When opening IDLE or Pyscripter in ArcGIS by right clicking on a toolbox and Edit... the specified editor opens with the code - BUT all text is only black and white not the context colors of blue, red, green... I've tried it with both editors to no avail. When opening either editor outside of Arc the context color is as usual.

Has anybody experience this? How can we change this?

Windows 7, 32bit, ArcGIS 10.3, Python 2.7.8, Pyscripter 2.6.0

1 Answer 1


I suspect that the problem is that you are editing a Python script that is in a file without the *.py extension.

If the problem is that you are trying to edit Python Toolbox (*.pyt) files then follow the instructions in HowTo: Enable the color highlighting for PYT files in IDLE:

Python toolboxes (.pyt) are geoprocessing toolboxes that are created entirely in Python. Although these tools are recognized by ArcGIS software as Python scripts, they may or may not be treated as Python scripts within various Python IDEs. To ensure that these files are recognized by a Python IDE it may be necessary to include the .pyt extension in the settings for the Python IDE.

  • Hi PolyGeo, Thank you for your comment. The file has a .pyt ending, it is a python script toolbox in ArcGIS. Do you have any other ideas? Thank you.
    – Andes
    Nov 25, 2015 at 13:52
  • @Andes That would have been useful information to include in your question. I've updated my answer with the solution that I use for it.
    – PolyGeo
    Nov 25, 2015 at 21:43
  • Thank you very much PolyGeo! That worked a treat for IDLE. Do you know how to apply this to Pyscripter as that one still shows up black text only. Thanks again for following up on my question and solving it so quickly.
    – Andes
    Nov 25, 2015 at 22:53
  • @Andes I prefer to use IDLE (because it is always available and has lots of functionality) so I cannot advise on PyScripter. If you need that I suggest asking another question specifically about that, and include a link to this one at its start.
    – PolyGeo
    Nov 25, 2015 at 23:24
  • That is the same with aptana. You need add *.pyt with editor as You want for auto recognize it's python format and it propose you other functonalities (format code, analyse and alert with lint or pep8) Nov 28, 2015 at 17:47

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.