Emacs: ef-themes version 0.11.0
ef-themes is a collection of light and dark themes for GNU Emacs
whose goal is to provide colourful (“pretty”) yet legible options for
users who want something with a bit more flair than the
(also designed by me).
- Package name (GNU ELPA):
- Official manual: https://protesilaos.com/emacs/ef-themes
- Change log: https://protesilaos.com/emacs/ef-themes-changelog
- Sample pictures: https://protesilaos.com/emacs/ef-themes-pictures
- Git repo on SourceHut: https://git.sr.ht/~protesilaos/ef-themes
- Mailing list: https://lists.sr.ht/~protesilaos/ef-themes
- Backronym: Extremely Fatigued by Themes Having Exaggerated Markings, Embellishments, and Sparkles.
Below are the release notes.
New options to override the colour palette
It is now possible to tweak the colour values of each theme’s palette
and to change how named colours are mapped to semantic constructs.
Concretely, each theme’s palette consists of two subsets: (i) named
colours that associate an arbitrary symbol, like
blue-warmer to a
colour value such as
#5250ef, and (ii) semantic colour mappings that
assign a named colour to constructs like
[ For a video demo of the same idea that I implemented in the
modus-themes, check mutatis mutandis:
The feature is not as fully fledged as in my
the latter have a broader scope than the
ef-themes. Still, it is
comprehensive and will likely cover the needs of users who want to
tinker with colours.
The “preview palette” commands have new aliases
ef-themes-preview-colors can now also be called with
ef-themes-list-colors. Same for
which is also known as
These new names make it easier to “preview” or “list” the given palette entries.
Palette preview commands can show semantic colour mappings
When called with a prefix argument (
C-u with default key bindings),
will produce a buffer with the mappings specified in the given palette
and in user-defined overrides. Whereas their normal behaviour without
the prefix argument is to list all the named colours.
In this context, “named colours” are associations between a symbol and
a colour value like
(blue-warmer "#5250ef"), whereas “semantic
colour mappings” describe associations between an abstract construct
of the interface and a named colour, such as
Automatically disable other themes when loading an Ef theme
The user option
ef-themes-disable-other-themes makes the commands
that load an Ef theme run
disable-theme on anything that is not part
of the collection. These commands are
The user option is enabled by default. The reason is that Emacs will blithely blend multiple themes that a user loads, leading to a design that ranges from mildly annoying to outright unusable. It is a bad default behaviour that hinders accessibility.
Expert users who know what they are doing when blending themes can simply disable this user option (or not use the Ef commands for loading a theme).
Refined deuteranopia warning colours
[ “Deuteranopia” is the technical term for red-green colour deficiency. ]
This concerns the themes
ef-deuteranopia-light. The slightly adjusted colours help further
differentiate certain constructs in various contexts, such as the Org
agenda buffer where
DEADLINE items need to be told
Implemented appropriate colour-coded foregrounds in Magit/diff-mode
diff-mode and Magit diff buffers now affect the text colour of the
added/removed/changed lines to improve their usability. Before, the
combination was of a colour-coded background with the main foreground,
which could make it a bit harder to track lines.
Removed the bold weight from Magit diff hunk headings
Inactive diff hunk headings do not need to be bold, as they are already easy to tell apart from their context. The added bold is useful for the currently selected diff hunk, as it draws attention to it.
Revised all mail-related semantic colour mappings
Buffers such as those of viewing messages with Notmuch, Mu4e, Gnus
have more appropriate colour combinations in the interest of avoiding
exaggerations. Same for the message composition buffers (e.g. what we
get with the
compose-mail command and its email-client-specific
The background of Notmuch message headers is more noticeable
notmuch email client for Emacs has a thread-based view of
messages where each email starts with its own header. The slightly
more noticeable background makes it easier to discern where a new
Added support for the powerline package
I added support for this package because other packages depend on it.
Note though that I have encountered visual glitches with
Those occur while switching themes and require a re-run of the
Powerline setup with
Removed the background colour from
The default value of
consult-line-number-prefix inherits from the
line-number face. The Ef themes make the latter inherit from
default in order to have the lines increase/decrease in font size
when the user calls the
text-scale-adjust command. This arrangement
meant that Consult was implicitly getting the main background which
caused commands like
consult-line to not be highlighted from their
absolute beginning but only after the line number.
Thanks to Daniel Mendler for bringing this matter to my attention: https://lists.sr.ht/~protesilaos/ef-themes/%3Cb03413a6-cb77-615d-145d-db4eb710bfca%40daniel-mendler.de%3E.
consult-file to look the same as file names in Grep buffers
This face is used when the user option
vertico-group-format is set
to nil. With this change, we keep things consistent in the common
workflow of using
consult-grep and exporting to a grep buffer via
embark-export. The packages involved are
Thanks to Daniel Mendler for bringing this matter to my attention: https://lists.sr.ht/~protesilaos/ef-themes/%3Cb03413a6-cb77-615d-145d-db4eb710bfca%40daniel-mendler.de%3E#%3C37f01118firstname.lastname@example.org%3E.
eglot-diagnostic-tag-unnecessary-face a warning
By default it inherits the
shadow face, which makes it
counter-intuitive as it dims the text instead of bringing it to our
attention. The intent of
to highlight unused symbols, so this is better presented as an
Thanks to Augusto Stoffel for bringing this matter to my attention. This was done via a private channel and the information is shared with permission.
dashboard icons to retain their underlying colour
The default value of the
dashboard-items-face made all icons use the
same colour, detracting from their distinctiveness. Thanks to Thanos
Apollo for bringing this matter to my attention. It was done via a
private channel and the information is shared with permission.
Removed the bold weight from Org agenda deadline/scheduled
This makes agenda buffers less noisy. The original intent was to differentiate current/imminent from past/future items, though I feel that was the wrong design. We first want to deal with current tasks and do not want to feel overwhelmed by the design.
Removed the bold weight from regular expression constructs
This was used for escaped parentheses and the like. It was making certain strings harder to read, such as:
Retrieve any colour value from the palette
[ This is for do-it-yourself users who need to apply colours in custom code they maintain. As such, it is a bit technical. Skip to the next heading if you are not such a user. ]
ef-themes-get-color-value can be called from Lisp to
return the value of a color from the active Ef theme palette. It
COLOR argument and an optional
COLOR is a symbol that represents a named color entry in the
If the value is the name of another color entry in the palette (so a mapping), this function recurs until it finds the underlying color value.
With an optional
OVERRIDES argument as a non-nil value, it accounts
for palette overrides. Else it reads only the default palette.
THEME as a symbol among
the palette of that item. Else use the current Ef theme.
COLOR is not present in the palette, this function returns the
unspecified symbol, which is safe when used as a face attribute’s
An example with
ef-summer to show how this function behaves
with/without overrides and when recursive mappings are introduced.
;; Here we show the recursion of palette mappings. In general, it is ;; better for the user to specify named colors to avoid possible ;; confusion with their configuration, though those still work as ;; expected. (setq ef-themes-common-palette-overrides '((cursor red) (prompt cursor) (variable prompt))) ;; Ignore the overrides and get the original value. (ef-themes-get-color-value 'variable) ;; => "#5250ef" ;; Read from the overrides and deal with any recursion to find the ;; underlying value. (ef-themes-get-color-value 'variable :overrides) ;; => "#d3303a"
Recalibrated the mouse hover background of the
ef-frosttheme to stand out a bit more than before. This is a minor usability enhancement.
keycast-keyface for easier use and thematic consistency. It has a faint border around it but is otherwise consistent with what was present before.
Improved how the palette preview is rendered.
Made several internal tweaks that keep the code clean and reusable.
Clarified the wording of various statements in the manual.
Expanded the outline headings of all theme files.