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The Toolkit for Vim Color Scheme Designers!

Colortemplate is a 100% VimScript plugin for Vim 8 or later, which makes it easy to develop color schemes. Its ambitious goal is to become the way to create new color schemes for Vim!


  • Generates color schemes that support all environments, from black&white to millions of colors, and both terminal and GUI Vim.
  • Generates color schemes that load efficiently and have a consistent structure following best practices.
  • Automatically provides xterm approximations for GUI colors.
  • Imports any color scheme. You do not have to start from scratch!
  • Provides a sophisticated style picker. Create color schemes in real-time directly within Vim!
  • Displays information about the highlight group under the cursor.
  • Computes useful statistics about your color scheme.
  • Supports generating any kind of auxiliary files (say, autoload/gorgeous.vim or scripts/
  • Has syntax completion for highlight groups, keywords and common colors.
  • …And a lot more!

Colortemplate is fully documented: to learn everything about it, read :help colortemplate.txt.

Quick Start

Installing this plugin does not require anything special. If you need help, please first check the FAQ.

:edit templates/dark.colortemplate
:Colortemplate! ~/.vim
:colorscheme dark

The resulting color scheme will be written into ~/.vim/colors. See :help colortemplate.txt for detailed documentation.

Note: :Colortemplate and other plugin's commands are filetype-specific. That means that they are available only if the filetype is set to colortemplate. You may need to explicitly type :set ft=colortemplate to make them available in new buffers.

Colortemplate is based on a very simple but very flexible template format. This is a minimal template, which you can actually compile without warnings:

Full name:  My Gorgeous Theme
Short name: gorgeous
Author:     Me <>

Variant:    gui 256
Background: dark

; Color palette
Color:      myblack #333333 ~
Color:      mywhite #fafafa ~

; Highlight group definitions
Normal      mywhite myblack

Term colors: mywhite mywhite mywhite mywhite mywhite mywhite mywhite mywhite
Term colors: myblack myblack myblack myblack myblack myblack myblack myblack

If you want to get a flavor of how Colortemplate can be used in the real world, take a look at some color schemes created with it: WWDC16 and WWDC17 (simple), or Gruvbox 8 and Solarized 8 (complex).


Do you want to contribute? Do you have any suggestions on how to improve Colortemplate? Open an issue or submit a pull request!