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Visual modes of operation

ArcGIS Pro supports two visual modes of operation:

  • High-contrast mode, which is a Windows operating system setting
  • Light or dark theme, which is an ArcGIS Pro application option

High contrast mode

The readability of the ArcGIS Pro user interface can be improved by turning on high contrast mode. The system color scheme increases the color contrast of text, menus, tabs, and icons to make them more distinct and easier to identify for users with low vision or color blindness. However, high contrast mode does not change the appearance of certain views in ArcGIS Pro, such as maps and charts.

You should close any open ArcGIS Pro sessions before you turn on high contrast mode. Restart ArcGIS Pro after high-contrast mode has been turned on.

To turn on high contrast mode, press left Shift+left Alt+PrtScn on your keyboard and click Yes on the High Contrast prompt.

To turn off high contrast mode, use the same keyboard shortcut: left Shift+left Alt+PrtScn.

For other ways to turn on high contrast mode, see Use high contrast mode on the Microsoft Support site.


The light and dark theme settings are ArcGIS Pro application options. They are aesthetic choices for the user interface, not accessibility settings. However, you may find that one theme or the other improves visibility or reduces eyestrain under some conditions.

For information about switching between light and dark theme, see General options and the ArcGIS Pro quick-start tutorial Introducing ArcGIS Pro.


If high-contrast mode is turned on, the light theme is set by default.

Related topics

In this topic
  1. High contrast mode
  2. Theme