I'm trying to use a custom syntax highlighter, but I can't set the background colour.
This is wrong, how do I colour the empty background / white space, per file type not a global override?
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While browsing for something similar myself, I've found a possible aid to this problem.
In the user-defined language style configuration menu (found under Language > Define your language...), you can right click the color panel, and it will become hatched. This allows it to simply use the default coloration for this section.
Unfortunately, I don't yet see a way to define a background color specific to a user-defined language.
Credit for this solution comes from this thread.