Emacs has wonderful syntax highlighting. Words will be displayed in different colors depending on their syntax and the mode of the current file -- for instance, in C code, keywords of the language are highlighted in one color, comments in another, strings in a third.
The problem comes when the colors aren't right. Like that awful gold color that the flyspell spell checker uses for some words. Against a light background it makes the words almost impossible to read. I've struggled for years trying to set up custom color schemes to get around that problem, but I finally learned a simpler way to handle it when you see something in a color you want to change.
The trick is to find out what face you need to change. "Face" to emacs means more than a font face like Sans or Lucida; it means a collection of information about how characters are displayed, including font face, weight, slant, color and other attributes.
When you see something displayed in a color you don't want, place the cursor somewhere in the word. type C-u C-x = will get you the face used, along with all sorts of information about it and a handy Customize what to show link. Or you can go straight to the Customize screen with M-x customize-face -- hit return to customize the face at point (the cursor location).
In the customize-face screen, there's no GUI to choose colors, but
you can edit color names. Emacs
lists "red" as the foreground color; if you change
it to "blue" you'll see a preview of how it will look.
Color names come from
/etc/X11/rgb.txt, and there are
various programs like xcolorsel that will show them -- or better
yet, see Wikipedia's
X11 color names chart.
Once you've chosen a color, the Save for future sessions button will add a section to your .emacs file with the appropriate elisp code. Of course, you can move this code elsewhere as well. I have a somewhat complex .emacs setup, so I've moved the code into another file. Strangely, I found that my .Xdefaults background color setting no longer worked once I started using custom-set-faces, so I added a line for that as well.
(set-background-color "grey90") (custom-set-faces '(flyspell-duplicate ((((class color)) (:foreground "red" :underline t :weight bold)))) '(font-lock-comment-face ((((class color) (min-colors 88) (background light)) (:foreground "blue")))) )
[ 13:59 Dec 23, 2012 More linux/editors | permalink to this entry | ]