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An emacs color theme based on the tango palette colors
Emacs Lisp
Branch: master

This is an emacs color theme based on the tango palette colors.


Here is a screenshot of the color theme with an emacs-lisp file :

One with a Gnus summary and article buffers :

And one with an org-mode buffer :

Installation instructions


tangotango-theme is available in MELPA. You can add this repository by following its installation instructions.

To install tangotango-theme, just do :

M-x package-install tangotango-theme

You can then try it with M-x load-theme. If you want to load it automatically on startup, add the following to your init file :

(load-theme 'tangotango t)  

Manual (Emacs 24)

Emacs 24 features native color theming, and as such you don’t need any third party package or extension.

  1. Download tangotango-theme.el from github and save it to your ~/.emacs.d directory
  2. Try it with M-x load-theme
  3. If you like it, just add the following line to your .emacs :
(load-theme 'tangotango t)

If you prefer to place your theme files in another directory, you can just add something like the following in your .emacs before loading the theme :

(add-to-list 'custom-theme-load-path "~/.emacs.d/color-theme-tangotango")

Emacs 23

With Emacs 23 you need to use the color-theme package :

  1. Download and install the color-theme emacs package either via your linux distribution or via the source tarball
  2. Download and install color-theme-tangotango.el from github
  3. Make sure that both color-theme.el and color-theme-tangotango.el are in your load path

There are several ways to load the tangotango color theme from your .emacs, as documented on emacswiki. The way I currently use should work for a daemonized emacs and allows the selection of different themes for GUI or console based frames :

(require 'color-theme)
(setq color-theme-load-all-themes nil)

(require 'color-theme-tangotango)

;; select theme - first list element is for windowing system, second is for console/terminal
;; Source :
(setq color-theme-choices 
      '(color-theme-tangotango color-theme-tangotango))

;; default-start
(funcall (lambda (cols)
    	   (let ((color-theme-is-global nil))
    	      (append '(if (window-system))
    		      (mapcar (lambda (x) (cons x nil)) 

;; test for each additional frame or console
(require 'cl)
(fset 'test-win-sys 
      (funcall (lambda (cols)
    		 (lexical-let ((cols cols))
    		   (lambda (frame)
    		     (let ((color-theme-is-global nil))
		       ;; must be current for local ctheme
		       (select-frame frame)
		       ;; test winsystem
			(append '(if (window-system frame)) 
				(mapcar (lambda (x) (cons x nil)) 
    	       color-theme-choices ))
;; hook on after-make-frame-functions
(add-hook 'after-make-frame-functions 'test-win-sys)


Note that I also had to add a (color-theme-tangotango) line at the end of my .gnus file in order to apply the color theme to Gnus.

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