For anyone who grew up using a dumb terminal connected to a remote mainframe or minicomputer, or even remembers the days of the monochrome screens on early DOS-based computers, here is a way to make your console screen look like one of those old monochromatic wonders we got rid of a long time ago. You can even tweak the scheme a little to simulate a brand new out-of-the-box monitor, or one that has been running 24-hours a day for a few years. Even Powershell has carried this ability forward.

I actually find this more comfortable to work with, than the default light gray on black scheme provided.

For Putty sessions

The colors are controlled in this one section, and you can use the color numbers from the Windows console sessions below:

One recommendation I will make is that you adjust the ANSI color settings for blue, blue-bold, etc, since the color scheme may worsen the default contrast and make them harder, or even near impossible to see.

For a Windows console session

Right click on the windows shortcut for the command prompt, and click properties. If you have a console window pinned to the task bar in Windows 7, hover the mouse cursor over it and right click. Next, move the mouse cursor over “Command Prompt” at the top of that context menu, and right-click it. Select Properties from the menu.

On the font tab, I recommend using raster fonts. The 7×12 or 8×12 selections are pretty close to what the old terminals used to display. My hat’s off to you if you can still use 6×8 or smaller.

The next two screens show how to make a green screen. Essentially, the text is the value of Green at maximum (255), with the background color set at a level of about 42-48. The background emulates the contrast/brightness. For a brand new monitor, try a green value of 0 to 10. For a monitor that needs a little less contrast, try 32-48. For a monitor that is about three or more years older, and the brightness/contrast controls no longer have any real effect, try a foreground (text) value of 200, and a background value of 64 to 90.

While the next settings use Amber as the monitor color, notice also that the highlight is the inverted foreground/background pair.

And for Powershell, just hit start and type Powershell in the search box. Right click on the x86 or whatever version you want to set, and select properties. The properties window is the same as for a console window.

Finally, for those that want to be a little different, here are a few jumpstarts for other colors in case you want to remember the regular monochrome monitor you once covered with an X-colored transparent sheet.


Color Foreground (R/G/B) Background (R/G/B)
Purple 255/0/255 32/0/32
Cyan 128/255/255 16/32/32
Orange 255/0/50 32/0/3