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*ps_color.txt* PSC For Vim version 6.3 Last change: 17 November 2004
PERSONAL COLOUR SWITCHER *ps_colour* *pscolor*
Author: Pan, Shizhu. <dicpan> at <hotmail o com> >
(prepend '[VIM]' in the title or your mail may be silently removed.)
CONTENTS *psc* *psc-contents*
1. Contents.....................|psc-contents|
2. PSC Overview.................|psc-overview|
3. PSC Installation.............|psc-usage|
4. PSC Options..................|psc-options|
5. PSC under color term ........|psc-cterm|
6. PSC FAQ and Tips ............|psc-faq|
7. PSC Release notes............|psc-release-notes|
8. PSC Todo List................|psc-todo|
For release notes, please see the header of ps_color.vim
PSC FEATURES OVERVIEW *psc-features* *psc-overview*
Features ~
. PSC is firstly a color scheme which have both dark and light
background styles.
. It can have the same appearance in [cterm] as in [gui].
. It is designed with gentle color to minimize fatigue of eye.
. It also works with other color schemes.
. Default foreground and background can easily be changed, it is more
configurable than most other color schemes
. Works with the optional tool reloaded.vim, can change the whole
color scheme in Hue,Saturation,Luminance color space.
Design Concern ~
At the first glance this color scheme may look pretty 'dull', don't be
afraid, this is quite normal. Bear in mind that a text editor is not
a photo album, if a text editor looks exciting you may not be able to
stare at it for a long time.
Predefined Vim Syntax highlighting can be too colorful or contrasty so
that many programmers prefer to switch off the syntax highlighting at
work. That is not a good idea because you will lost the advantages of
syntax high-lighting. It is often the case that we have to work for
300+ minutes, then I decide to do-it-myself.
Many user-defined color schemes in tend to achieve low
contrast by having a strong color-cast, i.e. looks blueish or
yellowish or reddish. This does look comfortable at first, however,
any type of color-cast will cause the eyes less sensitive for
particular color after a long-time work session, and that's no good to
Efforts had been made to ensure no color-cast for this scheme, all
elementary colors like RGB and CYMK are evenly used. Like TeX,
'consistency' is the principle this color scheme based on. Default
values which hurt consistency are amended according to the vim script
There are 3 parameters to describe a color: Hue, Saturation and
Brightness. In this color scheme, the saturation is low and the
brightness are designed to be very close to each other in order not to
fatigue our eyes after a whole day's programming work.
Portability ~
Different monitor settings led to different look. In this color
scheme, it is assumed that the monitor adjust at 6500k color
temperature with a good gamma curve. If you have a 9300k monitor or
if the gamma curve is not optimal, the appearance may be less
comfortable, use adobe gamma loader or similar tools to adjust
your monitor if your monitor do not have the option to change color
temperature and/or gamma curve.
Needless to say, VI is an editor originally designed to do edit tasks
in a text terminal, and VIM is an improved version of VI. Its a shame
that a color scheme cannot have a satisfactory appearance in cterm.
The cterm compatibility should be considered high priority when
designing ViM color scheme.
I had made much attempt to make support for 8-color terminals,
however, 8 colors is not enough to represent a color scheme. Finally
I end up making the cterm support for 16-color terminal. Have to say
sorry if the color scheme sucks in your 8-color terminal, I had tried
my best. More details about cterm please see |psc-cterm|.
About the Background ~
We have talked about off-white backgrounds, any background which is
not black, grey or white should be changed constantly in order not to
make the eyes less sensitive to particular color. i.e. you can use
blue background on Monday, red background on Tuesday, green background
on Wednesday, but if you use blue background everyday, that's no good
to your health.
Now we talk about the brightness of the background. Why dark
background is preferred over others? There are many reasons, such as,
the monitor emits lower radiation for black background. You may have
lots of similar reasons...
But I'll talk about something you may not know:
It is easier to distinguish foreground colors on a dark background
than on a light background.
At the same time, it is easier to distinguish background colors on
a light background than on a dark background.
We will mainly change foreground colors for syntax highlighting.
Hence, we can reduce the contrast and saturation of the color in
a dark-background scheme, while retain the readability. Schemes with
white background usually comes with higher contrast and saturation.
This is probably the most important reason that the color scheme is
designed to be dark-background instead of light one.
Now we came to know, that change the foreground color is enough to
emphasis text in a dark background, while for a white background, we
need to change the font shape (bold or italic, etc.), or change the
background color to effectively emphasis the text. This is probably
the reason Vim default scheme has bold properties for highlighting
groups, because the default scheme is a light background one.
No one knows what color scheme is best for you, except yourself. Try!
Step 1, Enable the color scheme ~
To use PSC is simple, just put ps_color.vim into your
[runtimepath]/colors and append the line >
colorscheme ps_color
to your |.vimrc|. The [runtimepath] can be any directory listed in
|vimfiles|, normally your $HOME/.vim in Unix or $HOME/vimfiles in
Step 2, Install the help document ~
The help document will be automatically installed when the colorscheme
be sourced the first time. If it is not, type :colo ps_color now.
After successfully installed the help document, you can use >
:help psc-options
to go to the following section.
PSC OPTIONS *psc-options*
You can let these options in your ~/.vimrc, most options works for
both GUI and cterm, only some of them do not work for both.
Options set using the 'let' command must present [BEFORE] the color
scheme been sourced.
Style ~
let psc_style='cool'
let psc_style='warm'
let psc_style='default'
let psc_style='defdark'
This selects between styles of colors,
The 'cool' is the default, dark background.
The 'warm' is the experimental, light background scheme.
See |psc-about-background| for more knowledge about the background,
and the differences of two style.
The 'default' and 'defdark' refers to Vim system default color scheme.
Which are provided only for reference.
Let psc_style to any string other than the above 4 will switch to the
specified color scheme. For example, let psc_style='desert' and then
activate the ps_color, the color scheme will be chosen according to
desert.vim color scheme.
Color Term Style ~
let psc_cterm_style='cool'
This is exactly the same to psc_style, except that it only affects the
console version of vim in a color terminal, the 'warm' is not
available for cterm.
By default, it will be set to the same value as 'psc_style'. You can
change it if you want different style in cterm from gui.
Font face ~
let psc_fontface='plain'
let psc_fontface='mixed'
The Vim default behavior is the 'mixed', however, the mixed font style
in a dark colorscheme is not optimal. This color uses 'plain' for
'cool' style, i.e. No texts are bolded font. For 'warm', the default
is still 'mixed', If you want the mixed style in which the highlighted
statements are bolded font, choose this. If you want all texts be
bolded, choose 'plain' and specify a bolded guifont or terminal font.
In GUI, this option also works for other color schemes. You can
disable the bold font and use your favorite color scheme. See
|psc-faq-ffothers| for detail.
Inversed Todo ~
let psc_inversed_todo=1
When set to 1, the TODO group will be dark background with light font,
Otherwise, the TODO group have light background with dark foreground.
Default is 0.
Use default for cterm (obsoleted)~
This option is Obsoleted, retained only for backward compatibility,
see |psc_cterm_style| for alternative.
Statement different from type ~
let psc_statement_different_from_type=1
The Statement-group and Type-group are easy to distinguish, different
color for them are not necessary, I use similar color for S-group
& T-group in order not to make the screen too 'colorful', also this
saves a color name for cterm. But if you do want the Statement & Type
to be different color, try 'let statement_different_from_type=1' in
your .vimrc file, which is available only for GUI. Since the color
names in cterm is limited to 16 we cannot have too many different
colors in cterm.
Default is 0, i.e. they have very similar color.
Changing the Background color ~
You may prefer a dark background over pure black one, and it is
possible to change the background, this may make life more interesting.
To do this is quite straight forward for GUI, just define the Normal
highlight in your .gvimrc, [AFTER] the color scheme has been sourced.
For example:
highlight Normal guibg=#103040
The #103040 will give a taste similar to oceandeep, #152535 for
hhazure, #303030 for desert, #404040 for zenburn... Replace #103040
with any color you like. You can do the same to guifg foreground if
you are careful enough, remember this is only possible with ps_color
version 2.7 or above, and only possible for GUI.
You can do this to the NonText group also, for example.
highlight NonText guibg=#202020
will give you a taste similar to most color schemes on, in
which the NonText has a different background than Normal text.
However, this is only useful in GUI, in cterm, there are only
8 background colors, so it is wise not to have a different color.
If you want more variations, please try the optional utility
reloaded.vim, this optional utility provides an amazing level of
Quick switching between warm and cold styles ~
Here is an example to define hot key of different style switching,
note that I had only given this example without actually define it.
You can choose to define it in .vimrc or anyway you prefer.
nnoremap <Leader>pc :let psc_style='cool'<CR>:colo ps_color<CR>
nnoremap <Leader>pw :let psc_style='warm'<CR>:colo ps_color<CR>
Alternatively, you can use the capitalized :Colo command, like
:Colo cool or :Colo warm
PSC WITH CTERM *psc-cterm*
Colour Term ~
The cterm color is designed mainly in these terminals:
1. Cygwin bash shell in NT command prompt box
3. Other color terminals which have at least 16 colors
In Windows NT Prompt console you can change the exact value of each
color, so you can have the same color with your GUI version of Vim,
for 'cool' color style you just change the color according to the
|psc-cterm-color-table|, for how to redefine the color of Windows NT
prompt console please see Windows Help.
NT Cygwin bash shell console supports 16 foreground colors by add bold
attribute to 8 color, the cterm=bold specifies which should be bright
color, so totally the 16 color foreground is available, but color
name DarkXXX and LightXXX are the same.
The pre-configured Cygwin.lnk is available for download on my web page
for Vim, but the site seems down, if my site would be on again, it
should be at the following URL: >
Cygwin is highly recommended for Vim user if you are using Windows NT
based systems (e.g. NT 4.0, Win2k, WinXP, Win2003, etc). But Cygwin is
not that versatile under Windows 95/98/ME. I'm not sure whether this
works for DOS DJGPP or Windows 95 console version of Vim because
I don't have the system, in case you encountered problem please
contact me, if you like.
XTERM is a much more feature-rich terminal than Windows Console so the
support is much better, add the following recommend line into your
.Xdefaults and you can achieve the same color as in GUI version.
Add the following into your .Xdefaults:
This works for XTERM and RXVT.
XTerm*color0: #000000
XTerm*color1: #800000
XTerm*color2: #008000
XTerm*color3: #d0d090
XTerm*color4: #000080
XTerm*color5: #800080
XTerm*color6: #a6caf0
XTerm*color7: #d0d0d0
XTerm*color8: #b0b0b0
XTerm*color9: #f08060
XTerm*color10: #60f080
XTerm*color11: #e0c060
XTerm*color12: #80c0e0
XTerm*color13: #f0c0f0
XTerm*color14: #c0d8f8
XTerm*color15: #e0e0e0
XTerm*cursorColor: #00f000
! The following are recommended but optional
XTerm*reverseVideo: False
XTerm*background: #000000
XTerm*foreground: #d0d0d0
XTerm*boldMode: False
There is an assumption that your RXVT or XTERM supports 16 colors,
most RXVTs and XTERMs support this, if yours do not, get a source of
RXVT and recompile it.
Sometimes the color mode are not recognized well, or you do not want
bright foreground be bolded. If this is the case, add the following in
your .vimrc (before the color scheme been sourced)
if &term=='xterm' " Change 'xterm' to your term name if necessary
set t_Co=16
If the t_Co=16 have problem, set t_Co=8 and :colo ps_color again.
vice versa.
My rxvt works well with t_Co=16: >
Rxvt v2.7.10 - released: 26 MARCH 2003
< But I've know that my rxvt v2.6.4 in another machine has problem with
t_Co=16, if that is the case, set t_Co=8 instead.
For other terminals, you can manually set the color according to the
following table
Hints for Manually set the color (for 'cool' style only):
Color name Hex value Decimal value ~
0 Black = #000000 0,0,0
4 DarkBlue = #000080 0,0,128
2 DarkGreen = #008000 0,128,0
6 DarkCyan = #a6caf0 166,202,240
1 DarkRed = #800000 128,0,0
5 DarkMagenta = #800080 128,0,128
3 DarkYellow = #d0d090 208,208,144
7 Grey = #d0d0d0 208,208,208
8 DarkGrey = #b0b0b0 176,176,176
12 Blue = #80c0e0 128,192,224
10 Green = #60f080 96,240,128
14 Cyan = #c0d8f8 192,216,248
9 Red = #f08060 240,128,96
13 LMag. = #f0c0f0 240,192,240
11 Yellow = #e0c060 224,192,96
15 White = #e0e0e0 224,224,224
If your color terminal does only have 8 colors and cannot achieve 16
colors with cterm=bold, you may want to switch to other color schemes
to gain more readability. Anyway, you can specify in your .vimrc to
use different color scheme under different consoles and GUI.
For example:
let psc_cterm_style = 'foobarcolor'
let psc_style = 'cool'
colo ps_color
The 'foobarcolor' means the color scheme you want to choose, such as
'desert', I recommend to try vim default schemes 'default' and
'defdark' before experience others.
PSC FAQ AND TIPS *psc-faq* *psc-tips*
Q: What is meant by `PS' ?
A: PS means: PostScript, PhotoShop, PerSonal, ... or anything you can
imagine and anything you want it do be.
Q: How to obtain the same appreance as gui in color term?
A: This need some work around, see |psc-cterm| for details.
Generally speaking, you should ensure your color term has support
for 16 foreground colors, and each color is customizable.
*psc-faq-ffothers* >
Q: How to use psc_fontface with other colorschemes?
A: Make sure you had sourced :colo ps_color in your .vimrc, then you
can use the Capitalized :Colo instead of :colo
e.g. you want to use 'murphy', just type :Colo murphy after you
sourced the ps_color, the 'defdark', 'cool', 'warm' can also be
used here.
Q: I updated from v2.0 to v2.3 or above, why the cterm color scheme
for Comment is different?
A: The color map of DarkYellow and Yellow have been exchanged,
You need to reconfigure your terminal to meet the change,
see |psc-cterm-color-table| for guide, or if you are using xterm
compatible terminal, just update the .XDefaults according to
Q: What do you mean by 'Vanilla Windows'?
A: People often argue that Windows is not a REAL operating system.
Well, I agree this, but only for vanilla windows. i.e. with no
plug-ins installed. Vanilla windows is a very limited platform,
since it is not POSIX compliant.
There are currently many working around to make Windows POSIX
Compliant, do you still mind which OS to use when it is POSIX
Compliant? I don't. If you installed Cygwin kernel in your
NT-based Windows, the Windows will be more or less POSIX compliant
and you can use it in the same way as you use any Unix, BSD,
Solaris, Linux, XWindow, etc... What is more, Cygwin is not the
only kernel which makes Windows POSIX Compliant, make a google
search and you will find many alternatives.
Q: How to change the Normal background color? Why don't you use
different background for NonText group?
A: This is for compatibility, since we have to use only 8 colors as
background in a color terminal. For GUI you can change this, see
|psc-change-background| for details.
PSC RELEASE NOTES *psc-release-notes*
2.82 Release Note: ~
Fixed bug with the reversed group for the Vim default, or other
Fixed bug with the Diff mode fg mistaken as fg.
Shrink the script a lot to improve load performance, moved the release
notes into document.
Change the default gui background color to #202020 (Dark Grey)
2.81 Release Note: ~
Provided a separate utility reloaded.vim to fine tune the GUI color
scheme based on Hue, Saturation and Brightness(Luminance).
Added some groups to meet the need of reloaded.vim, no essential
2.8 Release Note: ~
Bugfix : when psc_style=='mixed', the visual got reversed wrong.
'mixed' is now the default for 'warm' style.
changed the function name to lower case.
removed pre-2.0 compatibility, (the non-psc version of s-d-f-t).
Added variable psc_cterm_style, see |psc_cterm_style|
Added group Underline
Tuned the function call.
2.7 Release Note: ~
Now it is possible to change the Background,
see :h psc-change-background for details.
Linked the Tag group to Identifier.
NonText as Notice is not good for 'warm', changed to Constant.
Added links for the most popular plugins: taglist, calendar
Tuned the 'Statement' color when different from Type (gui only).
Re-adjusted cterm scheme according to syntax/hitest.vim
The 'defdark' style for cterm is not functioning, fixed.
Many 'cosmetic' changes, makes no difference for functionality.
Use of DrChip's help extractor to auto-install help document.
Added command define, :Colo
2.6 Release Note: ~
As stated in the v2.3, the only 'todo' thing seems to be the 'warm'
style, now in this version I had been working on it.
There also are some minor fixes for the document, to be more friendly
for new readers.
The 'StatusLine' of 'cold' style is modified by mistake in the v2.3,
this time the bug is fixed.
The 'Directory' in GUI 'cold' style is different from 'cterm' one,
now fixed.
2.3 Release Note: ~
This is an incompatible update, main changes are in 'cterm'.
A new group 'SignColumn' had been added, new links added for engspchk
v52, hundreds of typos fixed in the document, thanks to the engspchk.
The support for 8-color cterm is slightly better now, but the mappings
of the DarkYellow and Yellow are exchanged, you need to update the
.Xdefaults or your terminal configuration before apply this update if
you are using v2.0. Guide for redefinition the color value is
available in the document, make sure you had updated the ps_color.txt,
then see |psc-cterm-color-table|
2.0 Release Note: ~
There've been great enhancement since this version, so I'd choose to
bump the version number to 2. This version comes with Vim online help,
if you had installed ps_color.txt, you can see for details in
n/a Release: ~
Initial upload, can be called as v1.8
PSC TODO LIST *psc-todo*
. Fix the remain bugs.
. Follow the new Vim versions for new added highlighting group
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