Dark Composition Mode Settings in Scrivener 3.1 and Above

Prior to Scrivener 3.1 on macOS, Composition mode used a dark background with light text. In 3.1 and above, when running on macOS 10.14 or above, Composition mode colours are now determined by the current system appearance:

  • When a Light appearance is set via the System Preferences (or from the Scrivener > Appearance menu), by default, Composition mode uses a light background with dark text.

  • When a Dark appearance is set via System Preferences (or via Scrivener > Appearance), Composition mode uses a dark background with light text - the colours that used to be the default for Composition mode no matter what.

This change was made because the introduction of a Dark appearance in Mojave means that Scrivener no longer needs to provide its own dark mode, which was part of what Composition mode used to do; it makes sense for Composition mode to respect the system settings. However, some users may prefer to use the older dark Composition mode theme even when using Light mode for everything else. Here's how:

  1. Download this file: Dark-Compose.zip

  2. Double-click on it to extract (unzip) a file entitled "Dark-Mode.stheme".

  3. In Scrivener, go to Scrivener > Preferences...

  4. In the Preferences panel, click on "Manage..." in the bottom left, and then choose "Load Theme from File...".

  5. Choose the Dark-Mode.stheme file that you downloaded and extracted and click "Open".

That's all you need to do - Composition mode will now use the dark colours in Light mode that it used prior to 3.1.

You can also, of course, customise the colours yourself by using Scrivener's "Appearance" Preferences