All Manuals > LispWorks IDE User Guide > 3 Common Features > 3.2 Setting preferences > 3.2.3 Setting the editor font, color and other style attributes

NextPrevUpTopContentsIndex Setting the text style attributes

By default the LispWorks IDE uses a variety of text styles to:

Note: The last two of these features operate only in Lisp mode.

To change the attributes of one or more text styles, first select Environment > Styles in the Preferences dialog as shown in Setting the editor font, color and other style attributes.

Then, to make Common Lisp symbols appear with red foreground rather than the default purple for example, first select Lisp Keyword in the Style Name list. Then select Specified alongside Foreground and double-click on the color area to the right. In the Color chooser that appears, choose the new color and click OK . Now click OK on the Preferences dialog and see the change in the way your Lisp code is displayed. You may need to force the editor window to redisplay, for example by scrolling, to see the change take effect.

For each named style, the Foreground and Background each have exactly one of the following values:


No special formatting


Platform-standard highlighting, as for selected text


The color specified is used.


The system generates a color which is usable for highlighting.

A large cross appears in the Foreground (Background) color area when None , Modified or Default is selected. This indicates that the color is not used for the Foreground (Background).

If you wish to turn off the highlighting of interactive input in the Listener and Shell tools, first select Interactive Input in the Style Name list. Then uncheck all the attributes and click OK .

To restore all styles to those in LispWorks as shipped, click Restore Defaults .

Note: the foreground and background colors of windows are set via the system, not in LispWorks.

The text styles used in syntax coloring have these meanings and default appearance:

Syntax styles

Style Name


Default appearance

Region Highlight

The active region

Native highlight

Show Point

Matching parentheses

:green background

Interactive Input

Input in a Listener or Shell



Editor help such as Describe Bindings



Dynamic and in-place completions. Transient.

Modified background

Search Match

The matching text during an incremental search (as invoked by Ctrl+S )


Line Wrap Marker

Displays the editor's line wrap marker, where a line is wrapped or truncated

:purple foreground, modified background

Lisp Function Name

Name in defun , defmacro , defmethod and defgeneric forms

:blue foreground

Lisp Comment

Comments and feature expressions

:firebrick foreground

Lisp Type

Name in deftype or other def... form, or lambda list keyword such as &optional

:forestgreen foreground

Lisp Variable Name

Name in defvar or defparameter forms

:darkgoldenrod foreground

Lisp String

A string literal

:rosybrown foreground

Lisp Keyword

defun , defmacro or other definer named def...

:purple foreground

Lisp Builtin

A keyword symbol

:orchid foreground

Arglist Highlight

The current argument in a Function Arglist Displayer window


LispWorks IDE User Guide (Macintosh version) - 25 Nov 2011