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MATLAB Schemer

version (493 KB) by Scott Lowe
Apply and save color schemes in MATLAB with ease.


Updated 11 Oct 2020

From GitHub

View Version History

View license on GitHub

Editor's Note: Popular File 2018 2019 2020

This file was selected as MATLAB Central Pick of the Week

MATLAB Schemer makes it easy to change the color scheme (a.k.a. theme) of the MATLAB display and GUI.
You can use Schemer to import a predefined color scheme, transfer your color settings between installations, or create your own color scheme.
The MATLAB interface has customisable colours for displaying text and highlighting syntax, but no way to easily export these settings and share them with others users, or import them to other machines. In fact, the vast majority of users do not even know the colour settings can be customised at all. Furthermore, MATLAB ships with a light color scheme by default, so any user who wishes to use a dark theme must completely change all the colours. Designing an effective color scheme is not trivial, so it makes sense for users to simply import a pre-made color scheme instead of having to make one from scratch.
Schemer makes this easy. Color schemes can be imported by running `schemer_import` at the MATLAB command prompt, without needing any inputs. This will open a GUI to select the file to import the color scheme from.
Schemer comes with a collection of 11 color schemes to pick from:
- Cobalt
- Darkmate
- Dark Steel
- Matrix
- Monokai
- Oblivion
- Solarized Dark
- Solarized Light
- Tango
- Vibrant
- and the original, default MATLAB scheme, which can be restored as needed.
You can view samples of the color schemes here:
If you find a bug in the code, please report it by creating an issue on GitHub:

If you want to share a color scheme/theme you have created, please issue a pull request to the daughter repository containing just the color schemes:

Cite As

Scott Lowe (2021). MATLAB Schemer (, GitHub. Retrieved .

Comments and Ratings (357)

Mallory Nation

Vibhav Gaur

Thanks for this package!

Luca Caiaffa

Linus Groß

Joseph Orakwe

Joseph Orakwe

Marvin Haupenthal

nice blyat



love this thing, makes my engineering ass fell was better at "coding". :)

MA Neves

'bwdist' requires Image Processing Toolbox. in region_seg>mask2phi (line 99)



This is really useful. Thank you so much.


No, it does not work for live scripts. That would be great, though.


Awesome. But this does not work for .mlx (live scrips). T^T

Dmitrij Mordasov

Christopher Voetsch

Laurent Royer

Mattia Frusca

Awesome eye-saving add-on.

On Windows, if downloaded directly from add-on marketplace in Matlab, schemes are saved in: %appdata%\MathWorks\MATLAB Add-Ons\Collections\MATLAB Schemer\scottclowe-matlab-schemer-4307569\schemes

Tianze Yu

Bobby Fischer

It's cool. Thanks.

Sanghum Woo

It's so beautiful... :) Thank you!!

Florian Astoux

Thank you for this tool !

Jeff Alderson

Excellent contribution! A lot of us inside MathWorks are using this.

Md Noor Islam

tevfik oguz

Thanks man. that's what i've been looking for.

Travis Johnson

Windows default path is C:\Users\xxx\AppData\Roaming\MathWorks\MATLAB Add-Ons\Collections\MATLAB Schemer

Felix Kimiaei

Ahron Cervania

Yunxuan Cui

Vijaya Raj Y

Sinan Islam


Nice <3

Ricky Medrano

Worked great, thanks. If you're on Ubuntu, the schmes are located at ~/MATLAB Add-Ons/Collections/MATLAB Schemer/scottclowe-matlab-schemer-4307569/schemes

Joseph MacGregor

Julyver Tolentino

Simon Thor

haiqing wang

mikolaj panka

@David Parks
On linux the schemes get downloaded to ~/MATLAB Add-Ons/Collections/MATLAB Schemer/scottclowe-matlab-schemer-4307569/schemes
Don't know where they are on Windows

Agustin Tejada

Hermawan Ali

宇宏 靳



Maria Sol Acuña Lai



wong bing

Hey there I love the schemes however, I'm still relatively new to matlab and I'm having a hard time getting this to work. I've added it through addons, yet when I run import_schemer in the command window, I have to select all files to get the files to show up under schemes, and then when I select my choice it says, darksteel.prf already exists do you want to replace it? And then leads to "matlab can only run a file with a valid name... etc..."

What am I doing wrong?

Scott Lowe

Hi, David Parks. The color schemes are in the "schemes" directory of the repository. If you install Schemer by clicking the "Download from GitHub" button on this File Exchange page, you will see the schemes directory alongside the file schemer_import.m (which, obviously, defines the function schemer_import). When schemer was developed, this was the only mechanism for installing custom packages/apps/toolboxes into MATLAB from File Exchange and so the functionality was obvious. Now there is the Add-Ons Manager and users do not have to manually install the Schemer package, but the default directory is not correct when it is run from this installation. For the moment, you have to manually find the Add-Ons directory where matlab-schemer was installed, or download with the "Download from GitHub" button. I will change schemer_import soon so the default behaviour is as expected when Schemer is installed through the Add-Ons Manager. Apologies for the inconvenience!

David Parks

Where are the default color schemes? If I run `schemer_import` I just get a file dialog box pointing to my current working directory. If default color schemes were installed somewhere, then where? If I need to download them, then from where? I don't see an obvious place where they were downloaded or available.

Marco Origlia

Abdullah Almahous

Chieh-Hsiang Hsu

Sören Kohnert


Great work. Note: This does not work for .mlx (live scrips).

Ramy Rabie

Lionel Trebuchon

It works as expected, and its natural schemer_import and schemer_export functions are self-explanatory.

Aryan Ritwajeet Jha

Jared Naidoo


Michael Darmanis



Nikhil Mukund Menon

Leonardo Scardua

Eddy Philippe

Rémy Bretin

Love it, but is there any way to also change the Matlab windows frame color?

Javier Belmonte

Kyle Bopp

guanhong chan

kevin billy

Gan Gun

Utsav Dave

Love it! Easy to use, does what it says on the label. Thanks for saving my eyes!!

Mikolaj Wolny

Dan Floyd

Laki D


Thank you!

Jesus Lucio

Very good. Thanks a lot.

Divyayan Dey

Scott Lowe

@Ajay, thanks! The font is DejaVu Sans Mono.

Ajay Kumar

Excellent. Just one question.
What is the font that is used in the screenshots?

Chung-Lin Tseng

Fantastic work. Thank you very much.


thank you very much

Habtamu Tesfaw

Thank you very much

Bryan H.

Quick and easy to use. It even works on the R2020a prerelease!

Takuma Kitanishi

Deepu Kumar

Lrene Izquierdo


Marco Lo Cascio

Emery Stokes

Wei Jiang

jim chen

bin lu

Bryan H.

Teodoro Bora

Gabriel Pauka

Marcel Goldschen-Ohm

Until a native dark mode is available, this is an eye saver.

Scott Lowe

@Peter Scott Changing the default background of a plot is outside the scope of this package. You can find the answer here:
For instance:
set(0, 'DefaultFigureColor', [1, .8, .8])
set(0, 'DefaultAxesColor', [.4, .6, .8])

Peter Scott

How do i change the default background of a plot.

James Foster

Scott Lowe

Unfortunately, it is not possible to change the Toolbar color scheme of MATLAB on any OS.

Ward Ruelens

Question: how to make the Toolbar color scheme follow the Schemer? I'm working on an Apple MacBook Air MacOs Mojave 10.14.6

Radix User

Adam Mohd Khairuddin

Haiyang Zhang


shufu yuan

Bernhard Westerhof

Perfect. Color schemes should be a standard feature, but this is a great substitute.

Changyeob Shin

John Johnson

Vojtech Mankowski


Khashayar Abryoghani



Joseph Transom

Its a typical Redmond-fail (i.e, Microsoft's habit of pushing half-finished dreck), but on Windows folks will notice that none of the toolbars, menubars etc change to adapt to the broad theme.

That's on MSFT's third-decile coders, and is not the fault of the contributor: I have a dark Windows theme, and browser bars & menus all adapt, but JetBrains IDEs, Geany, MATLAB, and Office have the hated white/light-grey livery unless I specifically alter their characteristics.

the cyclist

Vincent Bridier


Marcin Paszek

Edoardo Lisciandra

Nicolò Faggioni


works nicely


Great submission. It made my Matlab much more comfortable to use.

Vlad-Marian Ivanciu

Justin Heer

my eyes said thanks

Ludovico Massaccesi

xiongwei yong

Axel Nilsson



Bálint Décsi

For anyone who doesn't know how to import the themes, make sure first that the folder you unzipped is in your MATLAB path. You can add it to your path in Home>Set Path option.

Sascha Bilert

Artur Szilágyi

Paul Gesting

Atif Anwer


Excellent submission! Would it be possible to have an Atom-like theme?

Artur Mirowski

Federico Arguissain

Stephen Cobeldick

@Kuo Yang: click the big blue "Download" button (top of the page). Unzip the file onto your MATLAB path (e.g. your current directory).

Suhas Chelian

Slav Demin

Kuo Yang

I type schemer_import in the command prompt... not work at all... it shows undefined function or variable... could you please tell me what to do?

Matthew Millington

Yuanlong Zhang

Stephen Cobeldick

If I could, I would give this ten stars.


Raul Leon

Chen Shang-Ying

Rodrigo Chi

does anyone knows how to install the themes?


Works perfect :D


Niravkumar Ambaliya

Excellent Work. Works very well. Thanks.

Christoffer Boström

Stephen Cobeldick

An illuminating submission which is a *must* for any regular MATLAB user.
Would be nice if it also included Zenburn, but the inbuilt schemes are thoughtfully selected.

Daniel Meer



Alexey Salasyuk

Pete Websdell


Great work on this, thanks.

Emiliano Rosso

VERY GOOD THANKS !!!!!!!!!!!!

Menelaos Tasiou

Roman Yermoshkin

Perfectly simple tool and very efficient schemes

Zhongzheng Fu

Andrea Zignoli

Huge! Thanks!

Amir Reza Sadeghi

Dan Gross

Sergio Nicoli

Many thanks from my tired eyes

Marco Lo Cascio


Dennis Gardner

Exactly what I wanted and easy to use.


That is great. Thank you!

Jayant Sharma

Toan Le

It's good to use, thanks for your contribution.


It is a wonderful tool. However, it doesn't apply the theme to live scrupt.

Van Minh Nguyen

Myron Van Staden

Very Nice YES Baby!

Julie Vinente


Paul Dostert

This broke "doc" on my MATLAB install. I got a "Dot indexing is not supported for variables of this type." each time I tried to run doc on a command, such as:
>>doc format
>>doc rand

Brian Isakov

Facundo Ramon

Tomonori Mizoe

Marek Svoboda

Claims to change the GUI color (the first sentence) but doesn't. Otherwise great!


Vaggelis Michos


Miguel Valdes

Amazing work!

Jens Johansson

Nikesh Thammishetti

Jyahway Dong

Hirak Modi

Aochen Xiao

Thx!!! It's awesome!

Stephen Town

Xuan Xiao

Gustavo Ramirez


Seungjun Pi

Awesome!! Thanks!


Bradley Taylor

Jeff Pankau


Philippe Ganz

Thanks a lot! Does exactly what it says and themes are very nice.
@Shams No need to install, just download, unpack and open in MATLAB by running schemer_import as stated in the above documentation ;)

junhong chen

really useful for me!!!

sen ten

Hello Guys

I'm new to MathLab.
I want to install this add-app but I do not know how to do it.

Thanks in advance

Mostafa Modirrousta

Suvansh Kasliwal

micheal audi

Prashanth Nadukandi



Yang Lou

Finally there is someone who made this! I've been manually changing the theme to dark for 5 years but just didn't have the time for making this automatic... Thank you for doing this!

Emerson Suguimoto

Roelle Corregidor

Sebastian Wolff

Bogdan Udrea

Daniella Ayala

Heinrich Pieterse

Andreas Berg

Matthew Keaton

Conner Herndon

Chandra N

Scott Lowe

Hi Ngô Quang. 1. Download file. 2. Extract zip. 3. Open Matlab. 4. Navigate Matlab to the unzipped directory. 5. Run schemer_import. 6. In the dialogue box which appears, open the schemes folder. 7. Select a scheme from the list of .prf files in the schemes folder. 8. Click Open. 9. If you don't like this scheme and want to try another one or return to the default colours, repeat steps 5-9.

Ngô Quang

how to use when i have download

Ander Biguri

Tyler Cumby

Duc Truong

Thank you. This is cool.

Dirk Schuster

Cheryl Sital

Victor Hugo Souza

Excelent module! Congratulations!

Arjun Roy

Diogo Matos da Silva

Tudor Popescu

Zhengguang Zhao

Marcin Lenarczyk

Great thing! Thanks!

Francis Gagnon

Changho Choi

Where should I put this file to?

Matthew Thompson

Alberto Lambertucci

Ander Biguri

While this certainly seems considerably more complicated: you think there is a way of also changing the colors of the scrollbar and other things that keep white after the schemmer is applied?

Martin Leduc

adel mezaour

Charles Wasserman

Ankan Biswas


Jeremy Walker

Yury Bulavin



Ismael Xique


Jedrzej Baranski

Great idea, thank You!

Henry Hunt

Good Stuff


Great tool, very refreshing. Would love to see more schemes.

Daniel Ruckser


Eric Miller

Baptiste P


Callum Gilmour

Rupinder Judge


Alessandro Morettto

Kerem Tuzcuoglu

Carlos Franco

Francis Gagnon

Luke Osborn

wei du


John Peter Davalos

Florian DURET

Simply great. It was definitely missing in Matlab.

Muhamed Ali

Gabor Papotti

Amazing. Thank you!

Jenne H

Juan R. Terven


Ali Ramadhan

Zachary Leasor

Hussein Fadhel

Niklas Ohlsson

Niklas Ohlsson


Ahmed Elsadek

Adil Sbai

Nice job!



Wonderful, thanks mate!

ajay singh nehra

Jianghao Wang


great tool, thank you!

Lijia Zhang

Terry Jhon

Good Job! Is there any way to change the grey color scheme of the matlab gui (borders, scrollbars, ribbon, etc).

Mendi Barel

good job

Jannick Schreiner

Was looking for that for so long!


Fantastic. Thanks a lot

Yiyi Yan


Frank ZOU

Thanks a lot!


Andrew X Stewart


Fantastic, thank you!

Dimitris Floros

Robert Waters

Scott Lowe

Hi Jake. Unfortunately at the moment it is not possible to change the colours of the borders, ribbon, etc, present in the GUI. It would indeed be nice if you could reskin the whole GUI, not just the innards of the content windows. The only suggestion I can make is if you would rather not see the Toolstrip ribbon at all you can minimise it and add some buttons to the Quick Access Toolbar to use them there instead.

Jake Shea

Is there any way to change the grey color scheme of the matlab gui (borders, scrollbars, ribbon, etc). Would love them dark as well.

Alexandros Iliopoulos

Lipeng Jiu

Victoria Scholl


Vlad Maximov

Andre Goncalves

Tim Hobbie

Good work. Exactly what I was looking for.

Abhishek Badki

Huy Do

Awesome! Absolutely Awesome!


Fernando Gonzalez



Simply perfect!

Mathilde Granke


Kal Vuppamandla

Awesome, made some tweaks to monokai theme to suit to my taste and it is looking great, thanks a bunch!

Geun Lee

Manolis Trypakis

I tried it and it's really great! Very very helpful, very easy to use. I liked the Cobalt theme the most. The community's eyes thank you!

Manolis Trypakis



Works like a charm, thanks a lot!


Eman Johnson

Farhad Verahrami

Fabio Assis

Very very good! Thank you for this amazing work.



Robert See

Brilliant, thank you Scott!

Mianzhi Wang

Vincenzo Varano



deniz unal

Pranav Jawale

wonderful. love the cobalt theme.

Scott Lowe

Hi, Initial Conditions. You can disable current line highlighting in the MATLAB Preferences within the Editor/Debugger > Display panel. To use Schemer to reset boolean settings (such as whether to highlight the current line) in addition to the colour settings, you can run schemer_import('schemes/default.prf', true).

Initial Conditions

I've reverted back to default, but I have a strang issue: the line the cursor is on is now constantly highlighted, and I can't seem to get this unhighlighted (which is the default setting). Any ideas?

Robert Waters

Having a darker theme is soooo much better and this script made changing effortless.


Berkin Bilgic

Pablo Iturralde

Easy to use. Now I have a good way to bring my preferred Matlab color scheme with me to new computers!

Shahab J

Arthur Dgn

Pablo Iturralde

Very easy to use, allowed me to share my color settings.

Michal Balcerek

Daniel Zaldivar



Tanmay Rajpathak



Elmar Tarajan

Great! Thank you! :)

MATLAB Release Compatibility
Created with R2011a
Compatible with any release
Platform Compatibility
Windows macOS Linux

Inspired by: setupEmacsClassicColors, benhager/solarized-matlab

Inspired: uiselectscheme

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