SysConsole/SysWindow: Changing Colors

BBj SysWindow Color Map

Background Information and Meaning of the 'Map RGB colors' Flag

The BBj SysConsole and SysWindow use 24 bit colors by default. This means that 8 bits are used to describe the red color component, 8 bits for the green component and 8 bits for the blue component, resulting in a palette of more than 16.5 million (255 x 255 x 255) possible colors. Up to sixteen different 24 bit colors can be used in a SysConsole/SysWindow. These are typically defined as a dim and a bright intensity of the eight standard colors that can be set by a color mnemonic (black, blue, green, cyan, red, magenta, yellow and white).

The BBj TermConsole, on the other hand, uses only 6 bit colors. This means that only 2 bits each are used to describe the red, green and blue color components; resulting in a palette of 64 (4 x 4 x 4) possible colors on terminals that can support it. The eight standard color mnemonics and the 'BACKGR' mnemonic can provide up to sixteen different 6 bit colors out of this palette of 64 colors. These sixteen colors are also a dim and a bright intensity of the eight pre-defined standard colors.

The 'RGB' mnemonic allows a programmer to create additional colors by setting the RGB values directly. In the TermConsole, this will result in a new 6 bit color, which is one of the possible 64 colors in the palette. In the SysConsole or SysWindow, the 'RGB' mnemonic has a different effect, depending on the setting of the Map RGB colors flag on the Settings menu.

If the Map RGB colors flag is not checked, the 'RGB' mnemonic will create a new 6 bit color for the SysConsole/SysWindow (one of the 64 that can be created when only 2 bits each are allowed for red, green and blue). This color will not appear as one of the sixteen colors in the Color Map dialog and can not be tuned in the dialog. The SysConsole/SysWindow will then operate using a mixture of 6 bit and 24 bit colors, and it will be possible to display more than sixteen colors at once.

If the Map RGB colors flag is checked, the 'RGB' mnemonic's 6 bit values will be scaled to 24 bit values and the new color will correspond to one of the sixteen color buttons shown in the Color Map dialog. This is a 24 bit color which can be tuned in the dialog.


To open the Color Map dialog, select Color map from the Settings menu with the mouse or by pressing ALT S and then C from the keyboard.

The dialog presents two colored buttons for each of the 8 standard colors, labeled Dim and Bright. These buttons provide a visual representation of the color that would result if one of the standard color mnemonics was used. The dim button shows how the color would look if it were applied to the background (using the 'BACKGR' mnemonic) and the bright button shows how the color would appear if applied to the foreground. Any of the sixteen colors can be tuned by selecting a button with the mouse and adjusting the red, green and blue intensity values using the three slider bars. The effect can be seen on the selected color button as a slider bar is changed. Note that in BBj, the zero values are located at the top of the slider bars (reversed in VPRO/5).

The Threshold scroll bar controls the intensity of the dim colors. Adjusting the Threshold scroll bar will uniformly adjust the intensity of all the dim color buttons at the same time. Previously tuned dim colors will be proportionally adjusted, rather than be reset to their default values. The dim intensity "threshold" set with the Threshold scroll bar will apply to colors set with the 'RGB' mnemonic, regardless of the setting of the Map RGB colors flag. The Threshold scroll bar has no effect on bright colors.

Any changes made to the color buttons by adjusting the RGB or Threshold scroll bars will not affect the SysConsole/SysWindow until the OK or Try buttons are pressed on the dialog. The OK button will change the altered colors in the SysConsole/SysWindow and close the dialog. The Try button will also change the SysConsole/SysWindow, but not permanently. The dialog will stay open, and if the Cancel button is pressed, the changes applied with the Try button will be removed and the original color settings restored. The Default All button will restore the color buttons in the dialog to the default settings. No changes made in the Color Map dialog will take permanent effect until the OK button is pressed.

Tuned RGB values from the Color Map dialog are saved in the user preference file when the SysConsole or SysWindow is exited, along with other information about the font, size, and position. The next time a SysConsole or SysWindow is started, these color settings will be restored. This preserves any work that was done to adapt the software application to a specific monitor or user tastes.

The following buttons work with the Color Map:



Apply and save your changes.


Dismiss the BBj SysWindow Color Map dialog without reassigning any colors.


Set all of the color squares to their original system default values. However, the BBj SysWindow Color Map dialog is not dismissed, and the default assignments are not applied until you click Try or OK.

Default All

Temporarily apply the new color assignments to the image in the SysConsole window. The BBj SysWindow Color Map dialog remains onscreen so you can continue editing.