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.

Alt+x 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, Alt+x load-theme, then press Tab to show a list of available themes.

To clear theme, Alt+x 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, Alt+x set-background-color then type “honeydew”.

Alt+x 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.

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