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Dark Mode/Dark theme for ARCHICAD (on both macOS and Windows)

Daniel Kovacs
Graphisoft Alumni
Graphisoft Alumni
Apple introduced Dark mode in macOS 10.14 Mojave, and Microsoft also started implementing it in Windows the same year (2018).

ARCHICAD currently works when the Operating System is turned to Dark Mode, but doesn't have a dark theme yet. This change could be quite development-resource heavy (as the engine of ARCHICAD’s UI is not ready for having 2 different representations, so it would require a complete overhaul), and could also take away time from functional developments in favour of a cosmetic upgrade.

PS.: I found other similar polls but I wanted to get more specific than those. I link them here for reference (I personally like the mock-up of Emil Meijer):
Black/Dark theme option for UI
Dark GUI theme
Dark scheme
Daniel Alexander Kovacs

Professional Services Consultant


For Troubleshooting and useful Tips & Tricks visit
Ralph Wessel
On the whole, I'd prefer a focus on functionality. Dark mode has a 'back to the future' feel about it – takes me back to the old monitors of earlier computing with black background and green/amber characters.

I use Dark Mode on macOS currently but don't feel any clear benefits. It's great in Xcode, but weaker in illustrative software. It's nice to have the palettes etc recede a bit with the darker colour – which punches up the content you're working on – but fundamentally a lot of the content still has a white background and consequently the overall effect is greatly diminished.

Consequently, I suspect I'd gain little from a dark mode in ARCHICAD. I always thought it was counterproductive when I saw people working on back screens with lurid coloured line-work in AutoCAD and then essentially inverting it all in the finished documents. I'd be happy if palettes and toolbars were dark, but it's a minor issue and I'd prefer to see GS focus on key issues.
Ralph Wessel BArch
Barry Kelly
Personally I don't think the light grey toolbars and menus are too hard on the eyes as some have suggested.
The working background can be too bright, but that colour is adjustable now in grids and background settings.
I would never want a dark background anyway as I use a lot of black and sometimes grey pens.
I print in black and grey so for me it makes more sense to see what I am going to end up with - especially in the layouts (WYSIWYG).

I have never understood the use of a black background - I don't print on black paper.
Yes, white can appear too harsh but as mentioned it is easy to adjust the background colour to something more soothing (without going black).

As with anything, so long as we have the option to invoke it or not - then everyone should be happy.
But I would rather not take away from developing new features if it is going to be a big project.
That is my opinion anyway.

One of the forum moderators.
Versions 6.5 to 27
Dell XPS- i7-6700 @ 3.4Ghz, 16GB ram, GeForce GTX 960 (2GB), Windows 10
Lenovo Thinkpad - i7-1270P 2.20 GHz, 32GB RAM, Nvidia T550, Windows 11
Similar thoughts to Barry here. You can already change the background settings. I did try the Dark Mode setting with other apps, but can't say it appealed to me, even with my failing eyesight.

I would much rather see resources put into improving modelling efficiency, debugging and implementation of the longstanding items on the wish list.
Apple iMac Intel i9 / macOS Sonoma / AC27UKI (most recent builds.. if they work)
Nader Belal
Here are my two cents,

First, the "Dark Mode/Dark theme for ARCHICAD" can not be marketed to the public as a program functionality, in any case it may be mentioned as an option (cause may programs already had it).

Second, working on a white background for extended periods can strain the eyes. Proof, mobile & tablets screens in the last few years have gotten better, bigger, clearer and brighter, never the less, many apps and web pages had to implement the dark mode by users' request (Check LinusTechTips Youtube Channel on that matter)

Third, in any case ArchiCAD core functionality takes maximum priority, and the dark theme at any case must be seen as a side task, not a main task.
A good friend of mine have once told me that I´m so brute that I´m capable of creating a GDL script capable of creating GDLs.
Not applicable
first the functional changes, then the cosmetics. I personally find the development of the metal graphics engine a priority to gain speed and future compatibility.
This would be a huge waste of resources.
Jared Banks, AIA
Shoegnome Architects

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The "dark mode" would look sleek on both Windows and MacOS but I don't think this is at the top of priorities for this great software.

It's one of those "nice to have" things that don't really add much overall value to the already valuable software. Functionality in terms of tools, ease of use and producing deliverables are much much higher on my list to be honest.

I wouldn't mind having this though.
Apple, Windows, Adobe Products, Office 365, Apps...

I understand people will judge you by wasting resources and that is true; we need more functionalities and the market is competitive. However, If you want customers to upgrade, I recommend UI improvement every 2 years because it is a visible change. Sad but true.

In any way, black is the coolest colour and architects will love it. I know it makes no sense but just remember how many people waited for a white version of iPhone

I wish there was a simple way of making it.

BIM Manager, Architect in the UK | AC11-AC27

Macbook Pro 16" 2.4 GHz 8-Core Intel Core i9 - 32 GB RAM - 512 GB SSD | MacOS 13.3.1 (a)
Unfortunately we cannot change the theme of ArchiCAD itself but you can change themes of Windows. I did some experiments and installed this one:

Its appearance is based on Steam and its code is based on AERO theme which is default for Windows 7. Nice option if you have ArchiCAD 20 or newer, which will not run if you change your Windows theme to classic.

Gotta say, this theme is really dark and you may find some icons hard to see (both in OS and ArchiCAD GUI). But if you know ArchiCAD and your system well enough, this shouldn't be a burden. I personally love this theme - it's elegant, reducing contrast on my screen and strain of my eyes.

If you like dark GUIs, you can give this theme a chance. I checked it on my computer - no viruses.
Just remember to first patch your system settings in order to allow proper installation of external visual styles (themes). All the instructions you'll find in the link.

If you're curious, some other programs will also be affected by changing Windows theme. Here I listed some of mine:

Other programs with GUI that WILL be fully affected by changing (AERO-based) Windows theme:
- Corel Draw
- Trimble SketchUp
- Mozilla Firefox

These will NOT be affected fully (or not at all):
- Autodesk AutoCAD (I guess any Autodesk soft)
- GIMP (unless you change the setting of theme to "system" - GIMP has quite customizable GUI)
- Blender (it's actually dark itself)
- Rhinoceros (part of the GUI is affected and it looks a bit strange but acceptable)
- any Adobe program
- Google Earth Pro
- MS Officle bundle (Word, Excel, PPoint etc.) but default page color will change to dark gray so you'll have to alter this by hand every time (no problem for me).
ArchiCAD 25

Windows 10