Background color behind text

Forgive me if this has been answered but I couldn’t find a direct answer on search: Is it possible to change the background color on individual text items? I work on deadline almost every day. For me, background color (black text on white; black text on peach; black text on sky blue) would be the fastest way to navigate between different open windows.

Not to the degree it sounds like you are referring to. You can of course adjust the editor background colour with the Appearance: Main Editor: Colors preference tab, with the Editor setting—but that is a global setting.

Have you ever explored the use of virtual desktops? I keep a separate desktop for each major task, and all of the windows I need to accomplish that task can be found within that one desktop—no distractions from other projects. Each desktop can have its own background (there is your big colour cue) and with a good system (unlike Spaces, in my opinion), you get a nice easy to work with overview:

I can jump to any of these with a shortcut (either directly or spatially), move windows around between them with another shortcut, toggle between all-window view and composite view with Spacebar (and in all-window view, jump straight to a specific window within a specific desktop in one click) and assign programs to automatically use a particular desktop (or all of them; useful for Finder) automatically. Spaces can do some of that, but I don’t at all care for the UI, nor Apple’s fetish with animation.

Which alternative to Spaces are you using, Amber?

I use TotalSpaces. It costs a little up front, but they’ve kept it working for years, even in the face of macOS completely breaking it once. For me it is worth it purely for the grid layout and animation disablers (though I do have to admit their “Cube” animation is pretty cool, making it feel like your Mac is a Rubik’s Cube).

Thanks! I’ll have a look at it.