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*solarized.vim* for Vim version 7.3 or newer. Modified: 2011 May 05
Solarized Vim Colorscheme by Ethan Schoonover ~
Solarized Colorscheme *solarized*
Solarized is a carefully designed selective contrast colorscheme with dual
light and dark modes that runs in both GUI, 256 and 16 color modes.
See the homepage at for screenshots and
0. Install |solarized-install|
1. Solarized Menu |solarized-menu|
2. Options |solarized-options|
3. Toggle Background |solarized-togglebg|
4. Terminal Issues |solarized-term|
0. Install *solarized-install*
Note: I recommend using Tim Pope's pathogen plugin to install this
colorscheme. See . If you've installed
pathogen properly you can install Solarized with the following commands,
followed by the .vimrc configuration below.
$ cd ~/.vim/bundle
$ git clone
If you aren't using pathogen, you can use the following three steps to install
1. Download the solarized distribution (available on the homepage above)
and unarchive the file.
2. Move `solarized.vim` to your `.vim/colors` directory.
3. Move each of the files in each subdirectories to the corresponding .vim
subdirectory (e.g. autoload/togglebg.vim goes into your .vim/autoload
directory as .vim/autoload/togglebg.vim).
After installation, place the following lines in your .vimrc:
syntax enable
set background=dark
colorscheme solarized
or, for the light background mode of Solarized:
syntax enable
set background=light
colorscheme solarized
1. Solarized Menu *solarized-menu*
Solarized makes available a menu when used in Vim GUI mode (gvim, macvim).
This menu includes many of the options detailed below so that you can test out
different values quickly without modifying your .vimrc file. If you wish to
turn off this menu permanently, simply place the following line in your .vimrc
above the "colorscheme solarized" line.
let g:solarized_menu=0
2. Toggle Background *solarized-togglebg*
*toggle-bg* *togglebg*
Solarized comes with Toggle Background, a simple plugin to switch between
light and dark background modes and reset the colorscheme. This is most useful
for colorschemes that support both light and dark modes and in terminals or
gui vim windows where the background will be properly set.
Toggle Background can be accessed by:
* the Solarized menu (in Vim gui mode)
* the Window menu (in Vim gui mode, even if the Solarized menu is off)
* the "yin/yang" toolbar button (in Vim gui mode)
* the default mapping of <F5>
* custom key mapping you set in your .vimrc (see below)
* command line via ":ToggleBG" (no quotes)
Toggle Background starts with a default mapping to function key <F5>. If you
are already using this in a mapping, Toggle Background will not map itself to
a default and you will have to map it manually in your .vimrc file, or
remove/change your existing <F5> mapping to another value. To customize the
keyboard mapping in your .vimrc file, use the following line, changing the
"<F5>" value to the key or key combination you wish to use:
call togglebg#map("<F5>")
Note that you'll want to use a single function key or equivalent if you want
the plugin to work in all modes (normal, insert, visual).
When using the plugin during normal, visual, or insert mode, there should be
no interruption in workflow. However, if you activate the plugin during
REPLACE mode, you will switch to standard insert mode (you will leave the
overwrite replace mode).
3. Solarized Terminal Issues *solarized-term*
If you are going to use Solarized in Terminal mode (i.e. not in a GUI version
like gvim or macvim), **please please please** consider setting your terminal
emulator's colorscheme to used the Solarized palette. I've included palettes
for some popular terminal emulator as well as Xdefaults in the official
Solarized download available from the Solarized homepage listed at the top of
this help document. If you use Solarized *without* these colors, Solarized
will need to be told to degrade its colorscheme to a set compatible with the
limited 256 terminal palette (whereas by using the terminal's 16 ansi color
values, you can set the correct, specific values for the Solarized palette).
If you do use the custom terminal colors, solarized.vim should work out of
the box for you. If you are using a terminal emulator that supports 256
colors and don't want to use the custom Solarized terminal colors, you will
need to use the degraded 256 colorscheme. To do so, simply add the following
line *before* the `colorschem solarized` line:
let g:solarized_termcolors=256
Again, I recommend just changing your terminal colors to Solarized values
either manually or via one of the many terminal schemes available for import.
4. Solarized Options *solarized-options*
You can easily modify and experiment with Solarized display options using the
Solarized menu when using Vim in gui mode. Once you have things set to your
liking, you can autogenerate the current option list in a format ready for
insertion into your .vimrc file using the Solarized menu "Autogenerate
Options" command or at the command line with:
Set these in your vimrc file prior to calling the colorscheme.
option name default optional
g:solarized_termcolors= 16 | 256
g:solarized_termtrans = 0 | 1
g:solarized_degrade = 0 | 1
g:solarized_bold = 1 | 0
g:solarized_underline = 1 | 0
g:solarized_italic = 1 | 0
g:solarized_contrast = "normal"| "high" or "low"
g:solarized_visibility= "normal"| "high" or "low"
g:solarized_hitrail = 0 | 1
g:solarized_menu = 1 | 0
g:solarized_termcolors= 256 | 16 *'solarized_termcolors'*
The most important option if you are using vim in terminal (non gui) mode!
This tells Solarized to use the 256 degraded color mode if running in a 256
color capable terminal. Otherwise, if set to `16` it will use the terminal
emulators colorscheme (best option as long as you've set the emulators colors
to the Solarized palette).
If you are going to use Solarized in Terminal mode (i.e. not in a GUI
version like gvim or macvim), **please please please** consider setting your
terminal emulator's colorscheme to used the Solarized palette. I've included
palettes for some popular terminal emulator as well as Xdefaults in the
official Solarized download available from: . If you use Solarized without these
colors, Solarized will by default use an approximate set of 256 colors. It
isn't bad looking and has been extensively tweaked, but it's still not quite
the real thing.
g:solarized_termtrans = 0 | 1 *'solarized_termtrans'*
If you use a terminal emulator with a transparent background and Solarized
isn't displaying the background color transparently, set this to 1 and
Solarized will use the default (transparent) background of the terminal
emulator. *urxvt* required this in my testing; iTerm2 did not.
Note that on Mac OS X, solarized_termtrans is set to 1 by
default as this is almost always the best option. The only exception to this
is if the working terminfo file supports 256 colors (xterm-256color).
g:solarized_degrade = 0 | 1 *'solarized_degrade'*
For test purposes only; forces Solarized to use the 256 degraded color mode
to test the approximate color values for accuracy.
g:solarized_bold = 1 | 0 *'solarized_bold'*
g:solarized_underline = 1 | 0 *'solarized_underline'*
g:solarized_italic = 1 | 0 *'solarized_italic'*
If you wish to stop Solarized from displaying bold, underlined or
italicized typefaces, simply assign a zero value to the appropriate
variable, for example: `let g:solarized_italic=0`
g:solarized_contrast = "normal"| "high" or "low" *'solarized_contrast'*
Stick with normal! It's been carefully tested. Setting this option to high
or low does use the same Solarized palette but simply shifts some values up
or down in order to expand or compress the tonal range displayed.
g:solarized_visibility = "normal"| "high" or "low" *'solarized_visibility'*
Special characters such as trailing whitespace, tabs, newlines, when
displayed using ":set list" can be set to one of three levels depending on
your needs.
g:solarized_hitrail = 0 | 1 *'solarized_hitrail'*
Visibility can make listchar entities more visible, but if one has set
cursorline on, these same listchar values standout somewhat less due to the
background color of the cursorline. g:solarized_hitrail enables highlighting
of trailing spaces (only one of the listchar types, but a particularly
important one) while in the cursoline in a different manner in order to make
them more visible. This may not work consistently as Solarized is using
a pattern match than can be overridden by a more encompassing syntax-native
match such as a comment line.
g:solarized_menu = 1 | 0 *'solarized_menu'*
Solarized includes a menu providing access to several of the above
display related options, including contrast and visibility. This allows
for an easy method of testing different values quickly before settling
on a final assignment for your .vimrc. If you wish to turn off this menu,
assign g:solarized_menu a value of 0.
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