The context is that I took some notes in TextEdit and copied command examples from my green-on-black Terminal window. The text appears in the style and color of the source:

green on black

But I wanted to change it to a more readable black on yellow:

black on yellow

But to my amazement I can't find any way to change the background color within TextEdit. I can change the text foreground color to black easily using ⌘T but I can't find any way to change the background color to yellow. This is curious because obviously TextEdit can handle background colors.

I tried to change the Document color in ⌘T, but this changes the default color, that is all text except the colored text I want to change.

So, is there a way to change the text background color in TextEdit without copying the text to another application and back? If not, what would be the simplest way? To produce the example above I created a new profile in Terminal with a black on yellow font and copied the texts again.

1 Answer 1


This button changes the background.

enter image description here

  • OK, I feel really silly, but thanks a lot. I was looking in the wrong place.
    – Florian F
    Commented Aug 27, 2017 at 10:21

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