I would like to know how to find the background color used in Placeholder[abc]. It is some kind of Yellowish-Pinkish, I think.

There is also a "Placeholder" style used by FrameBox, but I would like to know just what background color it uses.

We could of course sample a placeholder box with a graphics program, but I would like to find a better way, internal to MMA, if possible.


2 Answers 2



RGBColor @ {1., 0.972488, 0.797681}

Unfortunately there is no general way to track where options are inherited from and from which style etc., but often taking a look at Core.nb or Default.nb with Ctrl+F helps.

core = FileNameJoin[{
   $InstallationDirectory, "SystemFiles", "FrontEnd", "StyleSheets", 

 NotebookImport[core, _ -> "Cell"],
 Cell[StyleData["Placeholder", ___], ___]
  StyleDefinitions -> StyleData["Label"]], ShowSyntaxStyles -> False,
Placeholder -> True, ShowStringCharacters -> False, 
StyleMenuListing -> None, FontSize -> 9, FontWeight -> "Plain", 
FontSlant -> "Italic", 
FontColor -> RGBColor[
 0.49321736476691846`, 0.49321736476691846`, 0.49321736476691846`], 
Background -> RGBColor[1., 0.9724879835202563, 0.7976806286717022], 
FrameBoxOptions -> {BaselinePosition -> Baseline, FrameMargins -> 2,
   FrameStyle -> {Directive[GrayLevel[0.79185], 
     Dashing[{0, Small}]]}}, 
TagBoxOptions -> {Editable -> False, Selectable -> False, 
  StripWrapperBoxes -> False}], 
Cell[StyleData["Placeholder", "Presentation"], FontSize -> 18], 
Cell[StyleData["Placeholder", "Condensed"], FontSize -> 8], 
Cell[StyleData["Placeholder", "Printout"], FontSize -> 8]}
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks Kuba, I was looking forward to this kind of technique. $\endgroup$
    – magma
    Mar 14, 2016 at 12:04
  • $\begingroup$ @magma Unfortunately there is no general way to track from options are inherited and from which style etc. But mostly taking a look at Core.nb and Default.nb with Ctrl+F helps. $\endgroup$
    – Kuba
    Mar 14, 2016 at 12:06
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Kuba yes there is, see kglr's answer. :) $\endgroup$
    – rcollyer
    Mar 14, 2016 at 14:33
  • $\begingroup$ @rcollyer Yep, that I know, I probably should have use that. My point was rather, "you never know where the Background/otherOption you see originates from". So here we are checking Placeholder's Background but you never know if that is not overwriten by FormatType etc etc. $\endgroup$
    – Kuba
    Mar 14, 2016 at 15:15
  • $\begingroup$ Ah, good point. $\endgroup$
    – rcollyer
    Mar 14, 2016 at 15:24


CurrentValue[{StyleDefinitions, "Placeholder", Background}]
(* or CurrentValue[{StyleDefinitions, "Placeholder", "Background"}] *)

RGBColor[1., 0.972487983, 0.797680]

  • $\begingroup$ Great answer too, thank you $\endgroup$
    – magma
    Mar 14, 2016 at 15:53

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