Microsoft Adds Colorful Themes, Faster Text Renderer to Windows Terminal – PCMag

The Windows Terminal is set to become a lot more colorful after Microsoft introduced the ability to use themes.

Windows Terminal was launched back in 2019 as “a new, modern, fast, efficient, powerful, and productive terminal application,” and Microsoft has been tweaking it ever since. This latest update(Opens in a new window) takes the Preview release to version 1.16 and allows for different themes to be applied and edited by modifying a JSON file.

Windows Terminal theme settings
(Credit: Microsoft)

The theme settings you can tweak include changing the color of an active tab, inactive tab, and the appearance of the close button on a tab. The tab row can also have its background color set for when the window has the focus and when it doesn’t. Finally, you can also set the color of the terminal window background to match that of an application theme.

Microsoft also took the opportunity to change some of the default colors used with this Preview release to offer “a more cohesive appearance.” The other big color-related changes include a switch to use a dark theme by default, and a redesign of the color schemes page to be more intuitive.

Redesigned color schemes page
(Credit: Microsoft)

Being able to tweak colors is nice, but arguably the more important feature included with this release is all about improving performance. Microsoft has been experimenting with a new text renderer for the Terminal since version 1.13. It’s more performant and supports bold text, underline/overline/hyperlink lines, and additional pixel shaders allowing for more effects, e.g. a retro look.

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Both the Windows Terminal(Opens in a new window) and Windows Terminal Preview(Opens in a new window) can be downloaded from the Microsoft Store or GitHub releases page(Opens in a new window). For those who’d rather not chance using a Preview version, the latest Windows Terminal was updated to v.1.15 and includes new features(Opens in a new window) introduced in the Preview release back in July.

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