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I tested JOSM for editing OpenStreetMap data. But the application has a black background and I would prefer a white or at least lighter background. Is there any setting where I can change to a white or lighter background (and the other colors)?

asked 16 Sep '11, 16:11

Jonas_'s gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

Edit -> Preferences -> Display Settings -> Colors tab -> "background" table entry. Or, add a line with


to your .josm/preferences file. Changing the background might not be sufficient though; many other colours would probably have to be changed too.

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answered 16 Sep '11, 16:20

Frederik%20Ramm's gravatar image

Frederik Ramm ♦
accept rate: 23%


JOSM now also supports MapCSS, so you can customise the appearance of the map that way. The latest builds come with the Potlatch 2 stylesheet.

(16 Sep '11, 16:51) Jonathan Ben...

Thanks! But it had been nice if JOSM had a built-in light color theme, so users could switch to that if needed (e.g. for usability).

(18 Sep '11, 17:58) Jonas_

I meet the case where all layers are transparent and one uses black, hence invisible, lines. I suppose it's possible to have a blank layer serve as non-black background. Unfortunately, the blank layer is black too. Is there a way to configure and save a non-black blank layer? How does one save a set of layers to be reloaded at startup? Please explain with enough details. Thanks.

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answered 09 Mar '12, 01:00

GentilPapou's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

You can only change JOSM background, not that of a layer (an application on a server). But you may be able to request the server a transparent layer. If all the layers are transparent, the JOSM background is visible.
A gray OSM background fairly fits layers made for white or black backgrounds.
change Edit>Preferences>Display Settings>Colors tab>"background"
or alternatively, create a style file ~/.josm/my_style.mapcss containing the following,
Edit>Preferences>Map Projection>Map Paint styles> add and select this file
control styles with with Windows>Map paint styles
"node" entry is to control the node appearances according to zoom level
more styles are available here

canvas {
    background-color: #202020;
    default-points: true;
    default-lines: true;

  { symbol-shape: square; symbol-fill-opacity: 0; symbol-size: 1; z-index:-1}

  { symbol-shape: square; symbol-stroke-color: navy; symbol-fill-color: rosybrown; symbol-size:8;  z-index:1}
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answered 20 Feb '13, 03:12

GentilPapou's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

edited 20 Feb '13, 03:39

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question asked: 16 Sep '11, 16:11

question was seen: 9,033 times

last updated: 20 Feb '13, 03:39

NOTICE: is no longer in use from 1st March 2024. Please use the OpenStreetMap Community Forum