Color theme for Emacs loosely based on the tango palette
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Tango Plus Theme

Color theme for Emacs loosely based on the tango palette. As all themes, this is a work in progress. The basis for this theme was the tango theme that is part of Emacs 24. Some colors where added to increase contrast. Also, support was added for evil, org mode, mu4e, helm, epresent and markdown-mode among others.


Have Emacs 24 or higher. Put the file tango-plus-theme.el in a directory included in your load-path. Add the following line to your start-up file (typically init.el):

(load-theme 'tango-plus t)

Alternatively, you can install from MELPA.


Note that the colors look more vivid in the screenshots than they are in Emacs, perhaps that's due to the compression, not sure.

A search in Evil A Helm session

Design principles

The goal of the theme is to support visual perception and to facilitate comprehension of code and text markup. This may sound trivial but some themes instead try to look cool at the cost of ergonomics.

Principle 1: Use colors sparingly. Give the user subtle hints and avoid disrupting the reading process. For example, coloring LaTeX macros interspersed in text in red would distract from the text.

Principle 2: Use colors as semantic annotation: the meaning of a color should be self-explanatory and consistent across buffers and languages. For example, red background is for errors (flyspell) and stuff that was (ediff) or is going to be deleted (search & replace in evil). Green background is for matches (isearch) or inserted material (ediff). Selections are marked in yellow background – think text marker. All neutral types of highlights use a light grey for the background (sentence-highlight-mode, hl-line-mode, show-paren-match). Foreground colors: Blue is used for keywords (electric sparks). Newly defined stuff like functions is red (hot from the forge). String constants are brown like burned bricks. Comments are grey.