How to Make Vim More Colorful? Hint: Use Color Scheme

Vim Color Scheme TipsAre you not satisfied with the colors you have on Vim? Vim has loads of options to make your Vim editing colorful and cheerful experience.  The basic command in Vim to switch on colors or switch off colors is “syntax”.  Just to try and see how the syntax command changes the colors on your Vim screen, open a file containing any program and type (when you are in command mode),

:syntax on

You will immediately see how Vim automatically identifies the syntaxes of the programming language and highlights them in different colors. To make this a permanent, add the line “syntax on”  to your “.vimrc” file located in your home directory.

Vim Color Scheme

Although your Vim screen may look good, often you might notice that colors of some syntaxes make it difficult to read depending on your terminal’s background color. This issue can be solved by using Vim’s available color schemes.

By default, Vim may offer a variety of colorschemes like evening, elflord, default. desert, koehler, murphy, morning, peachpuff,pablo, ron, slate, shine, torte, and zellner. These colorschemes offer rich colorful Vim experience. The way to try one of these colorschemes is to open a file using Vim and type (in command mode)

:colorscheme desert

If you want to try more than one colorscheme, type

:colorscheme, a space and use tab to go through each colorscheme to choose the one you like.

If you have a black/dark background, the colorscheme “desert” is probably the best chance to see all your synatxes easily.

More Vim Color Schemes

If you are an adventurous type and did not like any of these colorschemes offered by Vim, don’t worry. There are more colorschemes available to you. Visit Vim’s color themes page and download the one you like.

As you can see, there are more than 500 Vim color schemes created by users. Don’t worry, You don’t have to manually try each color scheme, Google Code is there to help you. Google Code has a colorscheme test page  and lists how the over 400 color schemes will look like for C, HTML, Java, perl and LaTex files. Once you like a scheme download  the color scheme fle and move it to the directory “~./vim/colors” and add the line

colorscheme yourfavorite

in your .vimrc file. Remember that for the color scheme to work you also need to have “syntax on”.