Windows Terminal 1.16 adds themes, new colors and text rendering engine

Microsoft today released a new preview version of the Terminal app. It brings with it themes, so you can change the style and appearance of Terminal with a couple of clicks. Besides themes, it also features new color schemes and a new GUI for managing them. Finally, Terminal has switched to a new text rendering engine, "Atlas". It is now active by default.


For stable Terminal users Microsoft today ships a new version 1.15, with these changes.

What's new in Windows Terminal 1.16 (Preview)


Terminal now supports themes. They are defined in the JSON configuration file, and available for quick selection in app's settings. Basically, themes can change colors for controls, text, and the background.

Terminal Themes

Objects that support theming in Terminal are:

  • Tabs: a theme can change their color and show/hide the close button.
  • Tab row: support the background color for both focused and unfocused states of the app.
  • Window: It supports the main app theme: dark or light.


New defaults

Terminal 1.6 comes with more expressive colors. Also, the app will use the dark theme by default instead of following app mode set in Windows Settings.

Old Dark Terminal ColorsNew Dark Terminal Colors

Color schemes

Microsoft has reworked the appearance of the Color schemes section in terminal settings. It is now easier to use and organized in a convenient way.  Also, there is a “Set as default” button, which will apply a color scheme as your default color scheme across all profiles. Profiles that specify a color scheme will use their specified scheme instead of the default.

New Color Schemes Page

Other changes

  • In this release, a new renderer "Atlas" is used as the default text renderer for all profiles. The new renderer is more performant and now supports additional pixel shaders (including the retro effect), bold text, and underline/overline/hyperlink lines. It requires a GPU for handling effects, and can fall back to the legacy engine without hardware support.
  • You can now set where new tabs appear using the newTabPosition option in the config file and on the Appearance page in the settings of Terminal. You can make new tabs open either at the end of all of your tabs, or after the currently selected tab.
  • The new expandSelectionToWord action expands the beginning and end of a text selection to encompass the word(s) the selection is on.
  • When in mark mode, you can now Tab and Shift+Tab between hyperlinks.

And more. You can learn more about this release in the official announcement.

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

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