I'm changing my highlight color via a command I find in Mathias Bynen's dotfiles like so:

defaults write NSGlobalDomain AppleHighlightColor -string "0.764700 0.976500 0.568600"

I'd like to change it to something other than green, but I don't understand the syntax that is used for the color configuration (i'm a web developer so anything behind hex or rgba is dark magic to me).

First, what is the color specification?

Second, is there any documentation behind AppleHighlightColor?


To get the values for AppleHighlightColor try the following:

  1. Pick your desired color
  2. Get that color's RGB values
  3. Take each value and divide it by 255
  4. Put them into the string in order R G B

So, the color:

  • Red: 255 => 255/255 = 1
  • Green: 152 => 152/255 = 0.5960784314
  • Blue: 89 => 89/255 = 0.3490196078

would end up as:

defaults write NSGlobalDomain AppleHighlightColor -string "1 0.5960784314 0.3490196078"

Be careful, it's the hightlight color only so you don't want to pick something dark as some (all?) apps don't change the highlighted text color - dark highlight color + black text = hard to read.


The string is RGB with each value ranging from 0.0 to 1.0 (i.e. 1 being 100%, 0 being 0%).

AppleHighlightColor is an undocumented setting as far as I can tell.

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