This plugin provides the real Darcula, not an imitation.
Konstantin Bulenkov of the JetBrains company open-sourced the Darcula look-and-feel originally built for the IntelliJ IDE. This NetBeans plugin discussed here wraps that original implementation, adapting it to NetBeans. So we see close fidelity to the original Darcula. [By the way, there are many other reasons beyond Darcula to use IntelliJ – both IntelliJ and NetBeans are truly excellent and amazing products.]
This NetBeans plugin is itself open-source as well.
Comes in two parts:
Fonts & Colorsprofile
The plugin Darcula LAF for NetBeans is easily available through the usual directory within NetBeans.
Plugins. On the
Available Plugins tab, scroll or search for "Darcula LAF for NetBeans". As per usual, check the checkbox and click the
Install button. Restart NetBeans.
Fonts & Colors(tab) > Profile (popup menu), choose the new
I suggest also hitting
Duplicate in case you ever make any modifications (discussed below).
You may find the background color of lines of code may be too bright such as lines marked with a breakpoint, or the currently executing line in the debugger. These are categories listed on the
Annotations tab of the
Fonts & Colors tab.
Of course you can change the background color of each
Category manually but that is tedious.
Workaround: Click the
Restore button found to the right of the
Profile name. Double-check to make sure you have
Darcula as the selected
Profile of course. Then click the
OK buttons at the bottom.
You may want to change the font in the method editor. I most highly recommend the commercial font for programmers, PragmataPro. For a free-of-cost and open-source font, the best is Hack. Hack was built on the very successful DejaVu font which in turn was built on Bitstream Vera.
To change the font, add these steps to the above to duplicate the profile as a backup before making your modification:
While in that same
Fonts & Colors tab, select
Default in the
Category list and hit the
… button to choose a font.
You might also want to change the font seen in the Output and the Terminal panes. From that
Fonts & Colors tab, switch to the sibling tab
Miscellaneous. Then see both the
Output tab and the
While still new I am reserving final judgement on Darcula. So far, so good. Already the makers have had a few updates fixing a few glitches, so that is good to see. This seems to be a very thorough product. As a plugin this affects the entire user interface of NetBeans; that can be very tricky to get right.
There was a similar plugin product predating Darcula: the “Dark Look And Feel Themes” plugin. While I was grateful to use that for a while, I am much happier with Darcula. That other one was more clunky and I had to spend much time tweaking colors of “Norway Today” to work together. Also, that plugin was not savvy with Mac OS X menus so the main Mac menu bar was nearly empty while NetBeans’ own menu bar was embedded within the window. The Darcula plugin has no such problem; the Mac menu bar appears normally.
The rest of this Answer is left intact for history, and for alternatives if Darcula proves problematic.
At least in NetBeans 8.0, two dark profiles are now built-in. Profile names:
The profiles affect only the code editing pane, not the entire NetBeans user-interface. That should mean much less risk of side-effects and bugs than a plugin.
On a Mac, the menu path is
Fonts & Colors (tab) >
Profile (popup menu).
On other host operating systems, the menu path may be
Fonts & Colors. Not sure, but it was so in previous versions.
~ Answered on 2014-08-09 23:17:29