Vim Color Schemes / Themes


I found a nice Vim color theme called Wombat.

To install the Wombat scheme, download the file from the site above and put it in ~/.vim/colors/. You can then enable it in your ~/.vimrc file with the following line:

colorscheme wombat

(Replace the word wombat with the name of your desired Vim color scheme. I'm on Ubuntu Dapper with Vim 7, so the locations of your files may differ.)

My favorite Vim scheme is the Desert scheme, but I don't like the green color when in visual mode. So I created a custom scheme by copying the file /usr/share/vim/vim70/colors/desert.vim to the desktop and making a couple of modifications:

I changed line 22 from let g:colors_name="desert" to the name of a new Vim color theme. Then I changed line 49 where it says hi Visual gui=none guifg=khaki guibg=olivedrab. I changed khaki to #000000 (black) and olivedrab to #c4c4c4 (light gray). Then I saved the file with a new name that matched the name that I gave the scheme inside the file.

Here is the original green highlighting the in Desert scheme's visual mode:

Green visual mode in the Desert Vim color scheme

Here is the desert scheme with my modified highlighted color:

My new visual mode highlight for Vim's Desert theme

This is the Wombat color scheme for Vim — it's a nice theme, but the highlighting is a little faint. It could be changed by using the instructions above:

Visual mode in the Wombat scheme

More Vim Color Options

Type :hi to get a list of entities that you can change the color on. It's fairly easy to make a custom syntax highlighting file in Vim.

This is what the Desert color scheme looks like in Vim 7 on Ubuntu 6.06:

Vim color theme: Desert


Cream Colors

Hey, thanks for your articles on Vim, they are well done. I'm trying to figure out where to put themes for Cream, how to tell it where they are, etc. unfortunately I can't find the documentation dealing with this. Any Cream specific information on this would be an awesome (and much appreciated) tutorial.

Webmaster Tips's picture

Cream Vim Color Schemes

I think that Cream is just Gvim with some extra plugins so you should be able to add color schemes in the same way as a mentioned above for Gvim.

Cream color schemes

I did get color schemes added to vim/gvim as above, but still no love in Cream. I'm not sure which files to edit. (I'm using Cream on Ubuntu Dapper.) There isn't even a .cream directory with config files in my ~ to use as a starting point. (Though it's saving my configuration preferences somewhere since they are persistent.)

Cream color sheme

My bad, I have a .cream but it doesn't contain the conf files. Those appear to be located in /usr/share/cream while most of the rest of Cream is in /usr/share/vim/cream/ (which all seems kind of a weird setup to me).

Anyway, I did finally find something on the mailing list that indicates Cream does not play nice with Vim themes out of the box. I'll add this to your page so maybe it has a chance of showing up in Google and saving someone else some frustration. :)

| How do I get cream to see new ones? Simply putting it with the
| others does not seem to work.

Vim themes can not be used directly within Cream. We have to have a
few minor adjustments to the theme and to the loading mechanism. Some
variable settings are added (so that they can be retained across
sessions) as well as a few custom highlighting groups (for our custom

You can usually cut/paste the obvious Cream additions in
cream-colors-* into your own, starting with one that most closely
matches the one you're adapting.

Load it each session with ":source %", directly in cream-user, or hack
an update in cream-colors.vim. Better yet, send us a patch so that
Cream can manage and load themes random themes in a new subdirectory
colors/. :)

That's from a year ago, so it may have changed somewhat, but there is nothing more recent on the mailing list archives.

Overall I'm finding that Cream support discussions are, if not exactly nonexistent, at least difficult to locate via Google. And their Sourceforge page is borderline useless. If you know of any awesome, active forums/boards that are hiding somewhere, a link would be very cool.

A colorscheme I made for my favorite web development languages

I created my own Vim color scheme specifically for HTML, PHP, CSS and JavaScript in case any one is interested, there are screen shots and it's available for download in the link provided.

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