Prevent Eyestrain: Change Color Themes in Eclipse

If you're a programmer, I'm sure you have moments wherein you're coding late at night. Coding at night is awesome because of the distraction-free environment you're presented with. One huge problem is the monitor. With the brightness of LCD Monitors combined with the dark room and night time, your eyes are being forced to exert greater focus. After a few hours, you may feel extensive eye fatigue. Here's one solution you can do to lessen eyestrain.

Change Color Themes
What does color have to do with anything? If you're in a dark room with one monitor being your source of light, your eyes are being forced to adjust in extreme conditions of light and dark. There are a lot of solutions to this problem but I'll be tackling something simple.

You can try to change the color themes in your programming IDE. Dark backgrounds may help your eyes reduce its focus. It's similar to dimming your monitor but you can only lessen the brightness until a certain point. If you've dimmed your monitor at the lowest possible setting then this is another solution on top of that.

Eclipse IDE
Eclipse is one of the many Integrated Development Environment (IDE). It's an open-source program for a variety of different programming languages. Currently, I'm using it and trying to get accustomed to it (previously used NetBeans). Grab a copy of eclipse here.

Anyway, what's cool about Eclipse is how easy it is to change color themes. There are three ways to do so.

  • Download a plugin. Choose from a theme from the plugin then voila!
  • Download a "preference" file. Import the preferences then voila!
  • Fiddle around with the color options and after a hell lot of time...voila!I'm currently using Eclipse Indigo. For some reason, I'm having trouble downloading and installing plugins like Android Development and Eclipse Themes so I had to stick to the method of downloading preference files. (Update: Solution is running in administrator mode in Win7).

If' you don't have any problems with installing plugins, simply search "Eclipse Theme" in the marketplace and that would be easier than the steps below. The Marketplace is accessible via Help > Eclipse Marketplace.

Eclipse Color Themes Site
**Eclipse Color Themes Website ** If you don't want to mess around with the colors on Eclipse, the easiest way to change themes is through the [Eclipse Color Themes]( site. Let's have one example.

Pick a Theme
I chose the theme Black Pastel. Choose any to your liking. When you're at the layout's page you'll be presented with something similar to the screenshot below.

**Installing the Theme** As highlighted by the big red marking on the screenshot, hit that button to download the EPF file. Once you have it downloaded somewhere in your computer, open Eclipse. Go to File > Import and you'll be presented with a window. Under General find preferences then hit next. Click browse and find the EPF file then finish. Now observe the new look.

Before doing any major project after a color change, I suggest trying out a few sample programs because the color changes might be hard to adjust to at first. Try out the theme and see if it suits you. You can try another one that's more comfortable.

I hope this helps reduce eyestrain for you. If not, at least you have a cooler looking working environment now.