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A clean and clear syntax theme for Atom text editor with bright Monokai-inspired colours and cool grey background.
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Effortless: a syntax theme for Atom

Effortless is a clean and clear syntax theme for Atom, with bright Monokai-inspired colours and a background of cool gray 😎. It has internally consistent style and colour, and is optimised for high read performance and maximum eye-scannability™. 👀

A screenshot of the effortless-syntax theme for Atom showing JavaScript codeA screenshot of the effortless-syntax theme for Atom showing PHP code

A screenshot of the effortless-syntax theme for Atom showing CSS code

A screenshot of the effortless-syntax theme for Atom showing CSS code

Markup languages

Enjoy documentation! Markup languages (like Markdown) have been given special attention in Effortless. The low-contrast colour scheme is optimised for calm longform reading and writing, and key tags pop just enough to be dangerous. 🏝

A screenshot of the effortless-syntax theme for Atom

Recommended settings

To maximise readability of text and markup documents in Atom we also recommended adjusting the line-length settings in the language-gfm and language-text packages in Atom's settings:

  • Preferred Line Length: 100
  • Show Invisibles: No
  • Show Indent Guide: No
  • Soft Wrap: Yes
  • Soft Wrap At Preferred Line Length: Yes
  • Scroll Past End: Yes


In case you're looking for an outstanding fixed-width font recommendations: I highly recommend Nitti by Pieter van Rosmalen from Bold Monday. This is what the iA Writer folks use for their great distraction-free writing app. It's a premium font, so unfortunately it can't be distributed with the theme, but it does make for an exceptional coding experience.

If you've purchased it, just add Nitti to the start of your font stack in Atom's settings to start using it with all themes.

I recommend Light (300) weight for most text. Effortless is set in font-weight: 300 by default. Although bold is used occasionally in Effortless, Atom/Blink's faux-bold does a good enough job that you probably don't need to buy both weights.

If you like a more relaxed coding experience, bumping your Font Size in Atom's settings to 16 is a cool and refreshing experience.

Some people will definitely think it's odd to buy a premium font, but if you're coding professionally you're probably going to be looking at this screen for more of your life than you spend in bed, so it's a purchase that'll be suitably amortised over a number of years. Plus you can probably expense it!

Theme development

Effortless is a strong base for forking. All code is well commented to provide examples examples of the types of components they correspond to, and uses LESS's :extend() to minimise repetition.

Syntax theme classname guide

As I was themeing, I accidentally wrote a reference guide to syntax theme classnames in Atom! See — a guide to Atom syntax theme classnames. If you're making a theme (and you like lists!), it'll probably help you too.

Matching UI theme

I'll definitely be making a matching UI theme, I just haven't gotten to it yet. Watch this space. 👀

— Dave

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