BBEdit has an awesome setting to make the application appearance match the selected editor color scheme – so when selected, if you select a dark color scheme in Preferences, it puts the app's chrome into dark mode.

I'm looking for the opposite. Is there a way to make BBEdit adopt the BBEdit Dark color scheme when the system is in dark mode, and the BBEDit Light color scheme when the system is not in dark mode? I don't think there's a simple BBEdit preference to do this, but BBEdit is legendarily AppleScriptable.

I use the awesome app Night Owl to switch my system between light and dark mode at sunrise and sunset, so I frequently change between light and dark modes for the OS, and I'd love it if BBEdit followed automatically. If there were an AppleScript that somehow either was triggered when the system changed modes, that periodically polled the system to see if it was light or dark and made sure that BBEdit was using the appropriate color scheme to match the system mode, or did something else creative to be sure that BBEdit used a light color scheme when I am writing things in the daytime and a dark color scheme when I am writing at night, that would be awesome.

In case it matters, I'm running BBEdit 12.6.7 and macOS 10.14.5.

BBEdit Preferences Window

1 Answer 1


BBEdit 13.0 introduced automatic color scheme switching based on the prevailing OS color scheme. (And it runs on macOS 10.14.2 and later, so you'll be able to use it.) Here's a screen shot of what it looks like in 13.1 (the current public release, as of when I wrote this answer.)

This is probably a simpler and more reliable solution than trying to automate it externally.

Screen shot of BBEdit 13.1's "Appearance" preferences, showing the color scheme setting which changes automatically

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