Microsoft

Create an old-time monochrome command prompt in Windows XP

If you're ever feeling nostalgic when working from a Command Prompt in Microsoft Windows XP, you can change the settings on the Color tab to emulate the old green monochrome or amber monochrome monitors. Greg Shultz walks you through the steps to make it happen.

In what some may call the olden days, before there were fancy graphical user interfaces and RGB monitors, early computer monitors were monochrome, meaning that they displayed only one color on a black background. Monochrome monitors were available in three colors: green, amber, and white.

When you open up a Command prompt in its default configuration, it comes up in a white monochrome configuration with white text on a black background. If you're like most command line users, you've changed the color scheme from the Color tab on the Command Prompt Properties dialog box to make the screen more appealing.

However, if you're ever feeling nostalgic when working from a Command Prompt, you can change the settings on the Color tab to emulate the old green monochrome or amber monochrome monitors. Here's how:

  1. Open a Command Prompt window.
  2. Right the title bar and select the Properties command.
  3. Select the Colors tab.
  4. Select the Screen Background button and select the black box in the color palette.
  5. Select the Screen Text button.
  6. To emulate an old green monochrome monitor, select the green box in the color palette, and then in the Selected Color Values panel use the spin button for the Green setting to move the number up to 255. Make sure that the settings for the Red and Blue remain at 0.
  7. To emulate an old amber monochrome monitor, select the green box in the color palette, and then in the Selected Color Values panel use the spin button for the Red setting to move the number up to 185. Make sure that the settings for the Green remains at 128 and Blue remains at 0.

Note: This tip applies to both Windows XP Home and Windows XP Professional.

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About

Greg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.

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