Cannot change any background colour

I’m trying to change the background colour on my text documents; I’ve been through the appearance preferences but I can change the colour of every option and nothing actually changes anywhere from what I can tell. What options do I actually need to choose to change the document colour? I’ve searched the forum but not found anything that has solved my issue.

When you say ‘background colour’, I presume you mean the colour of the ‘paper’ behind the text in the normal editors (ie not Composition mode, and not the final output to Word, Kindle etc)

Then you need Preferences > Appearance > Main Editor > Colours > Editor. Click on the colour swatch and choose a colour and the ‘paper’ will change accordingly immediately (you don’t need to close the dialogue box, so you can experiment easily).

For the equivalent command to change the Composition background: Preferences > Appearance > Composition Mode > Colours > Editor.