Emacs: Set Color Theme

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .

This page shows you how to set emacs to use color themes.

Emacs 24 Color Themes

Emacs 24 comes with color themes.

Call customize-themes to set a color theme.

emacs customize-themes 2015-11-13
emacs M-x customize-themes. Click to see the change immediately.

Alternatively, call load-theme, then press Tab ↹ to show a list of available themes.

To clear theme, call disable-theme. Press Tab ↹ for completion.

To find enabled themes, call describe-variable then type custom-enabled-themes

emacs color theme misterioso 2012-10-12-2
emacs color theme “misterioso”

Set a Color Theme Permanently

To set it permanently, put this in your emacs init file.

(load-theme 'misterioso)

Here's list of emacs 24.3 themes.

Thanks to Gabriel Saldaña, Torsten Wagner, Steve Purcell for tips.

Simple Setting of Background Color

Sometimes a color theme is too much. All you need is a mild background color.

To set background color, call set-background-color then type “honeydew”.

Call list-colors-display to see colors names.

For permanent setup, put the following in your emacs init file.

;; initial window settings
(setq initial-frame-alist
      '((width . 92)
        (height . 54)
        (background-color . "honeydew")))

;; subsequent window settings
(setq default-frame-alist
      '((menu-bar-lines . 1)
        (tool-bar-lines . 0)
        (width . 92)
        (height . 52)
        (background-color . "honeydew")))

(info "(elisp) Frame Parameters")

〔➤see Emacs: Set Default Window (frame) Size

〔➤see Emacs: Font Configuration

Simple White on Black, Reverse Video

emacs --reverse-video 2015-11-13
emacs started with emacs --reverse-video

In terminal, emacs --reverse-video will start emacs with white text on black background. This is useful under bright sunlight.

Like it? Buy Xah Emacs Tutorial. Thanks.

or, buy something from Best Keyboard for Emacs