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Dracula Theme – A dark theme for many different apps (draculatheme.com)
489 points by vmbrasseur 40 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 227 comments



I use Dracula for pretty much everything. Code editors, terminals, browsers, Slack, and even CSS skins for Tailwind, Wordpress, and more, if I'm installing an application, there's a pretty good chance there's already a theme for it.

But there's an interesting side effect of having a theme repository with over 200 applications: app discovery! Whether it's learning about interesting projects (BetterDiscord, MatterMost, Obsidian) or blasts from the past (I hadn't thought about BBEdit in a long time! And does anyone remember Brackets?), it's kind of a cool spot to find and remember things.

Good work and thank you to everyone who has worked on these themes, I use them every day for a lot of apps :)


Man Brackets brings me back. When I was 16-17 I forked a popular HTML skeleton extension but with the difference that I wanted it to have Bootstrap markup ready. This was with zero javascript experience (the extensions themselves used JS). It wasn't until later that I realised it had many thousands of downloads. As of right now 120k.

Sadly I've deleted the Github repo, but amazingly Brackets still had a copy of the plugin in their S3 bucket.


The live reloading side panel for web development in Brackets was ahead of its time.


> But there's an interesting side effect of having a theme repository with over 200 applications: app discovery!

Similarly, oh-my-zsh's plugins are a great place to find out about "the most popular CLI tool you've never heard of."


Brackets definitely brings back sweet memories. I started learning HTML/CSS a decade back on Sublime Text and found Brackets soon after and used it for a while!


Same, dracula and dark mode all the way down.


I have a hard time seeing why this is such a popular theme.. maybe it's just because it is available for so many different editors. On the other hand, would be cool to have an application / database that could convert any theme to another editor.

Although that would take a lot of work to figure out the compatibilities, if somebody would do that well enough so that other people can configure input output configs for that, I bet that program could become very popular among developers.


Dracula creator here...

I have a few thoughts on why this is such a popular theme:

1. Decentralized Contributors: every theme is maintained by a different person. There's no single point of failure when it comes to software maintainability.

2. Centralized Discoverability: most themes are scattered and disorganized. The cool thing about Dracula is that you can find everything in one place.

3. Transparency: on the website, you can see the number of views for each theme, who are the people behind them, how much sales were made. Everything is open, and that creates trust.

4. Constraints: Dracula is only available in dark mode, despite having TONS of requests to have a light theme as well. People complain about constraints (think of Twitter's 140 character limit), but constraints make good products.

5. Consistency: not only in terms of colors, but in terms of effort. The first Dracula theme was created in 2013, and the project has kept evolving since then.

6. Portability: developers want an environment that feels uniform. There's a real cost associated with context switch, so having a theme available for 227 apps across Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS is very important.

7. Branding: why make something boring when you can make it fun? The name, the logo, the icons, the visual aesthetics - it all counts.

8. Personal: the origin story described on the About page is extremely personal. For years I was afraid of making it public on the internet. Now I know that when you make yourself vulnerable, people feel connected.


> why make something boring when you can make it fun?

I think all your points are completely, well, on... point. However, the last 2 are really the meat of what I think others can learn from when trying to replicate the success this has seen. They are also, imo, the hardest. Branding takes time, effort and skill which not everyone has. You can recruit help for this, but that requires buy in. Making it personal can achieve this, but as you said, it can necessitate vulnerability which is a bridge most of us just can't quite bring ourselves to cross.

Thank you for your efforts and for adding to the discussion here. I for one really appreciate it.


Thank you for sharing those insights! What an arresting origin story. May I ask how/where all those amazing yet consistent logos come from?


Thanks for taking the time to answer. I can see how that drives popularity, and yes now that I think about it the consistency of your efforts are what made me become aware of your theme also, so congrats on keeping at it and achieving what you have achieved :)

I have actually tried to like the theme at some point, just because the appeal of having similar color schemes in multiple environments was there, but many times noticed the color theme is just not for me. So I can understand also the psychological effect having this kind of branding and the social effect that can have also.

Thanks for sharing your insight, being a startup founder I can relate to many of these points.


> 7. Branding: why make something boring when you can make it fun?

This is pretty much how I first found Dracula. I was looking to make my VSCode editor more fun and someone linked https://computecuter.com which included Dracula in the example themes.


You left out that glorious pun from the quote!


To me the popularity proves that branding works.

My reading: There’s a clear identity – visually and in how it’s framed. Also a clear social signal (“this is what developers like you use!” plus a social status feel). One central site. The social attention mechanics: I see this, I get the sense that others have seen it or will see it. Doesn’t feel eccentric. Crafted to give a feeling of a common substrate. Slightly indie take on a clean and colorful look with a cartoon character that has mild stylistic tension in a very common art style – it’s palatable. It’s reassuring and tells a story. The PRO messaging also seems to successfully indicate that “because this costs money it’s worth something”. And while it’s all very programmer-normcore it’s also slightly unusual in all these respects and this induces curiosity.

It’s easy to install too.


This is a fantastic summation, this put into words the exact feelings I have about it; which is a hard thing to do. It can be hard to vocalize things that are very internal and feeling-based, which is what branding association is


> maybe it's just because it is available for so many different editors

There's definitely an appeal for me in this. I flip between VSCode, Rider and Visual Studio on both Windows and Mac these days, and having the theme/layout consistent across all the applications definitely helps ease the transitions (along with trying to keep bindings for various operations the same across the board).

> if somebody would do that well enough so that other people can configure input output configs for that, I bet that program could become very popular among developers.

Honest question, how much would you pay for it? Would you pay $60? Bearing in mind that in theory this would let you use any theme of your choice on your editor of choice.


Dracula looks pretty good, Dracula Pro looks much better because they did a lot of research for the colors (but it is expensive), and Dracula UI looks fantastic.


In their defense, browsing from Bucharest, the Pro page shows me this:

> Hey! You're coming from Romania where this could be too expensive. I believe in Purchasing Parity Power, and I want to make this affordable. If you need it, use the code ROPRO for an extra 52% off the regular price.


Now that you've posted it here, I predict the Dracula folks will see an enormous increase in the use of the ROPRO code by "Romanian" developers living all around the world.


Well, I'm guessing they'll need to keep a Romania IP active in a VPN when they're paying, and I got my card locked a couple of times doing that kind of thing.


They have multiple countries, Mexico discount is 53% and I took it. I guess if someone wants to take advantage of this will seek the highest discount country, wonder which one is.


Lots of people in replies below have speculated on branding/availability, &c. For me I literally found it on a site that showed code and you could switch between different themes. I liked Dracula the best. If it hadn't been available for Vim, probably 50-50 on whether or not I would have taken the time to port it to Vim. It doesn't take too long once you have all the color codes.


If someone could build a tool that somehow allowed you to set generic tokens like "heading text color", "body text color"... etc, while potentially including contrast warnings in case you mess up

And then automatically generate the theme files for all these apps - now that would be simply amazing!

---

At least for me, since I maintain my own personal VSCode/IntelliJ theme


It doesn't support nearly as many programs as dracula theme does but I'd recommend giving https://themer.dev/ a try. Supports all the popular terminals, IDEs and then some.


> On the other hand, would be cool to have an application / database that could convert any theme to another editor.

I added support for the GtkSourceView XML format to my personal editor (which uses Rouge for syntax highlighting, so my loader can work for anything that uses Rouge), and so I could test Dracula just by searching for "gedit" which uses GtkSourceView, and I wish more apps would coalesce around common theming formats... The proliferation of different configuration methods for theming is quite pointless.

At least, if people wish to use a custom format it'd certainly be good if they provided converters for a couple of the popular formats.


I used to love this theme (you can even see it in my old screenshots https://github.com/talha-akram/anvil) but over time I started to prefer lower contrast themes now the same neon colors are jarring to me.


I think that if you like how it looks then you would want to use it in as many apps as possible. My main editor has several themes that are copies of themes from other apps so its not something that is unique to Dracula.


base16 is a theme system available on many editors and apps


Dracula is a fine theme, however, I feel like it's more convenient than it is pretty. I admire Dracula, Nord, and Gruvbox and how committed they are to their own aesthetics - my personal favorite, similar to Gruvbox, is Alduin[0] but sadly it's for Vim only.

I only wish popular themes didn't feel like they had to use every primary color for the text. I wish we took the popular themes and made them even more opinionated, fewer colors with greater emphasis. At the end of the day most themes nowadays are just different shades of all rainbow text over your choice of a light or dark background. Dark or light... It reminds me of that theory about how early humans, before having words for different colors, only had light and dark to describe things.

Does anyone have any recommendations for opinionated color schemes with limited palettes with emphasis on particular colors instead of just dark/light?

0. https://github.com/AlessandroYorba/Alduin


I actually prefer having as many different colors as possible. A class definition is orange, functions are pink, strings are green, ... (Material theme). It's just very clear at a glance. If everything's a subtle shade of one color, it's just harder to parse for no good (?) reason.


I agree, I'm a fan of the whole 'somebody slaughtered a herd of unicorns' approach to colouring code. It makes it very clear at a glance which keyword is doing what, which is always an advantage. I guess such things are very subjective though.


I like this too. Obviously I avoid high-contrast schemes, but something like one dark or monokai is easy on the eyes.


Yes! I'm not sure of your preferred editor but for Sublime Text, Visual Studio Code, IntelliJ IDEA there is the Alabaster theme.

You can read up more on its "manifesto" here. Variants to cover the rest besides the light theme on VS Code are at the bottom of the page.

https://github.com/tonsky/vscode-theme-alabaster


+1 for alabaster.

The older I get, thr harder dark themes are for my eyes to parse.

This is a wonderful light theme with limited distractions.


Dark means wide-open pupils, means shallow depth-of-field, means more & constant focus adjustments are needed.


Do what I do:

Black text on white background (or the reverse, if you’re a philistine.)

Select a color for comments.

Select a color for strings.

Done.

Anything more, and the display looks like someone threw a bag of Skittles at the screen.


I agree. One addition to this is that I configure my themes so that heading-like constructs are displayed in bold; in C that would be function names in function declarations (and definitions), and in HTML say, it would be the content of <h1> to <h6> elements. The motivation for this is the same as for highlighting headings in ordinary prose; it makes it easier to get an overview of where you are in the text.


With all respect, you forgot about keywords. Don’t you like it when classes, functions, ifs and fors do stand out?

But yeah, modern semantic coloring (args/members/vars/globals/upvalues/…) looks like a catastrophic oil spill.


Like another commenter in this thread, I like to highlight the function name in function definitions. That's about it though. I don't like language keywords (if, for, def, etc) highlighted.


I'm a real fan of Modus Themes[0]. They are only officially for emacs, but I've seen some ports for other programs (like vim). All the colors are very specifically chosen for contrast and accessibility. It's my favorite light theme out there. I do wish the dark theme background wasn't pure black. Both of these themes now ship with emacs 28, which is a nice bonus.

0. https://protesilaos.com/emacs/modus-themes


Would recommend checking out Github color themes for VSCode if you use that: https://github.com/primer/github-vscode-theme

I feel these themes strike a very nice balance in color contrasts and finally provide me with a light theme I can also use, although being a dark theme user for who knows how many years, the github light theme just works really nicely.

They also have two variations of both themes, which is nice, for changing around when one or the other starts to feel boring or unreadable.


Oh wow. Alduin looks nigh-illegible to me.

Might be an effect of macOS's auto-color-temp adjusting. On a monitor that's set so it's like staring into the sun (how most other monitors feel, once you're used to that feature) maybe it's easier to read.


The ones I use are Emacs-Zenburn (other colors than 'usual' Zenburn)

https://github.com/bbatsov/zenburn-emacs

and Groovy Lambda for Code, similar to Gruvbox (because it supports more syntax elements)

https://github.com/sheaf/groovy-lambda


Cool idea of making it available across so many different applications, but I wish it was aesthetically pleasing. It just doesn't do it for me...


Nord also has ports for some applications (Emacs, Guake and Tmux are those I care about). Unfortunately, not for all daily apps yet. https://www.nordtheme.com/ports


Maybe its out of fashion by now but solarized light/dark theme also has many ports. https://ethanschoonover.com/solarized/


Wow, can’t believe Solarized is already old enough to potentially be out of fashion…

But I agree it’s much more aesthetically pleasing over Dracula.


I don’t know about fashion, but I used a slightly improved Solarized Dark everywhere.


For me it's the Rails Cast Theme especially version for Sublime Text that is ideal. I wish it would be much widely available

https://github.com/jayzelenkov/sublime-railscasts-extended


I clicked on one of the applications and that changed the URL but does not leave the previous URL in the back history. Letting JS control the history state was a mistake.


Just wow! I don’t quite remember the last time I was this happy after changing something in my config. Thank you so much, my bite taking just got to whole new level of enjoyment :)

bite taking -> note taking sry :)


Hadn't seen this one before. The darker Nord themes are definitely more of my style. Thanks for calling it out!


so cold!


You may like Tomorrow, which has several sub-themes and is available for dozens of apps. I use Tomorrow Night Bright for everything.

https://github.com/chriskempson/tomorrow-theme


That definitely does feel a bit better to me. I'll need to check it out in a language I've been writing more recently. Thanks!


https://github.com/chriskempson/base16 has a lot of schemes for quite a few apps. There are guides to how to port the colors to other apps.


And that's a good thing that you don't like it! Lots of us do and that's a good thing too! The world would be a rather boring place if one person got to tell the rest what is aesthetically pleasing.


They want you to buy the PRO version which leverages the availability but makes it actually look decent. It's meant only as a demo so you can check compatibility I guess.


I'm also more in to a warm palette sadly.


I wonder if they have some machinery developed that can be reused to port other themes to all the apps?


unfortunately not, every Dracula theme is custom made


If this is a theme thread then the Modus themes by Protesilaos are the best emacs themes for me by far. https://protesilaos.com/emacs/modus-themes


I hugely appreciate they're designed with accessibility in mind, and that they also try to cover edge-cases introduced by popular packages.

I've been using the dark one for a while and while it's not quite as aesthetically pleasing as themes like Dracula, Nord and Solarized, it more than makes up for it with legibility and clarity.


I'm a fan of the aesthetics to be honest, white on black or black on white is far more preferable to me than the colourful primary colours of other themes, especially solarized


Ever since moving to a low-contrast theme (zenburn; +10 years ago) I can't stand to look at themes like that. They hurt my eyes!


Don't forget the keycaps: https://omnitype.com/products/gmk-dracula


It's (almost) worth the two years it took to get to me!


They are sold out :-(


Hey, if they do another run the lead time is only 2 years


They are currently open for a group buy with target shipment Q4 2022:

https://omnitype.com/products/gmk-dracula-v2-0-keycaps


Basically all these runs are "limited edition" and are pre-sold. But you can find a lot of people reselling on some markets. I used the one on reddit [0] until keyboards stop being a "hobby" for me.

[0] https://old.reddit.com/r/mechmarket/


Get some from r/mechmarket


I envy those who can use dark colour schemes. It hurts my eyes for some reason.


Some reason = probably strong myopia or astigmatism.

I have those issues and with dark themes (or just in the night when I’m tired) my eye’s lens tend to open so widely that my vision becomes blurred because the focus point of my eyes is now behind my glasses.

If you support contact lenses, it’s an issue they can effectively fix because the focus point can never be behind your correction lens.


A few more explanations by Rob Pike, featuring words such as “normal trichromat human pigment spectra” and “scattered light”: https://commandcenter.blogspot.com/2020/09/color-blindness-i...


Can confirm the potential astigmatism reason, which I have, and also struggle with dark themes. For some odd reason, maybe there is an expert here, crisp light shapes on a dark background make it either super obvious to a person that the shapes are malformed or it forces their eyes to strain more to compensate.


Another astigmatism person here. I cannot get on with dark colour schemes at all. Every so often I give it a go, in my IDE or desktop theme, and then quickly switch it back. It's not that it's too dark per se, but it feels like the text is just 'floating about' with no real anchor to the page, which is a bit of an issue when you are trying to code or write documentation.


It’s good to know that I am not alone. There’s this general aspect of not being cool when one is using light theme. How do we tell them that it’s not by choice? I really like the look of someone working in that dark theme and tried a lot to force myself into it only to fail miserably and come back to light theme.


Most of the time I use a dark theme. With some self-directed sarcasm: I’m a pretty cool guy; I was bullied and I spent the next 20 years learning how to cool. Like my life depended on it. From the amount of time spent multiplied by my dedication I’ve done an ~okay job. idk, as a example: I have a tall, scary-looking high-tech dirtbike on street plates and an Italian two-piece suit of fine gray wool and I show up to work on that. Without appearing to try hard.

So I think I have wasted enough of my life on trying very hard to be cool to claim the credentials to say:

What is truly not cool is people whose status and social signaling revolves around “dArK tHeMeS aRe CoOl” and turn their little noses up at people getting f…ing work done. Which is cool.

:sunglasses_emoji:


Bro, nobody cares what color scheme you use, if you're confident about how you feel about it. I toggle between dark and light myself in vscode, depending on how I feel, really like the dark and light versions of the Github theme myself.


I had thought this to be true, but in certain startups with a certain culture, using a light theme will make you look like Dinosaurus who's not able to keep up with the latest tech trends. I know it's dumb, but it is reality in some places.


That's toxic environment. You should quit that company.


Unfortunately people do care and look down on others based on color theme. Just as some people look down on others not wearing a rolex. Tech is full of blowhards just as everywhere else. Techies using light themes aren't synth wave futuristic a-poc hacker material.

On the internet some start up guys were bragging about rejecting a candidate because he wore a collared shirt to the interview. That it showed he would never "get it".


I think you may have some valid points here. I use specs, have been using for past 8-9 years. I remember using dark colour schemes as long as I can remember and don’t remember exactly when this issue started. Maybe, 1-2 years. I have two specs, different design but same power. I will experiment with the other one to see if that helps.

Currently I’m using the light version of light owl theme. Still experimenting to see it I can find better ones. I am fond of yellowish backgrounds though, like the one here at HN or the one present in ACME.


This... makes SO much sense! I really started preferring dark themes for my various tools after I got LASIK'ed, and never made the connection :)


I have astigmatism and otherwise almost perfect eyesight. No issues with dark themes. If anything, I feel the letters washing a bit out is better than the background washing everything out.

I have a harder time reading the text I'm typing here on the white background when taking off my glasses, than in my dark IDE.


Interesting point. I experience the same, and realized that my glasses are getting old - probably need new ones. Maybe parent doesn’t even have glasses?

For this reason I prefer not-pitch-black dark themes. E.g monokai is a bit brighter background and is thus more comfy.


I have both myopia and astigmatism. I prefer dark themes but even my dark themes have a light dark background compared to those punkish very dark backgrounds.


I don't like them because all I can see is a reflection of my big ugly face staring back at me. Who needs to see THAT for eight hours a day?


If you have an anti-glare screen, that's not an issue.


Maybe a good reason to paint some makeup. As another commenter said itt, “Bro, nobody cares what color scheme you use, if you're confident about how you feel about it.”


I wouldn't say it hurts my eyes, but as soon as I open the IDE and a big black box shows up I feel depressed already. I usually just use what is default anyway. For example, Visual Studio looks weird to me in dark mode, but Visual Studio Code looks weird to me in light mode.


I get that with dark themes, but specifically ones with low contrast.

I really couldn't use Github's dark theme when it was first released because everything looked blurry. Their new "high contrast" dark theme is a great improvement.


I switch between a variety of middle-value color schemes. Like QB64 but with less saturated color overall and a bit less contrast, plus some red, green, and gold or orange hue backgrounds thrown in for variety. The dark themes or the light ones never work that well for me.

I've started creating my own (only for Geany so far) because there just aren't many like that.


Try a low contrast theme rather than specifically light or dark. I like zenburn.


It is too contrasting, the letters are too bright against too dark background. There are less contrasting themes then Dracula.


Why the envy? I guess it looks cooler.


Why envy? I just dislike them. Dark theme only just sends me elsewhere.


Dracula is a great example of a small "startup" built by a solo developer. It's microfounder Zeno is making around $8,000 per month with it: https://microfounder.com/startups/dracula


That's a neat link, thank you. Nice to see companies being transparent with their revenue - it's motivating.


Eventually everyone will circle back to Gruvbox, that's just how it is supposed to be :)


I used solarized for a long time, but then I got PaperColor [0] recommended by a colleague recently, and after trying it for a bit I liked it so much that I switched to that exclusively.

It was originally made for vim, but there are ports to other tools[1].

[0]: https://github.com/NLKNguyen/papercolor-theme

[1]: https://github.com/NLKNguyen/papercolor-theme#-related-proje...


I use solarised, I like that light variant of papercolour more I think, but IMO the thing so broadly missed that solarised gets right is the dark variant's background - it's not too dark, not so much darker than the text that it looks like some sort of high contrast mode. I use it year round with the exception of very bright/direct sunlight in summer, when it's harder to see so I switch to the light variant.


Fun fact: The dark variant of Solarized was chosen as it reminded the designer of drowning.


very apt because that does accurately describe my feelings when looking at my code


This one looks really great!


Hey everyone,

Dracula creator here!

Feel free to ask me anything, I'll try to respond every single comment.


Hey there,

Love the philosophy behind the theme.

How hard do you think it'd be to automate theme previewing & distribution? What would the challenges be? Why is this problem not solved yet?

I'm no designer, but in my understanding a theme is a set of colors that's the result of a research on contrasts and aesthetics (I love how pedagogic Ethan is on its Solarized website: https://ethanschoonover.com/solarized )

By theme distribution, I mean making the theme available for a set of platforms and applications, as it is the case for Dracula, to tackle to problem of context-switching as you neatly describe it. Wouldn't it be theorically possible for a tool to generate themes for all the apps / platforms based on a standard theme description? (Imagine the theme-generator descriptor slowly becoming an actual standard adopted by apps & websites...)

By theme previewing, I mean generating (svg-based or sth?) previews of what every target app / platform looks like with that theme, to make testing easier for designers. It must be expensive to test so many themes, so previewing would be key for this tool. The accuracy of previews might be somehow tested by the test suite by screenshoting the themes in VMs.

Congrats on the nice work!


Could you explain how the "3 computer" works? For example, how would it interact with dual-booting Windows+Linux.

That aside, I really want to express my gratitude for your decision to consider Purchasing Power Parity. I do well by the standards of my country+age, but turning that salary into USD is incredibly difficult and that's necessary to buy anything more than the bare necessities like housing+food. So in my case, it makes a difference. I plan to purchase soon.


Not a question but I switched to Dracula a few months ago and love it. I don't theme many applications but having neovim, bat, fzf, tig, kitty, starship and tmux all have the same palette makes for a much better experience.


What is your favourite colour?


purple


Very nice, a man of culture


Personally, what has been your biggest challenge with this project ? How did you overcome it, or how do you keep overcoming it ? Thanks for sharing.


Could you tell me what artist designed all the per-app logos on your homepage?


What do you think of the Dracula keycaps?


Great idea to have a cross-app theme, but Monokai Pro is hard to beat for me. I love that theme and I wish I could use it for other things too.


Just wanted to say +1 for Monokai Pro. It's very different from regular Monokai and I wish it was available for more apps.


Wasn't the name for this originally 'Darcula' and not Dracula?


Different theme, Darcula is the one included by default in a lot of intellij IDEs.


I actually prefer darcula to dracula


For emacs I use doom-one-light https://github.com/hlissner/emacs-doom-themes/tree/screensho...

I wish there were light themes which are consistent across apps. The only ones I've usually found consistent are Atom One Light. I usually stick to light themes because it is more comfortable on the eyes, provided your environment is also well lit. I find this easier to do than staying with dark environments and stepping away from the PC to be blinded by light. This and lower brightness helps.

Adding to the above, light themes are usually the default provided by most apps (except discord in my experience) which makes it easier for me to get up and running with any app / system rather than trying to get a dark mode theme to work for the app (if they provide one). I honestly want to spend my time better than going down that rabbit hole of "the ideal dark system". On top of that there's the question of whether the theme is maintained consistently and whether it is supported or abandoned.


Light mode? you monster! /sarcasm

As far as light mode themes go that ones pretty good


Dracula is a very well-crafted theme, but I can't help feeling like it makes my editor feel like a toy. I've gone a lot of different themes, but the only (dark) one that has worked out for me is everforest [1], with the following modifications:

    vim.cmd [[hi Normal guibg=#111111]]
    vim.cmd [[hi EndOfBuffer guibg=#111111]]
    vim.cmd [[hi StatusLine guifg=#ccdc90]]
    vim.cmd [[hi link TSLiteral TSString]]
    vim.cmd [[hi TSField guifg=#c4b89b]]
    vim.cmd [[hi TSTag gui=italic]]
    vim.cmd [[hi TSTagDelimiter guifg=#859289]]
    vim.cmd [[hi TSInclude guifg=#d699b6]]
    vim.cmd [[hi link TSInclude Purple]]
    vim.cmd [[hi link mkdWikiLink TSURI]]
    vim.cmd [[hi link mkdWikiLinkStart Blue]]
    vim.cmd [[hi link mkdWikiLinkEnd Blue]]
Notable themes I've kinda liked (but had some problems with for various reasons): moonfly and zenburn

[1] https://github.com/sainnhe/everforest


I think I might be neurodivergent, having a similar look and feel across code editors and terminals always pleases me greatly for some reason. That’s definitely one reason I like Dracula; it’s so easy to get it across everything I use.

Been using it for over a year; IMO it’s a pretty readable theme that’s easy on the eyes.


Oddly, I prefer a random scheme on each start of emacs. I have yet to not weird out folks on that.

Edit: I feel these are just two extremes with most folks not caring at all.


Working mostly in VMs, I use backgrounds and colors to visually remind myself what window I'm looking at.


I prefer something more toned down -> https://www.nordtheme.com/ports


Thanks for the recommendation. I do like the look of that. I’d been using Solarized until now but will give this a try.


Thanks for reminding me of this. The ports list grew quite a bit since I stumbled upon them some time back. I think I need to give them a try.


I'm impressed that Dracula Pro generated over $189,389.50. It's cool that they managed to make money from their color scheme.


Even more impressive is this note that I got while browsing from a developing country.

>Hey! You're coming from [Country] where this could be too expensive.

>I believe in Purchasing Parity Power, and I want to make this affordable.

>If you need it, use the code [code] for an extra 63% off the regular price.


I got this as well but the discount was 59% rather than 63%. Would be interesting to know how they're determining that discount value.

I was viewing from Colombia.


Have a good enough price, and you don't have to sell hundred thousand copies to make some profit.

Yeah it's pretty cool that somebody could market a color scheme.


Are most people working with these themes in fairly low lit environments with a backlight? Because I assumed that current research indicated that in normal light darker text on a light background was actually less tiring for the eyes.


Dark themes don't work for me either. What did work though is reducing blue light, and lowering monitor brightness. My eyes were much happier after I discovered this.


No, they're just in their 20 somethings, so looking cool outweighs "will an old dude be able to read it" argument. When younger I also loved nothing more than sitting in the dark room and staring at green letters on the black console screen. However now, being an old dude myself, not driving myself blind has become an actual concern...


I'm 42. I still hate staring at a lightbulb, and have dark mode on all the time. And my vision ain't what it used to be.

Pure white on a pure black background is horrible, but off-whites on a darker background looks nice and doesn't strain my eyes like a canvas of white does.


Yes, I don’t use pure white, but the lighter solarized themese seem to work reasonably well.


Sorry, didn't mean to strawman your setup :)

Yeah, when I do use light themes, I mute them similarly. And I have the brightness on my screens turned down a bit, and the blue channel trimmed down a smidge.

All the lights in my house are at 2200K, so I definitely have a preference towards warmer light.

My theory is that it's like cilantro (some people think it tastes like soap) or like pineapple on pizza (which is objectively wrong, about this there can be no debate). I just can't stand bright light.

I'm sure a sizeable chunk of dark theme users do just like to pretend they're administering The Matrix or something. But not all of us :)


> No, they're just in their 20 somethings, so looking cool outweighs "will an old dude be able to read it"

Hmm, sounds like you need glasses, why don't wear them? Too hung up on looking cool?


Why does this comment thread need a "get off my lawn" type response? Some people like dark themes cause white strains the eyes. I like off-white themes but none of those I've used are all that great for coding so I stick to dark themes


It’s your eyes. Not the screen and not the young people. Get glasses.


For some of the reasons mentioned by other people in this thread, I don’t think glasses actually fix the problem. I have astigmatism and generally light text on a dark background is difficult to focus on.


It sounds like glasses (or lenses) would help you. Glasses can fix astigmatism!

I can understand though that someone might not want to bother with glasses if the problem is easily fixed by using a light theme.


I have glasses but possibly due halation as mentioned here https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=29494640 still find light writing on dark backgrounds to be an issue.

Contacts aren’t an option because my astigmatism is strong enough that a rotation of 2 degrees throws them off.

But separately from eyesight issues I thought there was some evidence to suggest that aesthetic preferences aside, dark lettering on lighter backgrounds was still easier to read.


Have you found that a combination of the right theme and glasses makes reading from the screen for hours comfortable?

I have read about that research but I don't think we can conclude from it that dark backgrounds are a fad. They have other advantages (e.g. matching the dark room I work in) and besides, most dark themes are not pure white on black, but something less contrasting.


I've always forced myself to take a break from the screen, and for very long (book length) stuff will always either use a hard copy or ebook so perhaps my usage patterns won't match yours. I use variants of solarized style light themes, though do experiment occasionally as I've never found the definite 'answer' to the best theme for me.

I don't think the research would conclude that dark backgrounds are a fad necessarily. The reason I'm attracted to themes with darker backgrounds is that they are generally better for getting a set of text colours with roughly equal levels of legibility - whereas lighter backgrounded themes often have two or three colours which are really hard to see. The flip side is that darker colours + astigmatism seem to lead to reduced breadth of vision.


Very interesting, thank you for that.


I agree that using sunglasses, the brightness of the chars on some dark themes becomes much less of strain.


Don’t confuse with Darcula.


The JetBrains IDE theme? :) I use that theme in CLion and the other JetBrains products.


What's the difference between this and the Darcula theme included in Jetbrains products?


Darcula is dark.

Dracula is purple.


I use Dracula color scheme along with the Cascadia Code font [1]. I've been using this set up in both VSCode for Rust and Java in IntelliJ. I find this combination to be extremely readable. Dracula uses many very different colors which make different parts of code obvious. Cascadia has unique shapes for many of the characters which makes distinguishing them a breeze. Would definitely recommend giving this combo a shot!

[1] https://github.com/microsoft/cascadia-code


Yes, Cascadia is a bit quirky but pretty nice. Currently I’m on JetBrains Mono which I find works great for me in terms of legibility. I love the slightly increased letter height and use it at 11 pt on a 27” display in Visual Studio. It reminds me a bit of IBM Plex Mono but I like it more. https://www.jetbrains.com/lp/mono/


JetBrains Mono Thin is the single best programming font I've used. Just a complete treat for my eyes to read over the hours.


I'm a huge fan too. I even make the font bigger in my terminal sometimes just to appreciate it up close.


It took me years to switch from Ubuntu Mono[1] to IBM Plex Mono[2] but now I feel like I'm never gonna change fonts again. I gave Cascadia a try but it feels way too bold. On paper it looks like a really cool project but after I've installed it it felt like all my code was shouting at me (I mean even more than usual), it was disturbing.

[1] https://design.ubuntu.com/font/ [2] https://www.ibm.com/plex/


I'm a fan. It's a good name, a decent theme, and there just is something comforting in having things look the same across applications...


> there just is something comforting in having things look the same across applications...

Speaking of which, I remember coming across a tool on Github(?) that allowed generating color themes for multiple applications and editors at once from a single set of colors (maybe even directly from the dominant colors of an image, like gvcci[0]). Does anyone happen to know that project?

[0]: https://github.com/FabriceCastel/gvcci


The default dark theme of MS VS Code is sublime (pun intended) and is one of the greater design artifacts of MSFT.

There are almost zero 3rd party themes, paid or not, that are thoughtfully designed. It takes an odd combination of understanding the language a bit, understanding the utility of colour and contrast, and then also aesthetics - and then a lot of energy devoted to tweaking it just perfectly.


It’s a nice theme. I can’t really see myself buying a theme for Xcode, though. I can easily afford it, but I don’t really need it. If I did need it, then I’d definitely get it. It may seem like a “trivial” thing, but I spend a significant part of my life, staring at code in a text editor. It’s worth taking seriously.

I run dark on my Mac, but use Xcode with a modified default light theme (off-white page background, with high-contrast monospace sans-serif text). Same with BBEdit (my general-purpose text editor). I use a translucent dark for Terminal, though. I don’t spend much time in CLI.

For whatever reason, it allows me my greatest productivity. I don’t really care why. I’m constantly coding, so it’s important for me to be comfortable. I’ve tried dark page backgrounds, a few times, and never became comfortable with them.

I’m not particularly interested in impressing anyone, or being perceived as “cool.” That ship has sailed. I am definitely “uncool.”

But I get a lot of stuff done, fairly well, and quite quickly.


I don't think I've ever seen anyone hanging out by the server racks trying to push dark themes on me :) . I don't think I've seen anyone say "how could you possible go with -that- theme." Have you had experiences like that?


Absolutely. It's quite common, for me (less so, the last couple of years, as my FtF interactions have drastically reduced).

People like to ensure that I'm aware I'm "behind the times." I'm even occasionally referred to as a "boomer." I don't think I'm up on the lingo the kids use, these days, but something tells me that it doesn't have anything to do with submarines.

I've basically stopped going to things like meetups, because of that behavior. I won't go where I'm not wanted. Same reason I stopped looking for work.

To be fair, I'm pretty sure that older eyes have a lot to do with my preference for lighter backgrounds.

I'll just leave it at that ...


Is there a theme like this (i.e. supporting so many or just slightly less apps) but light? For those who work near open windows during sunny days (so dark themes become unreadable) or just prefer uniformity and are this way limited to light themes because some apps they need don't support dark?


I wish there was a good theme out there that has support for lots of different apps, and has a light and dark theme. Dark themes are great when you're working in the dark, but during the day, when the sun is at its highest, and your brightness is maxed, Dark themes just don't work.


I clicked Dracula Pro, this appeared at the top of the page:

> Hey! You're coming from Turkey where this could be too expensive.

> I believe in Purchasing Parity Power, and I want to make this affordable.

> If you need it, use the code TRPRO for an extra 64% off the regular price.

I love you <3


Glad you liked it! I come from a developing country (Brazil) and always had a hard time buying stuff from other countries.

Adding Purchasing Parity Power was a matter of principle to me.


I like the dracula theme but I unfortunately have to advice people to not purchase the early access on the dracula ui. I bought early access pretty much when it was announced because I thought it looked nice and would fit to a product I was building at the moment.

The thing is that the development of the ui seems to have died pretty much and there hasn't been any updates for months. It requires you to use npm to use the ui and if you don't use React (which I don't) you may only use it by using the classes directly.

I had higher hopes for the ui and that the development would have been more active since they charge you a pretty large fee for it.


I think a big factor with color themes is actually the monitor settings. I have my monitor tuned for dark mode everywhere. If I put a light theme on, the contrast doesn't look right and I go back to dark themes. Maybe it's a result of my fine-tuning, but the default "Visual Studio Dark" theme in VS Code is my favorite. It's a great minimalist theme. And I've even tried a lot of the minimalist themes suggested in this thread.


I like how they just use random icons for each app on the page


that's also one of my favorite parts ;)


This is cute. I know someone who'll love this. I hope people do more of these bundles though, as this particular one isn't for me.


Instead of porting one specific theme to all these apps, wouldn't it be better to have a "metatheme" which can generate proper themes for all of these apps based on a template? I don't see why this wouldn't be possible, but I don't have any experience with skinning apps.


I found the auto-retyping-animation product description on the site very misleading. As I scanned the page I read "Dark theme for Vim", and was immediately confused. Only when I returned to the top of the page did I notice that there was some silly animation which "retyped" Vim for a variety of other editors.

Why not just accurately say what it is?


Maybe a smaller line under it akin to "and 227 others" would make that clearer


What is it, then, if not a dark theme for Vim as wel as a bunch of other editors?


You're right, it's Vim + a bunch of other editors, but when you scan the page that's not what you read - it scans as "Dark theme for vim", not "Dark theme for vim and a bunch of other editors"


I use (Neo)Vim on a terminal with the option "colorscheme" set on "default". When I tried Dracula and set up my terminal color scheme with it, it made diffs on Vim unreadable (sometimes background color was the same as the foreground color). I have never seen anywhere any mention of this issue.

Did someone also have this problem here?


Not for me. Perhaps some other setting or plugin is affecting it?

My config is here, might be of help.

https://github.com/peteryates/dotfiles


I don't use dracula, I use alacritty's defaults, but I have the same issue in neovim for tooltips


I love this theme and its community. I use dracula color schemes pretty much only at night though. I wrote some tooling to hook into gammastep for seamless transition between dracula and a lighter theme across my tools depending on time of day. I work a lot in the sun and dracula can be very hard to see in direct sunlight.


Nice! But why do they always make code comments in a color that's so discret it's barely readable?


The idea is to keep you focused on the code logic itself. Comments are definitely important but they don't dictate behavior, that's why they are intentionally unobtrusive.


I like it but low contrast make it unusable for me. For example comment color is almost the same color as the background, hard to read for me.

I use default VS Code theme with background changed to pure black and some other colors made brighter.


Random thought, ever think about using something like greasemonkey to add themes to websites? It would probably be difficult, but something like adding a dracula theme to google, lichess, hacker news, etc would be awesome.


Dang. I'd love this if they swapped the magenta for something like navy blue.


I prefer the reverse: Alucard theme for Terminal https://github.com/lysyi3m/macos-terminal-themes


I would prefer Alucrad.


I didn’t think it would work but I’ve grown fond of switching between light and dark os theme based on the time of day, and having all apps auto-adjust. If you haven’t yet give it a try.


Somehow all themes follow a kinda similar approach.

I always wondered how a different approach would change the way we write code.

Like, deemphasizin clutter code like braces, and emphasizing information like comments.


I like this a lot _except_ for the usage of green. IS there a theme like this but without the heavy reliance on green? IDK what it is but green is just off-putting for me.


What other themes are there like this? I know of Nord, but it would be interesting to see what other themes there are that are as comprehensive as Nord and Dracula.


The One Dark (Atom's default dark theme) and Solarized come to mind as widely used themes although I'm not sure they have as much of a branding as the two you named.


It is novel to me to collect apps in terms of theme.


Not to be confused with Darcula I take it?


I’ve enjoyed Dracula for years but I also enjoy light themes.

I’m currently using Ayu Light in Sublime with BB Manual Mono Pro TX.


I tried it, but after some time I figured out that VS Code's default theme is much better for my eyes.


Not a big fan of purple myself, I love warm colours. But it looks like a well balanced theme.


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