own editing (Mac Classic color scheme in Sublime Text 2), but dark on light for code on web pages.

  5. Permalink to comment#

    Light Code on Dark Background – I find it’s much easier on my eyes for long coding sessions.

  6. davef
    Permalink to comment#

    i feel like the light on dark was this website-s thing already but i can-t remember- it matches better with the color scheme and seems pretty signature with the theme used here

  7. Permalink to comment#

    Definitely Light On Dark. It’s feel much more magically, plus when coding with Harry Potter Movies Soundtrack (i usually code with it…) I feel like in Hogwart ;D

  8. Jaime Blázquez
    Permalink to comment#

    I use light code over dark background (Darkcula theme on IntelliJ Idea). Previously used dark over light, but I switched because I feel like the dark theme is more restful for my eyes.

  9. It honestly doesn’t matter all that much to me. I started out with just dark on light only. Then tools like ST2 got me into light on dark because it was a nice switch. Now Brackets has me enjoying dark on light again.

  10. Light code on dark background for sure. It is way easier on the eyes at night, and coupled with f.lux, its awesome!

    • kapouer
      Permalink to comment#

      People using a mac (be it under osx or linux) can adjust brightness depending on actual ambient light. It also renders light on dark very badly, since the light is dimmed when it’s dark.

    • Regnareb
      Permalink to comment#

      I wanted to talk about f.lux too, it’s a great softwares and it totally changed my life!

    • Regnareb
      Permalink to comment#

      kapouer > f.lux does not change the brightness or anything like that. It changes the color temperature which is totally different and can be much more efficient.

  11. Definitely light code on dark background! With light background you end up with tired eyes.

  12. Mark
    Permalink to comment#

    Light code on a dark background! I find it much easier on my eyes over a long period of time.

  13. ahoiii
    Permalink to comment#

    light on dark!

  14. Permalink to comment#

    Light on dark all the way!

  15. at day -> light background
    at night -> dark background

  16. I prefer light colors on dark background, currently Erebus in ST2.

  17. Les
    Permalink to comment#

    Definitely light on dark. I can’t take the brightness of dark on white when in a dimly light area.

  18. Permalink to comment#

    I prefer light code on dark background, much better to stay focused.

  19. Monokai Dark baby!

  20. roxanne
    Permalink to comment#

    definitely light on dark

  21. jared
    Permalink to comment#

    Light code on a dark background (solarized dark) and i’ve skinned my shell and chrome dev tools to match. I just wish the chrome dev tools markup was more customizable.

  22. I definitely prefer a light background over dark – light code on a dark background makes my eyes go buggy and my head hurt. It seems I’m in the minority, though!

    Light/dark preferences aside, though, if you’re not using Solarized you’re just not hooked up right.

    • Oop, forgot the Solarized screenshot, for those of you not familiar with it:

    • Or nevermind! Apparently images show up in the comment preview but not in the comment itself. Argh.

    • Solarized is just too much blue for me. I used it for 3 or 4 months, but I had to go back to Tomorrow Night.

  23. It’s been proven again and again that your eyes read dark text on a light background more easily.

    • Patrick Samphire
      Permalink to comment#

      While this is generally true, it’s all about context and function. When you’re coding, you’re reading in a quite different way than if you’re reading a block of text. That’s why we have code highlighters.

      In fact, the question is a little more complex than Chris is asking. Coding plain white on a dark background is hard to read. But most of us have highlighters, and the dark background makes it much easier to scan and pick out the code, which is what we need to do when coding.

      So, colored on dark is better than colored on light.

    • Norman144
      Permalink to comment#

      If we wanted an easy life, we wouldn’t be coding ;-)

  24. Shane
    Permalink to comment#

    Depends on the monitor I’m using. If working on my Apple 27″ Thunderbolt display (reflective finish) I prefer dark on light background. If working on non-reflective (matte) display the light on dark background is my preference.

  25. I’ve read that using light on dark when working at night helps to keep your circadian sleep rhythms. Coding on light background at night will fool your body into thinking it is still day out, making it harder to sleep. SO I agree with the other Chris’s comment, and switch between solarized dark and light depending on the time of day.

  26. Dark on Light

    I currently use the Prospettiva theme.

  27. Light on dark for sure.

  28. murph
    Permalink to comment#

    Dark on Light! No Contest

  29. Permalink to comment#

    Light code on a dark background; much more visually appealing and less intrusive on my eyes, imo. However, it also depends on the light in my environment. If it’s a bit dark, I might switch over the opposite end of the spectrum so I can see code easier.

  30. murph
    Permalink to comment#

    I meant light on dark!

  31. For code snippets on websites and in text editors, like Sublime Text 2, I prefer much more light code on dark background

  32. Light on dark. Much easier on the eye over long periods of time.

  33. Mario Vial
    Permalink to comment#

    dark on light

  34. Permalink to comment#

    Light on dark all the way. Otherwise I get massive headaches.

  35. It depends on light in my enviroment. Anyway i love to code with Light code on a dark background

  36. LimeX
    Permalink to comment#

    Yellowish on Semi dark ^^
    Sublime Text 2 with Flatland (https://github.com/thinkpixellab/flatland), love it!

  37. Light on a dark background. It’s less stress on my eyes & more energy efficient. Plus, my entire Mac OS is themed dark.

  38. Light on Dark for Notepad++ (custom style based on Black Board theme) and for SQL editing, with Dina font.
    Dark on Light for everything else.

  39. GMB
    Permalink to comment#

    I definitely prefer the light code on dark background. Since you’re all dying to know: ST2, Midnight Clouds theme.

  40. Tony Dunsworth
    Permalink to comment#

    I prefer Dark on Light myself. Will go the other way if I can’t find something I like better.

  41. Dark on Light ( Sublime Text 3 default )

  42. Solomon
    Permalink to comment#

    I prefer the code in white background.

  43. Ugh, i meant **Light text on Dark BG ( brain fart )

  44. Kris Frenz
    Permalink to comment#

    Light Code on Dark Background allows me to work more hours with less eyestrain.

  45. I preffer light code on dark background, it doesn’t make my eyes feel tired.

  46. GreLI
    Permalink to comment#

    Light Code on Dark Background is good only when you are sitting in dark room. But, it’s bad for your eyes by itself. Mostly, I’m coding in light environment (daylight or room light), and light code is too contrast on dark background for my eyes, so Dark Code on Light Background wins undisputably. And yes, I have 100% perfect eyesight.

    BTW, the last theme sucks. You should try Soda Light or Phoenix Theme forked from it.

  47. Haha.. I prefer light color font on dark background…Have a good Ambience..;)…

  48. Matt
    Permalink to comment#

    Oh come on, you’re totally leaving out those of us who go both ways depending on the day. :D

  49. Taha Baba
    Permalink to comment#

    Light Code on Dark Background

  50. I don’t see the difference between coding and reading. And most people prefer to read dark text on a light background (at least during the day), right?

    • Michael Martin-Smucker
      Permalink to comment#

      For reading simple web pages (like blog posts and news articles), I don’t mind dark text on a light background. But for code, I prefer the dark background because colorful syntax highlighting seems to stand out more.

  51. Joe
    Permalink to comment#

    I used to be dark on light, but since I made the switch to Sublime Text 2 I’m all about Blackboard. Now, even your example image for dark on light hurts my eyes.

  52. Eloise
    Permalink to comment#

    Neither! Of those two I prefer lighter writing on a dark background. Less glare. But, despite not being dyslexic, I suffer from Irlen’s Syndrome. My comfort zones are green and purple. Wherever possible I go for a lightish green on a soft purple background.

    I should point out my partner, who is both dyslexic and a fellow Irlen’s sufferer, practically vomits when she reads on my colour choices. She quite likes (in web colours) silver on midnight blue or similar.

  53. Pierre
    Permalink to comment#

    Im dark text on white bg all the way. I’m actually really surprised that the opposite seems to be more popular. For me its way harder to just look and see where I was.

  54. Whichever I choose it has to be relatively low contrast background vs. letters (so no black on white or vice versa but rather shades of greys and pastels) and relatively high contrast for markup (like cold and warm colours to separate things visually)

  55. Light on dark, definitely.

  56. Gappa
    Permalink to comment#

    From fast reading the comments it looks like coders/programmers are exclusively a bunch of night creatures :)

    I understand the benefits of light on dark when it is actually dark, but that is a bit hard to achieve when people have daily jobs + I still think that it’s better (for me) to have a light on during “limited light coding sessions”.

    Reading light on dark doesn’t end well for my eyes during day…I can then evaluate my code burned in the retina on a white wall :)

    So, dark code on light background for me, but do as it best suits your eyes of course.

  57. I prefer light over dark. good for eyes in both day and night. The text looks much better, readable and helps in long code sessions.

  58. Ben
    Permalink to comment#

    I always lean towards light code on a darker background, not white over black because that’s way too much contrast.

  59. I do not like switching between light-on-dark and dark-on-light. But I read webpages/documentation constantly while I’m coding, and they are almost all dark-on-light (e.g. StackOverflow, NYTimes, CSS-Tricks, vast majority of internet). Therefore I standardize on dark-on-light for coding. This applies to all applications, including Terminal.app/Console2.

    The great thing about this is that at night, when I’m coding in bed or while watching a movie, I use Mac’s Universal Access color inversion, or NegativeScreen on Windows, to switch everything to light-on-dark. This reduces the light output of my screen, and provides a consistent experience between coding and web browsing.

  60. Permalink to comment#

    That is a very interesting question because you never think about it that much, you just do it intuitively. Also: codepen looks very weird with a white background ;)

  61. Alex Kempton
    Permalink to comment#

    Light on dark. To those who say there is no difference between reading and coding and therefore dark on light makes sense, I’d say that the real difference is syntax highlighting. The different colours are more obvious when against black, for sure.

    As for the terminal, I choose home brew because I want to feel like I’m in the matrix, and for no other reason. ;)

  62. Brian
    Permalink to comment#

    Light on dark

  63. Dan Martin
    Permalink to comment#

    Light on dark, simply because it is just aesthetically pleasing to my personal tastes.

  64. Permalink to comment#

    I love any color on white. However, when light on dark it looks as if you were doing something more impressive. So, i might just switch just so that i can turn some heads.

  65. light code on dark here

  66. Permalink to comment#

    Currently I am loving the Dark on White interface of Brackets, but it really depends on the lighting around me, if it’s dark I prefer Light text with Dark BG, vise versa if it’s bright.

  67. Twilight theme (light on dark) in Sublime Text 2.

  68. I feel that Light on dark would best suit this. it’d would be a cool change to the dark on light but i feel that light on dark has been such a huge part of your website almost like a founding father.

  69. Caseybaggz
    Permalink to comment#

    Light on Dark. It’s better for your eyes in the long run. ;)

  70. Light on dark

  71. It depends for me from time to time. For Visual Studio, Dreamweaver, Eclipse, Xcode and Textmate, I use Dark on Light. With Sublime Text 2, Textmate 2, etc. I like to use Light on Dark.

    • Chris
      Permalink to comment#

      Visual Studio can be set to light on dark, that’s what I run.

  72. Alex
    Permalink to comment#

    light on dark!

  73. NetHawk
    Permalink to comment#

    I WOULD prefer light on dark, but unfortunately Dreamweaver doesn’t offer that – maybe in a future release, now that Photoshop and Illustrator have turned dark (as Lightroom always has been).

  74. Will go for dark code on a light background! I find it much easier to read and focus:)

  75. Light code on dark background.

  76. Sean O
    Permalink to comment#

    Light-on-Dark. Saves on energy. Saves on the eyes.

    • Actually it doesn’t save the energy, unless you’re still on CRT that is.

    • Julien L
      Permalink to comment#

      Actually it doesn’t save the eyes, unless you work in a dark cave with no light, have a screen with no adjustable brightness and never switch to a webpage or a PDF that is…

  77. Permalink to comment#

    Light on dark

  78. Light on dark! Using Monokai color theme for Sublime2.

  79. Without a doubt, Light Code on Dark Background.

  80. Light Code on Dark Background! Always my preference!

  81. I would definitely say I prefer light-on-dark.

  82. I’ve been digging Dark on Light – the Solarized (Light) theme for Sublime Text 2.

  83. baerspective
    Permalink to comment#

    i prefer dark on light simply because other way around reminds me too much of cmd-line. i am so not a cmd-line person, scares me, really.

  84. Permalink to comment#

    Dark code on a light background strains my eyes. Or maybe I’m getting old?

  85. Ryan M
    Permalink to comment#

    Dark code on light background. Can’t stand the reverse.

  86. Sublime Text 2 Monokai! (Light on dark)

  87. Light on dark is so much easier on the eyes. I use the Tomorrow Night in PHPStorm.

  88. Omar
    Permalink to comment#

    Light code on dark background.

    Personally, the color psychology has been that the light code on dark backgrounds is the “backstage” (source code) of the Internet, while the “Main stage” (Websites) have (for the most part) the dark text and light background.

  89. Chris
    Permalink to comment#

    Switched in the past year to light on dark. I will never go back to dark on light. In a weird way reminds me of the old unix terminals, and I like it.

  90. James
    Permalink to comment#

    Switched to dark background recently still getting used to it :)

    Is it just me or is the code colour in the two examples the same?

  91. light code & dark background :D

    http://d.pr/i/kQzJ

  92. Dark background FTW!

    NOTE: Funny, I voted for the first time on this poll and it said: “You Had Already Voted For This Poll. Poll ID #43″

  93. Permalink to comment#

    I prefer the dark background with lighter text. It makes it much easier on the eyes.

  94. Julien L
    Permalink to comment#

    For purely aesthetical reasons, I would prefer light text on a dark background. It’s purely subjective and not practical whatsoever, but I think it looks better.

    Still, I really think that the “better for the eyes” kind of arguments which pretends that less light into your eyes is nicer for long sessions of coding are mainly bullsh*t… Let me explain!

    First: having to much light into your eyes really applies under two conditions: you cannot modify the brightness of your screen and you code in the dark. In a proper working environment, this should not be the case.

    Second: even if you are so hardcore that you code all night long on a sucky CRT screen, you are not staring at the code all the time. Anyone, while coding, will check “stuff” on internet or in PDF documents. These are in general with a light background and a dark foreground, and switching from one two the others ends up with a terrible blinking effect.

    So when I’m at work, I work in a bright environment, I adjust the screen’s brightness to my convenance, and I use light background/dark foreground so that everything is coherent.

    If in extreme cases I can’t be in such bright environment, and my screen is too bright, I do like using a dark background and a light foreground, but I then invert the colors of my PDF and use a Chrome extension to invert my browsing as well.

  95. It depends on the time of the day.When I’m going on the middle of the day, when everything is light and sunny around me, I prefer dark on light.

    When I’m coding in the night, when everything is dark around you, I prefer light on dark.

    And please note that the difference between light and dark shouldn’t be that big. Usually #333 for dark and #eee for light or something like that.

  96. MickNH
    Permalink to comment#

    Light on dark especially on a good tool like Sublime Text.

    • Ok, and how do you install it?

      I looked for ‘tyrion’ on Package Control and nothing came up. Also, there’s no explanation on how to install it on your README page.

      Thanks in advance.

  97. Kevin Sweeney
    Permalink to comment#

    Dark!

  98. Dark, all the way…

  99. Light on Dark with Base16

  100. I keep switching…. Actually I dont have bulbs in my room, I switch to white background during night, to see the keyboard properly !!! Oh and bulbs ? its mystery

  101. Permalink to comment#

    Dark on light: Solarized (Light) in Sublime Text 2

  102. light on dark in ST2. Using Tron for CSS/SCSS and Twilight for all others.

  103. I use light on dark background because I find it a lot easier on the eye. Staring at a bright white screen all day, every day takes it’s toll.

  104. Eugenio
    Permalink to comment#

    Light on Dark

  105. Permalink to comment#

    Dark on light. The reverse makes my eyes ache.

  106. Jason
    Permalink to comment#

    Light on dark. It’s much easier on my eyes.

  107. Kelly
    Permalink to comment#

    in well lit situations, dark text on a light background, but the opposite when it is dark

  108. Permalink to comment#

    Light on Dark

    SublimeText2 with Flatland Monakai

  109. Dexter
    Permalink to comment#

    light code on dark background. Sublime text using Flatland Dark them.

  110. Dexter
    Permalink to comment#

    light code on dark background. Sublime text using Flatland Dark theme.

  111. If this question came one month ago. I would’ve said: white background with dark code. But i took the switch a month ago. Now i use dark bg with light code. It might be a Nice test for some people
    to try something else. They might be surprised after some time :)

  112. definitely light code on dark background, much easier on the eyes :-)

  113. Permalink to comment#

    Light code on dark background for sure. I find the special text colours much nicer to read on black than their alternatives on white. Also it looks cooler so it makes me feel more pro.

  114. Always Light on Dark!

  115. Loïc
    Permalink to comment#

    for me it’s easier to be long time focus on a light code on dark background

  116. Light on Dark. Easier on the eyes & saves power :p

  117. I noticed that where i work, this is something the ‘front-end guys’ are more talking about. Showing of themes, etc.. And the back-end guys just code and code and code without too much fancy stuff. Most of the time dark on light.

  118. Bastian
    Permalink to comment#

    created my own textmate-template which is light on darkbrown

  119. Permalink to comment#

    I used to code with a white background but recently changed editors and themes.
    I now use IdleFingers on Sublime and I just find the softer colours easier to work with over longer periods along with having a more defined editor space compared to my lighter browsers and documents.

  120. Jonathan
    Permalink to comment#

    I’ve been a big fan of Solarized, but I’ve changed it slightly, as I can’t easily see when I’m selecting text.

    I also like Red Sands for terminal work but tend to use different colour schemes for different purposes as a visual cue to stop me updating the wrong platforms.

    Nothing will ever replace my Amiga Workbench with yellow on blue though!

  121. Peter
    Permalink to comment#

    Dark Code on Light Background

  122. MJ
    Permalink to comment#

    Am I the only one using a Macbook?
    I’d love to use light text on dark background, unfortunately on any recent Apple notebook glass screen + dark background = mirror so actually got no choice.

  123. rodolpheb
    Permalink to comment#

    I use dark code on white background.

    Because it’s the way whe learn to read. Studies show that it is more difficult to read and to focus on light characters over black bg than the opposite. You probably wouldn’t buy a book with light text on black bg.

    The example above is not representative because the font color used suits perfectly with black bg. I would have liked to see two more examples showing font color more suitable on black bg.

    I see only esthetic reasons why light on dark is chosen.

  124. I prefer “Light Code on Dark Background”… it is easier on the eyes

  125. Johan Vauhkonen
    Permalink to comment#

    Light Code on Dark Background

    I find it easier on the eyes.

  126. light on dark, no doubt!

  127. Got to be Light Code on Dark Background. The other way around has probably damaged my eyesight permanently. Thankfully Sublime text and texmate have great skins for this but for those of you using Dreamweaver there’s always something like this: http://www.xenon-webdesign.co.uk/dev/dark-code-view-theme-color-scheme-dreamweaver-cs3-sublime-text-skin/

  128. Light Code on Dark Background and Netbeans in my iMac. :)

  129. Sheila Ruth
    Permalink to comment#

    Dark code on a light background! The dark background version hurts my eyes. I read somewhere that studies show that most people under 30 find light text on a dark background easier to read, and over 30 it’s the reverse. I’m (well) over 30, but judging from the avatars here, I’m guessing that most people here are in the under-30 category.

  130. Deedee
    Permalink to comment#

    Dark on light. Ever.

  131. Jose
    Permalink to comment#

    Dark Code on Light Background

  132. Norman144
    Permalink to comment#

    “….Luke…come to the light text on Dark side….Oh and BTW, I am your father….”

  133. R. Scott
    Permalink to comment#

    Light code on dark background a la Sublime Text 2. Much easier on the eyes (taken to extremes, which is easier on your eyes – staring into the sun, or staring into the starry night sky?).

  134. Light on dark for me. Find it easier to scan lines as there is more contrast in syntax colouring.

    I also like it as it brings back nostalgic memories of programming on my old Spectrum 48k.

  135. Kalee Eversole
    Permalink to comment#

    Light on dark for sure. I started seeing flickery floaters while coding on a bright white screen, but with the light on dark Phoenix theme for Sublime Text, I don’t have that issue anymore. Plus, I just think it looks nicer.

  136. Andrew Tibbetts
    Permalink to comment#

    I stopped using DOS a long time ago. And i have a job that has me coding in the daytime. Dark on light.

  137. sgaawc
    Permalink to comment#

    light background because it’s much better for the eyes when you spend the whole day doing your coding work.

  138. Light background with darker code for me…easier on my eyes! :-)

  139. Samuel S
    Permalink to comment#

    Light on Dark! So much easier on the eyes. Currently I’m using the ‘D is for Dark’ theme for Espresso.

  140. Varun
    Permalink to comment#

    For me dark background with light code is better, it’s cool and quite relaxing for eyes.

  141. I have always liked Light on Dark, just something more pleasing about it.

  142. Light on dark!

  143. kbec
    Permalink to comment#

    Light code on dark background is better for my eyes, but many editor’s schemes come with inadequacy minor colors like dark comments on dark background. I must then manually fix it, but I have no time so I get used to dark on light scheme.

  144. Mark
    Permalink to comment#

    I code with a dark text on light background. Been coding that way for almost 15 years. I really like the light on dark look, but stuck in my old ways I guess.

  145. Meysam
    Permalink to comment#

    I Love DARK background

  146. Mike
    Permalink to comment#

    Light Dark Background is easier to read. IMHO

  147. Monty
    Permalink to comment#

    I use both! During the day I find a white background easier on the eyes. And during nighttime coding, I often switch my color scheme to a dark background.

  148. Personally I prefer dark code on light background so that I can see well everyone developer has own opinion I have my own.

  149. andrew
    Permalink to comment#

    light on dark

  150. Light on dark. Also increasing the font size so I don’t have to lean over so much.

  151. droll13
    Permalink to comment#

    Light on dark, with a customized syntax highlighting scheme that makes sense to me.

  152. Harmen Janssen
    Permalink to comment#

    I actually programmed Vim to use a light background during the day and a dark one in the evenings, to adjust for the amount of natural light around me at different times.

  153. I have a custom “Coda Bright” theme, so I prefer light code on a dark background. I think the preference also has to do with the fact that I’m frequently working late at night in a dark bedroom. Even when I work during the day, my workspace is rather dark & cave-like. In that situation a bright white screen is too hard on my eyes, the dark background is more soothing. Of course when I teach seminar classes at my community college, everyone complains with the light-on-dark setup. Maybe the “standard” dark-on-light setup is just preferred in the classroom environment?

  154. Light on dark. For eye.

  155. I prefer light on dark in notepad++, but dark on light in eclipse go figure.

  156. MaxArt
    Permalink to comment#

    Dark on light. That’s because: I mainly code during daylight; that’s the default color scheme for text editors and GUIs (Eclipse, for example), and I’m usually too lazy to change it.

    The background usually isn’t #ffffff, anyway.

  157. I like light text on dark background, easier on the eyes…

  158. David Fregoli
    Permalink to comment#

    <- Sublime Text 2 / Cobalt Theme

  159. I am using Monokai Bright with my tiny change in theme.

  160. I tried light text on dark background for 10 minutes and I had to revert back to dark on light. The reason is simple—working on Mac===horrible amount of reflections and glare and I wouldn’t be able to stare at my ugly mug all day long.

    Plus my eyes go all fuzzy after staring at such a contrast combination.

  161. As a designer, I’m more used to the light background, but I admit that for long sessions of coding, the dark background is easy to the eyes: too many hours of white display is like having a bulb in front of your eyes.

  162. Samuel
    Permalink to comment#

    I prefer Dark on Light but I modify the background to a softer eggshell color to make it easier on my eyes.

  163. Steve Royall
    Permalink to comment#

    I’m a convert to light on dark.
    It soothes the soul as well as not making your eyes so tired when working late into the evening

  164. Sahil Popli
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    Light code on dark

    it relaxes my eyes :)
    like Visual Studio 2012 default theme THE DARK ONE
    Chocolate color in BG

  165. light on dark will be more preferable…..!

  166. Inigo
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    Dark on light in phpDesigner 8

  167. I’m really prefer dark background on light code.

  168. Francesco Belladonna
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    Light code on Dark background, I use Railscasts color theme, which is very similar to the first screenshot of the article

  169. Jeroen
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    No doubt about it, dark text on light background.

  170. Alan Shortis
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    Light background in daylight.
    Dark background at night or low-light.

  171. Light Code on Dark Background, and love the flatlander theme!

  172. Hasan Sarptaş
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    I also prefer light on dark. Black Board, Plastic Code Wrap and Mono Industrial are my favorite themes in Notepad++

  173. sage
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    Strangely enought, I use both Windows (for work) and Linux (for home & work) and I code black on white background on windows, and white on black background on Linux (I use vim on linux terms). It doesn’t depends on the language. (I code in several languages from C# to python and javascript).

  174. Fabio
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    What I find most interesting is not the discussion about light-on-dark-or-vice-versa (to me a bit irrelevant to be honest), but some of the comments from really smart individuals. Got to read many interesting ones, and a few niceties that bright people share with each other. Even though there are differences of opinion–and the related heated discussions that accompany them altogether. It all makes sense. That is why css-tricks is, in my humble opinion, a daily dose of sanity. Thanks Chris for the provocative poll, and thank you all for sharing with such generosity.

  175. Permalink to comment#

    Light on dark – definitely!
    Love this blog…thanks as always =)

  176. I prefer light on dark. I originally used this on the laptop to save battery life, but then grew fond of the style and continue to use daily.

  177. Nathalie
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    hé!
    Dark Code on Light Background

  178. Dark Code / Light Background

  179. I used to code with black on white background but I have switched some time ago. Now I prefer coding on black background

  180. Dark on light background.
    Light on dark may be more of a nerdy coders thing, but I am on a Macbook Pro with a glossy screen. On dark screens you end up looking at your own reflection. In my case, a particularly nice sight to behold!

  181. Edit:
    I mean not nice…

  182. Marco
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    Definitely light on dark. I think it would be useful to add a poll form to your blog, it would be interesting to see a graph of preferences… anyway from comments it seems to me that light on dark is the winner! :-)

  183. Light on dark for sure. It feels a bit like Matrix

  184. mahmoud
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    Light code on dark background ..

  185. Dark code on light background for sure!

  186. tzm
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    light code on dark background…

  187. Alison
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    If I may weigh in on this, I’m from both an art and cs background. Because of the mind’s psychology white looks flat/does not have depth (like looking at a white wall) versus black has a ton of depth (like looking in a dark room). I code dark on light because it seems like it’s fixed depth away from me, and perhaps it’s familiar because of writing. Light on dark looks nicer I think, but I feel like the dark background makes me stare into space well beyond the code and the bright letters are hard to read. I would consider switching, though, if it was easier on my eyes.

  188. In art school I was told that dark text on a light background is easier to read on paper, and light text on a dark background is easier to read on screen. Test for yourself and you’re likely to agree. The reason is because on paper, light is being reflected naturally off the white paper, and our eyes can deal with that just fine. Black paper would absorb the light making it slightly harder to discern the letters. On screen however, the light is being emitted from the screen itself, which makes it harder on the eyes to read dark text on a white background because the white is emitting all that light which competes with the black text. This is why text needs to be slightly heavier on screen than it does on paper for good readability, and a darker background with lighter text is easier on the eyes on screen.

  189. Subrata
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    definitely light on dark

  190. Tracy
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    I tend to use light (or fairly colorful) on dark. Mostly because the brightness of light backgrounds hurts my eyes… especially the longer I stare at it all day.

  191. I preferred Dark on light. I don’t like blacky BG. :)

  192. Greg
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    Dark on light. I’ve been coding (mostly HTML & CSS) for about 12 years, and I’ve tried light-on-dark multiple times, and can’t stand it. When I go back & forth from my code to the page I’m building (which, obviously, happens all day long), going from the dark code screen to a (usually) much brighter web page (or most other apps, for that matter), I find the constant, back-and-forth value change horrible on the eyes. For me, the key to pleasing dark-on-light setup is a light neutral grey-ish background (never bright white), and a very careful color selection so there’s just the right amount of contrast.

  193. I found the dark background to be so much more easier to read. I am surprised so many people prefer the light background. ( Doesn’t the brightness of the white screen hurt the eyes compared to the dark)

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