Dark Mode in DraftSight

Article by TriMech Solutions, LLC updated January 16, 2023


If you’re the type of person who finds using white and light grey backgrounds, menus, and palettes in your Windows applications to be a bit of a strain on your eyes, kind of like reading text off the lens of a flashlight, you’re in luck! As of 2022 we have the long-awaited, and much-requested answer to your problem: Dark Mode in DraftSight.

I’ve always been more light-sensitive than most. My eyes take in a little more light than average, which is great after the sun goes down as my night vision is pretty good. It’s not so great when subjected to full daylight without sunglasses. Or when working on a brightly glowing monitor using mostly white and light grey application interfaces.

In my days as an AutoCAD user, I spent a lot of time and effort customizing my menus and interface colors to reduce eye strain. I had to keep updating my customizations to keep my eyes happy as new releases came along. I must not have been alone, because AutoCAD eventually introduced a ‘Color Scheme’ option with the 2016 release. It allows you to switch between a ‘Dark’ and ‘Light’ theme. The dark theme was popular enough that they made it the default option.

I and other AutoCAD users switching to DraftSight found a lot of familiar and comfortable features to make us feel at home. Unfortunately, a dark color scheme wasn’t one of them, until now! DraftSight 2022 introduced Dark Mode to help reduce eye strain. All the interface elements including palettes, ribbons, menus, and toolbars in the classic workspace are affected. This was a great enhancement, but not everybody got the memo as Light Mode is still the default.

features in dark mode in draftsight

Features in dark mode in DraftSight

You can activate Dark Mode one of two ways. First is to go to ‘Options > System Options > User Interface Style’ and select the ‘Dark’ option. You can also use the ‘Find:’ field. Search for ‘Dark’ and it will take you right to it. A popup message will let you know the setting will take effect when the program is restarted. You’ll need to close DraftSight and relaunch it before you see the change.

system options - display

System options – display

The second way to change between Dark and Light Mode is with the COLORTHEME system variable. Type it at the command line and change the value to ‘0’ for Light Mode, or ‘1’ for Dark Mode. You’ll still need to relaunch DraftSight for the change to take effect.

colortheme system variable

COLORTHEME system variable

If you like the default Light Mode, you can keep right on using it. But for me and my fellow troglodytes and eye strain sufferers, Dark Mode in DraftSight is a welcome relief.

Related Links

Find Related Content by TAG:

TriMech Solutions, LLC

TriMech provides thousands of engineering teams with 3D design and rapid prototyping solutions that work hand-in-hand, from sketch to manufacturing. Javelin became a subsidiary of TriMech Solutions LLC in 2021.