#1274 High-contrast mode doesn't work in SciTE

SciTE (625)

Visual Studio adapts to high-contrast mode just fine, but SciTE still keeps the original colors when it is turned on.

This should be changed to integrate with the rest of the system (Windows 7).


  • Neil Hodgson

    Neil Hodgson - 2012-01-01
    • assigned_to: nobody --> nyamatongwe
    • priority: 5 --> 2
    • milestone: --> Feature_Request
  • Neil Hodgson

    Neil Hodgson - 2012-01-01

    I doubt there is anything reasonable that can be done for this. I won't be working on it.

  • Neil Hodgson

    Neil Hodgson - 2012-03-09
    • status: open --> open-wont-fix
  • Martin Lemburg

    Martin Lemburg - 2016-03-20

    The is no reasonable thing to be done?
    I have eye disablitities and I wonder why there isn't anything reasonable to be done!

    Since high-contrast is an accessibility utility Microsoft defines the usage of system colors as mandatory!

    So - if high-contrast-mode is switched on, the control background should be COLOR_WINDOW and the text should be COLOR_WINDOWTEXT or something different if the contrast to the background is high enough.
    Even syntax highlighting is not that important, because the high-contrast-mode should enable people like me to be able to work with the computer and less disturbing noise keeping us from working with the computer.

    The edit control I built in in the application I develope with my colleagues is themed and the theming visual manager cares automatically for high-contrast-mode, why not Scintilla?

    • Neil Hodgson

      Neil Hodgson - 2016-03-21

      Your application can respond to WM_SYSCOLORCHANGE for high-contrast mode by setting the colours as you desire. Scintilla just follows the settings made by the application. WM_SYSCOLORCHANGE is sent to top-level windows so Scintilla does not detect that this has occurred, unless the message is resent by the application.

      Having Scintilla override application settings in high-contrast mode would mean that applications would not be able to choose different ways to respond. For example, an application may decide to impose a minimum font weight in high contrast mode or turn italics off.

  • Martin Lemburg

    Martin Lemburg - 2016-03-21

    Hi Neil,

    I understand your point about seeing the application in the duty to react on activating the high contrast mode.
    I see, too, that Scintilla is not like any other edit control switching automatically.

    So … why not:

    1. Add a switch ("EnableAutoHighContrast") to allow to react automatically without the need for reconfiguration
    2. Add a kind of "EnableHighContrast", which overrides any configuration, so applications do not need to reconfigure?

    This would lower the barrier for applications to react on switching on/off hight-contrast-mode, choosing a high-contrast-theme and raises the chance for people like me to have more usable UIs, since the application developers won't need to do "too" much?

    Best regards,


    • Neil Hodgson

      Neil Hodgson - 2016-03-22

      Other edit widgets that do not change automatically when high-contrast is set or modified include text editing areas in Firefox, Qt Creator, WinMerge, Idle, and Sublime Text 2.

      The application should still process/forward WM_SYSCOLORCHANGE since it is only sent to top-level windows. Other approaches like checking if high-contrast mode or the system colours have changed during repaints or clock ticks are less robust.

      It would be OK to have an API that performed a set of colour changes that could then be overridden by specific application choices.


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