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Is MathWorks working on a dark mode for MATLAB similar to what Visual Studio offers?

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Sai Vemu
Sai Vemu on 9 May 2018
Commented: Walter Roberson on 2 Sep 2021 at 9:37
Visual Studio's dark mode changes the background color for all the toolbars and all over the UI. The most that can be obtained with MATLAB is to change the background color settings of text,editors and workspace windows. There are many tools that helps achieve this like Scott lowe's version shared on community here MATLAB Schemer Is MathWorks working on a dark mode to achieve complete UI dark mode unlike the patch work that is available now?

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Accepted Answer

the cyclist
the cyclist on 9 May 2018
After reading only your title, I quickly answered "you can use MATLAB Schemer". Then I read the full text of your post. :-)
I kinda doubt that MathWorks is working on this. If there is something specific you want that is missing from MATLAB Schemer, I think your better bet would be to edit that yourself, or post a request to the FEX. Scott is actively responding to comments on the FEX, so maybe you have a chance?

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More Answers (16)

Steffen Pe
Steffen Pe on 16 Jan 2019
I also really hope they add dark mode. with automatic day/night switch and a button in the action bar

Florian  Besten
Florian Besten on 17 Feb 2019
I also hope for this! Maybe already 2019a or 2019b?
Walter Roberson
Walter Roberson on 16 Aug 2020
It could be a lot of work. It might be the case that a lot of different routines hard-code the colors, and that every one of those routines would have to be tracked down and converted to use a preferences system. And that at the same time, Mathworks is very likely working on rewriting major components of the IDE to remove reliance on Java. If you were setting budgets, would you consider it a wise investment to spend a bunch of time patching up a layer of code that you intend to get rid of as soon as feasible ?

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Benedict Bauer
Benedict Bauer on 28 Sep 2019
I also hope that Mathworks is working on a dark mode.
It would be really nice especially in Simulink!

Keiland Cooper
Keiland Cooper on 30 Aug 2019
Right now it seems the only way is via preferences or schemer. I hope that they work on this, as most code editors now offer it.

Walter Roberson
Walter Roberson on 14 Apr 2020
This is not going to happen.
Pay attention to the changes in the graphics system, to the enhancements of App Designer and Web Figures. Mathworks is busy rewriting the entire UI and many Apps to use that new design, getting rid of Java. Within 3 years the UI replacements will be introduced and the existing UI will become legacy. Mathworks is too busy working to get rid of the existing UI to work on enhancements to the existing UI such as Dark Mode.
The new UI might perhaps have Dark Mode; I cannot make a prediction about that.
Walter Roberson
Walter Roberson on 29 Jul 2021
I continue to think it is more likely that Mathworks will replace the entire traditional editor than it is to implement Dark Mode in the traditional editor.

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saar nehemia
saar nehemia on 6 Mar 2020
I also hope MATLAB will have a complete dark mode (including toolbars and all).
right now, it is only possible to change the text and panels but not the borders... It doesn't look very well

Image Analyst
Image Analyst on 9 May 2018
The Mathworks generally doesn't reveal in advance what feature enhancements they have planned. If they are working on such a feature you'll probably only know about it when it's released, either in pre-release/beta, or in the official release.

Jan on 19 May 2019
I'm using Matlab Schemer from the FileExchange successfully and I'm happy with it. Unfortunately I cannot set Windows to the dark mode, because then the dialogs for saving or loading files are not displayed anymore.

Shane Sullivan
Shane Sullivan on 30 Sep 2020
The windows 10 invert color option is great.But you have to do it manually and un do it, and if you swtich to other programs it is annoying. You can install Easy Invert, and set it up to automatically invert only Matlab! Then, problem solved!

DGM on 10 May 2021
I've been using a workaround for years, and it is version-agnostic. The script is posted here, though you'll need to modify it for your own needs. I don't know if a similar technique is feasible in Windows.
Simply put, I invert the entire display when I'm on a workspace with Matlab windows. This is handled automatically by the script that's invoked when switching workspaces via keyboard. Since I normally run a dark GTK theme, the titlebar and panel are still bright, but that's a small part of the screen, and I've taken to wearing a cap to keep room lights out of my field of vision, so the panel is usually out of view unless I look at it.
Of course, there are limitations to this approach. You still don't really get to customize the colors at all. You just get to darken the bulk of the UI area. You also have to deal with everything being inverted. For example, this surf plot looks right because it's easy to invert the colormap accordingly, but you can't apply inverted lighting. Using datatips on an inverted image can also lead to routine confusion if you forget that the image is actually inverted. If I need to return the display to normal, I just have a keyboard shortcut bound to xcalib -invert -alter , so I can swap back and forth when needed.
This ridiculous workaround is the reason that all the GUI tools in MIMT have options for use on an inverted display. I don't have to deal with manually inverting every image for display, imshow2(), etc does that all with the 'invert' option or a checkbox in the GUI.

Leonhard Lücken
Leonhard Lücken on 21 Apr 2020
Would be great to have dark toolbar, window decorations, etc! And the Live Editor seems to be resistant to scheming entirely... :(
  1 Comment
saar nehemia
saar nehemia on 22 Apr 2020
Totally agree. It would be really great to have a Dark mode like almost any programming enviroment today :)

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Varun Bansal
Varun Bansal on 15 Sep 2020
After spending few days with burning eyes, I went into control panel and selected 'Invert color' option in windows, and now my Matlab bg is all black :) looks like a nice turbo C window

Berthold Reisz
Berthold Reisz on 9 Nov 2020
Edited: Berthold Reisz on 23 Apr 2021
Simply go to the Home-tab in Matlab click on Preferences in the upper toolbar and choose Matlab colors from the left control panel. Remove the hook from "Use system colors" and select text white, background black. Subsequently, you can choose user defined colors for highlighting various keywords. Click on apply and you have your dark theme (apart from the toolbar).
This feature was already in my 2016b-version.
Rik on 10 Nov 2020
That is what dark mode would mean to me. I think I would expect such a dark mode to also affect default figure and axes properties (so you don't get blasted with a white screen if you create a plot), but I'm not sure that is ideal, as all other functions (like GUIs) that rely on certain defaults would experience issues.

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mysiak on 2 Sep 2021 at 9:28
It's time to release the dark theme.
In many other programs I am using a version of dark mode for at least 7-8 years. Everyone already recognized the benefits.
So should Mathworks do something about this, it's almost ridiculous.
And yes I am aware it's not simple task, but it's not something for 2 years of work.
  1 Comment
Walter Roberson
Walter Roberson on 2 Sep 2021 at 9:37
Mathworks has a release process, and would never consider releasing something like this for existing MATLAB releases, not right now.
There is a new MATLAB release that is probably going to become public in approximately 3 weeks. If Mathworks has a dark-mode ready, it would be part of that release. Beginning of September is not time to release something like this.
If Mathworks does not have a dark mode ready, then it will not be part of the upcoming release.
... I don't know the time frame myself; I have been too busy to look at the notes about upcoming features.

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