Dark Mode in Origin 2024

(Updated based on beta4)

Dark mode is supported in Origin and OriginPro 2024 to reduce eye strain, save energy and mingle better with dark mode operating system and other applications.

By default Origin follows your operating system mode and mutiple dark themes are provided for your preference such as Black, Blue, Coffee, Gray, Pumpkin, Purple from Preferences: Dark Theme menu.

A Dark Mode toolbar is created to toggle GUI mode, window mode, reverse colors, etc. Note: If you have older Origin on same PC, the toolbar may be floating by default.

GUI Dark Mode

When the GUI dark mode is on, the workspace, menus, toolbars, dialogs, script window and code builder will all be in dark mode.

Use the 1st button on Dark Mode toolbar to toggle the GUI mode.

The corresponding system variable is @ctp. 2(default): follow OS, 1: on, 0: off.

Dark Mode for Child Windows

Although dark mode is stylish and appealing, some may want some child window types to be in light mode. E.g. Keep GUI in dark mode but turn dark mode off for all workbooks

To turn on/off dark mode of certain child window type

With any workbook window active, use one of the following to turn it off.

  • Click the 2nd button on Dark Mode toolbar
  • Press Alt+5
  • Preferences: Workbooks Dark Mode menu

It will be applied to all workbook windows and use the mode for all future workbooks, even in future sessions. You can control dark mode for all child window types, e.g. workbook, matrix, graph (together with layout), notes, and image windows.

To turn on/off dark mode of a specific child window

Click the Dark Mode for Current Window button on Dark Mode toolbar or Ctrl+5 to toggle the mode for active window only.

For graph window, this toolbar button works no matter GUI is in dark mode or not. While for other window types, the button is only activated if GUI is in dark mode and the Dark Mode for this window type is on.

Highlight Effect of Data Selection in Books

In the past, we used reversed color effect for data selection in workbook and matrix. To better fit both light and dark modes in Origin 2024, the highlight effect has been changed to transparent light blue.

The corresponding system variable @wdd is used to disable child window dark mode

  • 0x01 – graph
  • 0x02 – workbook
  • 0x04 – matrix
  • 0x08 – image
  • 0x10 – notes

 Set @WDD=0 so all child window types are in dark mode

Combination bits are allowed to produce cumulative effects. E.g. set @WDD=7 (1+2+4) to disable dark mode in graph, workbook and matrix windows. You may need to refresh once on existing window.

Customizable Graph/Layout Dark Mode Color

Graph and Layout windows are treated differently. No matter Origin GUI is in dark mode or not, we allow toggle dark mode. The corresponding system variable is @GVC.

  • 1 -use dark mode color
  • 0 – not use dark mode color so background will be white

Such dark mode color is different from setting a real color for graph page background. There is no background color for such case so when copying page and paste to PPT, etc. the background is actually transparent.

Plus the dark mode color is customizable so it doesn’t have to be the default dark gray. Click the Background Color button on Dark Mode toolbar or go to Page tab of Preferences: Options dialog to customize it. It will be applied to all graph and layout windows.


  1. Easy way to have consistent color for all graphs
  2. Make light color plot, axis, labels obvious
  3. Easier when such graph need to be put to other applications with dark background.

Example of working with PPT in Dark Background

Suppose your PPT background is dark or even an dark image. You want to create graph with axis, plot, etc. all in light color and paste it to PPT. The background should be transparent so that the PPT background can show. You may double click the graph in PPT to reopen Origin for further customization in the future.

In the past, u would have to set graph page background to dark color so u can make axis, etc. plot light. Before pasting in PPT, you would have to set background back to None to get transparent background. Copy page (Ctrl+J) and paste to PPT.

Later when you double clicked the graph to edit further in Origin, the background is white since we use white for transparent background. To be able to see the light axis and plot well, you would have to set page background to some dark color. Do further customization. Then before pushing back to PPT, you would need to set background back to to none and push back to PPT. It’s a lot of work.

In Origin 2024, you just need to set the dark mode auto color. It will give you a virtual look on screen. The copied page still transparent.

!!! Note:

For graph/layout with dark mode color, when exporting as EMF, PDF, and SVG, there will be no background color, while BMP, JPG, PNG and TIF all will include background color in export.

It’s because we use Leadtools library for export, which does not support transparency for raster image.

Dynamic Color Reversal in Graph/Layout

The dynamic color reversal in dark mode is controlled by a system variable @DCR, with the following possibilities:
0 = Off
1 = Black color only (default)
2 = Black and White only
3 = Any gray colors
4 = All colors

By default (@DCR=1), only black color (which are common for axis, plots, legend, etc.) will be reversed to white in dark mode so user can see them well. This also applies to any other black elements added or customized later. All other colors (white, gray, etc. ) will not be affected.

The color black is reversed to is called foreground color and you can customize the foreground color on Page tab of Preferences: Options dialog. This will be applied to all graphs and future sessions.

When copy page in dark mode and paste to other application, by default it will copy page like the displayed color in dark mode while keeping background transparent. There is a toggle under Preferences menu.

If you uncheck it, black color will not be copied as black instead of the reversed white.

As we mentioned earier, you can change @DCR value to decide levels of color reversing. E.g. if you set @DCR=4, it will reverse all colors in graph. E.g. light yellow will show on screen as dark yellow, etc. which is how MS Word behaves in dark mode.

Control when Dynamic Color Reverse Happens

Origin has a system variable @GLD to control the light luminance when dynamic color reverse will happen. E.g. click the background color to be light blue, you may notice black doesn’t reverse to white.

Basically @DCR=1 controls what color(s) will reverse), while @GLD decides the threshold the reverse will be trigged. The default is 25 so only if background luminance is very low, the reverse will happen. If you set @GLD =50, or even higher, the reverse will happen even if the dark mode background is light.

Customize Dark Theme

We shipped 6 dark themes under C:\Program Files\OriginLab\Origin2024\Themes\DarkMode\ folder. You can make copy of any of it and put it under User Files Folder\Themes\DarkMode\ (create it if it doesn’t exist).

Play with it to make your own dark theme. It will show under Preferences: Dark Theme suffixed with (user) as a new theme.

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