Elia Schito

Change Mac OSX Terminal.app colors (or “that unreadable blue”)

In ANSI colors, change colors, Mac, OS X, Terminal, Tricks on September 13, 2007 at 4:01 pm

If you want to change the color palette of your OSX terminal you’ll find that you can’t change the ANSI colors set from the window properties (command+I).

That’s not true, you can open a color palette and drag the color to the set you want to change, for example the blu of the directories is horribly dark and quite ureadable on a black backgroud.

See a short screencast in this page (from Macworld.com)

UPDATE: Thanks to “volte”
here’s a link to Ciarán Walsh’s Blog who (as always) found THE solution for Leopard.

  1. Thanks for the terminal colors hint. Any idea how to store the settings permanently?

  2. nope, if you’ll find the way let me know!

  3. To make the setting permanent make the changes, shell menu ‘use settings as default’

  4. You wouldn’t happen to know how to do this in Leopard, would you? )-:

  5. This is bloody simple. Just go to the Terminal Preferences “COMMAND ,” or Terminal –> Preferences, and look under the “Settings”. Change the colors for Text etc. Simple.

    What is a bit more complex is to change the color of director listing, for example. This silly tip does NOT change that. The directory listing still appears in hideous blue.

  6. Phoenix you’re totally WRONG, and not so smart as you think… please look at the video, perhaps you would understand it!

    This problem is a Tiger problem, for those lucky Leaopard users AFAIK this isn’t an issue because the preferences pane is smart enough to have themes etc.

  7. Pheonix is correct, the linked article even states:

    “There are four objects whose colors you can set via drag-and-drop: window background, cursor, bold text, and regular text. ”

    This tip does not improve on the already available color options and does not allow one to change the colors of (for instance) a color directory listing. Here’s an example to accomplish color changes in a directory listing:


  8. Well Travis, the linked article is wrong too, I personally changed the directory listing by drag and drop, and the solution you suggest works well only on a local system and supports only ANSI colors (that could or could not work well with your RGB-capable theme).

    What drag and drop does is to substitute the ANSI color you are dropping on with the one you are dragging, so when you drop on the directory blu you’ll find that also the blue in, say, vim is changed.

    BTW now I’m on leopard and I really miss the command+shift+C shortcut for changing colors…

    PS: Maybe I’ll write to the linked article author hoping that all the smart people will stop believing theory more than reality.

  9. Wow, you’re pretty insulting to your commenters. Do you really expect people to continue to read the words that come from your vile mouth?

  10. I’m sorry, did not intended to be insulting to anyone, even to those who consider this tip silly and my mouth vile, I beg your pardon, really.

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