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Re: [SD-User] SD colours on Windows 10

Subject: Re: [SD-User] SD colours on Windows 10
From: "Martin Davies G0HDB" <>
Date: Wed, 18 Nov 2020 16:29:18 -0000
List-post: <>
On 16 Nov 2020 at 17:30, Paul O'Kane wrote:

[Snipped - my original posting re: SD's colour palette]

> I can't explain that - I've been using Windows 10, and its regular 
> updates, since it first became available - the colours have not changed 
> since the days of Windows 7.

Hello all, further to the above from Paul I can now provide an explanation of 
the issue of SD's 
colour palette when running the program on a Windows 10 PC.  Apologies in 
advance for the 
length of this message to the mailing list...!

I've discovered that in about July 2017 Microsoft changed the default palette 
of 16 colours 
that's available to programs running in the Windows 10 'Console' mode.  More 
the colours were changed from Windows 10 build 16257 onwards.  However...

Although the default colour palette changed at build 16257, any installation of 
Windows 10 
that pre-dates that specific build will have retained the original 'legacy' 
palette of colours even 
though the version and build of WIndows 10 might (or should!) have subsequently 
updated quite a few times.

For example, I have a PC that originally had Windows 10 installed sometime in 
2016 and 
even though it has been updated numerous times and is now at the latest version 
and build 
of Windows 10, ie. version 2004 build 19041, that PC still uses the 'legacy' 
colour palette.  In 
comparison, my new PC only had Windows 10 (also v2004 build 19041) installed a 
weeks ago so it uses the new console-mode colour palette that became the 
default in 

The presence of the new, supposedly improved, colour palette in my new Windows 
10 PC is 
the reason I haven't been able configure my instance of SD to appear as it 
always used to.

If anyone's interested, you'll find details of Microsoft's changes to the 
colour palette via a blog 
posting at:

The blog includes a table that shows the colour names and their RGB values for 
both the 
legacy and the new default colour palettes - this information will be very 
useful later (see 

If you read the blog closely you'll see references to a utility app called 
'ColorTool' that 
Microsoft produced; this enables the default colour palette used for 
console-mode apps such 
as SD to be changed from the new default scheme back to the legacy scheme.  
Great, I 
thought - I'll run the ColorTool utility, reset my default colour palette back 
to the legacy 
version, and then I'll be able to configure SD to appear as it always used to.  
I tried that, and 
unfortunately it didn't work - when I re-started SD I was disappointed to find 
that it was still 
using the new colour palette.

I then discovered, almost by chance, that it *IS* possible to re-define the 
palette of 16 colours 
available to SD via another, relatively straightforward means...

When SD is running, right-clicking on the title-bar at the top of the window 
will offer a menu 
that includes 'Properties'.  Click on this and then click on the 'Colours' tab. 
 This will open a 
window that shows four buttons down the left-hand side and three 'spinners' for 
the RGB 
settings on the right-hand side, under the heading 'Selected Color Values'.  
There's also a 
horizontal line of 16 coloured boxes, going from black on the left to white on 
the right - these 
represent the palette of colours that's available for use by the program.

Click on the 'Screen Background' button to enable that option and then try 
clicking on each 
coloured box in turn and seeing how the appearance in the small 'Selected 
Screen Colours'  
window changes.  You'll also note that as you select a different coloured box, 
the numbers in 
the boxes for the Red, Green and Blue 'Selected Color Values' change.

If you're content with leaving the colour palette exactly as it is then you 
don't need to do 
anything further - you can just close the 'Properties -> Colours' by clicking 
on 'Cancel'.  

However, if you want to change any or all of the 16 colours in the palette, eg. 
to revert to the 
'legacy' palette, then proceed as follows - you'll probably need to refer to 
the table of the 
legacy and the new colour RGB values that's shown in the Microsoft blog web 
referred-to above.

For each colour that you want to change, firstly click on that coloured box and 
note that the 
'Screen Background' in the small 'Selected Screen Colours' window will have 
changed to the 
selected colour.  Numbers should also have appeared in the Red, Green and Blue 
Color Values' boxes.  For example, if you clicked on the dark-blue coloured box 
2nd from the 
left-hand end of the line of colours then, if your PC still has the legacy 
colour palette the RGB 
values should be 0,0,128 but if the PC is using the new colour palette then the 
numbers will 
be 0,55,128.  

To change the appearance of the dark-blue colour either from the new colour 
value back to 
the legacy value, or to something else completely, just edit the RGB values so 
that the 
screen background colour appears as you want it.

You can do this for each and every one of the 16 colours in the palette, which 
represented in SD (and presumably other console-mode apps) by colours numbered 
from 0 
to 15, so you can customise the colour scheme to be exactly what you want.  
When you're 
finished tweaking all the colours in the palette simply exit from Properties -> 
Colours by 
clicking on 'OK'.

After I discovered that it's possible to edit the colour palette used by SD by 
using the 
procedure I've described above, I went through the entire palette on my new 
Windows 10 PC 
and reset the RGB values for all 16 colours from their new values back to the 
legacy values, 
and now when I start SD it appears exactly as it used to - hurrah!!!

NB - if you've got a shortcut for SD (or any other console-mode app) on your 
desktop then you can edit the properties of the shortcut in exactly the same 
way as described 
above.  In fact, this might be a better approach because, if I've understood 
the Microsoft blog 
correctly, the shortcut's properties take precedence over those defined for the 
app itself.

For what it's worth, with the legacy colour palette reinstated on my new 
Windows 10 PC the 
colour options I use in my installation of SD are:1;14;15;0;3;12;7;14;11;10.  
This makes SD 
appear exactly as per the screenshot on the first page of the user manual and 
as it always 
used to appear on my older PCs - hurrah, success has been achieved!!

Apologies again for the length of this message, but I hope my findings will be 
of interest and 
of use to anyone who might want to tweak the palette of colours used by SD to 
suit their own 
individual preferences.

73, Martin G0HDB

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