Apprentice is a dark, low-contrast colorscheme for Vim based on the awesome Sorcerer by Jeet Sukumaran.
It is essentially a streamlined version of the original, with a reduced number of colors entirely taken from the default xterm palette to ensure a similar look in 256colors-ready terminal emulators and GUI Vim.
Some code in MacVim:
Some code in iTerm, with
Some code in mintty, with
Some code in iTerm, with
TERM=xterm, using the Tango color palette:
Preparing your environment
Apprentice is designed first and foremost to look “good” in terminal emulators supporting 256 colors and in GUI Vim (GVim/MacVim). It supports lesser terminal emulators in the sense that it doesn’t break but it will definitely look “better” in more capable environments.
There is nothing to do for GVim/MacVim as GUI Vim supports “True Color” by default.
“True Color” terminal emulators
Since January 2016, Vim has been able to talk in “True Color” to terminal emulators supporting that feature. This means that it is now not only possible but also very easy to have the exact same colors in TUI Vim and GUI Vim.
In practice, this new development doesn't change much for Apprentice which uses the exact same colors in the GUI as it does in the TUI anyway. But you can still try “True Color” if your setup satisfies the requirements with the following command:
See this gist for more information and support status and, of course,
256color-ready terminal emulators
Most terminal emulators in use nowadays can display 256 colors but most of them use a default
TERM that tells Vim otherwise. Assuming your terminal emulator actually supports 256 colors, you must instruct it to brag about its terminal-hood by setting the correct
TERM environment variable.
TERM usually includes the string
xterm-256color. The actual value is highly dependent on your terminal emulator and/or your terminal multiplexer, though, so you will have to refer to their manual.
Working with 8/16 colors
As an alternative to changing your default
xterm-256color or similar, you can keep its default value (usually something like
screen) and set your terminal emulator to use the Apprentice colorscheme instead of its default colors.
The table below contains a subset of Apprentice’s palette. You can use a color picker or copy/paste these values:
Here is a sample
~/.Xresources for you Linux/BSD users. You can import this into terminal.sexy to convert it to the appropriate color scheme format for your preferred terminal emulator:
*.foreground: #BCBCBC *.background: #262626 *.color0: #1C1C1C *.color8: #444444 *.color1: #AF5F5F *.color9: #FF8700 *.color2: #5F875F *.color10: #87AF87 *.color3: #87875F *.color11: #FFFFAF *.color4: #5F87AF *.color12: #8FAFD7 *.color5: #5F5F87 *.color13: #8787AF *.color6: #5F8787 *.color14: #5FAFAF *.color7: #6C6C6C *.color15: #FFFFFF
And a sample
~/.minttyrc for you Cygwin users:
ForegroundColour=188,188,188 BackgroundColour=38,38,38 Black=28,28,28 Red=175,95,95 Green=95,135,95 Yellow=135,135,95 Blue=95,135,175 Magenta=95,95,135 Cyan=95,135,135 White=108,108,108 BoldBlack=68,68,68 BoldRed=255,135,0 BoldGreen=135,175,135 BoldYellow=255,255,175 BoldBlue=143,175,215 BoldMagenta=135,135,175 BoldCyan=95,175,175 BoldWhite=255,255,255
Some code in iTerm, with
TERM=xterm, using the color palette above:
Some code in the Windows console, with
TERM=cygwin, using the color palette above:
All terminal emulators
I recommend adjusting your terminal's background color to the one used in Apprentice if you want to avoid having a “frame” around Vim:
Colorschemes must be placed in a directory named
colors that is somewhere in Vim’s
The canonical location is:
but it could be:
" with Pathogen bundle/apprentice/colors/apprentice.vim
" with :help packages pack/foobar/start/apprentice/colors/apprentice.vim
or whatever works for you.
Arch users may be happy to hear that Apprentice has landed in AUR. To install it, use an AUR helper:
$ yaourt -S vim-apprentice
or download the
PKGBUILD and do:
$ makepkg -i
To test Apprentice, just type this command from normal mode and hit
If you like what you see and want to make Apprentice your default colorscheme, add this line to your
vimrc, preferably near the end, after any
filetype ... on,
call plug#end(), or
call vundle#end() line:
If you don't want to maintain your own fork of Apprentice you can add something like this to your
function! MyHighlights() abort highlight Comment ctermfg=245 highlight NonText ctermbg=17 endfunction augroup MyColors autocmd! autocmd ColorScheme * call MyHighlights() augroup END
See this Gist for reference.
Apprentice now comes with the very template used to generate it:
colors/apprentice.erb. The template, based on vim-rnb, is well maintained and documented.
If you feel like making a pull request, make sure you commit both the modified template and the modified colorscheme.
Lightline and Airline themes
I removed them from
master but you can still find them in the "fancylines-and-neovim" branch.
Neovim terminal theme
I removed it from
master but you can still find it in the "fancylines-and-neovim" branch.
What they say about Apprentice.
Vimgor, in #vim: “A colorscheme as subtle, gentle and pleasant as its creator isn't.”
Gfixler, in r/vim: “I've been enjoying Apprentice. It's the only color scheme so far that I haven't felt like modifying in any way.”
dddbbb, in r/vim: “Haha, you've been quoted in the readme. romainl is still with us in spirit! Apprentice looks nice, and it's great that seems simple to get it working in terminal (no t_co hacks).”
Gfixler again, in r/vim: “My favorite color scheme by far is Apprentice, but again, it's completely subjective. Pick something that makes you feel good while using it. I particularly love Apprentice's selection blue color. I select things all the time just to experience it. So pretty.”
lopid, in #vim: “waah waah”
If light colorschemes are more your thing, Disciple is an experimental and mostly unmaintained negative version of Apprentice.
On the same note, Lightning is a light fork of Apprentice worth considering.
A port of Apprentice is available for the IDEA platform. Check it out over there.
Elysian is a new very nice colorscheme for 256color terminal emulators inspired by Apprentice.
Apprentice-theme is a port to spacemacs.
Warlock is a brand new greyscale variant worth trying if Apprentice's already low contrast is still too much.
Apprentice-tmux is a tmux theme based on Apprentice.
Apprentice-kitty is a port for kitty.
Here is a port of Apprentice for Visual Studio Code.