I can cope well with the basic Arduino editor, but comments are pale grey on a white background and my poor old eyes struggle. Can this be changed?
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The Arduino IDE's theme is customizable.
You might be able to find an existing theme that meets your needs. Here are the ones I know of:
You can also modify the existing theme to your own preferences. You can find documentation of the theme system here: https://github.com/per1234/ThemeTest/blob/master/README.md#editing-the-arduino-ides-theme