Ruby syntax color change for colorblind people


Hi everyone,

I just got Atom the other day and I am loving it so far. I have run into a few issues with theme color choices because I am colorblind. I was able to change some syntax colors for the list-items, but now I am having trouble with the color of symbols for Ruby. I believe that regular text are gray and the symbol color is a different hue of gray. I have tried to change the color with no success. If I use the inspect element function I can target the symbols and change their color there, but when I try to copy the path and save the changes in my styles.less file it doesn’t work.

Long story short, can anyone help me target the Ruby symbols?

This is the element I attempted to change >> span.constant.other.symbol.ruby



You should be able to use this in your styles.less:

atom-text-editor::shadow {
  .constant.other.symbol.ruby {
    color: white;


Well, initially you might want to just try some other theme to see if that works better when viewed in essentially grayscale.

But I think someone should definitely create a color-blind syntax theme! I’m surprised no one’s thought of that yet.


The problem is that there’s like 15 different kinds of colorblindness. I was looking at a color palette site yesterday that could show what a specific color palette would look like to each different kind of color blindness (which was cool) … made me realize how challenging it is.


Yea the only downside to making a theme around colorblindness would be that you would really need to make multiple ones for each category of colorblindness. It could be done it would just take more time.

I am actually interested in attempting to make a theme and will probably start working on one soon.


Thanks, that worked.


Hey @simurai … is there any designer conventional wisdom you can shed here? Like is there a standard color rotation you can do to make things work? Like if I have a theme X and a type of colorblindness Y, can I apply color transform Z to make it work (even if ugly)?


Could have one theme with added settings to allow you to switch between several different modes for each type of color blindness?


Yes, but a pure grayscale scheme would work for anybody.


A while back @braver and me started with the DuoTone themes that only use 2 hues. If the settings would allow picking those 2 hues, you could shift the colors to the ones you can see best. Looking at this:

Blue/Yellow or Cyan/Red might be a good combination. @Murphysc feel free to fork that theme if it is any help.

But only 2 hues might not be enough for certain languages. So there could also be different formatting like bold, italic or different styled borders/backgrounds… and maybe one day different text decoration styles.


I’ve actually been experimenting with the duotone-light-syntax theme and have found it to be really pleasant once I got used to the limited color palette.