Change Log of the Modus themes

This document contains the release notes that are included in each tagged commit on the project's main git repository:

The newest release is at the top. Since the notes are meant to be in plain text format, I copy them verbatim.

For further details, please consult these additional resources:



Before I cover the changes, a brief note about the canonical source of the modus-themes source code and corresponding documentation.

The modus-themes are built into Emacs, as of version 28, but they are not developed in emacs.git: I maintain my own Git repository ( and sync with emacs.git whenever I publish a new version, such as this one. This means that my code is often ahead of the one in the Emacs tree (including the master branch). Similarly, the official manual, which is hosted on my website (, covers topics not found in the corresponding web pages.

In the opening section of the manual I include references to the canonical sources, but I still get comments about GNU web pages that I do not control. Please check those links before reporting issues that I can do nothing about.

No more SourceHut

Development continues on GitHub with GitLab as a mirror. I explained my reasons here:

This is a change that affects all my Emacs packages.

Code blocks now have a background by default

The user option modus-themes-org-blocks is obsolete. All code blocks now have a subtle grey background out-of-the-box. The block delimiter lines, such as the #+begin_src in Org mode, use the same background as the block's contents. This produces a style that (i) is easy to notice and (ii) employs minimal colouration. Furthermore, we no longer have any discrepancy between Org and similar modes like Markdown.

Every theme has relevant semantic palette mappings to affect the underlying faces:

  • bg-prose-block-delimiter
  • fg-prose-block-delimiter
  • bg-prose-block-contents

The old prose-block is now renamed to fg-prose-block-delimiter. Please update any such references in your configuration file.

Users can customise those either for all themes via the user option modus-themes-common-palette-overrides or on a per-theme basis with something like modus-operandi-palette-overrides. The manual includes ready-to-use code samples that showcases the numerous permutations made possible by these new mappings:

The old option to affect the user option org-src-block-faces as to have a different background for each specified programming language is no longer available. The previous design was inflexible, as I was hardcoding values for a few languages. Whereas it is better to empower the user with the choice of language->colour association. The manual shows how to do this:

More semantic mappings more inline code in prose-centric modes

For Org, Markdown, and related we have semantic palette mappings that target inline code constructs. For example, in Org we can have text inside of tilde signs to mark it up as code. In prior versions, the mappings were limited to just a foreground, but now they cover background values as well. By default, these background do not have a colour associated with them, meaning that the out-of-the-box aesthetic is the same as before. Users simply have more power at their disposal to tweak the theme to their liking.

Here are the names of those mappings:

  • bg-prose-code
  • fg-prose-code
  • bg-prose-macro
  • fg-prose-macro
  • bg-prose-verbatim
  • fg-prose-verbatim

The old prose-code, prose-macro, and prose-verbatim are named fg-prose-code, fg-prose-macro, fg-prose-verbatim. Please update any such references in your configuration file.

The manual shows lots of examples on how to benefit from these optional backgrounds:

No colour-coding for transient.el buffers.

In a recent version of transient.el, there is a new user option that applies colour-coding to keys (e.g. we see those while using magit): transient-semantic-coloring. This option is enabled by default, changing the previous style that was used as a reference for all my designs.

The idea with such colour coding is to indicate when a key continues to display the transient, exits with a given action, and the like. For our purposes this interface cannot work:

  • We need some place to teach users what each colour means, as there are no indicators of any sort to help them (whereas, say, in diff buffers we have the plus and minus signs).
  • Not all hues are suitable for highlighting a single character. In light themes, for example, green and yellow colours are awkward choices for the requirements of this interface where the key must be clearly visible. But when we introduce multiple colours, each with their own meaning, we will not be able to avoid those hues.
  • The style of key bindings is not limited to transient.el. We find them when we invoke M-x, do M-x describe-bindings, while using the which-key package, and many more. If we are to change how transient.el shows key bindings, then we have to retain the same visual cues for other contexts. Otherwise, everything is inconsistent.
  • All themes must use the same colours to preserve the colour coding, thus removing an important aspect of their presentation.
  • This whole paradigm does not work for themes that are optimised for users with colour deficiency, due to the reduced number of suitable hues. With deuteranopia, for example, we can only rely on yellow and blue: since yellow is not optimal for single key highlights against a light backdrop, blue is the only hue that works in such a context.

The modus-themes will never support transient-semantic-coloring. All relevant faces use the style of standard key bindings.

Themes can enforce user option values, but I have decided to change the faces instead to better communicate my intent. If a user wants semantic colouring, they can change the faces to whatever they like.

I understand this is a radical measure, though it is the best I can do given the circumstances. If transient.el where to have accompanying characters that better denote what each key does (e.g. the plus sign is for keys that continue the transient), then I am happy to apply appropriate colours to those and reconsider the aforementioned.

Semantic mappings for active arguments and values

In various interfaces such as of eldoc-mode and transient.el there are highlights for the current argument or argument value. These now have corresponding semantic palette mappings and are thus styled uniformly (and can be overridden accordingly). The mappings are:

  • bg-active-argument
  • fg-active-argument
  • bg-active-value
  • fg-active-value

A semantic mapping for formulas in tables

The prose-table-formula applies to inline formula expressions in plain text tables. Org mode uses those, as does the minor mode orgtbl-mode. The inline formula is meant to stand out from the rest of the table, without exaggerations.

Matching parentheses have semantic mappings for their foreground too

By default, Emacs will highlight the matching (opening or closing) delimiter when the cursor is next to it. This is useful in Lisp programming modes, for example, as we can quickly get a sense of where an expression starts and ends.

The themes now provide mappings for the foreground of those delimiters. This means that users can either change the combination of background and foreground or opt to only display a foreground value for a more minimal look.

As always, the manual shows concrete examples:

Search highlights have their own semantic mappings

This makes it easier to differentiate their style on a per-theme basis, which I do for all the Modus themes. It also gives users the option to override the colours. The mappings:

  • bg-search-current
  • bg-search-lazy
  • bg-search-replace
  • bg-search-rx-group-0
  • bg-search-rx-group-1
  • bg-search-rx-group-2
  • bg-search-rx-group-3

Stylistic tweaks to modus-operandi-tinted

The modus-operandi-theme uses a light ochre background, which gives a warmer feel than the pure white background of modus-operandi. To better contribute to this warmth, I made some tweaks to common elements:

  1. The cursor has a red hue as before, but the value is a bit more intense now. This makes it easier to spot in contexts where text is already "warm", like close to an Org TODO keyword or in programming mode comments.
  2. All key bindings have a red hue instead of blue. We can notice the effect in Help mode buffers that mention where a command is bound, while using which-key-mode, in transient.el buffers, in minibuffer completion annotations, and more.

These are in addition to many nuances already built into modus-operandi-tinted.

I hope that existing users will appreciate these tweaks. We anyway have the option to override any entry in the palette, though I suggest you give these a chance before enacting any changes.

Stylistic tweaks to modus-vivendi-tinted

Same principle here as with the above set of changes. Namely:

  1. The cursor uses a more intense magenta background to be easier to spot.
  2. Key bindings are purple instead of blue to better complement the aesthetics of this theme.
  3. The background highlight applied to matching parentheses (per show-paren-mode) is grey-cyan instead of cyan.

Again, we can override everything but please try those for a little while.

The olivetti-fringe is visible when needed

This is subject to the user option olivetty-style, which can be set to the value of fancy to produce a page-like effect.

Thanks to Dhavan Vaidya and Gautier Ponsinet for bringing this matter to my attention on the now-discontinued mailing list:

A more subtle style for the consult-preview-insertion face

The default value of that face inherits from the region face. This is fine in some cases, though not when the user calls consult-outline in a buffer with hidden text (e.g. Org folded headings). There the background is applied to the entire heading's surface area, which is too distracting while cycling through completion candidates and inspecting the preview.

Simpler imenu-list with four colours

The imenu-list defines two sets of faces which apply to same heading levels but differ on whether the heading has subheadings or not. Before, we would colourise those differently, which could be confusing. Now they look the same, which is fine because the interface has additional markup to show when subheadings are present.

Thanks to ltmsyvag for pointing this out in issue 95:

Implicit buttons in Gnus are no longer underlined

Gnus buttonises text that it considers actionable. The exact functionality depends on the context, but it basically does stuff like add a quick way to write a new message to a given email address. These buttons can be mistaken for links, so I am removing their underline to avoid any possible confusion.

The message-separator face is less intense

In message/email composition buffers, there is a line that distinguishes headers from the body of the message. By default, it reads --text follows this line-- and will now have a subtle grey background. The idea is to not stress the distinction between headers and body, as this line's verbosity is already enough to call attention to it when we add a subtle background.

Recalibrated all "nuanced" background values

Each theme has a subset of slightly accented background named bg-{red,green,blue,yellow,magenta,cyan}-nuanced. These have slightly different values to be more consistent in terms of their intensity.

The debbugs package is now supported

Thanks to Gautier Ponsinet for sending me the relevant patch to my personal email. I made further stylistic changes on top.

The ztree package is covered as well

It produces a diff between two directories and thus needs appropriate colours.

Added support for xterm-color and rustic-mode

These are basically reusing styles we already support for other terminal emulators. Thanks to Tony Zorman for the contribution, which was done in pull request 99:

Org checkboxes are monospaced when modus-themes-mixed-fonts is non-nil

The user option modus-themes-mixed-fonts makes specing-sensitive elements use a monospaced font (specifically, the font family of the fixed-pitch face). This lets the user set a more prose-friendly style without visually breaking snippets that rely on fixed width spacing. A prose-friendly style is done by making the default font a proportionately spaced one, or by enabling variable-pitch-mode in the current buffer.

For this case, we now cover Org checkboxes as well to avoid misalignments in checklists.

Thanks to Gautier Ponsinet for discussing this with me via email and sending the relevant patch.

More code samples in the manual

The manual documents everything about the customisation options provided by the themes, as well as relevant do-it-yourself code samples. I now include more examples and better explain how to hook those either to the enable-theme-functions or the modus-themes-after-load-theme-hook. If something is not clear or not covered at all, please let me know and I will help you do what you want.


  • All cl- snippets are removed from the source code. We did not really need them and I rewrote the code accordingly. This is not a value judgement against Common Lisp patterns in Emacs Lisp (I do not mind them): it is just a matter of removing a dependency for things that can easily be done differently.
  • The keycast-key inherits the bold face if the user option modus-themes-bold-constructs is set to a non-nil value.
  • The read-multiple-choice-face now has a cooler hue than the one it had before. This way it is not mistaken for a warning.
  • The appt-notification face uses a foreground value that is better suited for the modeline, where this indicator appears.
  • The header-line-highlight draws a box around it. This makes the mouse hover effect easier to spot.
  • The shr-mark face is now covered as well. It uses an appropriate background colour.
  • The mct-highlight-candidate face is covered and has an appropriate style for the minibuffer completions.
  • The completions-highlight face (Emacs 29) is also supported to ensure stylistic consistency between the minibuffer interfaces covered by the themes.
  • Flagged and deleted messages in mu4e and notmuch use different hues to not conflate the two.
  • Fixed the spelling of "colour" to "color" in the manual because core Emacs uses the latter…


All themes except the tritanopia ones have a new hover colour

The previous colour was not sufficiently distinct from what each theme defines for the bg-completion palette entry (preview a palette with M-x modus-themes-preview-colors or M-x modus-themes-preview-colors-current). This would make it hard to spot the difference while, for example, using vertico-mode in tandem with vertico-mouse-mode.

Same principle for the difference between the mouse hover and lazy isearch highlights (e.g. in Dired or Occur buffers).

Changing the hue here follows the same principle that underpinned the redesign of the grey backgrounds for version 4 of the project: depending on hardware capabilities, colour reproduction may not be optimal, so we need to be more considerate with the choice of colour values, erring on the side of caution.

The modus-operandi-tritanopia and modus-vivendi-tritanopia themes are not affected by this initiative, as they already used highly distinct hues.

Thanks to Daniel Mendler for bringing this matter to my attention and for testing the proposed alternatives. This was done via a private channel and the information is shared with permission. Daniel is the developer of vertico, among many other excellent packages:

Japanese holidays have the expected style

Japanese calendars style Saturdays uniquely and the Modus themes now do the same for those who use the japanese-holidays package. Saturdays show up in a blue colour (which changes to cyan for the modus-operandi-tritanopia, modus-vivendi-tritanopia themes).

Each theme's palette has a new semantic colour mapping called date-holiday-other, just in case we ever encounter another scenario like this one (users can override any entry in the palette—consult the manual for the technicalities).

Thanks to Olaf Meeuwissen for bringing this package to my attention and showing me how traditional Japanese calendars style Saturdays. This was done in issue 311 on the GitLab mirror:

Each theme has semantic colour mappings for terminal emulators

These are used by ansi-term, vterm, and the like. The idea is to empower users to differentiate background and foreground values, should they ever encounter a need to do so (when in doubt, do nothing).

By convention, terminal emulators use the same value for both background and foreground, although this is not optimal with high contrast themes because what works as a foreground does not necessarily look nice as a background.

The default values of the new mappings retain the prior state, just to not break existing configurations. Consider this a tacit user option for those who really need it.

Thanks to Tony Zorman for reporting the problem that provided the impetus for this change:

All theme definitions conform with the latest standard for metadata

Themes are expected to declare their background type and affinity, such that the built-in command theme-choose-variant can do what it describes (switch between related themes). I was already doing this, though I had to make some adjustments. This is in response to Emacs bug#65468: Thanks to Mauro Aranda for bringing the matter to my attention.

Proper colours for the inline preview of the corfu top candidate

The corfu-candidate-overlay package is used in tandem with the corfu package to create an inline preview of the first matching candidate. Thanks to Nicolas Semrau for bringing this matter to my attention in issue 89 on the GitHub mirror:

Context indicators for the mode-line or header-line (breadcrumb.el)

I added support for the new breadcrumb package by João Távora. It displays information about where we are in the given file, such as under which Org heading or inside which function. The indicator can be shown on the mode-line or the header-line. Either way, it will now be legible and consistent with its surroundings.

The new family of nerd-icons is covered by the themes

This is a new set of packages: nerd-icons, nerd-icons-completion, ~nerd-icons-dired, nerd-icons-ibuffer. A popular package that uses the Nerd icons is doom-modeline, which the themes support as well.

All icons look as intended again

Some faces from the all-the-icons package were not configured because I accidentally changed their name from something like all-the-icons-red-alt to all-the-icons-red-warmer. I did that while renaming the colours defined in each theme's palette, to make them more meaningful ("warmer red" can hint at something whereas "alt red" is more abstract).

Corrected the documentation about custom Org faces

The Modus themes manual shows how to configure arbitrary TODO keywords to inherit the style of an arbitrary face (get the list of faces present in your Emacs with M-x list-faces-display). The previous value I used was faulty. It now is as intended. Thanks to soaringbird for reporting the issue on the mailing list:

The colours used by avy are better for users with tritanopia

I changed the sequence of colours displayed by commands such as avy-goto-char-timer such that each individual background does not blend with the ones adjacent to it, while respecting the overall needs of a tritanopia-friendly design. I also tweaked the colour values to achieve the desired result. The backgrounds remain distinct from their context but now also work harmoniously together.

The bg-dim palette entry is marginally brighter in all Modus operandi variants

After extensive testing and side-by-side comparisons, I have concluded that the marginal increase in brightness improves the affected interfaces.

The bg-dim background is used, among others, in the header-line, the popup of the company and corfu packages, as well as the Org source blocks (when the user option modus-themes-org-blocks is configured appropriately).

The "intense" palette override preset has new colours for tables and prose metadata

This concerns the modus-themes-preset-overrides-intense (refer to its documentation on how to use it). The primary target of these changes is Org mode and the overall effect is subtle. The previous colours did not combine nicely with all structural elements. For example, Org clocktables would obscure timestamps by being the same colour as them, while the table formula would not stand out. These styles did not fit into the concept of "intense" colours.

The "warmer" palette override preset has more legible strings

The modus-themes-preset-overrides-warmer uses a more prominent warm green value for strings in programming modes. The effect is subtle, though it fits in better with the overall aesthetic of these palette overrides.

Org document keywords like #+author are optionally monospaced

When the user option modus-themes-mixed-fonts is non-nil, all Org document keywords will be rendered with the fixed-pitch face. This ensures consistency between keywords such as #+author and "meta lines" like #+texinfo. Thanks to user fluentpwn for the change: it is one line and thus the author does not need to assign copyright to the Free Software Foundation.

Git commit summary lines have a more precise style

This concerns the first line in a Git commit message, as seen while working with the magit package. Same principle for the log-edit buffer used by the built-in VC framework. Before, I was hardcoding a blue colour value, whereas now I apply the success face. The success face is designed to contrast with the warning face that is used to show overlong summaries. Furthermore, the added indirection makes it possible to particularise the colour value, which I do for the tritanopia themes that cannot use blue.


  • Removed explicit support for the built-in css-mode. Its default faces are decent. They inherit from standard font-lock faces that the themes already cover.
  • Recalibrated wordwise ("refined") diffs for deuteranopia. The modus-operandi-deuteranopia and modus-vivendi-deuteranopia have a little bit more intense colour values applied to wordwise, else "refined", diffs. These concern removed lines. The effect is visible while using magit or the built-in diff-mode.
  • Backported emacs.git commit 4cf33b6bd02b868ebbf112da7926d7c3c64517ce. It removed the space from the front matter of the file (i.e. the manual) because the Org export did not produce the right results, per Emacs bug#64548. Thanks to Stephen Berman for reporting the issue and making the requisite change.
  • Added support for the erts-mode. Thanks to Kevin Fleming for informing me about this built-in mode. This was done in issue 85 on the GitHub mirror:
  • Fixed a typo in the modus-themes-preset-overrides-intense doc string. Thanks to Nicolas Semrau for bringing this matter to my attention. It was done in issue 90 on the GitHub mirror:
  • Made all commands that prompt for a theme (modus-themes-select, modus-themes-preview-colors) apply the theme category to the available candidates. This allows the user to target said category to affect the relevant functions. For example, to set completion styles with completion-category-overrides or to define a custom annotation function with the marginalia package.
  • Added support for new appt-notification face (Emacs 30). Change upstream by me.


I won a Google award for the Modus themes

Report here:

This is not a "change" per se, but it is worth documenting here. It shows how important accessibility can be in empowering people to use their computer and, in our case, to exercise their software freedoms.

The Modus themes tend to one aspect of accessibility. They do not exhaust the topic, though they should at least raise awareness about the significance of tending to the usability needs of everyone. The effort I put into documenting the themes (and my other packages) should be understood in this light as a means of helping people enjoy their software freedom by learning how to use and extend the program in question.

New tritanopia-optimised themes

I have created a pair of light and dark themes that are intended for people with blue-yellow colour deficiency (tritanopia). These are modus-operandi-tritanopia (light) and modus-vivendi-tritanopia (dark). Screenshots of all the Modus themes are available on my website:

The entire collection is now described in the manual as follows:

The Modus themes consist of eight themes, divided into four subgroups.

Main themes
modus-operandi is the project's main light theme, while modus-vivendi is its dark counterpart. These two themes are part of the project since its inception. They are designed to cover a broad range of needs and are, in the opinion of the author, the reference for what a highly legible "default" theme should look like.
Tinted themes
modus-operandi-tinted and modus-vivendi-tinted are variants of the two main themes. They slightly tone down the intensity of the background and provide a bit more color variety. modus-operandi-tinted has a set of base tones that are shades of light ochre (earthly colors), while modus-vivendi-tinted gives a night sky impression.
Deuteranopia themes
modus-operandi-deuteranopia and its companion modus-vivendi-deuteranopia are optimized for users with red-green color deficiency. This means that they do not use red and green hues for color-coding purposes, such as for diff removed and added lines. Instead, they implement colors that are discernible by users with deueteranopia or deuteranomaly (mostly yellow and blue hues).
Tritanopia themes
modus-operandi-tritanopia and its counterpart modus-vivendi-tritanopia are optimized for users with blue-yellow color deficiency. The idea is the same as with the deuteranopia variants: color coding relies only on hues that are accessible to people with tritanopia or tritanomaly, namely, shades of red and cyan.

Recalibrated the "graph" colours in all themes

The new palette subset improves the contrast of all the relevant colours when presented side-by-side. These are most notably used by the org-habit consistency graph, which is displayed in the Org agenda. The deuteranopia and tritanopia themes have their own bespoke colours for this purpose, due to their specific requirements for colour coding (e.g. they cannot use green).

Faces or face groups

  • Introduced a subtle 3D effect for clickable buttons, replacing the previous 2D design. I realised the flat style creates ambiguity between the button and the text fields. This happens, for example, with M-x customize-variable for org-capture-templates which has lots of button and text field combinations. The added sense of depth helps with the usability of these buttons because it makes them unambiguous. Personally, I prefer the 2D approach, but here we have a trade-off between usability and aesthetics. According to what I state in the manual:

    If there arises an inescapable trade-off between usability and stylistic considerations, we will always opt for the former.

  • Refashioned the whitespace-mode to be much more subtle and added the concomitant semantic colour mappings.

    The previous style involved the use of a dim grey background for each invisible character. While this is was good to spot invisible characters quickly, it was a major hindrance for users who want to run whitespace-mode at all times (e.g. for the Python programming language which is space-sensitive).

    We thus remove the backgrounds by default but provide the option to reinstate them via palette overrides (as documented at length in the manual). To this end, we have two new semantic colour mappings for ordinary space, its invisible characters, as well as space errors.

    Thanks to Christian Tietze and Oliver Epper for their feedback in issue 80 on the GitHub mirror:

  • Applied a more subtle background for faces menu-bar-mode, tool-bar-mode, scroll-bar-mode. They do not need to stand out so much because the toolkit already takes care of that. Also, we do not want to dillute the semantic value of either bg-tab-bar or fringe palette colour mappings that I was wrongly using before in this context. Note that those faces may not apply, depending on the underlying tool kit. For example, I encounter them with the Lucid build of Emacs, though not with the GTK one.
  • Fix the critical typo of 'widget-buton', which prevented the actual widget-button face from being affected by the themes. Thanks to Steve Downey for pointing it out in issue 73 on the GitHub mirror:
  • Added support for the disk-usage package. It is made to look like Dired, to the extent possible. Thanks to Nacho Barrientos for the patch: The change is small and does not require copyright assignment to the Free Software Foundation.
  • Made the eglot-diagnostic-tag-unnecessary-face look like 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 eglot-diagnostic-tag-unnecessary-face is to highlight unused symbols, so this is better presented as a warning.

    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.

  • Changed the smerge-markers to inherit from diff-header instead of diff-heading. Thanks to Steve Downey for the contribution. This was done in pull request 74 on the GitHub mirror: The change is small and does not require copyright assignment to the Free Software Foundation.
  • Added support for the jinx package. This was originally done by Tomasz Hołubowicz in pull request 71 on the GitHub mirror: The change is small and does not require copyright assignment to the Free Software Foundation. I then modified it to make the underlines look like warnings instead of errors. This is because of how the package works: it automatically highlights misspellings in the visible portion of the buffer. There are cases where this results in a very intense presentation, which can be distracting. We want to reduce the overall intensity and not draw too much attention to those highlights.
  • Extended coverage of Org to the new org-agenda-calendar-daterange face (part of Org version 9.7). Thanks to Gautier Ponsinet for the patch, which I received via a private channel. The change is small and does not require copyright assignment to the Free Software Foundation. In addition to this, I introduced a new semantic colour mapping in the themes' palette called date-range. This can be used with the palette overrides, which are documented at length in the manual (there are lots of copy-pastable examples as well).
  • Supported all of the new faces of the built-in proced package. These are part of Emacs 29 and make the proced buffers more colourful, subject to the user option proced-enable-color-flag. As always, the themes strive to avoid exaggerations, meaning that I apply colour with restraint: not all faces need to stand out.
  • Included the rst-mode in the list of explicitly supported packages, making its heading look like those of Org, Markdown, etc. Thanks to David Edmondson for the patch: I believe David has already assigned copyright to the Free Software Foundation, though this patch is small anyway.
  • Covered all the new faces of the built-in flymake package. These concern the inline feedback messages (Emacs 30) as well as those that appear in the echo area (Emacs 29). The former are subject to the user option flymake-show-diagnostics-at-end-of-line.
  • Reduced the intensity of the which-key prefix descriptions. Those are the keymaps that displayed by which-key to hint that typing the given key will open a new which-key page with more keys.
  • Configured new vundo-saved and vundo-last-saved faces of the vundo package. They are designed to be easy to read, without going over-the-top. Thanks to Nicolas Semrau for bringing this matter to my attention in issue 79 on the GitHub mirror:
  • Removed the deprecated consult-preview-cursor face and made the requisite adjustments to the consult faces. This was done in commit 267b0c9 of the Consult Git repository. Discussed here:
  • Instructed the shr-selected-link face of the built-in shr package to use a "mark selection" style instead of the semantically incorrect "intense red" it had before. This change is helpful for those who override the palette of their Modus theme of choice, while it also allows us to have varied colours depending on the requirements of each theme (e.g. deuteranopia/tritanopia compared to the defaults).
  • Did the same as above, mutatis mutandis, for the faces transient-disabled-suffix, web-mode-error-face, erc-dangerous-host-face, aw-minibuffer-leading-char-face, binder-sidebar-highlight, binder-sidebar-missing, image-dired-thumb-flagged, image-dired-thumb-mark, info-menu-star, rainbow-delimiters-mismatched-face, evil-ex-substitute-matches, iedit-occurrence, iedit-read-only-occurrence, pgtk-im-0, dired-narrow-blink.
  • Enhanced the image-dired mark faces with a box border, as the use of a background alone can be obscured by the underlying image thumbnail, depending on its figures/colours.
  • Removed the backgrounds from the powerline-evil faces and simplified their overral presentation in the interest of maintainability. The old styles were hard to predict and test. There could easily be conflicts, such as if the user would override the colours of the mode line.
  • Ensured that diary and holiday colours are distinct and legible, without being too intense.

Changes to the manual or other documentation

  • Updated the doc string of the primary customisation group defined by the themes to reflect the support for the case of tritanopia.
  • Included links to the web page of the manual and the one with the sample pictures in the customisation groups. Those links appear in the various Custom UI buffers.
  • Introduced an annotation function for all commands that involve minibuffer completion. The annotations display the one-line description of each theme, making it easier for a user to pick their preferred choice (e.g. when using the modus-themes-select command).
  • Defined semantic colour mappings for "marks". These are used by dired, trashed, proced, and others. These is no change to the default appearance of what users are already familiar with, though it is now possible to override those styles.
  • Complemented the subset of semantic colour mappings for errors/warnings with "prominent" variants. Those employ a background and foreground combination. They are used in all sorts of contexts, such as for fringe errors (flymake, flycheck, …), query-replace, isearch-fail, and others.
  • Wrote sample code on how to add "padding" to the Emacs frame and the space between the Emacs windows. This makes for a presentation that some users find easier to work with.
  • Corrected the sample code for git-gutter to use the appropriate symbols from the theme palette. Thanks to Christian Tietze for the patch: The change is small and does not require copyright assignment to the Free Software Foundation.
  • Removed moody from the list of packages explicitly supported by the themes. We stopped supporting it since version 4 that removed the relevant user option for the mode line. The idea is that the mode line is better handled by the user without interference from the theme, due to the number of options available (and how brittle those can be when interacting with unpredictable face definitions). Thanks to Nicolas De Jaeghere for reminding me to remove moody from the manual:


  • Added two new preset palette overrides to make the overall presentation "warmer" or "cooler". Those are called modus-themes-preset-overrides-warmer and modus-themes-preset-overrides-cooler, respectively. The manual explains how those presets can be used. I suggest the user does not add such overrides if they intend to load any of the deuteranopia or tritanopia themes, due to the specific requirements of their design.
  • Refined the deuteranopia yellows for warnings, errors, and comments. These otherwise slight adjustments make it considerably easier to tell apart distinct elements that may be positioned close together.
  • Tweaked the deuteranopia semantic colour mappings for emails. The subject line use a more appropriate colour value, while level 3 quotes stand out a bit more than they did before, without being needlessly intense.
  • Arranged for the modus-themes-load-theme function return the value of the THEME argument it accepts. The intent is to allow other functions that call this one to capture the return value for their purposes (such as with a let binding). Thank to Oliver Epper for the feedback in issue 78 on the GitHub mirror:


Recursive semantic colour mapping

Version 4 of the Modus themes changed how all colour-related customisations are done. Instead of multiple user options with hard-coded stylistic presets, users have access to a comprehensive system of "named colours" and "semantic colour mappings". The former is an association between a name, like blue-warmer, and a colour value such as #3548cf. While semantic colour mappings are associations between syntactic/interface constructs and named colours, such as what value level 2 headings have.

When overriding the palette users can now define semantic colour mappings whose value is another such mapping. This recursion simplifies how multiple overrides are defined.

The manual offers extensive guidance on the topic of palette overrides. There are many sections that include code samples that are ready for use.

The addition of recursive semantic colour mappings solves a problem reported by Imran Khan on the mailing list where they were trying to do what made sense (recursion) but the old code did not permit as much:

I was aware of that constraint from before the release of version 4.0.0 but was hesitant to implement recursion prior to getting some feedback on the new palette overriding feature.

Also thanks to Christian Tietze for participating in that discussion on the mailing list.

Extract an arbitrary colour from a given theme's palette

I formalised the function modus-themes-get-color-value and documented it at length. It accepts a COLOR argument, which represents an entry in the palette (named colour or semantic colour value), as well as optional OVERRIDES and THEME arguments. When OVERRIDES is non-nil, modus-themes-get-color-value will read from the overrides, otherwise it will only consult the default palette value. The THEME argument specifies which theme's palette to use. In the absence of THEME, the current one is used.

I already had the "get colour" functionality internally, but was inspired to make it public after checking Sacha Chua's blog post "Making highlight-sexp follow modus-themes-toggle": Sacha was using a private function from the themes, which would have been problematic if I would ever move things around.

Remember to read the documentation of modus-themes-list-colors. That command shows a preview of the named colours. When called with a prefix argument (C-u by default), it shows a preview of the semantic colour mappings.

Option to disable other themes while loading Modus

In the past, we used to disable all other themes while loading a Modus theme. I revised this for version 4 because I learnt that some users use "themes" as bundles of arbitrary configurations.

With the addition of the modus-themes-disable-other-themes user option, which is non-nil by default, I am restoring the old behaviour: when loading a Modus theme all other themes are disabled.

This happens when the theme is loaded with the commands modus-themes-toggle and modus-themes-select, or via Lisp with the function modus-themes-load-theme.

Users who need to run multiple themes can set this option to a nil value. (Personally, I use minor modes for such stylistic bundles and never have to worry about (mapc #'disable-theme custom-enabled-themes).)

Thanks to Tony Zorman for the feedback on the mailing list, which led me to the introduction of this user option:

Renamed the named colours for bg-{added,changed,removed}-intense

They are now called bg-added-fringe, bg-changed-fringe, bg-removed-fringe. Please update any palette overrides to reflect this renaming.

Documented how to override diffs for more optional combinations

The manual includes details (with copy-pastable code) on how to achieve foreground-only diffs and/or how to have red+blue diffs instead of the default red+green or the deuteranopia yellow+blue.

Thanks to Andrew Tropin for requesting this feature. We used to provide this style in earlier versions of the themes, but now it is much more flexible. Andrew's request was done via a private channel and the information is shared with permission.

[ Since we are here, also thanks to Andrew for keeping the Guix package of the Modus themes up to date. ]

Stylistic changes

  • Guaranteed consistency between all of the line-related faces of the consult package. We use the shadow face in all interfaces where line numbers are contextual information (Occur, Grep,…). With Consult, this was not the case for commands like consult-line.

    Thanks to Daniel Mendler (also known as @minad) for bringing this matter to my attention:

  • Refined all diff colours for fringes and reduced the saturation for added lines in modus-operandi-deuteranopia, modus-vivendi-deuteranopia-theme. Thanks to Andrew Tropin for showing me some usability issues with the previous styles. This was done via a private channel and the information is shared with permission.
  • Instructed the 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.
  • Amplified the intensity of the #+begin_src text when the user option opts for (setq modus-themes-org-blocks 'gray-background). The text is now easier to discern. That user option makes the inside of the block have a gray background and the begin/end lines to have a more intense gray, giving off a "blocky" impression.
  • Made the compilation-warning face also inherit the modus-themes-bold face. This means that it responds to the value of the user option modus-themes-bold-constructs, the same way the other compilation-related mode line faces do. Thanks to Manuel Giraud for informing me about the inconsistency in compilation-warning. This was done via a private channel and the information is shared with permission.
  • Calibrated the hueness of the "nuanced" backgrounds in the modus-operandi-tinted and modus-vivendi-tinted themes. These tweaks are necessary to retain thematic consistency.
  • Reset mu4e-header-highlight-face to its intended style. I made a mistake before: I did not want the highlight face to be used in this case as it is too intense. Sorry!
  • Toned down the highlight line of the ctrlf and swiper packages. I mistakenly used the highlight before, which is too intense for the purposes of an ancillary background colour.
  • Applied "nuanced" backgrounds to the tinted Org blocks. This fixes an error of mine where I amplified the background colouration of Org blocks. This concerns the case where the user option modus-themes-org-blocks has a tinted-background value. Thanks to Mark Bestley for informing me about this in issue 60 on the GitHub mirror:
  • Removed the hardcoding of the italic style in three faces, opting instead to make them subject to the user option modus-themes-italic-constructs. The faces are marginalia-documentation, markup-attribute-face, and org-agenda-calendar-sexp.
  • Tweaked the Org agenda deadline and today schedule to use a bold weight only when the user option modus-themes-bold-constructs is set to a non-nil value. Thanks to Marko Kocic for reporting an issue that brought this matter to my attention:
  • Enforced the main foreground colour in the faces highlight and secondary-selection. This should have always been there to avoid awkward colour combinations. I realised it was missing after corresponding with Edgar Vincent on a relevant topic:
  • Made the eglot-mode-line face conditionally bold, by subjecting it to the user option modus-themes-bold-constructs.
  • Ensure that the background of the company package's popup is the same as that of the corfu package. This is a subtle neutral value.
  • Fixed the hue of the org-habit "ready" faces. It should be green and I made a mistake here. The modus-operandi-deuteranopia and modus-vivendi-deuteranopia themes do change the underlying hues though, as green is not suitable for them.
  • Simplified the keycast faces so that (i) they do not use a :box attribute that can look awkward in some cases and (ii) the name of the given command is not colourised to avoid exaggerations with the use of colour.
  • Made the powerline-active1 face inherit from mode-line instead of mode-line-active. The latter only exists in newer versions of Emacs and we do not want to make the themes break in older versions. Thanks to TitusMu for identifying this and reporting it in issue 64 on the GitHub mirror:
  • Decoupled all ediff faces from their diff-mode counterparts. Ediff does not depend on diff-mode, so we want to make each set of faces stand on its own. Thanks to Bernd Rellermeyer for pointing out this implicit dependency in issue 68 on the GitHub mirror:


  • Improved the clarity and robustness of the code that does the work of modus-themes-list-colors.
  • Refined the colour value of the blue-warmer named colour for all the light themes. It is a tiny bit darker than before.
  • Introduced a t fallback value for the user option modus-themes-completions. It makes it easier to apply the same styles for the selection line and matching characters.
  • Documented how to not extend the active region background.
  • Explained how to make tabs more or less colourful by using palette overrides.
  • Removed obsolete and redundant statements from the documentation the user option modus-themes-completions. There was (i) an outdated reference to the background value, which is no longer supported, and (ii) a statement about the standard Completions' buffer that was not useful. Thanks to Rudolf Adamkovič for informing me about this:
  • Rephrase the statement "*Completions* buffer" in the documentation in the interest of clarity. Thanks to Rudolf Adamkovič for the suggestion:
  • Updated the sample configuration of the themes with use-package in the interest of simplicity. Thanks to Sergey Nichiporchik for the contribution. Sergey's contribution is within the ~15 line limit and thus does not require copyright assignment to the Free Software Foundation.

    This was done in merge request 59 on the GitLab mirror:

    The prepatory discussion took place in issue 310 on the same mirror:

    Weeks later I further simplified the relevant samples for the sake of uniformity with the generic package setup. Thanks to Zoltan Kiraly for informing me about the fact that the :bind keyword delays the load of the package until the given command is invoked:

    Streamlining the configuration makes it easier for me to propose one set of basic configurations without the need to know what a configuration macro is doing behind the scenes.

  • Fixed an example colour in the documentation. Thanks to Russell Sim for spotting the error of me using bg-blue instead of bg-blue-intense:
  • Defined the missing modus-themes-nuanced-{red,green,yellow,blue,magenta,cyan} faces. Those are used internally to avoid repetition, though users can also rely on them for their personal configurations (same for all other Modus faces).
  • Improved the documentation on how to have a borderless mode line style by using the palette overrides.
  • Updated the manual's entry on the pdf-tools backdrop to make it use the new conventions that have been in place since version 4 of the themes. Thanks to Utkarsh Singh for the patches:
  • Add an explicit notice that the version of the themes that is built into Emacs must use the require-theme function instead of the familiar require. Built-in themes are not considered "code", due to old conventions, and are not part of the load-path that require reads from. This is not up to the theme to decide. Interested users must simply know about this important technicality. Thanks to Koen van Greevenbroek for reporting the problem that helped me identify this issue:
  • Clarified the wording of the modus-themes-with-colors setup for custom faces. It explains when this macro should be called. Thanks to user bangedorrunt for the feedback in issue 59 on the GitHub mirror:


This is the biggest release in the history of the project. Previously, a new version would consist of about 100 commits to the Git repository. This one includes 400+ of them in the span of one month. The out-of-the-box looks of the themes are largely the same as before, though I have made a lot of internal changes that affect how the themes are instantiated and customised.

As part of this development cycle, I produced publications informing users of the upcoming changes, while demonstrating the new feature of overriding the colour palette and its semantic mappings.

2022-12-03 Emacs: breaking changes coming to 'modus-themes' version 4
2022-12-07 Emacs: change colour values and mappings in Modus themes version 4
2022-12-17 Emacs: modus-themes version 4 demo [video]
2022-12-28 Emacs: note for MELPA or Git users of the Modus themes ahead of version 4

I did this in the hope of preparing users for the refactored Modus themes, though I understand that not everyone has had the chance to consult those entries. The general idea is that old custom code will not work and most user options are either removed or confined to a more precise scope.

Custom code will not work because the named colours of the palettes have changed. Many user options are made redundant by the new overrides' system. Specifically, if an option pertains to colouration, it is now done via overrides instead of the old method of me hardcoding styles (e.g. for stuff like "rainbow" headings).

More details below. This is a long entry. Please take your time to study it before upgrading to the new version of the themes.

There now are six Modus themes for more legibility needs

Quoting from the manual's "Overview" section:

The Modus themes consist of six themes, divided into three subgroups.

Main themes
modus-operandi is the project's main light theme, while modus-vivendi is its dark counterpart. These two themes are part of the project since its inception. They are designed to cover a broad range of needs and are, in the opinion of the author, the reference for what a highly legible "default" theme should look like.
Tinted themes
modus-operandi-tinted and modus-vivendi-tinted are variants of the two main themes. They slightly tone down the intensity of the background and provide a bit more color variety. modus-operandi-tinted has a set of base tones that are shades of light ochre (earthly colors), while modus-vivendi-tinted gives a night sky impression.
Deuteranopia themes
modus-operandi-deuteranopia and its companion modus-vivendi-deuteranopia are optimized for users with red-green color deficiency. This means that they do not use red and green hues for color-coding purposes, such as for diff removed and added lines. Instead, they implement colors that are discernible by users with deueteranopia or deuteranomaly (mostly yellow and blue hues).

All six themes will be included in Emacs 30 (modus-operandi and modus-vivendi are in Emacs since August 2020). I asked about it on the emacs-devel mailing list and received the approval of Eli Zaretskii, one of the Emacs maintainers. The full thread:

New command to select one of the Modus themes

The modus-themes-select command uses minibuffer completion to load one of the six themes in the collection. Loading a Modus theme disables all other Modus themes.

NOTE that Emacs can load multiple themes, which typically produces undesirable results and undoes the work of the designer. Use the disable-theme command if you are trying other themes beside the Modus collection.

New user option to specify themes to toggle

The modus-themes-to-toggle is a variable that affects the command modus-themes-toggle. By default, the toggling happens between the modus-operandi and modus-vivendi themes, as was always the case. Though with the addition of new themes, it is possible to change this to something like:

(setq modus-themes-to-toggle '(modus-operandi-deuteranopia modus-vivendi-deuteranopia))

If modus-themes-to-toggle does not specify two Modus themes, the modus-themes-toggle command will prompt with completion for a theme among the collection (this is practically the same as the aforementioned modus-themes-select command).

Colour palettes and their overrides are much more powerful

In previous versions, there were options to override colour values. Those were difficult to use as they (i) required expertise on picking the correct values and (ii) it was not clear which colour was used where.

The new version broadens the colour palette to include named colours and semantic colour mappings. Named colours are associations between a symbol and a colour value, such as (blue-warmer "#354fcf"). While semantic colour mappings apply those named colours to specific constructs such as (heading-2 yellow-faint) for all level 2 headings.

What this means is that overrides can now be targeted at semantic mappings as well to refashion practically every aspect of the themes. The manual provides lots of examples that can be copied and used directly. For example, it is possible to change the sequence of colours in headings so that, say, there is a colour-coding that denotes depth. Links to relevant entries are included in this document.

The modus-themes-common-palette-overrides user option contains entries that are shared between all the themes. While there also exist theme-specific options such as modus-operandi-palette-overrides.

For technical insight into the palette overrides, consult the manual:

For practical examples check "Stylistic variants using palette overrides" and its subsections:

Preset overrides for faint or intense colouration

The palette overrides are comprehensive and can be tweaked in a detailed way. Still, users may prefer to use the presets for a "faint" or "intense" style. These presets showcase the new feature by styling elements that were previously not subject to configuration. They also provide the convenience of a common set of stylistic patterns.

Read the "Palette override presets" section in the manual for how to use and/or extend those:

Named colours are more meaningful

In the past, the variants of the main accent colours were named like:

  • red
  • red-alt
  • red-alt-other

The improved naming scheme changes those to:

  • red
  • red-warmer
  • red-cooler

Semantically, the "warmer" variants have more yellow or red while the "cooler" ones have greater contribution of cyan or blue. As such, the user can expect green-warmer to be an olive green and green-cooler to be that of the pine (though olive trees can have blue-green colouration and pine trees can be "warmer", but I digress).

Named colours can be previewed with the commands modus-themes-list-colors (alias modus-themes-preview-colors) and modus-themes-list-colors-current (alias modus-themes-preview-colors-current).

Those commands accept a C-u prefix argument, in which case they show the semantic colour mappings.

Rationalisation of the colour palette

In previous versions, there were a lot of named colours that were added ad-hoc, such as fg-special-cold and bg-special-calm-faint. There was no clear design pattern behind them, nor was it obvious where those colours should be used. Furthermore, there were colours that were reserved for the various permutations of user options.

This was too complex for users who wanted/needed to refashion aspects of the themes. It was also difficult to maintain.

The new palettes are more streamlined and their application is more predictable. This only matters to users who tweak the themes: it makes their life easier, although it does render inapplicable any previous custom code.

Deprecation of user options

The following subsections explain the topics in further detail. The general idea for this change is that palette overrides provide a more powerful, more flexible, and less complex alternative. The code base is considerably smaller.

With overrides, I can now provide support to cases such as:

  • Users who need different sets of greys as their monitor has inadequate colour reproduction (this is much more common than you think).
  • Users who want to make individual elements stand out, such as to turn the delimiters of Org source blocks (the #+begin_src and #+end_src lines) into, say, a shade of red.
  • Users who want to tone down the TODO and DONE keywords while making headings more colourful. Or the inverse, or any combination in-between the extremes.
  • Users who want Org property drawers to be more colourful but inline code to be faint.

You get the idea… All these and many more are now possible. Whereas in the past I would either have to tell people that it is not possible or hardcode a stylistic alternative via user options, thus further complicating the code base.

Catering to all those use-cases is important due to the maximalist scope of the Modus themes: I cannot tell people to use another theme, because here is where they come for their legibility needs. This is consistent with my experience that accessibility is not a one-size-fits-all and that the most accessible design is that which is flexible, ceteris paribus.


This user option would amplify the background colour of mouse hover effects (technically, the highlight and mode-line-highlight faces). It always used a blue colour.

The same effect can now be achieved via overrides, except it is now possible to use any background colour or level of intensity that is provided by the themes' palette. The manual provides concrete examples:


This was a complex user option that was hard to test, document, and maintain. Most aspects of the Org agenda can be affected via overrides, as demonstrated in the manual:


This user option provided two shades of grey and the option for an invisible background for the Emacs fringe. The same and better can be done via overrides, as shown in the manual:


This was another complex user option that offered several stylistic variants of dubious value. The main problem it had is that linter highlights are often applied automatically, so any super intense style becomes unusable. Same when a file has lots of warnings/errors.

The semantic colour mappings I provide for this case are limited to underlines, which I think is the most usable/legible design. The manual provides concrete examples on how to tweak those:


Yet another very complex user option that I removed in the interest of maintainability. All its stylistic permutations (and more) for colours are possible via overrides:

Make the mode line borderless
Make the active mode line colorful

It is also possible to add padding to the mode line, though I explain why this was always a dirty hack:


I have redesigned all diff-related colours to improve their usability. They are less intense than before, but still stand out clearly. I am purposefully not documenting how to use overrides here as I want users to give this redesign a try. We can always document and refine things at a later point.


This was a simple, but ultimately very limited option. We can do much better with overrides because we can tweak every aspect of this interface without making the code more complex. The manual shows how to do it in style:


This was a poorly named user option that only affected inline code elements in prose. The new semantic colour mappings provide more points of entry and thus make it easier to tweak things to one's liking (including tables, property drawers, source block delimiters (the #+begin_src and #+end_src lines)), and more. The manual shows how:


The colouration of matching parentheses of the show-paren-mode can still be affected via overrides:


This was a user option that controlled the colouration of programming modes. We can reproduce it with overrides, except we now also have the freedom to adapt things further:

Make comments yellow and strings green
Make code syntax use the old alt-syntax style
Make use of alternative styles for code syntax


The colouration of links can now be affected via palette overrides, as documented in the manual:


Overrides can be used to affect the region's colouration and/or to prevent the active region highlight from changing the underlying text colour. As always, the manual covers the details:


Instead of this rather limited option, users are advised to use the new bespoke themes: modus-operandi-deuteranopia and modus-vivendi-deuteranopia. They are designed to cater to the needs of people with red-green colour deficiency.


All parts of an email composition buffer (per the standard message.el library) are configurable via palette overrides. Not just citation lines, but also message headers. The manual shows several stylistic alternatives:

Note that apart from this change, I also redesigned several faces that affect emails. This was done in the interest of consistency and to avoid some exaggerations.


I do not provide documentation on how to reproduce this style because I think it was not widely used. It is possible to do it with overrides. If anyone needs it, they are invited to contact me about it.


All "graphical" buttons use a proportionately spaced font (variable-pitch) by default as it helps with legibility. The colours of those buttons can be changed by overriding the relevant entries:

[ Use my fontaine package to affect fonts via faces and to apply presets for various contexts. ]

Changes to remaining user options

The modus-themes-headings also affects the Org agenda

This user option applies to heading level 0 through 8 and also to the agenda date and structure constructs. Here is a complete example:

(setq modus-themes-headings ; read the manual's entry of the doc string
      '((0 . (variable-pitch light 1.9))
        (1 . (variable-pitch light 1.8))
        (2 . (variable-pitch regular 1.7))
        (3 . (variable-pitch regular 1.6))
        (4 . (variable-pitch regular 1.5))
        (5 . (variable-pitch 1.4)) ; absence of weight means `bold'
        (6 . (variable-pitch 1.3))
        (7 . (variable-pitch 1.2))
        (agenda-date . (semilight 1.5))
        (agenda-structure . (variable-pitch light 1.9))
        (t . (variable-pitch 1.1))))

The modus-themes-headings no longer affects colours

All colour-related changes can be done via palette overrides. This gives the user maximum flexibility on the choice of applied colours (e.g. to have alternating contrasting foregrounds or shades of the same hue). The manual shows several examples:

The modus-themes-completions is simpler

It no longer covers popup entries as distinct from selection. This is because I revised all the applicable colours and faces to consolidate styles.

The matches and selection keys now read the same list of values.

All changes to colours are done through palette overrides, as demonstrated in the manual (again, far more flexible):

The modus-themes-prompts is simpler

This user option now only affects the typographic features of prompts. It can read any font weight, as explained in its documentation. Colours are influenced by semantic colour mappings in the palette and can be overridden accordingly. The manual shows several styles:

Auto-reload theme when configuring via Custom

The user option modus-themes-custom-auto-reload supersedes the old modus-themes-inhibit-reload. It is now set to a non-nil value by default.

We do this as a convenience for users who tweak theme settings via the Custom UI and who do not know that all modifications to user options require a theme re-load for changes to take effect. Read more in the manual:

Deprecation of public functions

The modus-themes-color and modus-themes-color-alts are deprecated. Users are invited to concentrate on the modus-themes-with-colors macro. The manual provides several examples on that front.

The modus-themes-load-themes is no longer necessary due to the refactoring of the code base.

The modus-themes-load-operandi and modus-themes-load-vivendi are superseded by the general modus-themes-load-theme. It accepts the symbol of a Modus theme as its argument.

The command modus-themes-report-bug is no more. Just send an email to the mailing list or to me privately. Find the information with M-x describe-package and then specify modus-themes. Alternatively, check my website:

Removed support for some packages

These are the most notable packages that are no longer supported:

  • dired+
  • lsp-mode
  • helm
  • treemacs

The reason is that they are very hard to use for me as an outsider. They provide lots of features, which means that I cannot easily identify faces in their context unless I become an expert in the relevant functionality.

Other removed packages:

  • artbollocks-mode. Use writegood-mode.
  • apropos. Its default faces are fine.
  • awesome-tray.
  • bbdb and ebdb. They are hard to set up, but their faces are usable.
  • calfw. Hard to set up and also seems to no longer be maintained.
  • easy-jekyll
  • dir-treeview
  • eros
  • eshell-git-prompt
  • eshell-prompt-extras
  • eshell-syntax-highlighting
  • evil-goggles
  • evil-snipe
  • evil-visual-mark-mode
  • fountain-mode. I need someone who uses it to help me test it.
  • macrostep
  • mentor
  • mini-modeline
  • mmm-mode. I need someone who uses it to help me test it.
  • org-table-sticky-header.
  • phi-grep
  • pomidor
  • rainbow-blocks. Use Adam Porter's (aka alphapapa) prism.el.
  • semantic
  • smartparens
  • spaceline
  • sx
  • telephone-line
  • tomatinho
  • winum
  • xterm-color.

Thanks for their feedback on the development of version 4

In alphabetical order:

Aleksei Pirogov
Noticed that there were no semantic colour mappings for the rainbow-delimiters (and related), thus reminding me to make the requisite arrangements. Aleksei also spotted a regression during the development of the "faint" overrides' preset. These were done on the GitHub mirror:
Anders Johansson
Pointed out some irregularities with the use of make-obsolete in the version-4 development branch. I should be using make-obsolete-variable in some cases:
Charlotte Van Petegem
Reminded me to document how to reproduce the old "alt-syntax" style by using palette overrides:
Christian Tietze
Spotted a bug in how shared palette overrides would not be read in certain scenaria. Also suggested tweaks to the documentation, which reminded me of tasks that still had to be done:
Daniel Mendler (aka @minad on GitHub)
Contacted me to comment on the general redesign. From the discussion I learnt that preset overrides would be useful. This information is shared with permission, as it was done via a private channel.
James Ferguson
Commented on the colours of the tab-bar and thus inspired me to define relevant semantic colour mappings:
Philip Kaludercic
Opined that the modus-themes-inhibit-reload should not be deprecated in the interest of usability. As noted above, its functionality is preserved and now enabled by default in modus-themes-custom-auto-reload. Through the discussion we also arrived at the concept of shared palette overrides instead of only having theme-specific ones:
Tony Zorman
Noted that there was no clear upgrade path to version 4. This helped me explain some of the technicalities of packaging and of the themes' redesign, but also to update the manual:
Reported a bug caused by the typo of an extra backtick. This was done on the GitHub mirror:
Identified some omissions in the code where I forgot to update certain Avy and Org faces. This continued in a second thread about the use of some obsolete faces:
Experimented with the overrides and thus helped me identify an area where the documentation could be improved. This was done on the GitHub mirror:
Encountered a bug that was caused by a mistake of mine that affected how themes are instantiated. This was done on the GitHub mirror:

The largest release to date

There are many more changes that I did not describe. This already lengthy document is me covering just the headline features. The gist is that I spent the last month refactoring and testing the themes to ensure they can cope with the needs of users for years to come.

I understand that the palette overrides are a new way of doing things and that some users may be inconvenienced over the short-term as they update their configurations. I strongly believe that this system is better and the Modus themes can now cover all the legibility needs of users, while also catering to their aesthetic preferences.


Modus themes version 3.0.0

By Protesilaos Stavrou <> on 2022-10-28

The version that will ship with Emacs 29

The 'modus-operandi' and 'modus-vivendi' themes (package name is
'modus-themes') have been a part of Emacs since August 2020.  Emacs 28
ships with version 1.6.0 of the themes.  Emacs 29 will include version

There is no clean upgrade path from the old version of the themes to
the current one.  Users are advised to review their configurations and
consult with the detailed manual of the themes.

I am available to answer any questions, either via my personal email
or on the official sources of the themes.  Find the full list here:

Minor breaking changes

I have changed the default value of the following user options:

1. 'modus-themes-hl-line'
2. 'modus-themes-completions'
3. 'modus-themes-fringes'

In the case of the first two, the background of the highlighted line
is made to look a bit more intense.

For the fringes, this tweak makes them visible, using a subtle grey
colour.  By default, "fringe" is an 8-pixel-wide area to the left and
right side of an Emacs window.

The intent of these changes is to make the out-of-the-box experience
consistent with the accessibility considerations of the Modus themes.
Specifically because some users may not realise that the themes are
highly customisable.

To revert to the old defaults, users must include this (or equivalent)
in their init file:

    (setq modus-themes-completions nil
          modus-themes-hl-line nil
          modus-themes-fringes nil)

As always, changes to theme user options take effect upon a reload of
the theme.

This was announced on my website:

Support for new faces or changes to existing ones

* Refined the 'telega' faces for inline code and preformatted
  elements.  The faces are 'telega-entity-type-code' and
  'telega-entity-type-pre', respectively.  This change makes them
  subject to the style specified in the user option

  Thanks to Pablo Stafforini for showing me screenshots of how they
  look, as I am not a telega/telegram user and cannot do this myself.
  Done as part of issue 170 on the GitLab mirror:

* Removed all attributes from the 'textsec-suspicious' face.  By
  default, it applies a background, but does not affect the
  foreground.  The result is thus inaccessible in many cases
  (e.g. blue links against a red background).  There is no need for
  such a background though, as the warnings are accompanied by the
  relevant emoji: ⚠️.

  To support this face, we need it to affect the foreground as well.

* Deleted some 'consult' "preview" faces in the interest of
  consistency.  This is to match the current style of the project:

* Expanded support of the built-in 'diff-mode' faces to include the
  'diff-changed-unspecified'.  It is made to look the same as
  'diff-changed', i.e. yellow-tinted.  There is a good chance that a
  user will never see this face in action (I only encountered it

* Reworked all the 'highlight-regexp' faces (like 'hi-yellow') to use
  bespoke colour values.

  These faces need to have a background that is consistent with their
  semantics.  Furthermore, they need to use the 'inverse-video'
  attribute which, in turn, affects the combinations of colour we can
  apply.  Our accented backgrounds are designed to contrast well with
  our nominal main foreground values, whereas this case demands
  coloured backgrounds that contrast nicely with what would normally
  be the main background colour.  As such, we cannot apply our
  ordinary entries from each theme's palette.  It would be inefficient
  to expand the palette of each theme just for this edge case.

  Thanks to Kevin Kainan Li for the feedback on the mailing list, where
  they informed me that the previous design was too dark/mute (and I
  agreed with that assessment) and provided feedback on my samples:

* Recoloured the 'modus-themes-completion-match-1' to use a shade of
  blue instead of cyan.  This contributes to the distinctiveness of
  those matches relative to 'modus-themes-completion-match-0' and the
  other groups.  These faces are used in completion User Interfaces,
  such as 'vertico', 'corfu', 'orderless'.  They are subject to the
  user option 'modus-themes-completions'.

* Added support for the 'olivetti-fringe' face.  Its background is the
  same as the main background, meaning that the fringes are invisible
  when 'olivetti-mode' is enabled.  Thanks to Matthias Fuchs for
  producing a report that helped me track this problem.  It was done
  in issue 46 on the GitHub mirror:


* Added the new Emacs 29 theme properties to 'modus-operandi' and
  'modus-vivendi'.  These make the themes work with the new built-in
  command 'toggle-theme'.  Thanks to Philip Kaludercic for the patch
  and for the work on this in emacs.git:

* Refrained from deprecating the 'modus-themes-toggle' command in
  favour of the new generic 'toggle-theme'.

  The 'toggle-theme' is not functionally equivalent to the command
  'modus-themes-toggle' due to the optional arguments it accepts.
  With 'toggle-theme' we are prompted to confirm loading the theme,
  due to how unsafe themes can be...  Further, we are asked to add the
  loaded theme to the list of "safe" themes.  This only applies to the
  packaged version of the 'modus-themes', not the items that are built
  into Emacs.

  These prompts are consistent with how 'load-theme' works, but not
  with what the user of 'modus-themes-toggle' has come to expect.

  Users who do not like to maintain a 'custom-file' (like me) are thus
  penalised each time they invoke the command.

  The 'modus-themes-toggle' will only be deprecated if there is, say,
  a user option in Emacs that disables those prompts each time a theme
  is loaded.  Basically, we need an arrangement that just toggles
  themes without questions.

  Thanks to Rudolf Adamkovič for suggesting the idea and to Philip
  Kaludercic for the 'toggle-theme' (and related functionality):

* Corrected the one-line description of the 'modus-vivendi' theme,
  which was describing itself as a "light" theme.

* Ensured that the manual and all doc strings in the code use American
  English, per the convention of emacs.git (my CHANGELOG still uses
  what I prefer).  Thanks to Stefan Kangas for contributing to this
  effort with a patch that properly renders 'non-nil' in the texinfo
  output as 'non-@code{nil}'.

* Made other minor tweaks and refinements.


Modus themes version 2.7.0

By Protesilaos Stavrou <> on 2022-10-01

Support for packages or faces

* Reinstated support for 'centaur-tabs'.  I had removed it in commit
  2235ce5 (done on 2022-08-02) for version 2.5.0 of the modus-themes.
  At the time I wrote:

      centaur-tabs has a bug where it cannot read the value of a face if it
      uses the standard ':inherit' attribute.  I have sent a patch to fix it,
      but have received no response since February:

      Relevant reports:

      - <>
      - <>
      - <>

      I am happy to reinstate support for centaur-tabs as soon as the package
      gets the maintenance it needs.

  My patch/pull-request is now merged and the package is actively
  maintained once again.  Hence the decision to bring back support for
  it, as promised.

* Applied styles for the 'icon-button' face of Emacs 29.

* Styled the 'log-edit-headers-separator' face of Emacs 29 (it was
  introduced upstream by a patch of mine).

* Made the 'gnus-summary-low-unread' face inherit from the 'italic'
  face like the rest of that subgroup of faces.  This helps
  differentiate it from the 'gnus-summary-high-unread' face.  Thanks
  to Mark Simpson for pointing out the possibility of conflating those
  two faces: <>.

* Covered the 'read-multiple-choice-face' by adding a noticeable
  background colour to it.  The default attributes it has, which look
  like other key bindings (bold and blue) plus an underline are
  technically okay, though the context of this face is in the echo
  area which is one line tall.  Moreover, the highlighted keys are
  inlined with other text.  These make it difficult to spot the
  highlights without some extra spacing.  I use the addition of a
  background in Org's export dispatcher interface which also has some
  unique requirements (the 'org-dispatcher-highlight' face).  The
  principle is to have theme-wide consistency (e.g. "all key bindings
  must look the same") EXCEPT when the specifics require a different
  set of styles in the interest of usability.

* Extended the coverage of the 'auctex' package's faces to include the
  'font-latex-underline-face'.  Thanks to Luis Miguel Castañeda for
  reporting a typo I made which caused an error:

* Added support for 'crontab-mode'.  Thanks to Antonio Ruiz for the
  patch: <>.  It
  is below the ~15 line threshold and thus requires no copyright
  assignment to the Free Software Foundation.

* Extended support for the 'company' package's 'company-scrollbar-bg'
  and 'company-scrollbar-fg' faces.

* Added support for the 'spell-fu' package.  Thanks to Antonio Ruiz
  for the patch: <>.
  Same as further above for Antonio's copyright status.

* Moved the 'selectrum-prescient' faces to the 'prescient' group, to
  be consistent with changes in the respective upstream packages.
  Thanks to okamsn for the contribution, which was done in pull
  request 41 on the GitHub mirror: <>.
  The user okamsn has assigned copyright assignment to the Free
  Software Foundation, although this patch is within the allowed

Change to 'fill-column-indicator'

Made the 'fill-column-indicator' face more noticeable.  It is what the
'display-fill-column-indicator-mode' uses to draw a line on where the
'fill-column' is.

This change is in response to private messages I received as well as
this, at parts impolite and toxic, thread that I refrained from
participating in:

[ I do not follow that mailing list, by the way.  All my projects have
  multiple communication channels and I always reply in a timely
  fashion.  Social media, fora about Emacs, generic mailing lists,
  etc. are not among those channels.
  <>. ]

The core idea is that the previous design was (1) considered
"invisible" and (2) it prevented the customisation of the user option

I am addressing point 1, but point 2 puts us in an awkward spot as we
would then not be allowed to use a background and a height value.  Not
doing so produces a dashed line by default, with the dashes further
apart the greater the line-spacing is (especially in, say, Org
headings that can have a greater height than paragraph text).  It
looks broken and I keep getting requests to fix what is not the
themes' fault.  So no, the themes will remain opinionated in this
regard by ignoring 'display-fill-column-indicator-character' through
the styling they apply to make the line contiguous.

For context, also read Emacs bug#57424 and please don't take my words
in a private message out of context.  If I need to state my opinion in
a public setting, I know how to do it.

Refinement to modus-vivendi 'bg-diff-focus-removed' colour

Made the default removed diff background slightly more luminant.  The
colour is seen in diff-mode, ediff, and the Magit focused diff hunk.

When the user option 'modus-themes-diffs' is set to either 'bg-only' or
'desaturated', this colour is used to highlight word-wise ("refined")
changes.  The increased luminance lets it stand out more compared to the
more subtle backdrop.

Thanks to Kévin Le Gouguec for bringing this issue to my attention and
for discussing it with me:

Note about 'goto-address-mode'

Quote from the manual:

    The built-in 'goto-address-mode' uses heuristics to identify URLs and
    email addresses in the current buffer.  It then applies a face to them
    to change their style.  Some packages, such as 'notmuch', use this
    minor-mode automatically.

    The faces are not declared with 'defface', meaning that it is better
    that the theme does not modify them.  The user is thus encouraged to
    consider including (or equivalent) this in their setup:

        (setq goto-address-url-face 'link
              goto-address-url-mouse-face 'highlight
              goto-address-mail-face 'link
              goto-address-mail-mouse-face 'highlight)

    My personal preference is to set 'goto-address-mail-face' to nil, as
    it otherwise adds too much visual noise to the buffer (email addresses
    stand out more, due to the use of the uncommon '@' character but also
    because they are often enclosed in angled brackets).

Changes to the manual

* Fixed a few typos and ensured that spelling using American English
  as that is what emacs.git requires.

* Added the missing ':config' keywords from the example configuration
  of the 'circadian' package.  Thanks to Koen van Greevenbroek for the
  patch: <>.


Modus themes version 2.6.0

By Protesilaos Stavrou <> on 2022-08-19

Changes to supported faces or face groups

* Made the 'font-lock-warning-face' adapt to comments.  This changes the
  face from a yellow to a red hue when the user adds a value to
  'modus-themes-syntax' which includes 'yellow-comments' property.
  Before, this face was indistinguishable from yellow comments due to a
  regression in version 2.5.0 of the themes.  Thanks to Augusto Stoffel
  and Manuel Uberti for their feedback on the mailing list:

* Applied a consistent foreground color (a not-so-intense yellow hue) to
  the 'org-checkbox' and 'markdown-gfm-checkbox-face'.  The change comes
  from the discussion on the mailing list where it became apparent that
  a bit of colour is needed for such constructs:

  Thanks to Rudolf Adamkovič, Christian Tietze, and Karthik Chikmagalur
  for their participation.

* Added support for the 'mu4e-related-face'.  Thanks to Simon Pugnet for
  the feedback on the mailing list:

* Included support for the 'consult-preview-insertion' face.  There are
  two reasons for adding this:

  1. It decouples it from the 'region' face, which means that the user
     option 'modus-themes-region' no longer has an unintended effect on

  2. It makes it look consistent with the 'rectangle-preview' face (see
     it in action with C-x SPC, move point down a few lines, type C-t
     and then insert some text).  I feel these sort of previews need to
     look the same, though I don't have a strong attachment to the style
     now in use.

Removed support for the 'solaire' package

The 'solaire-mode' package dims the background of what it considers
ancillary "UI" buffers, such as the minibuffer and Dired buffers.  The
Modus themes used to support Solaire on the premise that the user was
(i) opting in to it, (ii) understood why certain buffers were more gray,
and (iii) knew what other adjustments had to be made to prevent broken
visuals (e.g. the default style of the 'modus-themes-completions' uses a
subtle gray background for the selection, which with Solaire becomes
practically invisible).

However, the assumption that users opt in to this feature does not
always hold true.  There are cases where it is enabled by default such
as in the popular Doom Emacs configuration.  Thus, the unsuspecting user
who loads 'modus-operandi' or 'modus-vivendi' without the requisite
customizations is getting a sub-par experience; an experience that we
did not intend and cannot genuinely fix.

[ Relevant reading about "The case of git-gutter, the modus-themes, and
  Doom Emacs":
  <> ]

Because the Modus themes are meant to work everywhere, we cannot make an
exception for Doom Emacs and/or Solaire users.  Furthermore, we shall
not introduce hacks, such as by adding a check in all relevant faces to
be adjusted based on Solaire or whatever other package.  Hacks of this
sort are unsustainable and penalize the entire userbase.  Besides, the
themes are built into Emacs and we must keep their standard high.

The fundamental constraint with Solaire is that Emacs does not have a
real distinction between "content" and "UI" buffers.  For themes to work
with Solaire, they need to be designed around that package.  Such is an
arrangement that compromises on our accessibility standards and/or
hinders our efforts to provide the best possible experience while using
the Modus themes.

As such, 'solaire-mode' is not---and will not be---supported by the
Modus themes (or any other of my themes, for that matter).  Users who
want it must style the faces manually.  Below is some sample code, based
on what we cover at length in the manual:

    (defun my-modus-themes-custom-faces ()
         `(solaire-default-face ((,class :inherit default :background ,bg-alt :foreground ,fg-dim)))
         `(solaire-line-number-face ((,class :inherit solaire-default-face :foreground ,fg-unfocused)))
         `(solaire-hl-line-face ((,class :background ,bg-active)))
         `(solaire-org-hide-face ((,class :background ,bg-alt :foreground ,bg-alt))))))

    (add-hook 'modus-themes-after-load-theme-hook #'my-modus-themes-custom-faces)

Changes to the manual

* Added a missing parenthesis to a sample code block.  Thanks to Paul
  David for the contribution in pull request 39 on the GitHub mirror:

* Clarified the wording of individual statements pertaining to the need
  of reloading a theme for changes to user options to become effective.


Modus themes version 2.5.0

By Protesilaos Stavrou <> on 2022-08-03

This entry documents the changes made to the project since the
publication of version 2.4.0 on 2022-06-01.  It spans more than 60
commits to an already stable project.

The 'modus-operandi' and 'modus-vivendi' themes are built into Emacs-28
(latest stable release) or later, and are available on GNU ELPA as well
as other archives.  Emacs-28 ships version 1.6.0, while the current
'master' branch (i.e. Emacs-29) and, by extension, GNU ELPA include the
latest tagged release.  The packaged version is available as

Read the manual inside Emacs by evaluating:

    (info "(modus-themes) Top")

Or visit: <> (the website only
documents the latest version).

Enhancement to the user option 'modus-themes-headings'

The user option 'modus-themes-headings' now reads a level 0 heading in
addition to numbers 1--8.  Heading 0 accepts the same list of properties
as all other levels (please consult the doc string of the user option or
the corresponding entry in the manual).  Currently only the value of the
Org #+title is affected (face is 'org-document-title'), but we may cover
more faces if needed.

Sample configuration:

    ;; The `modus-themes-headings' is an alist with lots of possible
    ;; combinations, including per-heading-level tweaks: read the
    ;; manual or its doc string.
    (setq modus-themes-headings
          '((0 . (variable-pitch light (height 2.2)))
            (1 . (rainbow variable-pitch light (height 1.6)))
            (2 . (rainbow variable-pitch light (height 1.4)))
            (3 . (rainbow variable-pitch regular (height 1.3)))
            (4 . (rainbow regular (height 1.2)))
            (5 . (rainbow (height 1.1)))
            (t . (variable-pitch extrabold)))

Given this change, I am also tweaking the default foreground value of
the 'org-document-title'.  It is a bit more saturated than before, but
remains close to the spirit of the previous one.

Thanks to Rudolf Adamkovič for proposing the idea on the mailing list:

Stylistic tweak to the user option 'modus-themes-syntax'

Prevented the 'alt-syntax' property from desaturating the effect of the
'yellow-comments' property when the two would be combined.  Such as:

    (setq modus-themes-syntax '(alt-syntax yellow-comments))

The previous design was incorrect because it was always using the faint
variant of the yellow comments, as if the user had specified:

    (setq modus-themes-syntax '(alt-syntax faint yellow-comments))

[ Read the doc string of 'modus-themes-syntax' or the manual for an
  explanation of all properties and their combinations. ]

Review of the Isearch (and related) colours

Emacs' standard search has a face for the currently matched query and
all its inactive matches.  The faces are 'isearch' and 'lazy-highlight',
respectively.  Before, we were using a green background by default for
the 'isearch' face and a cyan background for the 'lazy-highlight'.  This
was a choice that was made in the early days of the project when the
palette was not yet fully realised.

Green and cyan do not always contrast well side-by-side (subject to
hardware capabilities and environmental lighting), so the 'isearch' face
also had an added bold weight.  This was not my preference, but it was
necessary under the circumstances.  The previous combinations were also
not ideal when the user option 'modus-themes-deuteranopia' was set to a
non-nil value: the blue background which was used instead of the green
one could be conflated with the subtle teal of the 'lazy-highlight'
under certain circumstances, such as poor colour reproduction at the
monitor level or in terminal emulators with limited colour support.

The new colours (intense yellow for active matches and subtle cyan for
lazy ones) are complementary, meaning that they are naturally easy to
tell apart.

[ Read "Colour theory and techniques used in the Modus themes":
  <> ]

These specific hues are also well-suited for users with red-green colour
deficiency: yellow stays as-is, while the cyan colour becomes a bit more
grey though remains distinct.  As such, we do not need to run the helper
function 'modus-themes--deuteran' to set the style based on the value of

The new colours do not clash with the style of the relevant 'match' face
(used by 'M-x occur', 'M-x grep', and related), nor with the various
permutations of the 'region' face (subject to the user option

Finally, the bold weight has been removed from the 'isearch' face.  It
was always a kludge.  Also, it would make paragraphs rendered in the
'variable-pitch' face (or proportional fonts in general) jump around as
the user would move between the matches, because bold letters occupy
more space than their regular weight counterparts so they affect the
length of the line.  This problem was reported by Augusto Stoffel on the
mailing list: <>.

Rewrote parts of the colour preview commands

The 'modus-themes-list-colors', 'modus-themes-list-colors-current' are
commands that produce a buffer which shows previews of every entry in
the palette.  Their code has been simplified and they now produce a
warning when the display terminal has limited colour support.
Furthermore, they read any overrides as specified in the user options
'modus-themes-operandi-color-overrides', 'modus-themes-vivendi-color-overrides'.

The "summertime" re-spin of colour overrides

The manual now includes a complete hand-crafted example of a pair of
themes that override the default palette.  This is done as a technology
demonstration.  It is not considered an "official" extension of the
Modus themes and will never be part of the code base as it does not
conform with our lofty accessibility standards.  However, I took great
care in picking the colour overrides in the hope that users will (i)
have a usable theme, should they opt for it, and (ii) they recognise the
potential of our colour-overriding feature.

Screenshots and related information:

Thanks to user “Summer Emacs” for (i) suggesting the name “summertime”,
(ii) testing variants of this in her setup, and (iii) sending me
feedback on possible tweaks and refinements. All errors are my own.

The idea for this project came from an exchange where Summer discovered
an old theme of mine (from my pre-Emacs days) and asked if I had
anything like it for Emacs.  Voilà!

[ This information is shared with permission. ]

As for whether I have more plans... "Perhaps!" ;)

Removed support for certain packages or face groups

I periodically install and use the packages we support to see if they
have any updates we need to cover but also to confirm that they work.
Usually, the user does not learn about this work, as I don't need to
make any changes or will make some minor tweaks.  When I think that the
package is not in a good shape, I remove it from the list of explicitly
supported packages, meaning that the modus-themes no longer cover the
faces it defines.  The removal of any package is done on a case-by-case
basis.  If you disagree with this decision, please inform me about and I
shall reconsider.

* centaur-tabs :: Those of you who have been reading these release notes
  are aware of a bug in centaur-tabs which basically prevents us from
  using the standard ':inherit' attribute to style the centaur-tabs
  faces.  I have sent a patch to fix it, but have received no response
  since February: <>.
  To me, this gives the package the "unmaintained" status, though I am
  happy to revert the change as soon as it gets the maintenance it

  Relevant reports (and I got many others in my private inbox):

  - <>
  - <>
  - <>

* cursor-flash :: its default face should be visible enough.

* dynamic-ruler :: The package does not build on my Emacs 29.  Also, its
  default faces are usable even without our recolouring.

* emacs-dashboard :: Its default faces inherit from basic faces that we
  already support.

* frog-menu :: I have not seen this package being used anywhere.  I
  suspect it is because it has not found a niche between transient,
  hydra, and embark.

* mct :: A few months ago I announced that its development is
  discontinued.  Either use vertico or switch to what Emacs provides as
  a built-in option: <>.

* org-treescope :: The package points to a GitHub repo, which is
  archived.  The current source is on GitLab, but the package is not
  updated accordingly.  This makes me believe it is not actively
  maintained and am thus removing it from the list.

* paradox :: When I tried paradox, it took over my C-c g binding which I
  have for Magit.  As an Emacs user, I consider this an unacceptable
  transgression.  Looking at paradox's git repo, the project is not
  maintained.  If things change, I am happy to reinstate support for it.

* vc-annotate (built-in) :: It has not been working properly for a long
  time now.  Colours are unset and are not re-applied when switching
  between the 'modus-operandi' and 'modus-vivendi' themes.

  Furthermore, the way 'vc-annotate-color-map' intersects with
  'vc-annotate-background-mode' puts us in an awkward spot: when the
  mode is non-nil, the mapped values are used as backgrounds WITHOUT
  giving us the chance to make the appropriate adjustments to the
  foreground (so we end up with inaccessible colour combinations).  This
  means that we must fix a problem which is not ours by overriding the
  user option of the background altogether.  A theme outright disabling
  user options is bad form.

  Even documenting a user-level set of configurations will not suffice,
  as the results are unreliable.  I tried the code which I copy further
  below to test annotation with/without background, plus the change in
  values when switching between modus-operandi and modus-vivendi.
  Again, colours are not updated properly (I know the buffer of 'M-x
  vc-annotate' needs to be generated again), as 'modus-operandi' may
  retain the values set by 'modus-vivendi' or vice-versa.

  Ultimately, I feel 'vc-annotate' needs to be refactored to use
  ordinary faces in ordinary ways.  Or, at least, not try to outsmart
  the user/theme about the choice of colours.

  Thanks to Philip Kaludercic for starting the thread about the
  'vc-annotate-background-mode' which reminded me about this problem:

  The code I alluded to:

      (setq vc-annotate-background-mode nil)

      (defun my-modus-themes-vc-annotate ()
        ;; Actual values are for demo purposes
          (if vc-annotate-background-mode
              (setq vc-annotate-background bg-alt
                    `((20 .  ,red-intense-bg)
                      (40 .  ,red-subtle-bg)
                      (60 .  ,red-refine-bg)
                      (80 .  ,yellow-intense-bg)
                      (100 . ,yellow-subtle-bg)
                      (120 . ,yellow-refine-bg)
                      (140 . ,magenta-intense-bg)
                      (160 . ,magenta-subtle-bg)
                      (180 . ,magenta-refine-bg)
                      (200 . ,cyan-intense-bg)
                      (220 . ,cyan-subtle-bg)
                      (240 . ,cyan-refine-bg)
                      (260 . ,green-intense-bg)
                      (280 . ,green-subtle-bg)
                      (300 . ,green-refine-bg)
                      (320 . ,blue-intense-bg)
                      (340 . ,blue-subtle-bg)
                      (360 . ,blue-refine-bg)))
            (setq vc-annotate-background nil
                  `((20 . ,red)
                    (40 . ,magenta)
                    (60 . ,magenta-alt)
                    (80 . ,red-alt)
                    (100 . ,yellow)
                    (120 . ,yellow-alt)
                    (140 . ,fg-special-warm)
                    (160 . ,fg-special-mild)
                    (180 . ,green)
                    (200 . ,green-alt)
                    (220 . ,cyan-alt-other)
                    (240 . ,cyan-alt)
                    (260 . ,cyan)
                    (280 . ,fg-special-cold)
                    (300 . ,blue)
                    (320 . ,blue-alt)
                    (340 . ,blue-alt-other)
                    (360 . ,magenta-alt-other))))))

      (add-hook 'modus-themes-after-load-theme-hook #'my-modus-themes-vc-annotate)

Revised supported faces or face groups

* Enhanced the default background colour of the current date in the Org
  agenda.  This is a subtle change, all things considered, which makes
  it easier to discern where the highlight is while it remains close to
  the spirit of the previous design.  The idea is to not add too much
  saturation here, because the buffer is already "busy" with lots of
  highlights.  Thanks to Daniel Mendler for the feedback on the mailing
  list: <>.

* Restyled the 'M-x man' and 'M-x woman' faces to have a bit more
  saturation.  A while ago I desaturated the 'Man-overstrike' and
  'woman-bold' faces on the premise that the added bold weight would be
  sufficient.  However, the bold weight may sometimes not draw the
  desired attention, such as at small point sizes or with certain font
  configurations.  As such, the added intensity in colour is necessary.

* Changed the Selectrum quick key faces ('selectrum-quick-keys-match'
  and 'selectrum-quick-keys-highlight') to have the same style as Avy,
  Vertico's own "quick keys", and related.  For a technical analysis,
  read "Modus themes: case study on Avy faces and colour combinations":

* Made internal adjustments so that 'M-x list-packages' inherits from
  the standard 'success', 'warning', and 'error' faces instead of adding
  its own face attributes.  In practice, the user will notice a change
  for new packages in the listing if 'modus-themes-deuteranopia' is

* Introduced the same inheritance rules as above for the 'syslog'
  package (mutatis mutandis).

* Increased the saturation of the 'package-status-available' face, which
  is shown in the 'M-x list-packages' buffer.  The overall effect is
  subtle, though sufficiently noticeable.

* Revised the faces of the 'deft' package to make it look consistent
  with the rest of the theme's relevant interfaces (to the extent
  possible as Deft uses a non-standard presentation).

* Aligned the 'speedbar-highlight-face' with the user option

* Refined the 'highlight-thing' face (see package of the same name).
  This makes it stand out more and it also aligns it with the standard
  'match' face, which is pertinent here.

* Amplified the saturation of the 'dired-git-info' face.  Makes it
  easier to differentiate the Git commit text from the Dired listing,
  without drawing too much attention to itself.

* Adjusted the hue of the 'easy-jekyll-help-face' from teal to blue.
  This makes it look more like the standard 'help-key-binding' face,
  although 'easy-jekyll' does not align with upstream Emacs in this

* Intensified the background of 'rectangle-preview' to work even in
  cases where a grey background is already on display.  This face is
  used for the 'string-rectangle' command (e.g. C-x SPC to draw a
  rectangle and C-t to insert text in its stead---works as a simple
  "multiple cursors" on a straight line).

Support for new faces or face groups

* chart (built-in)
* denote
* edmacro-label (Emacs 29)
* info+
* leerzeichen

A comment on 'info+'.  As is the case with PACKAGE+ packages from the
Emacs Wiki, info+ defines lots of faces that hardcode colour values
instead of inheriting from basic faces.  It does so for no good reason
and the results will likely not look decent in any theme.  Furthermore,
these faces colourise too much even when the colour values can be
appropriately combined (ceteris paribus), making the buffer harder to

The support I add for info+ is consistent with the design principles of
the modus-themes, one of which is to avoid exaggerations as those
indirectly affect legibility.  As such, some of the changes I introduce
here outright remove colouration, while others align the various
constructs with the overall aesthetic of the themes.

Note that, by default, info+ adds clickable buttons to glossary terms.
This produces awkward combinations such as by buttonising the "string"
component inside of what actually is a function's argument.  So you
have, say, FORMAT-[STRING] where "[]" represents the button: the FORMAT
gets one face and the [STRING] another, even though they are part of a
single argument.  To me this looks broken and is counter-productive,
though it is not up to the theme to decide how packages fontify the
various constructs.  At any rate, button styles at the theme level are
controlled by the user option 'modus-themes-box-buttons'.

Thanks to Jonas Collberg for the feedback in issue 33 over at the GitHub
mirror: <>.


* Named the mailing list address as the =Maintainer:= of Denote.
  Together with the other package headers, they help the user find our
  primary sources and/or communication channels.  This change conforms
  with work being done upstream in package.el by Philip Kaludercic.  I
  was informed about it here:

* Addressed byte compilation warnings in doc strings pertaining to the
  use of literal quotes.  Thanks to Matt Armstrong and Rudolf Adamkovič
  for the feedback on the mailing list:

* Fixed the ':link' value in the declaration of the user options
  'modus-themes-operandi-color-overrides', 'modus-themes-vivendi-color-overrides'.
  It once again directs to the correct heading in the manual.

* Documented all the aforementioned, where necessary.

* Mentioned my 'fontaine' and 'lin' packages in the relevant sections of
  the manual.  The former helps set fonts and switch between font
  presents.  The latter is a stylistic variant of hl-line (its
  documentation explains its raison d'être).


Modus themes version 2.4.0

By Protesilaos Stavrou <> on 2022-06-01

This entry documents the changes made to the project since the
publication of version 2.3.0 on 2022-04-01.  It spans more than 60
commits to an already stable project.

The 'modus-operandi' and 'modus-vivendi' themes are built into Emacs-28
(next stable release) or later, and are available on GNU ELPA as well as
other archives.  Emacs-28 ships version 1.6.0, while the current
'master' branch (i.e. Emacs-29) and, by extension, GNU ELPA include the
latest tagged release.  The packaged version is available as

Read the manual inside Emacs by evaluating:

    (info "(modus-themes) Top")

Or visit: <>.

Migration to SourceHut

The sources of the project are as follows:

- Git repo on SourceHut: <>
  - Mirrors:
    - GitHub: <>
    - GitLab: <>
- Mailing list: <>

- Official manual: <>
- Change log: <>
- Colour palette: <>
- Sample pictures: <>

It is still possible to open issues on either of the mirrors and I will
handle them in a timely fashion, though I encourage you to at least try
the mailing list workflow---it is ordinary email (just remember to
"reply to all").

Further reading that is relevant to SourceHut:

- Moving all my Emacs projects to SourceHut:

- Primer on formatting Git patches with Emacs (Magit):

Problems with byte compilation on Emacs 29

For some time between mid-April to mid-May, users of Emacs 29 could not
byte compile the Modus themes.  This has now been fixed in emacs.git,
per bug#55414: <>.
Thanks to everyone involved (A-Z): Alan Mackenzie, Eli Zaretskii, Lars
Ingebrigtsen, Mattias Engdegård, Stefan Monnier.

Messages about invalid face attributes while using the centaur-tabs

I mentioned this issue in the previous change log as well: upstream does
not allow us to use indirection in faces (the ':inherit' attribute).
This is not our bug.  It is standard behaviour for themes to use

I have an open pull request on the matter (since 2022-02-24):

Relevant reports:

- <>
- <>
- <>

Support for new faces or face groups

Directly supported

These are packages whose faces we override to make them work with the

- 'calibredb'.  I have tried to limit the wanton use of colour in the
  relevant buffers and also align the package with the overall style of
  the themes.  The currently selected line is affected by the user
  option 'modus-themes-hl-line'.

  Thanks to Ivan Popovych for the feedback on the official mailing list:

  Ivan also introduced some new faces to 'calibredb', which I helped
  test.  See: <>.

- 'ein' (Emacs IPython Notebook).  We support its code blocks with the
  appropriate colouration, while avoiding exaggerations.  Thanks to
  Maxime Tréca for the feedback in issue 31 over at the GitHub mirror:

- 'tree-sitter'.  My intent was to reduce the overall colouration
  produced by the default 'tree-sitter' faces.  These tweaks give us
  good results, though there still are some cases where 'tree-sitter'
  exaggerates the styles it uses, such as by combining types with
  constants to produce ad-hoc (anonymous) faces.  We cannot do anything
  about anonymous faces at the theme level.  As such, we may get an
  additional bold weight (when 'modus-themes-bold-constructs' is
  non-nil) when we would rather not have it and/or a different colour
  than the one desired.

  Thanks to Przemysław Kryger for the feedback in issue 303 over at the
  GitLab mirror: <>.

  If you are involved in the 'tree-sitter' project, please eliminate all
  anonymous faces and replace them with symbols (i.e. defface) that are
  editable by the user/theme.  You are welcome to contact me if you need

- 'vundo'

Indirectly supported

These are packages that either (i) inherit from base faces we already
support, or (ii) use colours from the Modus themes' palette.  A list of
them is available in the manual.

- egerrit.  an in-development package by Niklas Eklund which provides an
  Emacs interface to Gerrit: <>.

Changes to supported face

- Reworked the internal functions that handle the styling of diffs to
  allow the user option 'modus-themes-deuteranopia' to combine with the
  styles of the 'modus-themes-diffs' option.

  Before, when 'modus-themes-deuteranopia' was non-nil it would affect
  diffs by forcibly applying the default style of 'modus-themes-diffs'
  (fairly prominent background colours) with the primary difference of
  replacing greens with blues.

  Now all combinations work as expected.  For example:

      (setq modus-themes-deuteranopia t
            modus-themes-diffs 'desaturated) ; nil, 'desaturated, 'bg-only

  Thanks to Kevin Le Gouguec for the feedback on the mailing list:

- Conducted a major (and highly demanding) review of the colours used by
  Avy in the interest of optimising the contrast between its constructs.
  Read the analysis: <>.

  Thanks to Daniel Mendler and Damien Cassou for their feedback on the
  mailing list:

  - <>
  - <>

- Updated the 'vertico-quick' faces to be consistent with Avy.

- Made the 'line-number' face conform with the user option
  'modus-themes-mixed-fonts'.  This means that if the user option is
  non-nil, line numbers of 'display-line-numbers-mode' will use a
  monospaced typeface at all times (inheriting the 'fixed-pitch' face,
  as explained in the themes' manual).  Otherwise they use whatever font
  the 'default' face has.  This makes it better when the user enables
  'variable-pitch-mode' but still wants spacing-sensitive constructs to
  remain monospaced.

  Thanks to Christopher League for the feedback in issue 302 over at the
  GitLab mirror: <>.

- Aligned the regexp construct faces with the meaning of the user option
  'modus-themes-bold-constructs'.  They will use a bold weight only when
  the user option is non-nil.  This design is consistent with all other
  aspects of syntax highlighting.  These specific faces were
  unconditionally bold due to a mistake of mine.

  Remember to check the manual on what "a bold weight" means, as we make
  everything easy to customise (e.g. if you prefer a semibold weight):

- Removed the typographic emphasis from the 'file-name-shadow' face by
  no longer inheriting the 'italic' face.  Thanks to Nicolas De Jaeghere
  for the patch.

  [ Nicolas has assigned copyright to the Free Software Foundation. ]

- Stopped using the 'inverse-video' face attribute in 'powerline'.  We
  now apply the colours directly.  The reason is that 'inverse-video'
  makes it tricky to override the face as it swaps the foreground with
  the background.  That behaviour is only needed in special cases:
  'powerline' is not one of them.

  Thanks to Thibaut Verron for the feedback in issue 305 over at the
  GitLab mirror: <>.

- Ensured that git commit/rebase comments (as seen in the workflow of
  the 'magit' package) inherit from appropriate font-lock faces.  This
  makes it possible to customise 'font-lock-comment-face' and have the
  changes apply to those elements as well.  Such a customisation can,
  for example, involve the change of the font family or the addition of
  a background colour.  We want the whole comment block, including those
  special keywords from Git, to look consistent. This change also makes
  git-{commit,rebase}-comment-heading attain the foreground colour of
  comments, instead of the default one (black or white), making it look
  part of the comment block.

- Tweaked the 'fountain' package comments to be the same as all others.
  This avoids inconsistencies, such as when the user opts for something
  like the following:

      (setq modus-themes-syntax '(yellow-comments))

- Disabled padding in the 'keycast' package, meaning that the box around
  the key indicator always has the same height, even if the user opts
  for a padding value in 'modus-themes-mode-line' (read the manual or
  its doc string for how to assign a padding).

  This is in response to a change upstream that introduces the
  'keycast-tab-bar-mode', which re-uses the faces that were originally
  intended for the mode line in the tab-bar.  Ideally, upstream will
  provide distinct faces for each context so that we can have padding in
  the mode line but not the tab-bar.  However, I have not had the
  opportunity to suggest such a change and/or prepare the relevant patch
  (it is not straightforward).

- Refined some colour combinations for the "alternative syntax" style
  that is available when the user option 'modus-themes-syntax' includes
  the 'alt-syntax' property.  These tweaks pertain to changes in hue
  that improve the appearance of certain faces in their context.

- Enabled conditional use of 'fixed-pitch' for key bindings.  This
  happens when the user option 'modus-themes-mixed-fonts' is non-nil
  (all spacing-sensitive elements become monospaced even if the user
  opts for a default font that is proportionately spaced or activates
  the 'variable-pitch-mode').  Thanks to Manuel Giraud for the patch.

  [ Manuel has assigned copyright to the Free Software Foundation. ]

- Covered the face rotation option of 'highlight-changes-mode'.  It is
  done with the 'highlight-changes-rotate-faces' command when
  'highlight-changes-mode' is enabled (the mode is built into Emacs).

  Thanks to Philip Kaludercic for the feedback on the mailing list:<>

Updates to the manual

- Acknowledged Andrew Tropin as one of the contributors to the Guix
  package of the Modus themes.  The latest patch to that end:

- Rewrote the note on 'fill-column-indicator' to show how the user can
  use a thicker line than the one we style by default.

- Wrote a note in manual about 'php-mode' multiline comments which use
  the 'font-lock-doc-face' instead of 'font-lock-comment-face'.  Sample
  code is provided to ensure consistency between all types of comments.

- Added note about custom 'hl-todo' colours, specifically the user
  option 'hl-todo-keyword-faces' (which the themes customise as an
  exception to the rule, otherwise the default colours would not always
  be accessible).

  This is in relation to the mailing list thread on the matter with
  feedback from Vincent Foley and Christian Tietze:

- Elaborated on the style of 'git-gutter' faces in Doom Emacs, which are
  not as the Modus themes intend.  Basically, the problem is that Doom
  changes the way that package draws its bitmaps: the faces we configure
  no longer appear as intended and sensitive colouration is lost.

  Thanks to Gonçalo Marrafa for reporting the issue, testing the code we
  recommend on Doom Emacs, and suggesting the inclusion of the reference
  to the 'after!' call (a macro that Doom defines).


- Dedicated the colours of the Modus themes---just the colours---to the
  public domain.  The Emacs package as a whole is still distributed
  under the terms of the GNU General Public License.  The announcement:

- Stopped using a timestamp in the modus-themes.el file.  It could lead
  to situations where there was a mismatch between the latest change and
  the recorded time.  It also introduced a barrier to entry for
  contributors, as they need to set up 'time-stamp.el'.

- Removed the unnecessary 'require' call to the 'seq' library and made
  the necessary changes.  Thanks to Daniel Mendler for the patch.

  [ Daniel has assigned copyright to the Free Software Foundation. ]

- Applied the correct order of inheritance for all markup faces.  This
  fixes a problem where not all typographic attributes where applied to
  the faces when 'modus-themes-mixed-fonts' was non-nil and the value of
  'modus-themes-markup' included '(bold italic)'.

- Tweaked how 'org-date' conditionally uses 'fixed-pitch'.  Basically,
  we remove an internal stylistic inconsistency.  There is no
  user-facing change.  Thanks to Manuel Giraud for the patch.

- Implemented the command 'modus-themes-report-bug'.  It might help
  users find the email address of the mailing list and get started with
  the email-centric workflow of SourceHut.  Note this is but a first
  step in that direction.  If you think it can be improved, please
  report as much (or send a patch).

- Included the command 'modus-themes-version', which prints in the echo
  area the current version of the package.  With an optional prefix
  argument, it inserts the string at point.

  The version either is the last tagged release, such as '2.4.0', or an
  in-development version like '2.5.0-dev'.  As we use semantic
  versioning, tags of the '2.4.1' sort are not considered: those would
  count as part of '2.5.0-dev'.


Modus themes version 2.3.0

By Protesilaos Stavrou <> on 2022-04-01

This entry documents the changes made to the project since the
publication of version 2.2.0 on 2022-02-23.  It spans more than 70

To access the URL of the manual visit:
<>.  Or read it in the Emacs
Info reader by evaluating:

    (info "(modus-themes) Top")

The 'modus-operandi' and 'modus-vivendi' themes are built into Emacs-28
(next stable release) or later, and are available on GNU ELPA as well as
other archives.  Emacs-28 ships version 1.6.0, while the current
'master' branch (i.e. Emacs-29) and, by extension, GNU ELPA include the
latest tagged release.

Customisation options

* The 'modus-themes-completions' now accepts a 'text-also' property for
  the 'selection' key.  This has the effect of colourising the current
  line's text.  Whereas the default does not change the text colour,
  re-using whatever underlying colours are available.  Consult the doc
  string of this user option, as it provides for fine-grained control of
  how completion UIs may look.  Thanks to Morgan Willcock whose feedback
  in issue 278 inspired me to add the 'text-also' property:

* The 'modus-themes-box-buttons' now accepts an 'all-buttons' property.
  It applies whatever other style is used for the boxed buttons to the
  generic 'widget.el'.  By default, the faces of 'widget.el' do not look
  like graphical buttons: they have a bold weight and a foreground
  colour instead.  Examples where those are used are the Notmuch "hello"
  buffer and the main view of the 'elfeed-summary' package.  Thanks to
  Daniel Mendler, Rudolf Adamkovič, and Tony Zorman for their feedback
  in issue 296: <>.

* The 'modus-themes-intense-mouseovers' is a boolean user option which
  makes mouse hover effects more intense when set to a non-nil value.
  By default, mouseovers use a cyan background value.  This changes it
  to a more prominent blue.  Thanks to John Haman for the feedback in
  issue 290: <>.

* The user options 'modus-themes-box-buttons', 'modus-themes-mode-line',
  'modus-themes-org-agenda', and 'modus-themes-headings' can now read a
  number value as a cons cell.  The old method of a plain number
  continues to work.  This makes it possible to be more descriptive on
  what a given value signifies.  Each doc string describes the
  technicalities.  Here are samples that yield identical results:

      (setq modus-themes-mode-line '(accented 0.9 borderless 2))
      (setq modus-themes-mode-line '(accented (heigh 0.9) borderless (padding 2)))

  Thanks to Daniel Mendler for proposing this idea in issue 282:

Attempted bug fix for byte compiled files

Quoting from the git log:

    commit f067d2ef39c22174b95584f2cba7942aaf03bcca
    Author: Protesilaos Stavrou <>
    Date:   Thu Mar 3 06:52:31 2022 +0200

        Reify themes with eval-and-compile

        This is an attempt to fix a bug that has existed since version 1.2.0 of
        the themes or even earlier.

        The bug is about a mismatch between compiled code and runtime
        dependencies.  The runtime expects the current version while the
        compiled code only furnishes an outdated one, thus resulting in an
        error.  This only happens when:

        1. Private functions change to accept more/fewer arguments.
        2. Variables change their acceptable value (e.g. from symbol to list).
        3. The user is installing the package via the package.el mechanism which
           takes care of byte compilation (though anything that mimics
           package.el should exhibit the same behaviour).

        My understanding is that the cause was the limited scope of the
        'eval-and-compile' we had before: it would run the 'require' also at
        compile time, whereas the 'modus-themes-theme' macro, which reifies the
        actual theme, would only be evaluated at runtime.  Hence the mismatch as
        'require' would read the already installed byte code while the macro
        would expect newer forms.

        Wrapping everything in the 'eval-and-compile' should address this
        problem.  Hopefully it will not engender new ones...

        * * *

        The latest reports about this bug:

        * GitLab issue 287 with Mark Bestley and Daniel Mendler:

        * GitHub issue 22 with Rytis Paškauskas:

     doc/   | 30 +++++++++++++++---------------
     doc/    | 15 ++++++++-------
     modus-operandi-theme.el | 10 +++++-----
     modus-vivendi-theme.el  | 10 +++++-----
     4 files changed, 33 insertions(+), 32 deletions(-)

After nearly one month, no problem has been observed as a result of this

Newly supported packages

These are added to the already comprehensive coverage we guarantee.

Directly supported:

* devdocs.  Thanks to Augusto Stoffel, its developer, for the feedback
  which was sent via email.

* mini-modeline.  Thanks to Julio C. Villasante for the feedback in
  issue 24 over at the GitHub mirror:

Indirectly supported (they use faces that we already cover):

* elfeed-summary
* undo-hl

Changes to supported faces or packages

* Improved the colours used by 'avy' to always guarantee constrast in
  hueness between side-by-side characters with a variety of user
  settings.  I tried various styles, such as:

      (setq avy-style 'pre)
      (setq avy-style 'at-full)

  For the sake of completeness, I also ran tests by modifying the
  'avy-lead-faces' (which is a 'defconst', not a 'defcustom'):

      (setq avy-lead-faces

      (setq avy-lead-faces

      (setq avy-lead-faces

* Updated the 'vertico-quick' faces to keep them aligned with the new
  Avy styles.  Thanks to Daniel Mendler (Vertico's developer) for the

* Applied warmer though still not saturated colours for Org clocking
  overlays.  The previous style could be mistaken for a mouse highlight
  or the highlighted line if 'modus-themes-hl-line' included the
  properties 'intense' and 'accented'.  Thanks to Rudolf Adamkovič for
  the feedback in issue 293:

* Broadened coverage of the built-in 'shr.el' library to include the new
  'shr-code' face (Emacs 29).

* Expanded support for the 'embark' package by covering its new
  'embark-collect-marked' face.  Thanks to Daniel Mendler for the
  feedback in issue 299:

* Made the 'fill-column-indicator' a contiguous line.  It was a dashed
  line before, per the Emacs defaults, which led to awkward results
  depending on the font family and value of 'line-spacing'.  Thanks to
  Daniel Mendler for the feedback in issue 297:

* Added explicit support for the built-in 'separator-line' face in order
  to refine its presentation.  This is present in 'M-x shortdoc' buffers
  (Emacs 28).  Thanks to Daniel Mendler for the feedback in issue 297:

* Applied explicit styling to the generic 'underline' face in order to
  ensure its consistent colouration.  The problem before was that an
  underline that spanned text with distinct colours would inherit the
  colour of the affected character.  A uniform presentation makes
  everything easier to read.

* The 'ement.el' Matrix client now uses a subtle background for username
  mentions and/or quoted text.  This is consistent with how other Matrix
  clients style such constructs.  Thanks to Adam Porter (aka
  "alphapapa"), the developer of ement.el, for explaining the
  technicalities and providing the relevant feedback in issue 25 over at
  the GitHub mirror: <>.

* Enforced consistency between 'icomplete' and 'ido'.  The first match
  was coloured differently in 'ido-mode' by mistake.  Thanks to Morgan
  Willcock for the feedback in issue 278:

* Used the main foreground for Company's tooltip.  This is how it should
  have been.  Corfu is designed that way as well.  Thanks to user okamsn
  for the feedback in issue 278:

* Corrected an omission whereby the AUCTeX verbatim face was not
  consistent with other such faces.  Now it too is governed by the user
  option 'modus-themes-markup'.

* Fixed the 'centaur-tabs' invalid background message.  Thanks to
  Lennart C. Karssen for reporting the bug in issue 288:
  <>.  Note,
  however, that the problem is due to some decisions made upstream.  My
  patch has not been merged yet (open since 2022-02-24):
  <>.  Given this
  opportunity, always anticipate that faces may ':inherit' from others
  and thus functions like 'face-background' might return an undesirable
  nil value if used without a fallback.


* Made the 'modus-themes--current-theme' return the first Modus theme
  instead of the 'car' of 'custom-enabled-themes'.  This makes the
  themes work at all times even when the user has multiple of them
  enabled.  Thanks to Pierre Téchoueyres for the patch, which was sent
  via email with regard to Emacs bug#54598:

* Implemented compile-time requirement for built-in libraries to be sure
  that the themes work in all cases.  Thanks to Antonio Hernández Blas
  for reporting in issue 292 the bug with the old design that assumed
  the 'cl-lib' and 'subr-x' as already loaded:

* Wrote in the manual how to achieve a monochrome style (with
  permutations) for code syntax highlighting.  Thanks to Augusto Stoffel
  for sharing the idea via an email exchange (this information is
  divulged with permission).

* Clarified some statements in the manual's section about the nuances in
  "enabling" and "loading" a theme.

* Documented how the applicable palette affects the outer boundaries of
  the colour range that terminal emulators set when Emacs is ran without
  a GUI.  Here "the palette" refers to the relevant 16 ANSI escape
  sequences (terminal colours 0 through 15).  For the sake of
  convenience, the node includes ready-to-use palettes for XTerm, which
  can be adapted to other terminal emulators.  This entry complements an
  existing one on improving the colour accuracy in terminal emulators.

* Used American English constructions in a few places such as "color"
  instead of "colour" as that is what core Emacs expects (and the themes
  are part of emacs.git).

* Updated the description of the themes to be more user-friendly.
  Instead of "Highly accessible themes (WCAG AAA)" we now have "Elegant,
  highly legible and customizable themes".  Nothing changes in terms of
  substance.  Thanks to Jorge Morais for the feedback.

* Clarified that the version of the themes which is built into Emacs
  does not use 'require'.  It is in response to this thread:
  Thanks to Philip Kaludercic for bringing the issue to my attention.

* Improved the code samples that show how to set up the package.

* Wrote the correct symbols for some obsoletion forms.

Thanks once again to everyone involved!


Modus themes version 2.2.0

By Protesilaos Stavrou <> on 2022-02-23

The present entry records the changes made to the project since the
publication of version 2.1.0 on 2022-02-17.  This spans about 10 commits
(though one of them is massive).  Normally the release cycle occurs over
periods of 4-5 weeks.  This is a necessary exception.

To access the URL of the manual visit this web page:
<>.  Or read it in the Emacs
Info reader by evaluating this form:

    (info "(modus-themes) Top")

The 'modus-operandi' and 'modus-vivendi' themes are built into Emacs-28
(next stable release) or later, and are available on GNU ELPA as well as
other archives.  Emacs-28 ships version 1.6.0, while the current
'master' branch (i.e. Emacs-29) and, by extension, GNU ELPA include the
latest tagged release.

Initialisation of user options

Removed a superfluous default value that hampered the initialisation of
defcustom forms in the M-x customize interface.  Things would still
work, but the interface was not looking right while editing the relevant
variables.  Thanks to Gustavo Barros for reporting the bug in issue 267:

Refactor 'modus-themes-completions'

Implemented thoroughgoing reforms across all completion User Interfaces
(UIs) in order to make them more flexible/powerful and harmonise their

'modus-themes-completions' now accepts an alist instead of a symbol.
Each cons cell is in the form of '(key . list-of-properties)'.  The doc
string describes all the details.

In terms of out-of-the-box appearences, all completion UIs have a subtle
aesthetic.  This was always the case for the likes of Vertico, Icomplete
(Fido), and related, though it constitutes a marked departure from what
Ivy and Helm used to look like.  Users of the latter two can still get
the more colourful or intense style with something like this:

    (setq modus-themes-completions '((matches . (background intense))
                                     (selection . (accented intense))
                                     (popup . (accented intense))))

Or simply:

    (setq modus-themes-completions '((t background intense accented)))

The documentation explains all those associations in-depth.  There also
are other styles on offer (and combinations thereof).

Furthermore, the new 'modus-themes-completions' encompasses more UIs
than its predecessor, including Company and Corfu.

In the interest of theme-wide consistency, all applicable faces have
been reviewed.

Finally, note that the previous tagged release also made changes on this
front, but it did not disrupt the status quo that was in place from
before the release of version 1.0.0 of the themes (more than a year
ago).  In other words, it tried to make unnecessary compromises within
the confines of an outdated design that did not fit in with the rest of
the code base.  The new 'modus-themes-completions' might require manual
intervention from users who want to customise things to their liking,
though I feel this change is to our long-term benefit.

Thanks to Daniel Mendler and Rudolf Adamkovič for their feedback in
issue 278: <>.
And thanks to Kenta Usami for recommending the use of a warning in issue
286: <>.

Miscellaneous changes

+ Removed the pseudo-button effect from the 'org-checkbox' face.  It was
  not up-to-date with the current style of the rest of the themes,
  including the Org constructs for source block delimiters, the TODO
  keywords, the priority cookies (e.g. '[#A]'), and others.

+ Introduced a section in the manual which provides an alternative to
  the standard 'modus-themes-toggle' that leverages 'enable-theme'
  instead of 'load-theme' under the hood.  These technicalities are all
  explained in the manual.

+ Provided an alternative greyscale palette subset for 'modus-operandi'
  in the manual's section about overriding colours.

+ Added support for the built-in 'custom-variable-obsolete' face.

+ Fixed typo in the 'modus-themes-box-buttons' variable.  Thanks to
  Illia Ostapyshyn for the patch in merge request 58:


Modus themes version 2.1.0

By Protesilaos Stavrou <> on 2022-02-17

The present entry records the changes made to the project since the
publication of version 2.0.0 on 2021-12-24.  There have been more than
110 commits in the meantime (and this log is close to 5000 words).

All modifications of colour combinations mentioned herein are made in
accordance with the primary accessibility objective of the themes for a
minimum contrast ratio of 7:1 between background and foreground values
in their given combination (the WCAG AAA standard for relative colour
luminance).  Edits also account for colour-coding that is optimised for
the needs of users with red-green colour deficiency (deuteranopia).

To access the URL of the manual visit this web page:
<>.  Or read it in the Emacs
Info reader by evaluating this form:

    (info "(modus-themes) Top")

The 'modus-operandi' and 'modus-vivendi' themes are built into Emacs-28
(next stable release) or later, and are available on GNU ELPA as well as
other archives.  Emacs-28 ships version 1.6.0, while the current
'master' branch (i.e. Emacs-29) and, by extension, GNU ELPA include the
latest tagged release.


The following produce a buffer that previews the colour palette of the
given theme ('modus-operandi' or 'modus-vivendi').

* 'modus-themes-list-colors' prompts for a theme before producing the

* 'modus-themes-list-colors-current' uses the current Modus theme.

These commands are useful to anyone who wants to reference a named
colour from the themes or copy a colour value, such as for the purposes
of user-level customisation (as documented at length in the manual
across several use-cases and with the inclusion of custom code).

The commands are not bound to any key.

Customisation options

* Implemented the 'modus-themes-markup' variable, which supersedes the
  now-deprecated 'modus-themes-intense-markup'.  The new user option
  accepts a list of properties (symbols).  It affects constructs such as
  Org's =verbatim=, ~code~, and macro (with three pairs of braces).  By
  default, when this user option is either nil or an empty list, the
  affected constructs only have a foreground colour (e.g. Org verbatim
  is magenta).  Properties that change this style are:

  1. 'italic' for an added slant to the text.
  2. 'bold' for a heavier weight.
  3. 'background' to add a background colour.
  4. 'intense' to amplify the colouration (especially of 'background').

  As with all user options which accept a list of properties, the order
  of the symbols is no significant.  In user configurations it may look
  like this:

      (setq modus-themes-markup '(background intense bold))

  [ Read the manual for bold and italic fonts.  We do not hardcode a
    :weight or :slant, instead giving the user the option to set their
    own values.  The defaults are what you would normally expect from
    "bold" and "italic". ]

  Thanks to Rudolf Adamkovič for reporting some problems with the old
  design in issue 274:

* Added the 'modus-themes-box-buttons' which affects all pseudo
  graphical buttons, such as those found in Custom UI buffers or EWW web
  pages which include search forms and the like.  The variable accepts a
  list of properties as its value.  By default (nil or empty list),
  buttons have a grey background and the familiar 3D effect.  Valid
  properties are:

  1. 'flat' to remove the 3D effect.
  2. 'accented' to shift the colouration away from grey.
  3. 'faint' to reduce the overall colouration (e.g. grey becomes white).
  4. 'variable-pitch' to apply a proportionately spaced font.
  5. 'underline' to draw a line instead of applying a 3D or flat box
     (particularly useful for those who use Emacs in a terminal emulator).
  6. The symbol of a font weight, such as 'bold', 'semibold', 'light' or
     any one among those included in the 'modus-themes-weights' constant
     (the underlying font family has to support the given weight).
  7. A number, expressed as a floating point (e.g. 0.9), which adjusts
     the height of the button’s text to that many times the base font
     size.  The default height is the same as 1.0, though it need not be
     explicitly stated.

  The order in which those symbols appear in the list is not
  significant.  If 'underline' and 'flat' are both specified, the former
  takes precedence.  In user init files the form may look like this:

    (setq modus-themes-box-buttons '(variable-pitch flat semilight 0.9))

  Thanks to Daniel Mendler for suggesting this user option and providing
  the relevant feedback in issue 282:

* Expanded the 'modus-themes-mail-citations' with an 'intense' variant.
  For example:

      (setq modus-themes-mail-citations 'intense)

  The default is a moderately coloured style.  Other variants include
  'faint' for subtle colouration and 'monochrome' for an all-grey look.

* Reviewed the 'modus-themes-completion' option and harmonised all the
  face specifications it governs.  The variable now accepts a fourth
  stylistic variant in 'super-opinionated': it is like the 'opinionated'
  one though some details are even more pronounced.  Other noteworthy

  [ Remember to read the doc string of 'modus-themes-completions', which
    explains the grouping of the completion UIs. ]

  - The (setq modus-themes-completions 'moderate) style is more-or-less
    the same across all completion UIs.  The highlight applied to the
    current line is a bespoke shade of blue, the characters are less
    saturated than before and their hues are different, though the
    overall effect should still feel "sufficiently colourful, but not

  - The (setq modus-themes-completions nil) is the same as before.

      - The current line in Ivy now uses a shade of blue that is
        specific to completion UIs instead of an intense cyan
        background.  This is for theme-wide consistency.

      - Helm's current line has the same bespoke blue for its current
        line instead of another shade of blue it was using before.

  - The (setq modus-themes-completions 'opinionated) should be the same
    as before, notwithstanding the aforementioned tweaks to Ivy/Helm.

  - The (setq modus-themes-completions 'super-opinionated) for
    Icomplete, Vertico, Selectrum, Mct uses the same blue for the
    current line as is the default of Ivy and Helm.


  - The relevant private helper functions were rewritten.

  - We declare a few faces to help streamline certain styles.

  - Ivy action keys now inherit from 'modus-themes-key-binding'.  We
    generally try to make all keys look the same, except when that would
    be detrimental to the usability of the given context/interface.

  - Some Ivy faces are simplified or otherwise tweaked to fit in with
    the rest of the theme.

  Thanks to Rudolf Adamkovič for the feedback about Vertico in issues
  214 and 278 which prompted me to review all completion UIs:

  - <>
  - <>

* Adjusted the applicable hues in some 'modus-themes-syntax' variants.  In

  - The strings' hue has more hints of blue when 'modus-themes-syntax'
    includes the 'green-strings' property.  Such as:

      (setq modus-themes-syntax '(green-strings))
      (setq modus-themes-syntax '(alt-syntax green-strings))
      (setq modus-themes-syntax '(alt-syntax green-strings faint))
      (setq modus-themes-syntax '(alt-syntax green-strings faint yellow-comments))

  - Strings are more orange/yellow than red when 'modus-themes-syntax'
    includes the 'alt-syntax' property but NOT the 'green-strings'.  For

      (setq modus-themes-syntax '(alt-syntax))
      (setq modus-themes-syntax '(alt-syntax yellow-comments))
      (setq modus-themes-syntax '(alt-syntax yellow-comments faint))

  - Backslashes for regexp constructs are coloured appropriately to look
    distinct from the rest of the string and from the escaped construct in
    all cases.

* Removed background colours from the the default style of Org block

  As I explained in Emacs bug#52587,[1] Org has code that overrides
  themes which prefer not to extend the block delimiter faces to the
  edge of the window (as we would like to do by default).  This
  practically means that we cannot have backgrounds for those lines and
  keep them limited to the stretch of area covered by their text.

  As such, the default for Org block delimiter lines now is a gray
  foreground with no distinct background colour.  The user option
  'modus-themes-org-blocks' provides "blocky" alternatives that use
  background colours---those extend to the edge of the window.

  [1] <>

* Deleted the compatibility layer for all user options that used to
  accept symbols in the past but now expect a list of symbols.  The
  manual contains a snippet with all customisation options for those who
  do not want to read all the relevant doc strings.  Evaluate this:

      (info "(modus-themes) Customization Options")

  Or visit: <>.

  The original plan was to remove those during the transition to version
  2.0.0 (about a month ago) though I changed my mind thinking they would
  not pose a longer-term problem.

  New information by Mark Bestley in issue 272 shows that this kind of
  complexity can lead to errors:

  So it is better to keep things simple and ask users to configure all
  user options based on the up-to-date documentation.

  Also thanks to Saša Janiška for the feedback in issue 272.

New packages, faces, or face groups

* all-the-icons-dired.

* all-the-icons-ibuffer.

* 'child-frame-border' face (Emacs 28).

* 'citar' package.  Thanks to Rudolf Adamkovič for the feedback in issue
  280: <>.

* 'elisp-shorthand-font-lock-face' (Emacs 29).  Read the manual by

      (info "(elisp) Shorthands")

* 'ement' (ement.el) Matrix client, though it is not listed in any
  archive yet: <>.

  Thanks to Samuel Culpepper for the feedback in issue 279:

  Also check the Ement issue tracker on the matter:

* 'mct' package.

* 'menu' face (built-in) which is used in the menu-bar when Emacs runs
  without a graphical toolkit.

* 'pgtk-im-0' face (Emacs 29).  This is shown as a single-character-long
  block when you type the Compose key followed by the composable

* 'pyim' (an input method for CJK characters).  Thanks to Yuanchen Xie for
  the contribution in merge request 57:
  The patch is small and is thus excluded from the requirement for
  copyright assignment to the FSF (remember that the themes are built
  into Emacs and any major contribution needs such copyright
  assignment---read the relevant entry in the themes' manual).

* 'slime' and 'sly' packages.  Thanks to John Haman for the feedback
  which was done via email due to some problems with the web UI on
  GitLab (this information is shared with permission).  Please note that
  I am not familiar with Common Lisp and could not test these
  thoroughly.  Any mistakes or omissions are my own.

  Concerning the web UI, there is a fully functional mirror of the
  themes on GitHub, while email is always an option.  Use whatever works
  for you to report an issue or send a patch.

* 'textsec' package (Emacs 29).

New indirectly supported packages

These inherit from base faces and look good enough already or use
appropriate colours from the Modus themes:

* dtache
* org-remark

Changes to supported faces or face groups

* Stopped making key bindings look like boxes.  We revert to the old
  style we were using before the introduction of the 'help-key-binding'
  face (Emacs 28).

  By default Emacs 28 or higher will render all key bindings it
  identifies with a box around them.  The idea is to make them look like
  keys on a keyboard, which I never really liked because without
  generous padding you get a very tight space between the character and
  the box's borders which can look weird at small point sizes (Emacs
  faces do not have padding in the same way CSS does).

  I tried following the default style for a few months and have concluded
  that it is not good enough for our purposes (my preferences

  - The box attribute does not work in terminal emulators.  This means
    that keys only get a subtle grey background and the default
    foreground, which can be hard to make them stand out from their
    surrounding text if the font height is small and/or the keybinding is
    short (e.g. a single character).

  - The box and grey background combination limits our options when we
    need to colour-code different types of keys.  For example, the
    'which-key' package can show TAB as T and applies to it a different
    face to make the distinction obvious.  In that case, the presence of
    the tight box makes the use of a bold weight inappropriate: the
    character and the box's borders seem to overlap.  While the grey
    background limits our choice of colour as, for instance, yellow
    never looks good against it.  Same principle for interfaces that can
    have colour-coded keys like 'transient' and 'hydra', where we lose
    much-needed flexibility.

* Adjusted the brightness of the 'which-key-special-key-face'.  This is
  the face that applies to special keys.  For example:

      (setq which-key-special-keys '("SPC" "TAB" "RET" "ESC" "DEL"))

* Made 'transient' faces which are supposed to be de-emphasise certain
  elements inherit the 'shadow' face.  This is an implicit customisation
  option, as it allows the user to adjust the foreground value of all
  "less important" constructs simply by changing the 'shadow' face.

* Covered the 'transient-purple' face (these are like the colour-coding
  of 'hydra').

* Tweaked the 'transient-argument' and 'transient-value' faces to make
  things look a bit more consistent with the other transient faces.
  This is to avoid potential conflicts with the highlighted key
  bindings, especially when transient uses hydra-style colour-coded

* Applied the same metaphors for key bindings to 'marginalia-key'
  ('marginalia' package) and 'embark-keybinding' ('embark' package).
  They inherit the 'modus-themes-key-binding' when possible.  The only
  exception is with (setq modus-themes-completions nil) where conflicts
  may arise between the key's style and matching characters of the
  ongoing completion session.

  Thanks to Rudolf Adamkovič for pointing out the inconsistency in issue
  278: <>.

* Refrained from treating LaTeX sections as headings.  This is because
  unlike Org/Outline/Markdown Latex is basically source code, so the
  sectioning does not work the same way it does for those lightweight
  markup/outlining modes.

  Furthermore, font-latex.el defines 'font-latex-fontify-sectioning'
  which can be used to control the scale of those sections.  It makes
  sense for the themes to not interfere with that design and just allow
  users to customise things uniformly regardless of the active theme.

  Thanks to Gustavo Barros for the detailed feedback in issue 265:

* Reviewed the hues of 'all-the-icons' and related packages.

* Applied the correct style to 'info-menu-header', meaning that it now
  only uses a bold weight as it is not a real heading, instead of being
  affected by the user option 'modus-themes-headings'.

* Included new 'telega-entity-type-spoiler' face.  Thanks to bit9tream
  for informing me about it in issue 271:
  <>.  The

      Tricky though perhaps dull

      I understand this is not an interesting topic and it probably is
      too difficult to relate to the various data points without
      visualising them and comparing the before and after
      states. Furthermore, data can be deceptive and I have always
      maintained that theme development stands at the intersection of
      science and art (at least for the purposes of conforming with the
      rigorous accessibility standards of the Modus themes).

      That granted, I wanted to shed light on the “behind the scenes”
      work that is not immediately obvious when one checks a diff that
      introduces some seemingly trivial tweaks like '#49d239'->'#49c029'
      or '#7fcfff'->'#8fbfff'.

* Tweaked the hues of all graph colours, which are used in the
  'org-habit' table.  The changes are subtle and should improve the
  overall usability of the graph.  For the technicalities, read:

  Also thanks to Rudolf Adamkovič for reporting the problem with white
  text on yellow background in issue 270:

* Styled the 'markdown-highlighting-face'.  This is the face used for
  text in between double equals signs when the user option
  'markdown-enable-highlighting-syntax' is non-nil.

* Amplified the overall colouration of Eldoc's current argument.  It is
  a yellow foreground with a tinted background.  The blue foreground
  which was applied before could be hard to tell apart in some cases,
  especially because it is a common colour that is used elsewhere in the
  themes.  Whereas the warmer hues are easier to discern, especially
  while relying only on peripheral vision.

  Thanks to Rudolf Adamkovič for the feedback in issue 275:

* Instructed Geiser to use the same style for its argument as Eldoc
  (edited the faces 'geiser-font-lock-autodoc-current-arg' and

* Made the 'keycast-key' face work when 'modus-themes-mode-line' has a
  padding value (read the latter doc string or consult the manual).

* Refined the 'magit' faces for bisect, reflog, sequence, and signature
  views.  They get a bold weight and, where appropriate, are made to
  comply with the 'modus-theems-deueteranopia' option (meaning that
  greens turn into blues).

* Recoloured 'elfeed' tags from a shade of cyan to magenta, in the
  interest of theme-wide consistency but also to make them easier to
  tell apart from the name of the feed.  Also updated the faces used in
  the header-line to look better in context.

* Removed the hardcoded ':slant italic' from the 'italic' face, which is
  consistent with how we do not hardcode ':weight bold' in the 'bold'

  Such a design allows users to configure those faces and have the
  desired slant/weight (and even font family) apply consistently
  throughout the theme.  Read the manual for further details:

  Thanks to user derek-upham for pointing out the inconsistency in issue
  21 over at the GitHub mirror:

* Improved the styles that apply to compilation buffers and related.
  The overarching intent was to reduce the excess colouration, without
  upsetting expectations and affecting the overall presentation.

  Thanks to Rudolf Adamkovič for the feedback in issue 277:

  Note that compilation buffers apply an underline by default.  The
  manual explains how to change that:

* Ensured a consistent style for the 'highlight' face across all
  contexts (typically used for mouse hover effects).  The mode line has
  an exception when its style includes an accented background (per

  Thanks to Rudolf Adamkovič for the feedback in issue 214:

* Changed the foreground of 'mode-line-emphasis' from blue to purple, in
  order to avoid potential (albeit unlikely) confusion with other

* Desaturated the 'man' and 'woman' foreground value of the bold
  constructs and tweaked other faces to avoid potential inconsistencies.
  Thanks to Daniel Mendler for the feedback:

* Removed certain exaggerations from widgets as seen in the Custom UI
  and EWW.  Specifically:

  - 'widget-field' does not need to ':extend', as that typically does
    not look good.

  - 'custom-state' gets a warmer colour to convey its message more

  - 'eww-form-text' no longer uses a ':box' because that breaks when the
    widget occupies more than one line.

  - 'eww-form-textarea' can now inherit from 'eww-form-text'.

  Thanks to Daniel Mendler for the feedback on the style of those faces in
  issue 284: <>.

The manual

* Clarified the wording of 'shr' fonts, which affect 'eww', 'elfeed',
  'ement', and possibly others.

* Wrote section on custom Org emphasis faces.  It includes code samples.

* Answered a Frequently Asked Question on whether the Modus themes are
  "colour schemes"---they are not and it is important to understand why.

* Addressed another Frequently Asked Question about porting the themes
  to other platforms or editors.  Relevant blog posts which explain how
  complex the issue is and why porting requires the same attention to
  detail as this project:

  - <>.
  - <>.

* Improved the sample code in the section about the backdrop of PDF
  files while using 'pdf-tools'.  Thanks to Utkarsh Singh for the patch,
  which was sent via email.

* Provided sample code on an alternative style for Ediff.

  There was a discussion with Philip Kaludercic in issue 273 about making
  this a defcustom: <>.

  I first entertained the notion and did set up a branch for testing
  purposes.  However, I ultimately decided that such a course of action
  would establish a bad precedent because then every conceivable stylistic
  tweak could, in principle, become a user option.  Furthermore, the
  potential defcustom would introduce too much complexity as Ediff would
  have to continue to behave as other diffs (per 'modus-themes-diffs') if
  the user did not want the alternative style.

  As such, documenting how a user can achieve this is the right choice.

* Fixed internal link in the manual.  Thanks to Rudolf Adamkovič for
  reporting the problem in issue 277:


* Covered workaround for improving the accuracy of colour reproduction
  in terminal emulators.  The results are still not as good as the
  graphical version of Emacs, though they are considerably better than
  before.  Thanks to gitrj95's issue 18 at the GitHub mirror, which
  prompted me to research this topic:

* Helped report a bug in the PGTK build of Emacs where a new emacsclient
  window with the 'modus-vivendi' face would not show the cursor:
  <>.  Thanks to
  contributed to the discussion on issue 7 over at the GitHub mirror:

* Shifted the hue of the intense 'hl-line' from a grey-cyan to a more
  vivid blue by reducing the relative contribution of the green channel
  of light.

  The change affects these styles:

      (setq modus-themes-hl-line '(accented intense))
      (setq modus-themes-hl-line '(accented intense underline))

  Thanks to Rudolf Adamkovič for suggesting a more vivid colour in issue
  214: <>.

* Recalibrated the 'modus-vivendi' named colour 'bg-paren-match'.

  I wanted to increase its distance relative to the main background,
  just to be sure that it is easier to spot.  This is achieved by moving
  the hueness from the yellow to the magenta side of the spectrum.

  Overall, the change is subtle and has no major impact on the contrast
  ratio relative to the main background and foreground (we need to
  consider both due to the specifics of show-paren-mode (and related)).

  The results (#5f362f is the old, #6f3355 the new):

      |         | #000000 | #ffffff | #000000 | #ffffff |
      | #5f362f |    2.06 |   10.22 |   37904 |  333060 |
      | #6f3355 |    2.28 |    9.21 |   58282 |  291037 |

  The TBLFM formula for this table (org-mode notation):

      $2='(Λ $1 @1$2);%.2f :: $3='(Λ $1 @1$3);%.2f :: $4='(Δ $1 @1$4) :: $5='(Δ $1 @1$5)

  The Greek letters mean:

      (defalias 'Λ #'modus-themes-contrast)
      (defalias 'Δ #'color-distance)

* Expanded the "special" subset of the palette with faint variants of
  the four backgrounds.  These are reserved for special circumstances,
  as the name implies.  Below are the contrast values (see

      Modus Operandi main accept colours against faint special backgrounds:

      |         | #f0f1ff | #ebf5eb | #fef2ea | #faeff9 |
      | #a60000 |    7.15 |    7.17 |    7.29 |    7.16 |
      | #972500 |    7.26 |    7.28 |    7.40 |    7.28 |
      | #a0132f |    7.13 |    7.15 |    7.27 |    7.14 |
      | #7f1010 |    9.44 |    9.47 |    9.63 |    9.47 |
      | #702f00 |    8.94 |    8.97 |    9.12 |    8.96 |
      | #7f002f |    9.64 |    9.67 |    9.83 |    9.66 |
      | #005e00 |    7.20 |    7.23 |    7.34 |    7.22 |
      | #315b00 |    7.13 |    7.15 |    7.27 |    7.15 |
      | #145c33 |    7.18 |    7.20 |    7.32 |    7.20 |
      | #104410 |   10.09 |   10.12 |   10.29 |   10.12 |
      | #30440f |    9.56 |    9.59 |    9.75 |    9.58 |
      | #0f443f |    9.76 |    9.79 |    9.96 |    9.79 |
      | #813e00 |    7.14 |    7.17 |    7.28 |    7.16 |
      | #70480f |    7.14 |    7.17 |    7.28 |    7.16 |
      | #863927 |    7.13 |    7.15 |    7.27 |    7.15 |
      | #5f4400 |    8.10 |    8.12 |    8.26 |    8.12 |
      | #5d5000 |    7.17 |    7.19 |    7.31 |    7.19 |
      | #5e3a20 |    8.91 |    8.94 |    9.09 |    8.93 |
      | #0031a9 |    9.31 |    9.34 |    9.49 |    9.33 |
      | #2544bb |    7.14 |    7.16 |    7.28 |    7.16 |
      | #0000c0 |   10.64 |   10.67 |   10.85 |   10.66 |
      | #003497 |    9.66 |    9.70 |    9.86 |    9.69 |
      | #0f3d8c |    9.06 |    9.09 |    9.24 |    9.09 |
      | #001087 |   13.15 |   13.20 |   13.42 |   13.19 |
      | #721045 |    9.99 |   10.02 |   10.19 |   10.01 |
      | #8f0075 |    7.72 |    7.75 |    7.88 |    7.74 |
      | #5317ac |    8.98 |    9.01 |    9.16 |    9.00 |
      | #752f50 |    8.22 |    8.25 |    8.38 |    8.24 |
      | #7b206f |    8.22 |    8.25 |    8.38 |    8.24 |
      | #55348e |    8.26 |    8.29 |    8.42 |    8.28 |
      | #00538b |    7.18 |    7.20 |    7.32 |    7.19 |
      | #30517f |    7.18 |    7.20 |    7.32 |    7.20 |
      | #005a5f |    7.13 |    7.15 |    7.27 |    7.15 |
      | #005077 |    7.76 |    7.79 |    7.91 |    7.78 |
      | #354f6f |    7.49 |    7.52 |    7.64 |    7.51 |
      | #125458 |    7.69 |    7.72 |    7.85 |    7.71 |

      Modus Vivendi main accept colours against faint special backgrounds:

      |         | #0e183a | #001f1a | #241613 | #251232 |
      | #ff8059 |    7.01 |    7.01 |    7.07 |    7.00 |
      | #ef8b50 |    7.01 |    7.00 |    7.07 |    7.00 |
      | #ff9077 |    7.85 |    7.85 |    7.93 |    7.85 |
      | #ffa0a0 |    8.91 |    8.91 |    9.00 |    8.91 |
      | #f5aa80 |    9.04 |    9.04 |    9.13 |    9.04 |
      | #ff9fbf |    9.06 |    9.05 |    9.14 |    9.05 |
      | #44bc44 |    7.04 |    7.04 |    7.11 |    7.04 |
      | #70b900 |    7.13 |    7.13 |    7.20 |    7.12 |
      | #00c06f |    7.24 |    7.24 |    7.31 |    7.24 |
      | #78bf78 |    7.87 |    7.86 |    7.94 |    7.86 |
      | #99b56f |    7.60 |    7.59 |    7.67 |    7.59 |
      | #88bf99 |    8.23 |    8.22 |    8.30 |    8.22 |
      | #d0bc00 |    8.98 |    8.98 |    9.07 |    8.98 |
      | #c0c530 |    9.31 |    9.31 |    9.40 |    9.30 |
      | #d3b55f |    8.71 |    8.71 |    8.79 |    8.71 |
      | #d2b580 |    8.81 |    8.80 |    8.89 |    8.80 |
      | #cabf77 |    9.28 |    9.27 |    9.36 |    9.27 |
      | #d0ba95 |    9.20 |    9.20 |    9.29 |    9.20 |
      | #2fafff |    7.18 |    7.18 |    7.25 |    7.18 |
      | #79a8ff |    7.32 |    7.32 |    7.39 |    7.31 |
      | #00bcff |    7.96 |    7.96 |    8.04 |    7.96 |
      | #82b0ec |    7.74 |    7.74 |    7.81 |    7.74 |
      | #a0acef |    7.97 |    7.96 |    8.04 |    7.96 |
      | #80b2f0 |    7.89 |    7.88 |    7.96 |    7.88 |
      | #feacd0 |    9.94 |    9.93 |   10.03 |    9.93 |
      | #f78fe7 |    8.29 |    8.29 |    8.37 |    8.29 |
      | #b6a0ff |    7.82 |    7.81 |    7.89 |    7.81 |
      | #e0b2d6 |    9.51 |    9.50 |    9.60 |    9.50 |
      | #ef9fe4 |    8.88 |    8.88 |    8.96 |    8.87 |
      | #cfa6ff |    8.72 |    8.71 |    8.80 |    8.71 |
      | #00d3d0 |    9.28 |    9.27 |    9.36 |    9.27 |
      | #4ae2f0 |   11.09 |   11.09 |   11.20 |   11.09 |
      | #6ae4b9 |   11.08 |   11.07 |   11.18 |   11.07 |
      | #90c4ed |    9.34 |    9.34 |    9.43 |    9.33 |
      | #a0bfdf |    9.10 |    9.09 |    9.18 |    9.09 |
      | #a4d0bb |   10.18 |   10.17 |   10.27 |   10.17 |

* Add docs on color overrides through blending.  Thanks to Alex Griffin
  for the contribution in issue 269 and the subsequent patch in merge
  request 56 (the patch is exempt from copyright assignment):

  - <>.
  - <>.

* Fixed typo in the ':group' value of some faces defined in
  modus-themes.el.  Thanks to Gustavo Barros for reporting it in issue
  266: <>

* Updated copyright statement in all .el files to use the same wording
  as all other files that are built into Emacs.

* Made all sorts of tweaks and refinements to doc strings and nodes in the

Thanks again to everyone involved!  This has been yet another cycle of
intense work which further iterated on an already solid base.


Modus themes version 2.0.0

By Protesilaos Stavrou <> on 2021-12-24

This entry covers the changes made to the project since the publication
of version 1.7.0 on 2021-11-18.  There have been more than 90 commits in
the meantime.  This is a major upgrade with some backward-incompatible
changes, even though most work was done behind the scenes (i.e. not in
git commits but local testing) to guarantee the relevance of all
user-facing styles, code practices, et cetera.

All modifications of colour combinations mentioned herein are made in
accordance with the primary accessibility objective of the themes for a
minimum contrast ratio of 7:1 between background and foreground values
in their given combination (the WCAG AAA standard for relative colour
luminance).  Edits also account for colour-coding that is optimised for
the needs of users with red-green colour deficiency (deuteranopia).

To access the URL of the manual visit this web page:
<>.  Or read it in the Emacs
Info reader by evaluating this form:

    (info "(modus-themes) Top")

The 'modus-operandi' and 'modus-vivendi' themes are built into Emacs-28
(next stable release) or later, and are available on GNU ELPA as well as
other archives.  Emacs-28 ships version 1.6.0, while the current
'master' branch (i.e. Emacs-29) and, by extension, GNU ELPA include the
latest tagged release.

A fully fledged org-mode file with the annotated task list for Modus
themes version 2.0.0 is supplied as complementary material to the
present entry.  It should be annexed below this text on the announcement
page: <>.

Customisation options

There are some breaking changes that were necessary to improve the code
base and make things easier as well as more efficient for end users.
Please read carefully and apologies in advance for whatever

* The 'modus-themes-variable-pitch-headings' no longer has any effect.
  Instead, users can specify a 'variable-pitch' property to the list
  they pass to the 'modus-themes-headings' or 'modus-themes-org-agenda'
  (examples below).

* All 'modus-themes-scale-*' options are removed.  Scaling of headings
  is now handled directly by the user options 'modus-themes-headings'
  and 'modus-themes-org-agenda' (code samples below).

* The 'modus-themes-headings' option now accepts a floating point (see
  function 'floatp') that represents the multiplier relative to the base
  font size.  This can be used to scale headings accordingly.  Since
  this option can target individual heading levels (for 1 through 8),
  users can now implement their desired scale with greater precision.
  Whereas before it was limited to the first four levels, admittedly for
  no good reason.

  The newly introduced 'variable-pitch' property can also be applied on
  a per-level basis (making it easy to combine with existing properties,
  such as a custom weight, for maximum control).  Example:

      ;; This is an alist: read the manual or its doc string.
      (setq modus-themes-headings
            '((1 . (variable-pitch light 1.6))
              (2 . (overline semibold 1.4))
              (3 . (monochrome overline 1.2))
              (4 . (overline 1.1))
              (t . (rainbow 1.05))))

* The 'modus-themes-org-agenda' follows the same design as the
  'modus-themes-headings' where appropriate.  Headings that can be
  scaled accept a floating point, while those that may be rendered in a
  proportionately spaced font accept the 'variable-pitch' property.  In
  addition, a custom font weight is also supported in the relevant
  places (just as with 'modus-themes-headings').  Overall, the interface
  can now be tailored to the user's preferences with greater precision.

      ;; This is an alist: read the manual or its doc string.
      (setq modus-themes-org-agenda
            '((header-block . (variable-pitch light 1.6))
              (header-date . (bold-today grayscale underline-today 1.2))
              (event . (accented varied))
              (scheduled . uniform)
              (habit . traffic-light)))

* The 'modus-themes-scale-small' that was used in the Org agenda
  interface has been removed.  No replacement is provided, as the
  downsizing had the undesired effect of breaking the otherwise neat
  alignment of elements on the grid.

* The 'modus-themes-mode-line-padding' option has been removed.
  Instead, users can specify a natural number (positive integer)
  directly in the list of properties passed to the
  'modus-themes-mode-line' variable.  This has no effect when the
  'moody' property is also set, because the Moody library applies its
  own padding.  For example:

      (setq modus-themes-mode-line '(borderless accented 4))

  Though not related to changes on our end, users of Emacs 29 must now
  set 'x-use-underline-position-properties' to nil for padding to work
  properly (due to other adjustments upstream).  This relates to Emacs
  bug#52324 we had reported:

* All deuteranopia styles are consolidated in a single toggle:
  'modus-themes-deuteranopia'.  The 'modus-themes-success-deuteranopia'
  is thus rendered obsolete and superseded, while the individual
  deuteranopia-friendly styles for diffs ('modus-themes-diffs') and the
  Org agenda's habit graph ('modus-themes-org-agenda') are altogether
  removed.  As opposed to top-level forms, there is no clean way to
  notify the user of the deprecation of individual values of a user

* The "foreground only" style has been altogether removed from the user
  option 'modus-themes-diffs'.  It never was up to the aesthetic
  standard of the themes even though the colours met the minimum 7:1
  contrast ratio.  There is a new section in the manual which documents
  how to implement such a style with user-level configurations.  Short

      (defun my-modus-themes-custom-faces ()
           `(modus-themes-diff-added ((,class :background unspecified :foreground ,green))) ; OR ,blue for deuteranopia
           `(modus-themes-diff-changed ((,class :background unspecified :foreground ,yellow)))
           `(modus-themes-diff-removed ((,class :background unspecified :foreground ,red)))

           `(modus-themes-diff-refine-added ((,class :background ,bg-diff-added :foreground ,fg-diff-added)))
           ;; `(modus-themes-diff-refine-added ((,class :background ,bg-diff-added-deuteran :foreground ,fg-diff-added-deuteran)))
           `(modus-themes-diff-refine-changed ((,class :background ,bg-diff-changed :foreground ,fg-diff-changed)))
           `(modus-themes-diff-refine-removed ((,class :background ,bg-diff-removed :foreground ,fg-diff-removed)))

           `(modus-themes-diff-focus-added ((,class :background ,bg-dim :foreground ,green))) ; OR ,blue for deuteranopia
           `(modus-themes-diff-focus-changed ((,class :background ,bg-dim :foreground ,yellow)))
           `(modus-themes-diff-focus-removed ((,class :background ,bg-dim :foreground ,red)))

           `(modus-themes-diff-heading ((,class :background ,bg-alt :foreground ,fg-main)))

           `(diff-indicator-added ((,class :foreground ,green))) ; OR ,blue for deuteranopia
           `(diff-indicator-changed ((,class :foreground ,yellow)))
           `(diff-indicator-removed ((,class :foreground ,red)))

           `(magit-diff-added ((,class :background unspecified :foreground ,green-faint)))
           `(magit-diff-changed ((,class :background unspecified :foreground ,yellow-faint)))
           `(magit-diff-removed ((,class :background unspecified :foreground ,red-faint)))
           `(magit-diff-context-highlight ((,class :background ,bg-dim :foreground ,fg-dim))))))

      ;; This is so that the changes persist when switching between
      ;; modus-operandi and modus-vivendi
      (add-hook 'modus-themes-after-load-theme-hook #'my-modus-themes-custom-faces)

Removed support for packages

The following are no longer supported by the themes.  The reasons vary
in each case, though they boil down to (i) the package being obsoleted,
or (ii) the package's faces inheriting from base faces that we already
support (e.g. font-lock).  Each case was carefully considered as part of
the comprehensive review of all packages supported by the themes, though
chances are that some mistake was made regardless.  If you believe a
package should not have been removed, please report as much.

* ag
* apt-sources-list
* apt-sources-list
* buffer-expose
* counsel-org-capture-string
* define-word
* diredc
* disk-usage
* easy-kill
* flyspell-correct
* git-gutter{,fringe}+
* git-lens
* git-walktree
* highlight-blocks
* highlight-defined
* highlight-escape-sequences
* highlight-symbol
* highlight-tail
* hyperlist-mode
* isl (isearch-light)
* minibuffer-line
* mu4e-conversation
* no-emoji
* objed
* parrot
* phi-search
* pkgbuild-mode
* rainbow-identifiers
* sallet
* spell-fu
* spray
* swoop
* vdiff
* volatile-highlights

Changes to supported faces or face groups

* Eliminated any possible exaggerations in wgrep faces.  Those no longer
  use coloured backgrounds.  Instead they have colour-coded foreground
  colours as well as a bold weight (they ultimately inherit from the
  'bold' face, which is a "hidden" customisation option, as explained in
  the manual).

* Forced Org block delimiters to not extend their background by default
  (though check 'modus-themes-org-blocks').  That was the intended
  design all along, but now it needs to be made explicit.  See, for
  example, bug#52587 for Emacs:

* Revised the 'org-sexp-date' face so that it no longer looks like
  'org-date'.  Dates are clickable buttons: they work like links, so
  they have an underline by default and are subject to the
  'modus-themes-links' user option.  Whereas the 'org-sexp-date' is not
  applied to interactive elements and must thus be visually distinct.

  This face is used for diary-style entries in Org files.  For example:

      %%(diary-anniversary 2000 12 25) NAME %d%s birthday

* Rewrote several Auctex/Tex faces to inherit from base faces where
  relevant (e.g. 'bold', 'success') as well as from font-lock faces.  In
  the latter case, the end-result makes Auctex/Tex subject to the
  'modus-themes-syntax' option.  These refinements promote theme-wide
  consistency without detracting from the established styles.

* Improved Git (Magit) commit faces for warnings or errors.  This
  concerns two cases:

  1. The summary line exceeds the recommended limit of 50 characters.
     This now uses a yellow foreground colour which contrasts well with
     the summary line's new blue hue (blue and yellow are complementary
     for our purposes, meaning that they have good contrast in hueness).

  2. The second line (the one right below the summary) has text that
     should not be there.  This one is coloured in a shade of red, which
     again contrasts well with blue.

  Thanks to Damien Cassou for noticing in issue 261 that the previous
  style of applying tinted backgrounds did not work well when
  'hl-line-mode' was enabled ('hl-line-mode' overrides backgrounds and
  so the warnings/errors where not always obvious):

* Added support for the new 'magit-branch-warning' face that we helped
  upstream define: <>.  It
  disambiguates warnings in Magit status buffers from the generic and
  often inappropriate for such a context 'font-lock-warning-face'.

* Simplified all the Apropos faces.  They no longer look like buttons or
  links as that makes the presentation of 'M-x apropos' very busy.
  Instead, they now only have a foreground colour.

* Updated support for org-roam faces by removing old entries and
  covering new ones.

* Replaced old company-mode faces with their new aliases:

  - company-scrollbar-bg => company-tooltip-scrollbar-thumb
  - company-scrollbar-fg => company-tooltip-scrollbar-track

* Made 'org-column-title' inherit from 'fixed-pitch' when the user
  option 'modus-themes-mixed-fonts' is non-nil.  This is needed to line
  up columns correctly.  Thanks to Björn Lindström for the contribution
  in merge request 52:

* Forced the 'org-colview' faces to use the same height, even when
  headings are scaled (see 'modus-themes-headings').  This ensures that
  the columns are aligned properly and text fits on the same row.
  Thanks to Björn Lindström for the contribution in merge request 53:

* Refrained from applying a bold weight to the Org date selection
  indicator in the calendar. The use of bold has the potential to create
  problems with the alignment of dates for certain typefaces that do not
  have a proper bold variant.  Also, there is no need for added emphasis
  given that we already use a prominent background colour.

* Made 'M-x org-table-header-line-mode' or the third-party package
  'org-table-sticky-header' use colours that fit better with those of

* Removed explicit styling of the 'magit-branch-current' face because
  its definition checks if the ':box' attribute can be set and if not, it
  uses ':inverse-video'.  Useful for terminal emulators.

* Expanded support for the 'mode-line-active' face for Emacs29.  The
  face upstream basically adds proportionately spaced fonts (the
  'variable-pitch' face) to the mode line.  The themes can already use
  that if the user option 'modus-themes-variable-pitch-ui' is non-nil.
  Thanks to Manuel Uberti for the feedback in issue 257:

* Implemented some stylistic refinements for ERC and Rcirc to ensure
  theme-wide consistency (e.g. timestamps are a shade of cyan).

* Tweaked adoc-mode faces for stylistic theme-wide consistency.

* Refashioned all the git faces of Treemacs so that they are more
  consistent with other such contexts or uses.  The new styles also
  conform with the 'modus-themes-deuteranopia' option.


* Ended the wanton use of internal functions in places that did not
  require them.  Instead, the themes define faces that evaluate such
  functions once and pass their results to the relevant entries.  Cases

    - Symlink and/or broken link faces in contexts such as Dired,
      Eshell, Helm, Trashed.

    - Tabbed interfaces (tab-bar, tab-line, centaur-tabs).

    - Verbatim markup or that of inline code in Org, Markdown, Asciidoc,

    - The optional use of 'variable-pitch' for User Interface elements
      (see 'modus-themes-variable-pitch-ui').

* Refined the dedicated diff background colours of modus-vivendi that
  are used when the user option 'modus-themes-deuteranopia' is non-nil.
  The changes improve the distinction between all red and yellow
  constructs in contexts where they appear together (e.g. smerge-mode).
  Basically, yellows will look more bright, while reds appear as
  brown. The corresponding blues are toned down a bit to be consistent
  with the other colours.  Consequently, the standard shades of green
  for added lines (when 'modus-themes-deuteranopia' is nil) are
  recalibrated to combine well with all other values.

* Made several faces return an 'unspecified' value instead of nil for
  their unused attributes under certain circumstances.  This is to guard
  against third-party code that unconditionally expects a non-nil value.

* Omitted {over,under}line attributes from the mode line when the
  'padded' property is added to the 'modus-themes-mode-line' user
  option.  Those are not necessary in that context.  Thanks to Illia
  Ostapyshyn for the contribution in merge request 54:

* Rewrote several internal functions in the interest of consistency and

* Deleted two user options that were long obsolete: (i)
  'modus-themes-org-habit' has been superseded by
  'modus-themes-org-agenda' since version 1.5.0 of the themes and (ii)
  'modus-themes-intense-hl-line' has been replaced by
  'modus-themes-hl-line' since version 1.3.0.

* Removed parentheses from headings in the manual as they are invalid
  characters for some version of Texinfo.  See Emacs bug#52126:

* Updated all doc strings so that quoted lists yield valid syntax in
  Help buffers; syntax that can be directly evaluated (otherwise Emacs
  prettifies straight quotes as curly ones, which break the code).
  Thanks to Christian Tietze for bringing this issue to my attention:

* Rewrote all sections of the manual to document the current state of
  the project as pertains to valid user options, explicitly supported
  face groups, and so on.


Modus themes version 1.7.0

By Protesilaos Stavrou <> on 2021-11-18

The present entry records the changes made to the project since the
release of version 1.6.0 on 2021-09-29.  There have been more than 60
commits since then.

Every modification pertaining to colour combinations referenced herein
is implemented in accordance with the primary accessibility objective of
the themes for a minimum contrast ratio of 7:1 between background and
foreground values in their given combination (the WCAG AAA standard).
Edits also account for colour-coding that is optimised for the needs of
users with red-green colour deficiency (deuteranopia).

To access the URL of the manual visit this web page:
<>.  Or read it from Emacs by
evaluating this form:

    (info "(modus-themes) Top")

The themes are built into Emacs version 28 (next stable release), and
are available on GNU ELPA as well as other archives.  This release is
the first one that is included with Emacs 29, or else the 'master'
branch in emacs.git.

Customisation options

+ The 'modus-themes-no-mixed-fonts' has been deprecated and replaced by
  the 'modus-themes-mixed-fonts'.  This is a breaking change for users
  who want to use "mixed fonts": they must set the new variable to

  As the name implies, the new variable changes the meaning of the
  feature to make it opt-in by default.  This is consistent with the
  principle of least surprise, as users may not know why some fonts look
  different than others in certain cases.

  Thanks to Christian Tietze for clarifying the doc string of this new
  user option in merge request 51:

  For context, "mixed fonts" refers to a design where spacing-sensitive
  constructs, such as code blocks and Org tables, inherit from the
  'fixed-pitch' face to remain monospaced (and properly aligned) at all
  times.  Depending on the user's configurations, the 'fixed-pitch' face
  may not use the typeface that the user expects.

  The manual provides information on how to set the desired fonts by
  editing the 'default', 'fixed-pitch', and 'variable-pitch' faces.

+ The new 'modus-themes-mode-line-padding' can be used to control the
  apparent padding of the mode line when the user option
  'modus-themes-mode-line' includes the 'padded' property.  The padding
  must be a positive integer (otherwise the code would be needlessly
  complex to guard against values that make the mode line look awkward,
  like anything lower than -3 or maybe even -2).

  Thanks to Guilherme Semente and Manuel Uberti for the feedback in
  issue 245: <>.

  Note that the out-of-the-box style of the themes has a padding of 1
  (technically a ':line-width' of 1 for the ':box' attribute), whereas
  the default style of Emacs has it at -1.  This is a design choice to
  avoid an overlap between the outer boundaries of a font's glyphs and
  the borders of the mode line, when using certain common typefaces at
  various point sizes.  Such an overlap can hinder readability.

  The manual contains a new Do-It-Yourself (DIY) section with detailed
  code samples on how to apply a negative value.

+ The new 'modus-themes-intense-markup' option can be set to non-nil to
  make constructs such as inline code and verbatim text more colourful.
  This has a general utility, though its consideration was prompted by a
  phenomenon reported by Stefan Kangas in issue 238 where the overlay of
  the 'hl-line-face' overrides the subtle background these constructs
  use and can thus make them virtually indistinguishable from ordinary
  text: <>.

  Such is the standard behaviour of 'hl-line-mode' and there is nothing
  a theme can (or rather "should") do about it.  Thanks to Stefan Kangas
  for the feedback.

+ The 'modus-themes-headings' option can now accept and apply an exact
  font weight such as 'semibold' or 'light'.  (The list of available
  weights is the value of the 'modus-themes--heading-weights' internal
  variable.)  This supersedes the now-deprecated 'no-bold' property:
  'no-bold' is henceforth understood as the presence of a 'regular'

  Recall that this user option is an alist and can be used to target
  heading levels individually, which further reinforces the utility of
  this new property.

  Thanks to Christian Tietze for suggesting this idea in issue 248:
  <>.  And
  thanks to Daniel Mendler for refining its implementation in commit
  54bfd62, which was sent as a patch file (yes, we accept those and I
  actually prefer them over a web app's UI).

+ The 'modus-themes-org-agenda' has seen improvements to its 'event' key
  (this is an alist that has multiple keys).  It now accepts a 'varied'
  property which differentiates between (i) plain timestamp entries and
  (ii) entries that are generated from either the diary or a symbolic
  expression.  The 'varied' property combines with the other available
  properties to particularise their effects.  Consult the doc string or
  the manual for the technicalities.

  Thanks to Gustavo Barros for the detailed commentary in issue 241:

+ The 'modus-themes-lang-checkers' now accepts a 'faint' property.  This
  has the effect of toning down the colours in use.  By default, the
  only colour is that of the underline, though more can be added by
  combining the properties accepted by this user option.  Consult its
  doc string or the manual for further details.

  Thanks to Morgan Smith for suggesting the idea in issue 239:

Add support for new packages or face groups

+ 'company-tooltip-deprecated' face.  Thanks to Roman Rudakov for the
   feedback in issue 247: <>.

+ 'corfu-default' face.  Thanks to Daniel Mendler (Corfu's developer)
  for the feedback in issue 254:

+ 'image-dired' package (Emacs 29).  Thanks to Stefan Kangas for making it
  happen in emacs.git and for the feedback in issue 250:

+ 'nano-modeline' package.

+ 'vertico-quick' package.  Thanks to Nicolas De Jaeghere for the
  contribution in merge request 48:

Changes to existing faces or face groups

+ Added support for the new Org agenda faces that improve the
  contextuality of various views.  We implemented those upstream for Org
  version 9.5 in close cooperation with Gustavo Barros.  Thanks to
  Gustavo for the detailed feedback in issue 241:
  <>.  The
  thread about the patch upstream:

+ Refined Org agenda date faces in the interest of consistency and in
  accordance with the aforementioned change.  Thanks again to Gustavo
  Barros for the discussion in issue 241.

+ Applied the 'shadow' face more consistently across all contexts where
  only a subtle foreground value is expected.  This design choice makes
  it possible for users to manually edit the foreground colour of
  'shadow' to something even more subtle than the 'fg-alt' palette
  variable we use, which maps to a gray colour (e.g. they could use

+ Implemented a subtle background colour to the 'widget-inactive' face.
  This makes it easier to discern inactive buttons, checkboxes, and the
  like, in contexts such as the Customize User Interface.  Thanks to
  Stefan Kangas for the feedback in issue 242:

+ Tweaked 'file-name-shadow' to also use italics (inherit from the
  'italic' face) in order to be more easy to distinguish it from
  ordinary text in the minibuffer.

  Recall that the manual documents the meaning of inheriting from the
  'bold' and 'italic' faces instead of hardcoding a bold weight and an
  italic slant, respectively.  In short: users can change the weight to
  what they want (e.g. semibold) and/or use distinct font families.

+ Amplified the style of Version Control (VC) warnings and errors to let
  them draw more attention to themselves (because these indicators need
  to be acted upon).

+ Recoloured the 'custom-group-tag' face to make it fit better in its
  context and be consistent with the rest of the themes' established

+ Made marks for selection in Dired, Ibuffer, and related, conform with
  the 'modus-themes-success-deuteranopia' option.  This means that they
  use blue colours when the option is non-nil, instead of their default
  shades of green.

+ Adjusted the box width of key bindings for Emacs 28 or higher.  They
  should no longer cause any alignment issues.  This style is now used
  throughout the themes, including in transient views (e.g. Magit) which
  were the exception before.  Thanks to Manuel Uberti and Kevin Fleming
  for the feedback in issue 232:


+ Wrote a brief description of every user option in the manual.  Also
  covered its type, as in boolean, alist, et cetera.

+ Corrected the mode line border width for one combination of properties
  in the 'modus-themes-mode-line' option.  This should now have the same
  height as all others:

      (setq modus-themes-mode-line '(accented borderless))

+ Ensured that mode line attributes would not be set to nil, but kept at
  an 'unspecified' value instead, where relevant.  This avoids problems
  with [faulty] code that unconditionally depends on something that does
  not exist, as in the following while ':box' is nil:

      (face-attribute 'mode-line :box)

+ Expanded, reworded, or otherwise improved the manual, based on the

Thanks once again to everyone involved!


Modus themes version 1.6.0

By Protesilaos Stavrou <> on 2021-09-29

This entry records the changes made to the project since the release of
version 1.5.0 on 2021-07-15.  There have been around 70 commits since

Every colour-related modification referenced herein is always
implemented in accordance with the primary accessibility objective of
the themes for a minimum contrast ratio of 7:1 between background and
foreground values in their given combination (the WCAG AAA standard).
Such edits also account for colour-coding that is optimised for the
needs of users with red-green colour deficiency (deuteranopia or

Here is the URL of the manual: <>.
Or read it from Emacs by evaluating this form:

    (info "(modus-themes) Top")

The themes are built into Emacs version 28 (current development target),
and are available on GNU ELPA as well as other archives.  This release
is the final one for the emacs-28 branch, as that gets cut as the next
stable release of GNU Emacs.  Future releases will target Emacs 29 once
that becomes the new 'master' branch.

Customisation options

[ Themes need to be reloaded for changes to take effect. ]

+ Introduced the new 'modus-themes-tabs-accented' boolean option.  When
  set to non-nil, it renders the background of all tab interfaces in a
  shade of blue.  Those interfaces are tab-bar (built-in), tab-line
  (built-in), and Centaur tabs.

  - The background "accented" colour is the same as the one used for
    mode lines when 'modus-themes-mode-line' is configured accordingly.

+ Tweaked the 'modus-themes-mode-line' to accept a 'padded' symbol as
  part of the list of properties it can read.  This will increase the
  spacing around the mode lines' text, making the line taller overall
  but also more spacious.

  Thanks to Manuel Uberti for making the proposal and providing feedback
  in issue 228: <>.

+ Added the 'modus-themes-scale-small' which complements the existing
  scale values with one that is meant to be smaller than the base
  height.  This option is reserved for special cases and is currently
  only used as an opt-in feature in the Org agenda.

+ Expanded the 'modus-themes-org-agenda' with more parameters:

  - The current date can now also be underlined.
  - Date headings can be scaled/enlarged in size.
  - Events, like those of the Diary or sexp entries, can be customised.

  Consult the manual or the variable's doc string for the details.

+ Removed the obsoleted aliases 'modus-themes-slanted-constructs' and
  'modus-themes-scale-5'.  Those are superseded by the more
  appropriately named 'modus-themes-italic-constructs' and

  Thanks to Nicolas De Jaeghere for the patch in merge request 47:

Faces and face groups

+ Make the 'prodigy' faces for red/green/yellow inherit from the faces
  'error'/'success'/'warning', respectively.  This is done to (i) avoid
  duplication and (ii) ensure that the green/success colour coding is
  consistent with the goal of the themes to empower users with red-green
  colour deficiency.  The boolean option that changes all such greens to
  shades of blue is 'modus-themes-success-deuteranopia'.

+ Assigned the ':extend' attribute to the 'org-code' face.  This is
  necessary when the Org source contains lines that start with a colon
  sign.  Those are interpreted as code blocks.  For example:

      :  #+BEGIN_SRC emacs-lisp
      :    (defun in-interval (bounds el)
      :      (and (>= el (car bounds)) (<= el (cadr bounds))))
      :  #+END_SRC

  With the ':extend' in place, the background stretches to the edge of
  the window, thus giving those lines a uniform rectangular shape.  For
  inline uses of 'org-code', the background should remain limited to the
  span of the text.

+ Broadened support for 'marginalia' faces in two phases.

  - The first pertained to the file permissions that are shown when
    completing against file paths.  Their style is similar to what
    'dired+' or the 'direfl' packages provide, however we have taken
    care to optimise the interface for the purposes of completion
    UIs---where things can look like Dired, we make them alike, but
    where they must differ, we differentiate the designs accordingly.
    There can be no compromises or arbitrary constraints.

    Also read: <>.

  - The second batch covered all sorts of extra classes that provide
    granular control over the appearance of Marginalia instances.
    Refinements also had to be made to already-supported faces for the
    sake of achieving consistency across the various Marginalia

    Also read: <>.

+ Refined 'diredfl' and 'dired+' faces.  For the various "priv" faces,
  the intent is to increase the difference in hueness between adjacent
  file permissions (the changes are minor, but they do change the
  overall result).  Numbers are toned down so that they do not clash
  with dates.  The file suffix no longer uses cyan to stand out more in
  detailed views.

+ Made 'icomplete-selected-match' (Emacs28) more legible by aligning its
  presentation with metaphors that are estaslished across the
  modus-themes.  Thanks to Kévin Le Gouguec (peniblec) for noting the
  inconsistency with the new face upstream and for writing the patch for
  it in merge request 50:
  Also thanks to Manuel Uberti for confirming that things would look
  consistent in the comments' section of that merge request.

+ Fixed faulty inheritance for the 'web-mode-keyword-face'.  It should
  now properly copy the attributes of 'font-lock-keyword-face'.

+ Made inheritance of the new 'help-key-binding' (Emacs28 key) the
  default for all faces that need to style key bindings.

  In Emacs 28 all key bindings are automatically displayed with the face
  'help-key-binding' which uses some new face attributes to draw a
  cleaner box around it.  Given that the themes must work with earlier
  versions of Emacs, we cannot inherit it unconditionally so we added
  the relevant conditionality.  It is nice to offer this feature to
  those who use the themes on Emacs 28.  Older versions retain the
  previous style of a blue colour coupled with a bold weight.

  The exception to this rule is the transient.el faces (this is the
  pop-up window used by Magit, among others---transient.el is now built
  into Emacs).  The box effect creates unpredictable misalignments, so
  we default to the old key binding style for those.

  Thanks to Manuel Uberti and Kevin Fleming for their feedback in issue
  232: <>.

+ Added support for the new 'notmuch-jump-key' face.  I contributed this
  face in commits c37c9912, 5cc106b0 to the Notmuch git repo:

+ Updated the 'bookmark-face' (Emacs28) as it has been changed upstream
  to be a fringe indicator instead of an in-buffer, line-wide background

+ Aligned Ediff faces with other 'modus-themes-diffs' styles.  Before we
  would differentiate a "focus state", though that is now considered
  surplus to requirements.  The notion of a "focus state" only make
  sense in Magit which applies variegated colour-coding to diff hunks
  based on their state.  Whereas non-active Ediff changes are grayed
  out, so there is no need for further colour-coding nuances.  The most
  noticeable change is with:

      (setq modus-themes-diffs 'bg-only)

  As noted in the commit message of 64c74ae (from 2021-09-04):

      If users think this change is for the worse, we can always define a
      helper function like this:

          (defun modus-themes--ediff-style (bgonly default)
            "Diff style for Ediff.
          BGONLY and DEFAULT depend on the value of `modus-themes-diffs'.
          The former is more subtle."
            (if (eq modus-themes-diffs 'bg-only)
                (list bgonly)
              (list default)))

      And apply it thus:

          `(ediff-current-diff-A ((,class :inherit ,@(modus-themes--ediff-style

  No feedback was received towards that end in about a month, so we
  consider the change to be acceptable, without prejudice to the
  possibility of future updates.

+ Unified the styles of 'org-agenda-calendar-sexp', 'org-agenda-diary',
  and 'org-agenda-calendar-event'.  This is not a user-facing change but
  an internal refactoring to avoid repetition.  It also makes things
  easier for the implementation of the 'modus-themes-org-agenda' (as
  mentioned above).

+ Ensured that the 'bookmark-menu-bookmark' face inherits from the
  'bold' face.  By default it hardcodes the bold weight, whereas we
  instruct it to inherit the 'bold' face.  A user can thus change the
  ':weight' of that face to whatever they want, like semibold,
  extrabold, etc.  We do this throughout the themes for bold and
  italics---consider it a "hidden feature" of sorts.  Check the manual
  for more on the matter:

      (info "(modus-themes) Configure bold and italic faces (DIY)")

+ Provided support for tab-bar groups (Emacs28).  Specifically the faces
  'tab-bar-tab-group-current' and 'tab-bar-tab-group-inactive'.

  Thanks to Adam Porter (alphapapa) for the feedback in issue 8 over at
  the Github mirror: <>.

+ Decoupled the 'stripes' face from that of 'hl-line-face'.  This is
  because the stripes are not meant to change depending on the value of
  the user option 'modus-themes-hl-line'.

+ Revised the red shade of "flagged" entries in mu4e and notmuch.  Those
  are now consistent with Gnus.  The shade of red that was used before
  was closer to the orange side of the spectrum whereas the current has
  hints of blue (a cherry colour) and thus combines better with the cyan
  and blue that prevail in those interfaces.  These are fine margins,
  though the effect is noticeable regardless.

+ Configured the new 'ansi-color' faces (Emacs28) which are used by
  shells and terminals (among others).  Thanks to Manuel Uberti for
  reporting the changes to upstream Emacs in issue 236:

+ Expanded support for EMMS faces, pertaining to its browser views.
  Thanks to Feng Shu (tumashu) for bringing those to my attention in
  issue 11 over at the Github mirror:

+ Styled the new 'tab-line-tab-modified' face (Emacs28).  It should now
  use a faint red colour to denote changes to the underlying file.
  Thanks to Adam Porter (alphapapa) for bringing it to my attention in
  issue 12 over at the Github mirror:

+ Configured the single face that the 'cursor-flash' package has to
  offer.  Thanks to Manuel Uberti for the feedback in issue 231:

+ Included 'elpher' in the list of supported packages by means of
  covering the heading faces it implements.

+ Recalibrated certain dedicated colours for inactive tabs and tweaked
  tab faces to (i) marginally improve the default aesthetic and (ii)
  harmonise it with the style of 'modus-themes-tabs-accented'.

+ Removed the foreground attribute from all markup faces that are meant
  to denote emphasis in italics.  That is because such faces are
  typically composed with others, so we do not wish to inadvertently
  override any other colour that would otherwise have taken effect.

+ Wrote the faces for upstream Org that improve the contextuality of
  various agenda views (included in version 9.5).  This was done in
  close collaboration with Gustavo Barros who offered detailed feedback
  in issue 208 (which also led to the creation and eventual expansion of
  the 'modus-themes-org-agenda' user option):

  Four new faces improve certain styles and offer more flexibility for
  some Org agenda views: 'org-agenda-date-weekend-today',
  'org-imminent-deadline', 'org-agenda-structure-secondary',
  'org-agenda-structure-filter'.  They inherit from existing faces in
  order to remain backward-compatible.

  Quoting from <>:

      + The 'org-imminent-deadline' is useful to disambiguate generic
        warnings from deadlines.  For example, a warning could be
        rendered in a yellow colored text and have a bold weight,
        whereas a deadline might be red and styled with italics.

      + The 'org-agenda-structure-filter' applies to all tag/term
        filters in agenda views that search for keywords or patterns.
        It is designed to inherit from 'org-agenda-structure' in
        addition to the 'org-warning' face that was present before (and
        removes the generic 'warning' face from one place).  This offers
        the benefit of consistency, as, say, an increase in font height
        or a change in font family in 'org-agenda-structure' will
        propagate to the filter as well.  The whole header line thus
        looks part of a singular design.

      + The 'org-agenda-structure-secondary' complements the above for
        those same views where a description follows the header.  For
        instance, the tags view provides information to "Press N r" to
        filter by a numbered tag.  Themes/users may prefer to
        disambiguate this line from the header above it, such as by
        using a less intense color or by reducing its height relative to
        the 'org-agenda-structure'.

      + The 'org-agenda-date-weekend-today' provides the option to
        differentiate the current date on a weekend from the current
        date on weekdays.

Other patches I have made to, inter alia, emacs.git and org.git with
regard to faces are documented in previous change log entries.


+ Removed references to old versions of the themes from before their
  refactoring in version 1.0.0.  Those old packages no longer exist.
  Users must install the 'modus-themes' and then load either of
  'modus-operandi' or 'modus-vivendi'.

+ Included various extensions of the Vertico package in the list of
  indirectly supported packages.  Those define faces which either
  inherit from basic ones that we already support or use colours that
  are consistent with our accessibility target.

+ Referenced 'side-hustle', 'tide', 'bufler' as an indirectly supported
  packages for the same reasons.

+ Simplified time-stamp local variables that are used in modus-themes.el
  to show the time the file was edited.  We apply 'time-stamp-pattern'
  instead of setting multiple time-stamp variables.  Thanks to Stephen
  Gildea for the patch, which was sent to me via email (yes, you can
  always do that).

+ Updated the manual's "acknowledgements" section to name all new
  contributors to code/ideas/feedback.

+ Furnished information on how to configure the 'highlight-parentheses'
  package and extend its faces for use with the themes.  The entry
  provides a complete Elisp implementation.

+ Improved the code samples for the prism.el setup that users may wish
  to set up by themselves.  The new lists of colours work better when
  Prism's colouration is limited to a small set of hues.

+ Deleted trailing whitespace in the manual which had adverse effects
  when trying to compile the over at emacs.git.  Thanks
  to Philip Kaludercic for the patch in merge request 49:

Thanks again to everyone involved.  Looking forward to see the Modus
themes, version 1.6.0, as part of the next stable release of Emacs.


Modus themes version 1.5.0

By Protesilaos Stavrou <> on 2021-07-15

This entry outlines the set of changes made to the project since the
release of version 1.4.0 on 2021-05-25.  There have been over 130
commits since then.

Every colour-related modification referenced herein is always
implemented in accordance with the primary accessibility objective of
the themes for a minimum contrast ratio of 7:1 between background and
foreground values in their given combination (the WCAG AAA standard).
Such edits also account for colour-coding that is optimised for the
needs of users with red-green colour deficiency (deuteranopia or

Here is the URL of the manual: <>.
Or read it from Emacs by evaluating this form:

    (info "(modus-themes) Top")

The themes are built into Emacs version 28 (current development target),
and are available on GNU ELPA as well as other archives.

Customisation options

Overview of new style of sets of properties

Several variables now accept a list of symbols as a value.  Those
represent properties, which can be combined with each other to realise
the possible styles.  The idea was to simplify their specification in
order to make them easier to both maintain and extend.  Thanks to Philip
Kaludercic for introducing this concept in issue 210:

The variables are:

+ 'modus-themes-prompts' by Philip Kaludercic in merge request 43:

+ 'modus-themes-mode-line' by Philip Kaludercic in merge request 40:

+ 'modus-themes-lang-checkers' by Philip Kaludercic in merge request 46:

+ 'modus-themes-org-agenda'
+ 'modus-themes-links'
+ 'modus-themes-headings'
+ 'modus-themes-hl-line'
+ 'modus-themes-paren-match'
+ 'modus-themes-region'
+ 'modus-themes-syntax'

Take 'modus-themes-syntax' as an example.  Up until version 1.4.0, it
would only accept a symbol, signifying a predefined style.  So we had
the possible value 'faint' and another 'faint-yellow-comments'.  To make
a third variant of the "faint" aesthetic, such as by combining it with
the "alt syntax" and/or "green strings", we would need to write new
presets in the form of 'faint-green-strings', 'faint-alt-syntax',
'faint-alt-syntax-green-strings', 'faint-green-strings-yellow-comments',
'faint-alt-syntax-green-strings-yellow-comments'.  That would have been
inefficient, hence why it was not done.

With the new approach of defining a list of properties, those
combinations are all possible.  Such as:

    (setq modus-themes-syntax '(faint alt-syntax))

    (setq modus-themes-syntax '(yellow-comments alt-syntax green-strings))

The order in which the properties are set is not significant.

The doc string of each of the aforementioned variables, or the
corresponding entry in the manual, provides guidance on how to configure
things.  The old forms will continue to work for the time being, though
they are considered deprecated and will stop being supported at a future

Changes in stylistic variants for variables with sets of properties

+ The meaning of the "alt syntax" style in 'modus-themes-syntax' has
  been redefined.  In the past, it used to have green-coloured strings
  and doc strings.  Those are now red.  Some other changes have been
  implemented to make the overall looks more consistent.  Users who
  liked the old style can retain it by passing this list of properties:

      (alt-syntax green-strings)

  New styles for the "faint" aesthetic are possible, here shown as lists
  of properties:

      (faint green-strings)
      (faint alt-syntax)
      (faint alt-syntax green-strings)

  To each of those the 'yellow-comments' property can be added as well.

  Consult the doc string or the manual for the technicalities and code

+ The 'modus-themes-hl-line' no longer has styles that include only an
  underline.  Those proved to be problematic under certain circumstances
  and were thus removed.

  Minor changes have been implemented to make the following combination
  of properties more consistent, by colourising the underline:

      (accented intense underline)

+ The 'modus-themes-paren-match' now has styles that include an
  'underline' property.  Those extend the old options, such as:

      (bold intense underline)

+ The 'modus-themes-headings' have an improved set of styles for the "no
  text color" aesthetic.  Those involve the 'monochrome' property, which
  can now yield results that include a background (whereas before it was
  just colourless text for the headings, optionally without a bold
  weight).  As this is an alist, here is an example (always check the
  docs for fully fledged code samples):

      (setq modus-themes-headings
            '((1 . (background overline))
              (2 . (overline background rainbow))
              (t . (monochrome no-bold background))))

  To allow a heading level N to retain its original style, a 't' value
  can be passed.  In the previous version of the themes, it was possible
  to use 'nil' for the same purpose, though that is no longer valid.  In
  those cases, the fallback value of the alist will be used instead,
  such as what is noted above:

      (t . (monochrome no-bold background))

+ The 'modus-themes-links' provide several new possible styles, due to
  an expanded set of properties that includes, among others, 'bold',
  'italic', and 'background'.  The documentation covers the details.

+ The 'modus-themes-lang-checkers' can now attain a style that uses a
  prominently coloured background in addition to what was available
  before as a subtle background and the other variants.

New variables

+ The 'modus-themes-org-agenda' provides the means to refashion the
  entirety of the Org agenda buffer.  The value it accepts is an alist,
  with some keys expecting a symbol and others a list of properties.
  The minutia are covered in its doc string.  A possible configuration
  can look like this:

      (setq modus-themes-org-agenda
            '((header-block . (variable-pitch scale-title))
              (header-date . (grayscale workaholic bold-today))
              (scheduled . uniform)
              (habit . traffic-light)))

  'modus-themes-org-agenda' supersedes the old variable that was specific
  to the Org habit graph: 'modus-themes-org-habit'.  There now is a
  'habit' key which accepts the same values as before, plus a new style
  that is optimised for users with red-green colour deficiency:
  'traffic-light-deuteranopia'.  Please consult the doc string of
  'modus-themes-org-agenda' or the relevant entry to the manual.

  Thanks to Gustavo Barros for contributing to the creation of this
  variable as well as to all other changes in the relevant faces that
  were done in the interest of usability.  A full report about
  'modus-themes-org-agenda' with screen shots is available here:

  A patch has been sent to upstream Org, with its review pending, which
  improves upon some of the areas we had identified:

+ The 'modus-themes-inhibit-reload' controls a new behaviour of
  automatically reloading the active theme when an option is set via the
  Custom interfaces or with 'customize-set-variable'.  To opt-in to this
  feature, set the variable to a 'nil' value.

  Thanks to Philip Kaludercic for implementing this in merge request 40:

  In the development phase of this option, a bug was identified
  pertaining to recursion, as reported by Gustavo Barros in issue 213:
  <>.  Changes
  have been made to remove that possibility, as found in merge request
  45: <>.

  A thread was started on the emacs-devel mailing list to inquire upon
  the technicalities of this option, but it did not gain any traction:

  As such, we have decided to take our chances by pressing on with this
  feature.  Users who are interested in it are encouraged to give it a
  try and report any possible complications.  Issue 213 remains open.

+ The 'modus-themes-italic-constructs' is the new name of the variable
  'modus-themes-slanted-constructs'.  The term "slant" was considered
  too vague or technical and some users could have missed the meaning of
  this option.

+ The 'modus-themes-scale-5' is renamed to 'modus-themes-scale-title' to
  better convey its utility.

Changes to the manual

+ Rewrote or introduced the documentation for all the customisation
  options mentioned above.  Also updated relevant code samples, such as
  in the manual's introduction to the customisation options.  Evaluate
  this form for an annotated code overview:

      (info "(modus-themes) Customization Options")

+ Rephrased a reference to "gamma ray values" as "gamma values".  Thanks
  to Anders Johansson for the contribution in merge request 42:

+ Removed the Org macro that would insert the build date in the manual's
  introduction.  This was required to make the file reproducible,
  otherwise it would keep changing each time a new version of Emacs was
  built.  Refer to Emacs bug#48661 by Glenn Morris:

+ Included note on tweaking the key hints that the Avy package produces.
  This is in response to issue 215 by Rudolf Adamkovič:
  <>.  Thanks to
  Nicolas De Jaeghere for providing the text.

+ Wrote a note on how to control the underlines that are generated in
  compilation-mode buffers and related.  It is about configuring the
  variable 'compilation-message-face'.

+ Documented how to configure the colours that are applied to the names
  of the days in the 'M-x calendar' interface.  The relevant variable is

+ Elaborated on a "do it yourself" (DIY) guide on how to benefit from
  the hidden feature of the themes about how they handle the bold weight
  and the italic slant.  In short, we do not hardcode values and thus
  make it easy for users to specify the particularities of what it means
  for a face to have a 'bold' or 'italic' attribute.

Faces and face groups

New entries

Newly supported packages:

+ 'ledger-mode'.  Thanks to Pengji Zhang for the feedback in issue 202:

+ 'gotest'.  Thanks to Jerry Zhang for the feedback in issue 226:

+ 'css-mode'

New faces for already supported groups:

+ 'shr-h1', 'shr-h2', 'shr-h3', 'shr-h4', 'shr-h5', 'shr-h6' of the
  shr.el library (simple HTML renderer, as experienced in, for example,
  EWW).  Those are available for Emacs28, with a patch by me:

+ 'apropos-button' as a generic face that fontifies faces in apropos
  buffers.  Available for Emacs28, with a patch by me:

+ 'selectrum-mouse-highlight'.  This makes the mouse hover effect for
  selectrum look the same as in most other contexts.  Thanks to okamsn
  for the feedback in issue 203:

Review of existing entries

+ Added an ':extend' property to 'next-error' face.  This face is used
  for pulse effects.  It is good to have them extend to the edge of the
  window, so that they are easier to spot.  Thanks to Gustavo Barros for
  the feedback in issue 200, which is about pulse.el:

+ Tweaked the various Apropos faces.  The idea was to remove the colour
  from the pseudo headings so that we would not get an exaggerated
  result of too much variety in the buffer (e.g. that of 'M-x apropos').
  The individual buttons retain their style as links, meaning that they
  are governed by the variable 'modus-themes-links'.

+ Revised 'whitespace-line' face to make it look like a warning, as it
  ought to be.  Thanks to Pengji Zhang for the feedback in issue 204:

+ Reworked the colour-coding of the Hydra and Transient packages.  These
  are meant to tone down some excesses with the standard red and to
  adapt other colours to it.  Thanks to Gustavo Barros for providing
  suggestions and helping me tweak those in issue 206:

+ Recoloured 'transient-argument' to improve its uniqueness in its
  context and to better comply with the expectation of hydra-style
  colour coding, as noted right above.

+ Made the 'org-agenda-done' face conform with the customisation option
  'modus-themes-success-deuteranopia'.  This means that it will be
  coloured in blue instead of green when the option is set to a non-nil

+ Grayed out the foreground of the Org block delimiter lines on the
  premise that any extra colouration was not needed, given the presence
  of a gray background and the overall markup of the block.

+ Toned down the colouration of the 'org-code' face, so that it is
  consistent with 'org-verbatim' as well as the colours used in opening
  and closing lines of blocks.  Thanks to Gustavo Barros for suggesting
  this change in issue 206, though it went through a couple of reviews:

+ Simplified the inheritance of the 'fixed-pitch' face, which is used
  for internal purposes to ensure alignment of elements in buffers that
  must cope with mixed font configurations, such as an org-mode file
  with 'M-x variable-pitch-font' enabled.

  [ Recall that the option 'modus-themes-no-mixed-fonts' can disable
    this feature.  Also note that the 'mixed-fonts' package, or
    equivalent, is not needed while using the Modus themes (though there
    is nothing wrong with having them together). ]

+ Reduced the overall intensity of 'org-mode-line-clock-overrun'.
  Thanks to Gustavo Barros for the feedback in issue 208:

+ Simplified or otherwise tweaked several Org agenda faces to render
  possible the new 'modus-themes-org-agenda' variable, as documented
  above.  Thanks to Gustavo Barros for the feedback in issue 208:

+ Increased ever so slightly the foreground colour of the 'highlight'
  face.  This can help improve the perception of highlights, such as
  upon hovering over a link with the mouse.  Thanks to Rudolf Adamkovič
  for reporting the potential problem in issue 216:

+ Prevented the override of the 'diff-context' face when users assign a
  'bg-only' value to the 'modus-themes-diffs' variable.  This makes it
  consistent with the intent of this style, which is to work with a
  non-nil value for 'diff-font-lock-syntax' (basically to allow the
  usual colour highlights of the underlying code syntax in diff

+ Ensured consistency of all prompt-related faces by introducing a new
  face, 'modus-themes-prompt', that is inherited by all others (all
  prompt styles are controlled by the variable 'modus-themes-prompts').
  This was originally implemented with the 'comint-highlight-prompt'
  face, though that could potentially lead to undefined faces if the
  comint library was not loaded.  Whereas the 'modus-themes-prompt'
  guarantees that we pass a known face at all times.  Thanks to Philip
  Kaludercic for bringing this potential bug to my attention in a
  comment to merge request 43:

+ Removed the background colour from the 'widget-inactive' face.  It
  would create problems in some cases, such as in Custom buffers for
  multiple choice options.

+ Refined 'calendar-weekend-header' and 'calendar-weekday-header' to
  emulate the design of physical calendars and remain truthful to the
  expectations set by the default configuration of the calendar.el
  library.  Weekends now use a faint red, while weekdays are rendered in
  the same subtle gray they had before.  The underlying principle is to
  make weekends convey a subtle warning to the effect that "this is not
  a day for work" (notwithstanding precarious economic realities).  As
  noted above, there is an entry in the manual on how to make all days
  look the same, be it gray or faint red.  Evaluate this form:

      (info "(modus-themes) Note on calendarel weekday and weekend colors")

Request for feedback on a potential version 2.0.0 of the Modus themes

While we maintain a cautious stance towards preserving the default
styles, there are some cases where we might be forced to introduce
backward-incompatible changes.

Three such cases that can benefit from user feedback are:

+ Issue 196 on 'modus-themes-no-mixed-fonts'

+ Issue 198 on 'modus-themes-hl-line'

  [ Note that 'modus-themes-hl-line now accepts a list of properties as
    described in the opening sections of this entry. ]

+ Issue 218 on 'modus-themes-diffs'


+ Recalibrated the value of the colour 'bg-hl-line-intense' in the
  palette 'modus-themes-vivendi-colors'.  The change should be
  practically indecipherable, though it slightly improves things in
  certain contexts.

+ Refined the intensity of the three main yellow colours in

+ Introduced a new 'modus-themes-faces' group so that those are
  decoupled from the customisation options in the various Custom
  buffers.  Thanks to Philip Kaludercic for the patch in merge request
  39: <>.

+ Updated the manual's "Acknowledgements" section to include all new
  users who contributed to the project.

Thanks again to everyone involved!


Modus themes version 1.4.0

By Protesilaos Stavrou <> on 2021-05-25

This entry records the changes made to the project since the release of
version 1.3.0 on 2021-04-17.  There have been around 100 commits in the
meantime, as is the norm.

If you are coming from older versions, please consult the change log
entry for version 1.0.0 with regard to the breaking changes that were

Every colour-related modification is always done in accordance with the
overarching accessibility objective of the themes for a minimum contrast
ratio of 7:1 between background and foreground values in their given
combination (the WCAG AAA standard).

URL of the official manual: <>.  Or
read it with Emacs' Info reader by evaluating this form:

    (info "(modus-themes) Top")

Remember that the themes are built into Emacs version 28 (current
development target), and are available on GNU ELPA, as well as other

Customisations variables

+ Redefined the style of 'fg-only' that 'modus-themes-diffs' accepts, so
  that it no longer uses a red-green colour coding, but applies a
  red-blue distinction instead.  The symbol 'fg-only' is a deprecated
  alias for the more descriptive 'fg-only-deuteranopia'.

  This is done because green text on a light background is one of the
  worst combinations for the purposes of legibility, as it does not
  stand out in its context and thus forces undesirable compromises.
  Whereas red and blue work well in this case, while making the style
  accessible to users with red-green colour deficiency (deuteranopia).
  To avoid inconsistencies between Modus Operandi and Modus Vivendi, we
  replace green with blue in both themes.  A full report is available in
  issue 183 which was created on April 21, 2021:

+ Introduced the boolean 'modus-themes-success-deuteranopia' which
  replaces all instances of green with blue in contexts where a
  red-green colour coding is in effect (e.g. Org TODO vs DONE keywords,
  isearch current match...).

+ Implemented 'modus-themes-mail-citations' to control the colouration
  of cited text in email-related buffers, such as Gnus or message.el.
  It accepts values nil, 'faint', and 'monochrome'.  By default (the nil
  value) the text of citations cycles through blue, green, red, yellow
  depending on the level of depth.

+ Expanded the set of options for 'modus-themes-mode-line' to encompass
  the values 'borderless-accented', 'borderless-accented-3d', and
  'borderless-accented-moody'.  Those are variations of existing styles.
  The complete list:

  - nil (default)
  - 3d
  - moody
  - borderless
  - borderless-3d
  - borderless-moody
  - accented
  - accented-3d
  - accented-moody
  - borderless-accented
  - borderless-accented-3d
  - borderless-accented-moody

+ Renamed the non-nil values that 'modus-themes-org-blocks' accepts from
  'grayscale', 'rainbow' to 'gray-background' and 'tinted-background',
  respectively.  The new symbols better describe their effect on Org
  source blocks, namely, that they affect the background of the block
  rather than the foreground.  The old symbols will still work but are
  considered deprecated aliases of the newer ones.

+ Altered the intensity of the 'modus-themes-hl-line' option
  'accented-background' to a more noticeable shade of cyan/teal.  The
  old style was too subtle to have the desired effect.  The value
  'underline-accented' is not affected by this change, as it still uses
  the same subtle background it did before in combination with a more
  pronounced underline colour.

+ Deleted all deprecation warnings that concerned the transition from
  version 0.13.0 of the themes to 1.0.0.  Those had been in effect for
  several months, spanning four tagged releases.

Faces or face groups

+ Reconsidered the use of colour in all email-related citation faces to
  avoid exaggerations and reduce complexity.  Colour values have been
  tweaked to tone down their overall intensity, while the number of
  colours has been reduced to four.  Gnus and Mu4e have faces for more
  levels of citation depth, though those will simply repeat the
  four-colour cycle.

+ Made the 'message-mml' face look consistent with the rest of the
  buffer while composing an email by changing its foreground colour from
  a yellow to a cyan variant.

+ Refined several faces in the Notmuch group in the interest of harmony:

  - Individual message headers in 'notmuch-show-mode' use bold text in
    addition to their existing subtle background to better stand out in
    their context. The face is 'notmuch-message-summary-face'.

  - Tags are no longer set unconditionally to a bold typographic weight.
    They become such for unread threads in 'notmuch-search-mode'
    buffers, as well as for headers of 'notmuch-show-mode'.

  - Removal and addition of tags is now denoted by a strike-through and
    an underline effect, respectively, whereas before they both used
    underlines with the only difference being their colour.

  - The subject line in 'notmuch-search-mode' buffers uses the main
    foreground instead of a dimmed one.  The field of matching authors
    has a tweaked foreground to keep the tabular view easy to read.

  - All cryptography-related faces are simplified to not show a coloured
    background but only use a foreground colour instead.

+ Removed direct support for 'counsel-notmuch' as it already inherits
  from the relevant notmuch faces.  The package is thus considered
  indirectly supported.

+ Refrained from setting a background to the 'csv-separator-face' as it
  would inevitably colourise the negative space in the tabular view
  created by 'csv-align-mode'.  A red text colour is used instead, even
  though this is not common practice: it is easier to spot for small,
  single characters, such as a comma or a semicolon that is meant to
  have a special meaning.  Thanks to Kevin Fleming for reporting the
  problem and for offering feedback on the choice of colour in issue
  194: <>.

+ Distinguished between ordinary links and widget buttons by removing
  the underline from the latter (the 'widget-button' face) and altering
  the shade of its foreground colour.  Such widgets are used in Emacs'
  Custom interfaces and can also be found in the default Notmuch "hello"
  buffer that runs 'notmuch-hello-mode'.

+ Tweaked the Ediff current faces to be consistent with 'diff-mode' and
  related.  In practice, this only applies when 'modus-themes-diffs' is
  set to a value of 'fg-only-deuteranopia', as it adds a dim background
  to the current diff hunk.  All other styles of 'modus-themes-diffs'
  look the same as before while using Ediff.

+ Simplified the faces of 'corfu' to match the current state of the
  upstream project.  Thanks to Daniel Mendler (its developer) for
  reporting this in issue 184:

+ Refined all Eshell faces so that the output of 'ls' is consistent with
  the overall aesthetic of the themes.  Also made 'eshell-prompt'
  inherit from 'comint-highlight-prompt' to look the same as other such
  prompts (all are configurable by 'modus-themes-prompts').

+ Revised 'eshell-prompt-extras' and 'eshell-git-prompt' to use colours
  and typographic weight that better match the style of the various
  configurations they offer.

+ Simplified 'eshell-syntax-highlighting' to inherit from the standard
  Eshell faces, where appropriate.

+ Adjusted the colour of 'centaur-tabs-active-bar-face' and removed the
  bespoke 'fg-tab-accent' colour from 'modus-themes-operandi-colors' and
  'modus-themes-vivendi-colors' that was only used by it (and which
  should have never been introduced to begin with).

+ Updated the 'tab-bar-groups' faces to match changes upstream.  Thanks
  to Fritz Grabo (its developer) for the patch in merge request 35:

+ Changed the Ibuffer title and group faces to better differentiate
  between group titles and special or non-file-visiting buffers.  Thanks
  to Nicolas De Jaeghere for the patch in merge request 37:

+ Ensured that all faces that denote a "success" state, or which are
  expected to be coloured in green in a red-green binary, can use an
  appropriate blue colour (or colour combination that involves blue)
  instead when 'modus-themes-success-deuteranopia' is set to a non-nil

+ Added support for the new 'bookmark-face' in Emacs version 28.  This
  means that the built-in bookmark.el library is directly supported by
  the themes.  This face can be disabled by setting 'bookmark-fontify'
  to nil.  Thanks to Mark Barton for reporting the presence of this new
  face and for providing feedback on its style in issue 189:

+ Aligned 'hes-mode' ('highlight-escape-sequences') with the standard
  font-lock faces for regexp grouping.  This means that it conforms with
  changes to the 'modus-themes-syntax' variable.

+ Reconfigured the 'org-quote' face to adapt its style depending on the
  value of 'modus-themes-org-blocks'.  The default is a subtle blue/cold
  foreground colour against the main background.  When a value of
  'gray-background' is assigned to 'modus-themes-org-blocks', the text's
  colour becomes that of the main foreground in order to maintain a good
  level of legibility.  Thanks to Rudolf Adamkovič for the feedback in
  issue 190: <>.

+ Refashioned the 'show-paren-match-expression' face to make it apply a
  bespoke background colour and not override the expression's foreground
  colours.  This face is used by 'show-paren-mode' when the
  customisation variable 'show-paren-style' is set to the 'expression'
  value.  Thanks to Rudolf Adamkovič for the feedback in issue 191:

+ Made headings level 8 use a fine shade of magenta by default instead
  of gray (notwithstanding user changes to 'modus-themes-headings').
  This should have a negligible difference in Org or Outline buffers,
  but is more noticeable when editing Elisp in Emacs28 while also using
  'outline-minor-mode' and with 'outline-minor-mode-highlight' set to
  'override'.  That is because several top-level forms use that heading
  level with those configurations.

Documentation (the manual)

+ Incorporated a sample configuration block with all customisation
  variables and with comment annotations of their available options, in
  an attempt to make it easier for users to discover what the themes

+ Replaced all instances of "modeline" with "mode line" for consistency
  with the Emacs style.  Thanks to Rudolf Adamkovič for the patch that
  started this process in merge request 33:

+ Wrote note on setting mode line faces that indicate the state of
  'god-mode'.  Thanks to Rudolf Adamkovič for the feedback in issue 187:
  <>.  Also
  thanks to Rudolf for updating the applicable hook in merge request 34:

+ Listed 'org-mode' variables that affect fontification in blocks:
  'org-src-fontify-natively', 'org-fontify-whole-block-delimiter-line',
  and 'org-fontify-quote-and-verse-blocks'.  This complements the
  already documented variables 'org-fontify-whole-heading-line' and
  'org-fontify-done-headline' that pertain to headings.

+ Included note on fontifying inline Latex expressions in Org buffers.
  Thanks to Rudolf Adamkovič for the feedback in issue 190:

+ Elaborated on the use of 'face-remap-add-relative' by means of sample
  code that cycles through arbitrary colours for the 'region' face.
  This is filed under the "Do It Yourself" (DIY) section.

+ Provided a DIY method for adapting the fontification of Org source
  block delimiter lines to the value of 'modus-themes-org-blocks'.

+ Expanded the DIY entry on overriding the saturation of the active
  theme's colours with a method that combines the programmatic approach
  with manual overrides.  The user can thus specify the colour values
  they want to override and let the rest be handled by Elisp.

+ Introduced a section with answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
  about the design of the themes as well as recommendations on how to
  ensure optimal reading conditions or start thinking about them.  The
  questions are:

  - Is the contrast ratio about adjacent colors?
  - What does it mean to avoid exaggerations?
  - Why are colors mostly variants of blue, magenta, cyan?
  - What is the best setup for legibility?


+ Removed superfluous code from internal functions and adapted their
  indentation to make them easier to read.

+ Recalibrated some values in 'modus-themes-vivendi-colors' to ensure
  consistency in luminance with other colours that are used in their
  context.  Those are subtle changes that can only be discerned in
  side-by-side comparisons of the before and after states.  Thanks to
  André Alexandre Gomes for the feedback in issue 193:

+ Changed the saturation and hueness of the bespoke 'fg-comment-yellow'
  in 'modus-themes-operandi-colors' and 'modus-themes-vivendi-colors' to
  better contrast with its context, while still keeping its luminance
  consistent with its role as a colour for comments in code.  This is
  used when 'modus-themes-syntax' is configured appropriately (read its
  doc string or consult the manual).

+ Attempted to add explicit support for the faces of the built-in
  pulse.el library, but ultimately opted against them as the doc string
  of 'pulse-highlight-face' advises against customising it, even though
  it is not clear from the source code in emacs.git what the problem
  could be.  We shall reconsider this case for the next release cycle.
  Thanks to Gustavo Barros for the feedback on several aspects of this
  topic in issues 185 and 200:

  - <>
  - <>

+ Took the feedback of John Haman in issue 199 as a reminder to complete
  the set of possible values for the 'modus-themes-mode-line' variable:


Modus themes version 1.3.0

By Protesilaos Stavrou <> on 2021-04-17

This entry records the changes introduced to the project since the
publication of version 1.2.0 (2021-03-04).  There have been around 100
commits in the meantime, as is the norm with all releases hitherto.

Every colour-related modification documented herein conforms with the
overarching accessibility objective of the themes for a minimum contrast
ratio of 7:1 between background and foreground values in their given
combination (the WCAG AAA standard).

As the official manual is referenced several times throughout this log,
make sure to store its URL: <>.  Or
read it from Emacs' Info reader by evaluating this form:

    (info "(modus-themes) Top")

If you are coming from older versions, please consult the change log
entry for version 1.0.0 with regard to the breaking changes that were

Remember that the themes are built into Emacs28, and are available on
GNU ELPA, as well as other archives.

Customisation options

+ The old 'modus-themes-intense-hl-line' boolean variable has been
  replaced by 'modus-themes-hl-line', which provides several options for
  how to style the current line of 'hl-line-mode'.  To retain the old
  effect, one must do this:

      ;; Replacement for (setq modus-themes-intense-hl-line t)
      (setq modus-themes-hl-line 'intense-background)

  The list of possible values:

    1. nil (default)
    2. intense-background
    3. accented-background
    4. underline-neutral
    5. underline-accented
    6. underline-only-neutral
    7. underline-only-accented

  The doc string of 'modus-themes-hl-line' as well as the manual
  describe the specifics.  Thanks to Manuel Uberti for the feedback in
  commit b020592:

+ The 'modus-themes-mode-line' variable now accepts three new "accented"
  styles that complement the existing set:

    1. nil (default)
    2. 3d
    3. moody
    4. borderless
    5. borderless-3d
    6. borderless-moody
    7. accented
    8. accented-3d
    9. accented-moody

+ The 'modus-themes-region' is extended with two new options of an
  "accent" background:

    1. nil (default)
    2. no-extend
    3. bg-only
    4. bg-only-no-extend
    5. accent
    6. accent-no-extend

+ The default value of 'modus-themes-headings' for per-level styles can
  now be set to nil.  This fixes an inconsistency between the fallback
  value, which accepted nil, and the per-level styles which did not.
  Thanks to Mauro Aranda for reporting this in issue 163:

  Please read the manual for the specifics of this variable, as it is an
  alist that accepts several possible combinations.

Updates to the manual

+ Rewrote the sections that cover the aforementioned customisation

  - For 'modus-themes-mode-line', we had to revise the recommendation
    for setting 'face-near-same-color-threshold' to 45000.  That value
    is appropriate for the 'moody' and 'borderless-moody' options.
    Whereas for 'accented-moody' the number should be raised to 70000.
    Thanks to Nicolas De Jaeghere for providing this piece of

+ Rephrased the GNU Free Documentation License quote to match the style
  of other manuals that are also built into Emacs.

+ Documented 'org-mode' variables that affect the looks of various
  fontification styles.

+ Simplified the 'kbd' macro that is declared in to
  allow GNU ELPA's build system to parse the file for Emacs 26.

+ Documented existing support for 'tab-bar-mode' and 'tab-line-mode'.

+ Wrote a note on how to configure the 'dimmer.el' library by Neil
  Okamoto, in order to guarantee consistent results with the themes.
  The key is to use the RGB colour space instead of CIELAB.

+ Included note on shr.el fonts and how those are used by EWW and

+ Added a "Do-It-Yourself" (DIY) section on how to remap buffer-local

+ Detailed a DIY method to make the buffer-local backdrop of a pdf-tools
  page use a distinct colour than the default white for Modus Operandi.
  Extended the same principle to Modus Vivendi and described how to
  adapt to theme changes (such as via 'modus-themes-toggle').  Thanks to
  Utkarsh Singh for providing feedback on this topic in issue 175:

+ Elaborated on DIY techniques to programmatically override the
  saturation of all colours specified by the active Modus theme.  Thanks
  to user pRot0ta1p for the feedback in issue 166:

Support for packages

These are added to the already comprehensive list of explicitly
supported packages:

+ corfu
+ embark

+ pandoc-mode.  Thanks to Farasha Euker for the feedback in issue 171:

+ tab-bar-groups
+ telega
+ vertico

Also added support for the 'help-key-binding' face which is part of
Emacs 28.

Changes to already supported faces or face groups

+ Renamed all internal faces that the themes defined from
  "modus-theme-*" to "modus-themes-*".

+ Refashioned all Ediff faces in the process of a major review of this
  tools' overall design.  The manifold changes are:

  - All inactive diffs respect the underlying fontification
    (e.g. programming syntax highlighting).  Before they would override
    it with a gray foreground.

  - All inactive diffs have been toned down, as their background is a
    finer shade of gray than the prominent one that was used before.

  - There no longer is a visual distinction between even and odd
    inactive diffs (by means of different shades of gray).  We are of
    the opinion that such subtleties, whose utility is marginal at best,
    have no place in themes that are designed for accessibility.

  - All bespoke gray colour combinations that were only intended for
    those inactive diffs have thus been removed from each theme's

  - Active diffs follow the same style as diff-mode, to ensure
    theme-wide consistency (all diff styles are controlled by the
    variable 'modus-themes-diffs').

  This topic was discussed at length (with screenshots) in issue 169:
  <>.  Thanks to
  peniblec and Nicolas De Jaeghere for their feedback.

+ Made 'smerge-markers' and 'vdiff-closed-fold-face' look like the
  headings in 'diff-mode' in the interest of consistency, especially
  while configuring the 'modus-themes-diffs' variable.

+ Ensured consistency between all faces that pertain to key bindings in
  contexts where the hint to the key is active, in that pressing the key
  performs the action (e.g. Magit's transient buffers, which-key,...).
  The 'help-key-binding' for Emacs 28 is not included in this group,
  because it applies in cases where the keys are not active, such as in
  Help buffers.

+ Refined 'epa-validity-disabled' and 'epa-validity-high' faces.  The
  former no longer uses a background, as that was considered an
  exaggeration.  While the latter is cast in a cyan hue instead of green
  for greater clarity (this relates to the general push to optimise for
  red-green colour deficiency, which means to only use green where it is
  absolutely necessary and, in such cases, to provide for a blue-ish
  alternative, as with the 'deuteranopia' value that can be assigned to

+ Reworked 'ace-window', 'avy', and 'magit-blame' faces to ensure that
  their overlays do not inherit the face properties of underlying text,
  such as a different font family or height.  Thanks to Nicolas De
  Jaeghere for the multiple merge requests and the concomitant feedback:

  - <>.
  - <>.
  - <>.
  - <>.
  - <>.

  Also thanks to Damien Cassou for reporting an intermediate problem
  with 'avy' in issue 177; a problem that was eventually addressed by
  Nicolas De Jaeghere in merge request 31 (cited above):

+ Optimised the colour combinations used by 'avy' to improve the
  distinction between consecutive characters.

+ Reduced the brightness of EWW certificate faces, as they would attract
  disproportionate attention to themselves.

+ Reworked all EWW text field and button faces to look more like what
  they are supposed to.

+ Removed the slant and distinct foreground from the 'org-quote' face,
  as they would interfere with emphasis within the quote block.  Thanks
  to Farasha Euker for the feedback in issue 171:

+ Reduced the intensity in colouration of 'org-code' and 'org-macro' in
  order to avoid exaggerations and prevent their compounding effect in
  technical documents that include a high concentration of those faces.
  They still retain their overall character and continue to look like
  variants of 'org-verbatim'.

+ Extended support for Selectrum's new 'selectrum-quick-keys-highlight'
  and 'selectrum-quick-keys-match'.

+ Adjusted a few bongo faces for improved consistency and a more
  pleasant result overall.  Quote from commit 07224cda08:

      Refine bongo faces for consistency

      The previous design was meant to keep the track fields distinct
      from each other.  However the use of yellow was not good
      aesthetically: it does not fit with the rest of the theme.

      Upon further experimentation, I realised that the album field
      (yellow) is only present when the artist and title fields are also
      available: first is the title, then the artist, and finally the
      album.  This is true even with 'bongo-join-inserted-tracks' set to
      a non-nil value.  So changing the face from yellow to a neutral
      value is safe.

      The other two faces are adapted to look better in the new context.

+ Made more command prompt faces respond to changes in the variable
  'modus-themes-prompts'.  This concerns faces from the groups cider,
  circe, erc, indium, rcirc.

+ Refashioned typescript faces, making them more prominent by default,
  while also exposing them to the value of 'modus-themes-syntax'.

+ Revised the style of 'info-colors-ref-item-command'.  This makes
  commands look the same as functions, which is technically correct.  It
  also predicates the exact style on the value of the variable

+ Made all enh-ruby-mode faces adapt to 'modus-themes-syntax'.  Same for

+ Reconfigured all ztree faces for stylistic consistency.  The
  'ztreep-diff-model-add-face' now responds to the 'deuteranopia' value
  that can be passed to 'modus-themes-diffs'.

+ Appended the ':extend t' attribute to 'gnus-summary-cancelled' and
  'gnus-summary-selected'.  These are only noticeable on Emacs 28
  following commit 88409b21c2 in emacs.git.

+ Tweaked all faces of 'highlight-changes-mode' to better deliver on the
  intent of that mode.

+ Opted to unconditionally render all 'dired-async' faces in a bold
  typographic weight, instead of basing them on a non-nil value for
  'modus-themes-bold-constructs'.  Also changed 'dired-async-message' to
  a blue foreground, which further improves the themes' performance for
  red-green colour deficiency.

+ Adjusted the colours of some 'notmuch-crypto-*' faces to better convey
  their meaning.

+ Removed remaining conditional logic for underline styles in some
  spell- and linter- related faces to ensure that all such cases are
  controlled by the variable 'modus-themes-lang-checkers' (building on
  work that had been done in the past).

+ Stopped changing 'keycast-key' to match the modeline style, as that
  diluted the meaning of the variable 'modus-themes-mode-line'.

+ Tweaked calendar and diary faces for stylistic effect, except for the
  'diary' face which has been converted from a green to a blue variant
  for the purposes of coping with cases of red-green colour deficiency.


+ Clarified the changes in the backward-incompatible transition from
  version 0.13.0 of the themes to >= 1.0.0.  Thanks to Damien Cassou for
  reporting the absence of easy-to-find information in issue 174:

+ There were three point releases after 1.2.0 which refined certain
  aspects of the themes' packaging so that they could work both as
  built-in themes for Emacs as well as in package format via the likes
  of GNU ELPA.  Those issues were eventually resolved by Basil
  L. Contovounesios:

  - Issue 162: <>.
  - Emacs bug#45068: <>.

+ Rewrote the 'modus-themes-headings' variable's declaration to improve
  its presentation in Custom interfaces.  Thanks to Mauro Aranda for
  submitting the patch for commit 1c60927ebd.

+ Applied the ':format' keyword to all 'defcustom' forms, based on the
  aforementioned patch.  This should make all options look better in the
  various Custom interfaces.  Thanks to Mauro Aranda for the feedback in
  issue 163: <>.

+ Refined the colour values 'bg-alt' and 'bg-dim' in 'modus-vivendi' to
  improve their instantiation on Textual User Interfaces.  In
  particular, recalibrated the blue channel of light so that when the
  TUI cannot render the colour directly, it defaults to a gray value
  instead of a dark blue.

+ Added a "Last-Modified" meta header to modus-themes.el, with gets
  updated automatically and uses a timestamp.  This helps users who
  track the themes' git repo directly.  Thanks to Togan Muftuoglu for
  the feedback in issue 168:

+ Expanded the palette of each theme with accent values that are
  reserved for use in the tab-bar.  Those are used by the newly
  supported 'tab-bar-groups' package.

+ Recalibrated a few colour combinations to improve their resulting
  legibility.  The changes should not be noticeable to the untrained
  eye.  Interested parties can consult commit 349ea4a943.

+ Tweaked the hueness of the 'yellow-active' colour of 'modus-operandi'.

Thanks once again to everyone involved!


Modus themes version 1.2.0

By Protesilaos Stavrou <> on 2021-03-04

This entry records the changes introduced to the project since the
publication of version 1.1.0 (2021-01-24).  There have been close to 100
commits in the meantime.

Every colour-related modification documented herein conforms with the
overarching accessibility objective of the themes for a minimum contrast
ratio of 7:1 between background and foreground values in their given
combination (the WCAG AAA standard).

As the official manual is referenced several times throughout this log,
make sure to store its URL: <>.  Or
read it from Emacs' Info reader by evaluating this form:

    (info "(modus-themes) Top")

If you are coming from older versions, please consult the change log
entry for version 1.0.0 with regard to the breaking changes that were

Prior notice: Upgrading the themes in Emacs28 and GNU ELPA

Emacs28, the current development target, now includes a 'require-theme'
function.  It is a prerequisite to upgrading the Modus themes to their
current version.  Prior to the definition of that function, the themes
could not transition from their 0.13.0 version to >=1.0.0.  Special
thanks to Basil L. Contovounesios for making it happen, as well Mauro
Aranda and Eli Zaretskii for their feedback and support.

Expect the Modus themes in upstream Emacs to be updated shortly after
the publication of this document.

GNU ELPA currently ships version 0.12.0 of the two standalone packages
'modus-operandi-theme' and 'modus-vivendi-theme'.  This will change in
the immediate future, as a new 'modus-themes' package will succeed them.
That new package will be built directly from emacs.git, as it must now
become a ':core' entity instead of being listed as an ':external' one.

Again, expect a patch to be applied to elpa.git shortly after this
document goes live.

Customisation options

[ All variables and their values are documented in the themes' manual.
  The default value is always nil. ]

+ The new boolean 'modus-themes-subtle-line-numbers' variable will make
  the effect of 'display-line-numbers-mode' more subtle when set to a
  non-nil value.  It removes the underlying background of the unfocused
  lines while toning down their foreground.

+ The 'modus-themes-diffs' variable now accepts a 'deuteranopia' value.
  This optimises for red-green colour deficiency in all modes that show
  diffs (diff-mode, ediff, Magit...).  In practice, all instances of
  green are replaced with appropriate blue hues.  For more on the
  matter, read the report which also includes pictures:

+ The 'modus-themes-syntax' variable now reads 'faint-yellow-comments'
  as a valid value.  This has the same scope as the existing 'faint'
  value with the added effect of assigning a yellow tint to comments: it
  tones down the saturation of colours that apply to code syntax
  (standard font-lock faces and others inheriting from them).

+ The 'modus-themes-links' variable is expanded to accept the new value
  of 'neutral-underline-only': it removes the foreground from the link
  and draws a neutral gray underline below it.

Refinements to existing packages or face groups

+ Refashioned all faces that pertain to emails, including Gnus, Mu4e,
  Notmuch, and the standard 'message.el' library.  This concerns the
  colours that apply to the message header keys and their values, as
  well as quote levels.

  - Introduced more contrasting hues for headings and made more
    considerate use of bold typography.  The new colour combinations are
    better suited for the task of delivering a sense of structure;
    structure that is at once effective and subtle.

  - Applied less intense colours throughout all quotation levels.

  - Revised the sequencing of hues in quotation levels to allow distinct
    levels to stand out more without relying on excessive saturation.

  - Aligned the styling of Notmuch header dates with their counterparts
    in other similar contexts, in pursuit of theme-wide consistency.

+ Rewrote the faces of EBDB to achieve a better sense of structure.

+ Refined the colour combinations of change-log and log-view buffers to
  make it easier to discern distinct elements.

+ Tweaked the colours of certain Elfeed constructs to improve the
  overall presentation of its search buffers.

+ Changed the colour combinations of 'M-x re-builder' to amplify the
  distinction between the matching regexp groups while still reducing
  their overall intensity.

+ Reconfigured the 'diff-changed' face to always extend its background
  to the edge of the window.  Such "changed" lines are visible in
  'diff-mode' buffers when the command 'diff-unified->context' is

+ Tweaked the colour combinations of ancillary faces in diff buffers
  when the variable 'modus-themes-diffs' is set to the value 'fg-only'.
  In particular:

  - Removed the subtle background from the diff hunk headings and changed
    their colour to ensure good visibility---guarantees a sense of

  - Made the context lines inherit the default foreground colour (pure
    black/white), so that it contrasts better with red, green, and
    yellow text.

  - Applied an accented foreground to the diff header.  This is to
    ensure that it is not mistaken for a diff hunk's context.

  All these guarantee that the foreground-only highlights in line-wise
  differences draw more attention to themselves.

+ Aligned all the standard hi-* faces with their default aesthetics.
  Those are used by commands such as 'highlight-symbol-at-point'.
  Thanks to Philip K. for the valuable feedback in issue 157:

+ Removed obsolete Consult faces and added new ones, so as to remain in
  sync with the latest developments in that project.  Thanks to Daniel
  Mendler (Consult's maintainer) for reporting the inconsistency in
  issue 155: <>.

  - 'consult-preview-line' now retains fontification on the current
    line, instead of applying its own foreground.

  - 'consult-narrow-indicator' is refashioned to be colour-coded in a
    consistent way with 'consult-async-split', as both denote the
    delineation of a given scope.

  - 'consult-imenu-prefix' contrasts better with text on its current
    line, while it adapts to possible customisations performed on the
    Consult front.

+ Expanded the coverage of 'marginalia' faces to two include
  'marginalia-char' and 'marginalia-type'.  This is done in the interest
  of internal consistency between the elements of this set, as their
  defaults were also accessible (they inherit from standard faces that
  we already support).

+ Opted to render the Notmuch logo in a neutral gray backdrop.  This was
  deemed necessary as the logo is an immutable image file that consists
  of black and white strokes.  Black and white are the main background
  values of 'modus-vivendi' and 'modus-operandi' respectively, which
  could lead to confusion.  The neutral gray ensures that the logo is
  visible at all times.  Thanks to Utkarsh Singh for the feedback in
  issue 122: <>.

+ Refined the dedicated colour values used for diff hunk headings, as
  seen in diff-mode buffers or Magit.  The new colours yield text that
  is easier to read by slightly toning down the combined intensity of

+ Removed the subtle background of 'diff-header' and 'diff-file-header'.
  The header's foreground and textual representation suffice to render
  it distinct in its context.

+ Tweaked 'org-agenda-structure' and 'org-scheduled' to enhance the
  usability of Org Agenda buffers.

  - Made 'org-agenda-structure' use the largest possible height that we
    expose to users: 'modus-themes-scale-5'.

  - Re-calibrated the hueness of 'org-scheduled' and amplified its
    saturation, in order to better convey the meaning of a scheduled

  Thanks to Morgan Smith for the valuable feedback in issue 153:

+ Tweaked the faces of the 'bongo' package to enhance the
  distinctiveness of the constructs they style.

+ Adjusted the overall aesthetic of calendar faces in the interest of
  theme-wide consistency.

+ Aligned the visual metaphors of 'org-code' with those of 'org-macro'
  and 'org-verbatim', by ensuring that a subtle background is present
  behind the affected text, while the foreground conforms with the norms
  of the 'modus-themes-no-mixed-fonts' customisation option.

+ Made quoted text in Info buffers look the same as 'org-verbatim' and
  Markdown's inline code.

+ Instructed the faces of 'info-colors' to inherit from appropriate
  font-lock faces.  This guarantees that everything works as intended
  with the various values of 'modus-themes-syntax'.

+ Refined the language tag of Markdown fenced blocks so that it does
  attract unwarranted attention while delivering on its intended

+ Rendered explicit the slant of ace-window hints, guaranteeing that it
  does not inherit from the underlying text.  Thanks to Nicolas De
  Jaeghere for the patch:

  [ Some more changes have been discussed, but those require tweaks to
    the upstream package. ]

+ Ensured that the 'org-tree-slide-header-overlay-face' never draws an
  overline when the variable 'modus-themes-headings' includes a relevant
  setting for heading level 1.  Such as with the following example (all
  customisation options are documented in the themes' manual):

    (setq modus-themes-headings
          '((1 . section)

+ Extended support for the new 'tab-line-tab-inactive-alternate' face as
  that occurs in Emacs28 (current development target).  It comes into
  effect when the variable 'tab-line-tab-face-functions' includes a
  value of 'tab-line-tab-face-inactive-alternating'.

Newly supported packages

+ bbdb :: Thanks to Nicolas De Jaeghere in issue 128:

+ mmm-mode :: Thanks to Davor Rotim for the feedback in issue 161:

+ quick-peek :: Thanks to Burgess Chang for the feedback in issue 151:

+ selectrum-prescient :: This new package was brought to my attention by
  Manuel Uberti.  The intent is to phase out the faces in Selectrum,
  namely 'selectrum-primary-highlight', 'selectrum-secondary-highlight',
  though those will still be supported by the Modus themes for the
  foreseeable future.

+ shortdoc

+ spray

+ terraform-mode :: Thanks to Kevin Fleming for the feedback in issue
  159: <>.

+ vc-dir (Emacs28)

Theme-related contributions to the wider community

+ Contributed the faces for 'vc-dir' in Emacs28 and applied them to all
  VC backends: <> and

+ Contributed a new face and some related tweaks to Emacs'
  'shortdoc.el': <>.

+ Added faces to the 'tab-bar-echo-area.el' package:

+ Reported issue that led to the review of the header face in
  'org-tree-slide': <>.

+ Helped refine the faces of the 'rlist.el' package:

Documentation updates

+ Wrote about the indirect support for the 'goggles' package.  I had
  helped write its faces, as was documented in the changelog for version
  1.1.0 of the themes.  Thanks to Manuel Uberti for bringing this to my
  attention in issue 158:

+ Explained that any changes to 'custom-theme-load-path' and/or
  'custom-theme-directory' should be performed before the themes are
  loaded.  Thanks to Adrian Manea for the feedback in issue 156:

+ Included the symbol 'bg-only' in the 'modus-themes-diffs' section of
  the manual.  Thanks to user "iSeeU" for reporting the omission:

+ Expanded the manual's entry on the semantics of the optional heading
  scale used by the themes (the variables 'modus-themes-scale-[1-5]').
  The values 1-4 apply to regular headings, with 4 being the largest on
  the scale.  While 'modus-themes-scale-5' is reserved for special
  headers, such as Org '#+title:' or the Org Agenda's structure.  Recall
  that those variables only come into effect if the boolean variable
  'modus-themes-scale-headings' is set to a non-nil value (it is nil by

+ Made several changes to the '' file in an effort to
  improve the accuracy of the generated Texinfo markup.  Thanks to Glenn
  Morris and Richard Stallman for their valuable feedback in

+ Recorded a note in the manual on the intended colouration of
  backgrounds applied by 'mmm-mode'.  It explains what the constraints
  are from an accessibility standpoint and how users can configure
  things locally for more colourful, yet inaccessible, backgrounds.
  Thanks to Davor Rotim for the valuable feedback in issue 161:

+ Refined the manual's note on prism.el, simplifying the code samples
  and clarifying the commentary.

+ Wrote indices for concepts, variables, functions, which are rendered
  in the Info manual.

+ Elaborated on the possibility---and relative merits---of implementing
  a theme-agnostic hook for advanced face configurations, as opposed to
  relying on 'modus-themes-after-load-theme-hook'.  Thanks to Daniel
  Mendler for the valuable feedback in issue 131:


+ Rewrote the documentation string of the 'deftheme' declaration of
  'modus-operandi' and 'modus-vivendi'.

+ Provided links to the Info nodes that discuss each of the 'defcustom'

+ Wrote doc strings for every custom face that the themes define.


Modus themes version 1.1.0

By Protesilaos Stavrou <> on 2021-01-24

This entry records the changes introduced to the project since the
publication of version 1.0.0 (2020-12-05).  There have been around 150
commits in the meantime, qualifying this as one of the largest releases
to date.

As always, every colour-related modification documented herein conforms
with the overarching accessibility objective of the themes for a minimum
contrast ratio of 7:1 between background and foreground values in their
given combination (conformance with the WCAG AAA standard).

As the official manual is referenced several times, make sure to store
its URL: <>.

If you are coming from older versions, please consult the change log
entry for version 1.0.0.


+ We have brought back the options that were present in version 0.13.0
  or earlier which allowed users to override colors for either---or
  both---of Modus Operandi and Modus Vivendi.  Compared to the old
  mechanism, the new one is more robust and should work regardless of
  whether users run byte compiled code or not.  This is considered and
  advanced, "do-it-yourself" pathway to theme customisation.  It is
  discussed at length in the manual.

+ The new 'modus-themes-with-colors' macro makes it possible to read
  palette variables from the active theme and, thus, pass them to
  arbitrary functions or variables.  Again, this is part of the advanced
  customisations that are covered in the manual.

+ Several of the existing customisation options provide new stylistic
  variants, further expanding their utility.  While there are some new
  customisations altogether.  Combined with the above, we provide the
  infrastructure that allows the themes to adapt gracefully to a variety
  of circumstances and cover a broad range of demands.

+ More packages are added to the already comprehensive list of supported
  face groups.

+ Some of the supported faces have benefited from further, albeit
  subtle, refinements, demonstrating our commitment to consistency as
  well as our attention to detail.

+ Two reports on such "further refinements" were published on the code
  log section of <>.

+ We have more people contributing to the project (and assigning
  copyright to the FSF---as the themes are part of Emacs) and newer
  users reporting issues.  Also, there is anecdotal evidence from
  several sources on an increased interest to make new or existing faces
  accessible by default (such as by copying colour combinations from the

New customisation options

+ The existing 'modus-themes-mode-line' variable now supports three new
  borderless styles: 'borderless', 'borderless-3d', 'borderless-moody'.

  - The 'borderless' value uses the same colors as the default (nil
    value), but removes the border effect.  This is done by making the
    box property use the same color as the background, effectively
    blending the two and creating some padding.

  - The 'borderless-3d' and 'borderless-moody' approximate the '3d' and
    'moody' options respectively, while removing the borders.  However,
    to ensure that the inactive modelines remain visible, they apply a
    slightly more prominent background to them than what their
    counterparts do (same inactive background as with the default).

  The complete list of options:

    1. nil (default)
    2. 3d
    3. moody
    4. borderless
    5. borderless-3d
    6. borderless-moody

+ 'modus-themes-lang-checkers' provides several styles for spell
  checkers and code linters with regard to how they underline text.  The
  default (nil) is to use a colour-coded wavy underline, without
  changing the foreground of the affected text.  Other options include
  the ability to set a straight underline and to control the saturation
  of the foreground, while one also provides for a change in the
  background of the text in question.  The valid symbols are as follows
  (read the manual for more on the matter):

    1. nil (default)
    2. straight-underline
    3. subtle-foreground
    4. subtle-foreground-straight-underline
    5. intense-foreground
    6. intense-foreground-straight-underline
    7. colored-background

+ The 'modus-themes-org-habit' lets users pick between three styles for
  the 'org-habit' table: (1) nil (the default), which uses a total of
  eight colours, (2) 'simplified' which reduces the effective colours to
  four, while applying less saturated hues, and (3) 'traffic-light'
  which bring the colour count to three, thus blending the "clear" and
  "ready" states for workflows where the distinction between is not

  Please read the manual for a more detailed description of those

  Thanks to Gustavo Barros for suggesting the idea, providing user
  feedback on stylistic choices, as well as sharing insights on the
  workflow that made the 'traffic-light' style possible:

+ 'modus-themes-variable-pitch-ui' when set to a non-nil value applies a
  proportionately spaced typeface (controlled by the 'variable-pitch'
  face) to the User Interface, specifically the mode line, header line,
  and tab-{bar,line}.

+ The existing 'modus-themes-links' variable now has a colourless
  stylistic alternative: 'underline-only'.  The available styles:

    1. nil (default)
    2. faint
    3. neutral-underline
    4. faint-neutral-underline
    5. no-underline
    6. underline-only

+ The existing 'modus-themes-prompts' variable has two new grayscale
  styles: 'subtle-gray', 'intense-gray'.  Furthermore, their old
  'subtle' and 'intense' values have more informative aliases in the
  form of 'subtle-accented' and 'intense-accented'.  All available

    1. nil (default)
    2. subtle-accented ('subtle' remains for backward-compatibility)
    3. intense-accented ('intense' remains for backward-compatibility)
    4. subtle-gray
    5. intense-gray

+ The existing 'modus-themes-headings' variable now accepts two new
  styles: 'no-color', 'no-color-no-bold'.  All stylistic variants:

    1.  nil (default fallback option---covers all heading levels)
    2.  t (default style for a single heading, when the fallback differs)
    3.  no-bold
    4.  line
    5.  line-no-bold
    6.  rainbow
    7.  rainbow-line
    8.  rainbow-line-no-bold
    9.  highlight
    10. highlight-no-bold
    11. rainbow-highlight
    12. rainbow-highlight-no-bold
    13. section
    14. section-no-bold
    15. rainbow-section
    16. rainbow-section-no-bold
    17. no-color
    18. no-color-no-bold

  Please read the manual for instructions on how to apply those
  universally or on a per-level basis.

Added support for packages

+ cfrs (used by treemacs)
+ cperl-mode
+ diredc

+ display-fill-column-indicator-mode.  Thanks to Gustavo Barros for the
  feedback: <>.

+ evil-snipe.  Thanks to Peter Wu for the feedback:

+ isl (isearch-light).  Thanks to Manuel Uberti for the feedback:

+ marginalia
+ org-tree-slide
+ recursion-indicator

+ solaire.  Thanks to CsBigDataHub1 for the feedback:

Refinements to already supported faces

+ Reviewed the 'rainbow-delimiters' faces.  Everything is documented in
  a separate report (with screenshots).  The short version is that we
  pay close attention to detail and are willing to go to great lengths
  in pursuit of improving the overall user experience:

+ Updated the dedicated colours for 'whitespace-mode'.  The background
  should now be easier to discern.  Also removed any remaining
  inconsistencies.  Thanks to Toon Claes for the feedback:

+ Refined the faces of regexp constructs for strings affected by certain
  values passed to the 'modus-themes-syntax' option.  This is done to
  disambiguate the backslashes and grouping delimiters from the rest of
  the string.  The relevant values for 'modus-themes-syntax' are:

  - green-strings
  - yellow-comments-green-strings
  - alt-syntax
  - alt-syntax-yellow-comments

  The default colour for strings is blue, while regexp faces are yellow
  and red, whereas in those variants the strings become green, hence the
  need to make regexp faces more distinct (blue and magenta contrast
  better with green and also between themselves, thus matching the
  alternative aesthetics).

+ Reviewed dictionary.el faces (which ships with Emacs 28):

  - Made 'dictionary-reference-face' look like all other links.

  - Removed all properties from 'dictionary-word-definition-face':
    the default sets a font family, which can create inconsistencies.

  - Converted 'dictionary-word-entry-face' into comment-like text.

+ Refined and expanded the faces of Consult.

  - Made its grep commands look the same as those of all other grep

  - Ensured that line number previews, such as for the 'consult-line'
    command use their own style of a subtle foreground instead of
    inheriting from the 'line-number' face.  This is to avoid cases
    where previewed numbers and actual line numbers could be conflated
    for one another.

  - Removed the foreground pertinent to 'consult-imenu-prefix', as its
    bold weight combined with the structure of Imenu indices was deemed
    sufficient to differentiate it from actual 'consult-imenu' targets.

+ Eliminated exaggerations in the use of colour for various 'which-key'

+ Removed the needless background from the 'log-view-commit-body' face.
  This is a new face that ships with Emacs 28 (its inclusion upstream
  was documented in the last changelog entry).

+ Applied a subtle background to the 'log-view-message' face, in the
  interest of improving the usability of its interface, in particular,
  to contribute to heightened situational awareness while invoking
  'log-view-toggle-entry-display' in buffers such as those produced by

+ Introduced a neutral background for all 'outline-minor-faces' instead
  of merely mirroring the style of 'outline-mode' headings.  This is
  because it can sometimes be hard to tell whether 'outline-minor-mode'
  is active, provided certain fairly common configurations in the
  'modus-themes-headings' user option (refer to the manual for all
  customisation options).

+ Tweaked 'diff-mode' headings.

  - Adjusted the values of the dedicated colours for diff headings in
    order to amplify their relative contrast.

  - Assigned a bold typographic weight to the 'diff-hunk-header' face so
    as to enforce a greater sense of structure.

  - Instructed 'diff-function' to inherit 'modus-theme-diff-heading' in
    order to eliminate exaggerations in colouration.

+ Removed unnecessary underline from 'selectrum-current-candidate'.
  Thanks to Daniel Mendler for the feedback:

+ Made 'counsel-outline' inherit from the underlying Org faces.  Also
  corrected the style of 'counsel-outline-default' to use the main
  foreground colour.  Thanks to Gustavo Barros for the feedback:

+ Prevented headings, ultimately governed by the 'modus-themes-headings'
  user option, from inheriting the 'default' face as that could lead to
  unintended consequences, such as by retaining a background colour when
  none was expected.

+ Refashioned all faces that specified a foreground value of 'fg-alt' to
  inherit the 'shadow' face instead ('fg-alt' is the colour that is
  used, for example, in code comments by default).  This makes it
  possible for users to enact change across the theme just by tweaking

+ Fixed 'ruler-mode' text scaling adjustment, to make it cope well with
  'text-scale-adjust' and relevant commands.  Also introduced minor
  stylistic changes to the remainder of the 'ruler-mode' faces.

+ Eliminated the potentially problematic form of ':foreground nil' from
  the 'org-ellipsis' face.  In such cases it is always better to either
  specify no foreground whatsoever, or declare an unspecified value.

Patches from the community

Remember that the themes are part of Emacs and, thus, contributions that
exceed a cumulative total of ~15 lines require the assignment of
copyright to the Free Software Foundation.  Please consult the themes'
manual on the matter.

+ Nicolas De Jaeghere added support for 'exwm-floating-border-color':

+ Anders Johansson added support for 'helm-fd-finish':

+ Carlo Zancanaro fixed misquoting of 'tuareg-font-lock-multistage-face':

+ Xinglu Chen expanded Notmuch support to all its remaining faces:

+ Kostadin Ninev added support for Dired+:

+ Nicolas De Jaeghere expanded the supported items of 'pdf-faces'.  Also
  added an entry to the manual pertaining to link hints and the
  requisite setup:

+ Nicolas De Jaeghere wrote the new 'modus-themes-with-colors' macro,
  which is documented at length in the manual:

+ Nicolas De Jaeghere set up the infrastructure that grants users the
  ability to override palette colors; an option that was removed in the
  transition from version 0.13.0 to 1.0.0.  The relevant variables are
  'modus-themes-colors-operandi', 'modus-themes-colors-vivendi' (again,
  consult the manual):

+ Nicolas De Jaeghere deleted the 'modus-themes-core.el' file and merged
  its contents into the main 'modus-themes.el' library:
  <> and

+ Nicolas De Jaeghere made the 'compilation-info' face consistent with
  other compilation faces in terms of their optional bold weight:

Any remaining faults that may exist, despite our best intentions to
remove them, are those of the maintainer and will be addressed as soon
as they are identified.

FSF copyright status:

| Full name           | Copyright    |
| Anders Johansson    | covered      |
| Carlo Zancanaro     | not required |
| Kostadin Ninev      | covered      |
| Nicolas De Jaeghere | covered      |
| Xinglu Chen         | not required |

Theme-related contributions to the wider community

+ Helped address an incomplete colour value in 'org-transclusion-block':

+ Contributed to the formation of the zebra striping of 'embark':

+ Reviewed the faces of 'goggles':

+ Helped raise awareness about refactoring 'org-tree-slide-header-overlay-face':

+ Reported an issue for Moody that would affect the subset of Emacs 28
  users who enable the new 'mode-line-compact' option:

+ Did the same for Keycast: <>.

+ Defined the new 'perl-non-scalar-variable' in upstream Emacs:


+ Created a new palette subset for "graph" colours, as none of the
  existing paradigms would suffice for cases where faithfulness to
  colour huenesss is important.  Those are currently used by

+ Ensured that theme functions which need to produce an error message do
  so by calling 'error' instead of 'user-error'.

+ Added a 'modus-themes-load-themes' function that users can add to
  their init files.

+ Expanded the project's git repo README file with a sample
  'use-package' configuration.

+ The previous two points followed from an inquiry into the subtleties
  between 'enable-theme' and 'load-theme'.  Those are now documented at
  length in the manual.

+ Added screenshots to the web page that holds the official manual.
  Thanks to Damien Cassou for the feedback:

+ Swapped the values of 'cyan-faint' and 'cyan-alt-faint' for Modus

+ Tweaked 'font-lock-doc-face' and 'font-lock-type-face' variations when
  "faint syntax" is in effect: (setq modus-themes-syntax 'faint).

+ Refined 'font-lock-doc-face' for when modus-themes-syntax is given a
  value of either 'yellow-comments-green-strings' or 'green-strings'.
  The changes are minor when treated in isolation, though they have
  helped improve the overall consistency of the end result: the gestalt.

+ Reviewed select "faint" colours for both Modus Operandi and Modus
  Vivendi.  The technicalities are discussed in a complete report:

+ Ensured that (setq modus-themes-syntax 'alt-syntax) and its "yellow
  comments" variant are more truthful to their intended style, by
  eliminating any exaggerations in the use of colour.

+ Adjusted the saturation of the green-alt value of Modus Vivendi.

+ Updated the manual to reflect all of the aforementioned.

Thanks once again to everyone who contributed patches or reported an
issue.  This has been yet another period of intense work; work which
helps solidify the Modus themes as (i) uncompromisingly accessible in
accordance with the highest legibility standard, (ii) highly
customisable in true Emacs fashion, (iii) thoroughly comprehensive in
terms of face coverage, and (iv) meticulously designed throughout.


Modus themes version 1.0.0

By Protesilaos Stavrou <> on 2020-12-05

This entry documents the changes since version 0.13.0 (2020-10-08).
They constitute a major release with backward-incompatible additions
which are described below.

As always, every colour-related modification documented herein conforms
with the overarching accessibility objective of the themes for a minimum
contrast ratio of 7:1 between background and foreground values in their
given combination (conformance with the WCAG AAA standard).

Expect to find examples of basic and advanced customisations in the
comprehensive Info manual bundled with the themes, which is also
available at: <>.

Overview of major changes

0. The option that was present in earlier releases to override the
   colour palette has been removed.  It cannot work with byte
   compilation.  We must not compromise on performance, especially in
   light of the fairly high line count of the themes (broad face
   coverage combined with a multitude of customisation options).

1. The code base has been refactored.  The two themes, Modus Operandi
   (light) and Modus Vivendi (dark), derive from the same source.

2. The refactoring makes it possible to distribute the two themes as
   part of a single package.  You can find 'modus-themes' on MELPA, with
   other archives and core Emacs following suit soon thereafter (the
   Modus themes are built into Emacs since their version 0.12.0).

3. The 'modus-operandi-theme' and 'modus-vivendi-theme' packages in
   MELPA and GNU ELPA are obsolete.  MELPA has already deleted them and
   now only provides 'modus-themes', while GNU ELPA shall do so soon

   + Package providers of GNU/Linux distros, or other archives, are
     encouraged to update their sources so that they only deliver a
     single package that covers both themes.

4. To avoid surprises, the refactored code is in the 'main' branch which
   becomes the default henceforth.  The 'master' branch, from where all
   prior releases were built, is thus deprecated.  Existing installs of
   'modus-operandi-theme' and/or 'modus-vivendi-theme' must manually
   switch to the new package sources, which offer a certain guarantee
   that they are informed of the breaking changes documented herein.

   + Users of 'straight.el' must make sure that they pull from the
     'main' branch.  This may also be the case for other such tools,
     though I have not had the time to test them all.

5. The refactoring introduces a unified customisation framework.  Now
   all user-facing variables are named 'modus-themes-*' instead of
   'modus-operandi-*' and 'modus-vivendi-*'.  Users of both items can
   thus cut down on duplicate code or inelegant workarounds on their
   end.  Example:

          |   |   |   |   |   |   |   ====> modus-themes-bold-constructs

6. The themes now provide common user-facing functions.

   + 'modus-themes-load-operandi' and 'modus-themes-load-vivendi' can be
     used in Lisp to load the theme they name, while disabling their
     counterpart and running 'modus-themes-after-load-theme-hook'.  The
     hook can be used to override or further customise faces (examples
     are furnished in the manual).

   + 'modus-themes-toggle' interactively switches between Modus Operandi
     and Modus Vivendi or opens a minibuffer prompt to select between
     the two if none of them is active.  It ultimately calls the
     aforementioned functions to load the themes, so it also triggers
     the hook.  Bind this command to a key of your convenience (the
     author uses F5).

   + 'modus-themes-color' returns the colour value of a symbol in the
     alists that hold the themes' palettes.  The alists are
     'modus-themes-colors-operandi' and 'modus-themes-colors-vivendi'.
     'modus-themes-color' always operates on the active theme, making it
     suitable for post-theme-load customisations (via the hook we
     covered earlier).  Its usage is documented in the manual and is
     meant to be employed by those who are prepared to assume
     responsibility for face-related changes they introduce on their

   + 'modus-themes-color-alts' occupies the same niche as the one right
     above, with the exception that it takes two arguments.  The first
     is the alist key to be used by 'modus-operandi' and the second is
     for 'modus-vivendi'.

   + 'modus-themes-wcag-formula' implements the WCAG formula to measure
     a colour value's relative luminance.  While 'modus-themes-contrast'
     applies the formula to derive the contrast ratio between two colour
     values in hexadecimal RGB notation.  This can be used to verify the
     accessibility of colour combinations provided by the themes or new
     ones defined at the user level (the Modus themes conform with the
     WCAG AAA standard which means that this kind of contrast is 7:1 or
     higher for all applicable background+foreground combinations).

Customisation options

This is the complete list with all the customisation options:

    modus-themes-slanted-constructs             (boolean)
    modus-themes-bold-constructs                (boolean)
    modus-themes-variable-pitch-headings        (boolean)
    modus-themes-no-mixed-fonts                 (boolean)
    modus-themes-headings                       (alist)
    modus-themes-scale-headings                 (boolean)
    modus-themes-fringes                        (choice)
    modus-themes-org-blocks                     (choice)
    modus-themes-prompts                        (choice)
    modus-themes-mode-line                      (choice)
    modus-themes-diffs                          (choice)
    modus-themes-syntax                         (choice)
    modus-themes-intense-hl-line                (boolean)
    modus-themes-paren-match                    (choice)
    modus-themes-region                         (choice)
    modus-themes-links                          (choice)
    modus-themes-completions                    (choice)

Plus those which are contingent on 'modus-themes-scale-headings':


Consult the manual for each of them and please verify that none of the
older options remains in your init file.

Customisation options that did not exist in earlier versions

New entries and their possible values:

1. modus-themes-syntax

   * nil (default)
   * faint
   * yellow-comments
   * green-strings
   * yellow-comments-green-strings
   * alt-syntax
   * alt-syntax-yellow-comments

   (supersedes options for "faint syntax" and "comments")

2. modus-themes-links

   * nil (default)
   * faint
   * neutral-underline
   * faint-neutral-underline
   * no-underline

   (supersedes options for "no underlines")

3. modus-themes-paren-match

   * nil (default)
   * intense
   * subtle-bold
   * intense-bold

   (supersedes options for "intense paren match")

4. modus-themes-region

   * nil (default)
   * no-extend
   * bg-only
   * bg-only-no-extend

Furthermore, the 'modus-themes-diff' has a new option to choose from:
the symbol 'bg-only'.  It applies colour-coded backgrounds but does not
override any syntax highlighting that may be present.  This makes it
suitable for use with a non-nil value for diff-font-lock-syntax (which
is the default for diff-mode buffers in Emacs 27 or higher).

Support for new faces or face groups

+ consult
+ macrostep
+ make-mode
+ pdf-tools
+ popup
+ shr
+ sieve-mode

(remember that the list of supported packages is already comprehensive)

Thanks to:

+ Adam Spiers for bringing 'macrostep' to my attention.

+ Madhavan Krishnan for submitting the code for pdf-tools:

+ Manuel Uberti for reporting the issue with popup.el:

+ Again thanks to Manuel for consult:
  <>.  And to
  Daniel Mendler, its developer, for communicating with us on the status
  of the project.

+ Togan Muftuoglu for reporting the issue with sieve-mode:

Refinements to existing faces

+ The diary and holiday marks in 'M-x calendar' are displayed using a
  slightly tinted background in order to improve their contrast.
  Holidays are also rendered in a bold font.  Thanks to Nicolas De
  Jaeghere for reporting the issue and following it up with valuable
  feedback: <>.

+ Code blocks in 'markdown-mode' now have a subtle background that
  extends to the edge of the window.  Thanks to Roman Rudakov for the
  suggestion and Hörmetjan Yiltiz for further testing:

+ Inline code in 'markdown-mode' has a subtle background that covers the
  length of the construct.  Refer to issue #115 as above.

+ Ivy's main pattern-matching faces are slightly adjusted to work more
  effectively when users opt for "modus-themes-completions 'moderate" or
  "modus-themes-completions 'opinionated".

+ Swiper's 'swiper-isearch' command defaults to a more colourful
  presentation that clearly disambiguates matching pattern groups
  between themselves as well as their own active and inactive states.
  Thanks to John Haman for reporting the problem:

+ Swiper's remaining faces are tweaked to better convey the intent of
  this tool.

+ The border of 'ivy-posframe' is more noticeable.  Thanks to Pete
  Kazmier: <>.

+ The 'fringe' face no longer returns a nil background, which allows
  'dap-ui-controls-mode' to display things properly.  Thanks to Simon
  Pugnet: <>.

+ Tags and priority cookies in Org mode no longer have a box property.
  This is because of changes in upstream Org that we helped solve and
  that are covered in the previous CHANGELOG entry (in short: Org
  heading constructs inherit the underlying heading's properties that
  are not part of their own specs, while they retain those that are
  explicitly defined for them---adaptive headings).  Properly solves the
  following issues:

  * <>.  Thanks
    to user "bepolymathe".

  * <>.  Thanks
    to Roman Rudakov.

+ The faces of 'M-x re-builder' are less intrusive.

+ All the following now inherit from basic font-lock faces and thus
  benefit from options such as 'modus-themes-syntax':

  * geiser
  * nxml-mode
  * tuareg
  * web-mode
  * xah-elisp-mode

+ Diff headers have a subtle grey background that extends to the edge of
  the window.

+ The faces of log-view and change-log use colour combinations that
  better differentiate the various objects on display.

+ 'font-lock-type-face' uses a cyan hue instead of magenta.

+ 'magit-header-line-key' uses a blue foreground colour instead of red.

+ Doc strings in code syntax are rendered in a new dedicated colour.
  The change is fairly subtle and should practically go unnoticed.

+ 'org-date' now respects the 'modus-themes-no-mixed-fonts' option.
  Thanks to user "fleimgruber" for reporting the issue:

+ 'org-property-value' uses a slightly different shade of cyan.

+ 'dim-autoload' will always look like a regular comment.

+ The 'italic' face is inhereted by all relevant faces instead of
  hard-wiring a slant property.  This offers the potential advantage of
  specifying a distinct family (or other properties) for constructs that
  are meant to be rendered in italics (the manual has an example in its
  DIY sections for this scenario though it uses the 'bold' face---just
  apply the same idea to the 'italic' face).

+ 'dictionary-reference-face' inherits from 'button' (as with all

+ Several comment-related faces beyond the basic ones work with
  'modus-themes-syntax' when that has an effect on the colour of
  comments.  The faces are:

  * git-commit-comment-file
  * git-commit-comment-heading
  * git-rebase-comment-hash
  * git-rebase-comment-heading

+ 'transient-value' is more noticeable and fits better in its context.

+ All remaining Org metadata-related faces are refined for consistency
  between them in an attempt to make them unobtrusive.  More subtle
  colouration is applied.  Affected faces:

  * org-drawer
  * org-property-value
  * org-special-keyword

Theme-related contributions to the wider community

+ Defined the 'log-view-commit-body' for Emacs 28.1:

+ Specified the version of the 'diff-error' face for Emacs 28.1:

+ Added the 'org-dispatcher-highlight' face to upstream Org:

  * Report with screenshots:

+ Helped fix face of Flymake's unknown backend in inactive modelines:

+ Solved bug#44198 about a user not knowning the themes are in Emacs:


+ The new default 'main' branch of the Modus themes' git repo is an idea
  that was presented by user "Emacs Contrib" in issue 112:
  <>.  Raising
  awareness about the negative impact of potentially, tacitly, or
  explicitly offensive language is a goal worth pursuing.  Plus "main"
  is a more appropriate name for the primary branch of a project and we
  do not lose anything by introducing this change as part of version
  1.0.0, which anyhow requires manual interventions in user

+ Thanks to Manuel Uberti, Jeremy Friesen, and Gitlab user "Eugene" for
  their feedback during the process that eventually led to the
  development of the 'modus-themes-syntax' customisation option:

+ Thanks to André Alexandre Gomes for the feedback in issue 111, which
  led to the simplification of the manual's references to Guix:

+ Thanks to Nicolas De Jaeghere for noting that BBDB is indirectly
  supported: <>.

Between the refactoring of the code base and all other changes, this has
been yet another period of hard work to deliver on the promise of themes
that are (i) highly accessible and (ii) comprehensive in both their face
coverage and customisation options, while always conforming with the
highest accessibility standard for legible text.

Special thanks to the MELPA maintainers for all their contributions.
MELPA is an integral part of the wider Emacs community.  Thanks, in
particular, to Chris Rayner who has reviewed all my pull requests
hitherto, and to Jonas Bernoulli for checking the latest one (and its
concomitant issue) that introduced the new 'modus-themes' package.

Thank you, the reader, for your attention and for understanding the
longer term benefits of the refactoring, despite the short term friction
it may have introduced.


Modus Operandi and Modus Vivendi version 0.13.0

By Protesilaos Stavrou <> on 2020-10-08

This entry documents the changes since version 0.12.0 (2020-08-26).
There have been around 150 commits in the meantime, making this the
largest release to date (though sheer volume should not be conflated
with quality, of which there is plenty).

As always, everything described herein conforms with the overarching
accessibility objective of the themes for a minimum contrast ratio of
7:1 between background and foreground values in their given combinations
(conformance with the WCAG AAA standard).


1. There is a new Info manual that documents the customisation options
   as well as every other piece of information pertinent to the themes.
   You will find it in the Info pages inside of Emacs.  Or browse it
   online: <>.

2. New customisation options grant users more power to further adapt the
   active theme to their preferences.

3. Extended coverage for even more faces and face groups, adding to the
   already comprehensive list of directly supported ones.

4. Lots of tweaks to improve the use of colour and avoid exaggerations
   (well, "exaggerations" is relative, since the prior state was already
   carefully designed).

5. A new page hosts all pictures that demo the themes across a wide
   range of scenaria: <>.

6. Similarly, the change log also has its own dedicated web page:

New customisation options

Note that all customisation options are documented at length in the new
Info manual.  What is offered here is not necessarily exhaustive.

Diff styles

Symbol names ("choice" type):

+ modus-operandi-theme-diffs
+ modus-vivendi-theme-diffs

Possible values:

1. nil (default)
2. desaturated
2. fg-only

DEPRECATED ("boolean" type):

+ modus-operandi-theme-subtle-diffs
+ modus-vivendi-theme-subtle-diffs

This option supersedes older ones while retaining their functionality.

The default remains unaltered, meaning that the diffs will use fairly
prominent colour-coded combinations for the various elements (e.g. green
text on an unambiguously green backdrop).

A 'desatured' value will tone down the default aesthetic, giving a less
vibrant feel.

While 'fg-only' removes almost all coloured backgrounds, opting to apply
colour only to the relevant text (this was the case with the
now-deprecated options).  There are some exceptions, like word-wise or
"refined" diffs, which still use coloured backgrounds to convey their

Modeline styles

Symbol names ("choice" type):

+ modus-operandi-theme-mode-line
+ modus-vivendi-theme-mode-line

Possible values:

1. nil (default)
2. 3d
3. moody

DEPRECATED ("boolean" type):

+ modus-operandi-theme-3d-modeline
+ modus-vivendi-theme-3d-modeline

The default modeline continues to be a two-dimensional rectangle with a
border around it.  Active and inactive modelines use different colour
combinations for their main background and foreground.

Option '3d' produces an effect similar to what you get in a generic
Emacs session, where the active modeline has a pseudo three-dimensional
effect applied to it.  This option offers the same functionality as that
of the deprecated variables.

Option 'moody' is designed specifically for use with the Moody library,
though it can also be used without it.  Instead of implementing a box
effect, it applies an overline and underline instead, while also toning
down the inactive modeline.

Thanks to Nicolas De Jaeghere for the feedback and code samples in issue
80: <>

Headline styles

Symbol names ("alist" type):

+ modus-operandi-theme-headings
+ modus-vivendi-theme-headings

DEPRECATED ("boolean" type):

+ modus-operandi-theme-rainbow-headings
+ modus-operandi-theme-section-headings
+ modus-vivendi-theme-rainbow-headings
+ modus-vivendi-theme-section-headings

Possible values, which can be specified for each heading level (examples
further below):

0.  nil (default fallback option---covers all heading levels)
1.  t (default style for a single heading, when the fallback differs)
2.  no-bold
3.  line
4.  line-no-bold
5.  rainbow
6.  rainbow-line
7.  rainbow-line-no-bold
8.  highlight
9.  highlight-no-bold
10. rainbow-highlight
11. rainbow-highlight-no-bold
12. section
13. section-no-bold
14. rainbow-section
15. rainbow-section-no-bold

This supersedes and greatly expands upon what the deprecated variables
once offered.  It is now possible to (i) benefit from more stylistic
choices, and (ii) apply them on a per-level basis.

As always, the defaults remain in tact: headings are just rendered in a
bold weight and their colours are not too saturated to offer a plain
text impression that relies on typography to convey its meaning.

The info manual explains the details.  A few examples:

    ;; Per-level styles (t means everything else)
    (setq modus-operandi-theme-headings
          '((1 . highlight)
            (2 . line)
            (t . rainbow-line-no-bold)))

    ;; Uniform style for all levels
    (setq modus-operandi-theme-headings
          '((t . rainbow-line-no-bold)))

    ;; Default style for level 1, while others differ
    (setq modus-operandi-theme-headings
          '((1 . t)
            (2 . line)
            (t . rainbow-line-no-bold)))

Thanks to Adam Spiers for the feedback in issue 81:
<>.  Also thanks
to Nicolas De Jaeghere for helping refine relevant stylistic choices:

No link underlines

Symbol names ("boolean" type):

+ modus-operandi-theme-no-link-underline
+ modus-vivendi-theme-no-link-underline

Possible values:

1. nil (default)
2. t

By default, the themes apply an underline effect to links, symbolic
links, and buttons.  Users can now disable this style by setting the new
option to 't'.

Thanks to Utkarsh Singh for the feedback in issue 94:

No mixed fonts

Symbol names ("boolean" type):

+ modus-operandi-theme-no-mixed-fonts
+ modus-vivendi-theme-no-mixed-fonts

Possible values:

1. nil (default)
2. t

By default, the themes configure some spacing-sensitive faces, such as
Org tables and code blocks, to always inherit from the 'fixed-pitch'
face (documented in the manual).  This is to ensure that those
constructs remain monospaced when users opt for something like the
built-in 'M-x variable-pitch-mode'.  Otherwise the layout would break.

The obvious downside with this theme design is that users need to
explicitly configure the font family of 'fixed-pitch' in order to apply
their desired typeface (how to do this is also covered in the manual).
That may be something they do not want to do.  Hence this option to
disable any kind of font mixing done by the active theme.  Set it to

Support for new faces or face groups

+ awesome-tray
+ binder
+ cperl-mode
+ eldoc-highlight-function-argument
+ erc escaped colour sequences
+ eshell-syntax-highlighting
+ flycheck-color-mode-line
+ isearch regexp groups (Emacs version >= 28)
+ mpdel
+ objed
+ org 9.4 new faces: 'org-headline-todo' and 'org-table-header'
+ racket-mode
+ typescript-mode

Thanks to:

+ Damien Cassou for reporting the issue with mpdel:

+ Dario Gjorgjevski for reporting the issue with erc:

+ Markus Beppler for contributing the patch for cperl-mode:

+ User "Moesasji" for reporting the issue with objed:

Refinements to existing faces

+ calfw applies colours and styles in a way that makes it consistent
  with the rest of the themes' metaphors.

+ diredfl makes more considerate use of colour.  We still apply colour
  everywhere (the whole point of this package) but make sure to avoid

+ doom-modeline-battery-error face fits better with the rest of the

+ elfeed search buffers use less intense colours, while still keeping
  all elements fairly distinct.  The intent is to avoid a "rainbow
  effect" in such a dense interface.

+ elfeed read and unread items are more distinct.

+ git commit and vc log edit messages benefit from refined colour
  combinations for their various constructs.  The commit's summary is
  now rendered in a bold weight, to better convey the idea that this is
  a quasi heading element.

+ gnus heading colours are more consistent.  All information remains
  clearly distinct, but we now avoid using colours that are on opposite
  sides of the colour spectrum.  Basically to keep things distinct
  without going over the top.

+ gnus read and unread items are easier to tell apart.  Thanks to user
  "Nick" for reporting the issue:

+ help-argument-name has a distinct foreground colour, so that it is
  easier to spot it in "*Help*" buffers.  Its slant is also controlled
  by the active theme's customisation option for slanted constructs (nil
  by default---check the manual).

+ helpful-heading now is consistent with other heading styles.  Thanks
  to Nicolas De Jaeghere for reporting the issue:

+ icomplete, ido, orderless are all tweaked to work better under various

+ info-menu-star uses a red colour to make it easier to select a menu
  entry by estimating its number.  This face applies to every third
  element and is a nice little extra to have.

+ info quoted strings are configured to always render in 'fixed-pitch',
  in line with the themes' design for mixed fonts (remember to check the
  relevant customisation option).

+ line numbers work properly with 'text-scale-adjust'.  Thanks to user
  "jixiuf" for reporting the issue:

+ line-number-current-line no longer applies a bold weight to its text.
  This is to avoid a certain "jump effect" while moving between lines,
  where the affected numbers grow and shrink in weight as the line
  changes (once you see it, you will know what I mean).

+ line-number-major-tick and line-number-minor-tick do use a bold weight
  because they are fixed on the scale.  Their colours are also improved
  to better complement their intended role (these faces are for Emacs 27
  or higher).

+ magit-diff-file-heading-selection, magit-diff-hunk-heading-selection
  use more appropriate colour combinations.

+ markdown blockquotes and org quote blocks use a different foreground,
  which is colder than the previous one.  Just to make sure that they
  are not mistaken for inline code.

+ message headers use less exaggerated colour combinations.  The
  differences are fairly minor.

+ message-mml no longer uses a green foreground, as that could
  potentially cause confusion with quoted text in some cases.  A unique,
  albeit less saturated, foreground is used instead.

+ message-separator uses a more neutral colour combination, while
  retaining its overall uniqueness within its context (i.e. mail

+ modeline colours are refined to improve the contrast between active
  and inactive states.

+ mu4e-replied-face has a new colour that accounts for colour distance
  relative to its context.  Thanks to Shreyas Ragavan for reporting the
  issue: <>.

+ org agenda date and structure no longer behave like headings in other
  Org buffers.  Instead, they have their own styles to better perform
  their intended function and to avoid exaggerations.

+ org agenda dimmed to-do items (which have blocked sub-items) are no
  longer assigned a subtle grey background colour.  They are instead
  rendered with a bold weight and a subtle grey foreground to minimise
  distractions.  Thanks to Roman Rudakov for reporting this in issue
  101: <>.

+ org agenda clocked items are configured to extend their background to
  the edge of the window.  Otherwise they are cut off at the last text
  character, which creates inconsistencies while using tags: a tag is
  placed to the right so the background extends further than without
  them.  Based again on the feedback of Roman Rudakov in issue 101:

+ org agenda current time no longer uses a background.  A bold weight
  and a blue foreground are applied instead.  The intent is to keep
  things clean.  This is also covered by Roman Rudakov's feedback in
  issue 101: <>.

+ org-checkbox-statistics-done, org-checkbox-statistics-todo inherit
  from org-done and org-todo respectively, instead of defining their own

+ org drawers and their data now use 'fixed-pitch' in the interest of
  consistency with other metadata-like faces.  Thanks (yet again!) to
  Nicolas De Jaeghere for reporting the issue:

+ org-footnote underlines will now always use the same colour, instead
  of applying the one of other coloured constructs (e.g. when the
  footnote is inline and part of the text is rendered as verbatim).

+ org-meta-line is less prominent and, thus, more consistent with other
  metadata-related constructs.

+ org-roam faces are updated to match the current state of the upstream
  project.  The main colour of org-roam links is now different than that
  of standard links in an attempt to differentiate between the two (due
  to their unique semantics).  If this is not desired, you can evaluate
  the following:

      (setq org-roam-link-use-custom-faces nil)

+ org-todo, org-done, as well as relevant faces such as priorities and
  statistics are reviewed to work better with all heading combinations.
  Though please read the next section about "adaptive headings", as such
  workarounds will no longer be necessary for future stable releases of

+ selectrum uses different styles than before to account for its unique
  property of overlaying matching characters on top of the current
  line's background.  We want to avoid scenaria where matches are
  difficult to discern and the current line is not clear.

+ vc modeline states benefit from improved colour choices.  Just minor
  adjustments to account for the review of the base modeline colours.

+ vterm base colours now are variants of gray to ensure that some tools,
  such as zsh suggestions work properly.  Thanks to user "jixiuf" for
  reporting this issue and suggesting a possible solution:

Contributions to the wider community

Sometimes the themes reveal bugs in other packages.  It is of paramount
importance that we report those to the upstream developers, try to help
them reproduce the issue, and, where possible, support them in tracing
the problem's root cause.

Four such cases during this release:

1. Adaptive Org headings.  Solved upstream and documented on my website:
   Reported and discussed on the themes' issue tracker:

2. Alignment of Org tags with proportional fonts.  Ongoing thread:
   Reported and discussed on the themes' issue tracker:

3. Org priority cookie has extra space.  Ongoing thread:
   Reported and discussed on the themes' issue tracker, with feedback
   from Roman Rudakov:

4. Company overlay pop-up misaligns items.  Reported upstream and
   acknowledged as a known issue that occurs in certain cases:
   Discussion on the themes' issue tracker, with feedback from Iris
   Garcia: <>.


+ Belatedly (by about 2 weeks) pushed tag for version 0.12.0.  Thanks to
  Alex Griffin for bringing this to my attention:

+ Fixed a bug with how some older customisation options were declared as
  obsolete.  Thanks to Tassilo Horn for noticing and reporting the
  problem: <>.

+ Fixed a misplaced optional prefix argument in the manual for how to
  switch themes using a custom function.  Thanks to Manuel Uberti for
  catching this omission of mine and reporting it:

+ Silenced the Elisp package linter for a spurious error on a single
  eldoc face.  Thanks to Steve Purcell for the guidance:

+ Defined two new dedicated background colours for exceptional cases.
  These are intended for internal use in very special circumstances.

+ Reword GuixSD to "Guix System" in the list of package formats
  currently available.

+ Reviewed the main blue colours for both themes.  While the changes are
  practically impossible to discern upon first sight, the process was
  far from straightforward.  A complete report documents the minutia:

+ Reviewed the "active" palette subset, typically used in the modelines.
  No report was necessary for those, as the changes were fairly simple.

+ Reviewed the "intense" background colour that comes into effect when
  users opt for the customisation option for intense paren-match styles
  (check the manual).  Both the hue and the saturation have been changed
  to better conform with the intended function of this particular entry.

+ Reviewed the fringe-specific accented backgrounds.  Commit 7316e3320
  contains tables that compare the relative luminance of old and new

+ Improved the advice for setting fonts using 'set-face-attribute'.  The
  information is in the manual and is also available as a blog entry:

+ Rewrote an expression as "(or x y)" instead of "(if x x y)" in one
  place.  Just goes to show that tweaking the code is also part of the

+ Abstracted and simplified heading level properties by using bespoke
  theme faces.  Makes it easier to keep things consistent across the
  various face groups.

+ Same principle as above for diff-related styles.

+ Users who prefer to do things their own way or who just wish to
  contribute code to the Modus themes may wish to read my "Notes for
  aspiring Emacs theme developers":

This has been yet another period of intense work: reviewing faces and
applying colours is never easy, adding new customisation options is
always tricky, and documenting everything takes a lot of time (unless
you do all of those on a whimsy, which hopefully is not the case here).

Thanks again to everyone who helped improve the themes!


Modus Operandi and Modus Vivendi version 0.12.0

By Protesilaos Stavrou <> on 2020-08-26

This entry documents the set of changes since version 0.11.0
(2020-07-31).  There have been around 70 commits in the meatime, though
the sheer number may obfuscate the fact that a lot of work has gone into
this release.

As always, every change described here conforms with the accessibility
objective of the themes for a minimum 7:1 contrast ratio between
background and foreground values in their given combinations
(conformance with the WCAG AAA standard).

New customisation options

1 Completion Frameworks

The star of the show has to be the new option that refashions the
aesthetics of completion UIs: Helm, Icomplete, Ido, Ivy, Sallet,
Selectrum.  The 'modus-operandi-theme-completions' and
'modus-vivendi-theme-completions' accept the following symbols:

+ nil (default)
+ moderate
+ opinionated

Nil means that the overall presentation of the UI follows the patterns
established by its own source code.  For example, Ivy uses four distinct
background and foreground combinations of accented colours to highlight
the matching groups.  A grey background is added to denote the implicit
match between those groups.  So we choose to respect this metaphor,
while applying colours that conform with the accessibility goal of our
project.  Whereas Icomplete or Ido use subtle styles to present their
results.  Again, we remain faithful to their presentation.

With 'moderate', we apply nuanced background and foreground combinations
of accented colour values.  This will slightly tone down Helm, Ivy,
Sallet, Selectrum, while it will slightly adjust the looks of Icomplete
and Ido.

Whereas 'opinionated' has a more pronounced effect on the overall
aesthetics of the UI.  For the likes of Icomplete and Ido which are
subtle by default, this option will use intense combinations of
background and foreground colours.  They are the diametric opposite of
the nil value.  Whereas Helm, Ivy, Sallet, Selectrum, will use even more
subtle colours.  Again, they are farther away than their default looks.

These new options supersede the now-deprecated and more limited in scope
variables of prior releases:

+ modus-operandi-theme-intense-standard-completions
+ modus-vivendi-theme-intense-standard-completions

Thanks to the following people for their valuable feedback in issue 75:

+ Anders Johansson
+ Manuel Uberti
+ Shreyas Ragavan

2 Prompts

The 'modus-operandi-theme-prompts' and modus-vivendi-theme-prompts' will
change the overall looks of minibuffer and shell prompts ('M-x shell' as
well as 'M-x eshell').  Their possible values are:

+ nil (default)
+ subtle
+ intense

Nil will only use a coloured foreground for the prompts' text.  Simple
and effective.

With 'subtle', the default foreground value is retained but is now
complemented by an appropriately tinted background.  The effect is more
noticeable than the default, though not by much.

While 'intense' applies a coloured background and foreground combination
that should clearly stand out from the rest of the context.

Thanks to Manuel Uberti for sharing feedback in issue 74:

3 Fringe visibility

A new pair of symbols supersedes older variables:

+ modus-operandi-theme-visible-fringes ==> modus-operandi-theme-fringes
+ modus-vivendi-theme-visible-fringes  ==> modus-vivendi-theme-fringes

While the deprecated options were booleans, the current ones offer a
choice between the following:

+ nil (default)
+ subtle
+ intense

Nil means that the fringes have no distinct background of their own.
They still exist per the settings of 'fringe-mode', but can only be
discerned by tracking the negative space between the frame's or window's
edge and the buffer's effective boundaries.

The 'subtle' value will apply a greyscale background that is fairly
close to the default main background (pure white/black).  The fringes
are now visible.

As its name implies, 'intense' has a more pronounced effect than the
other values.  It also uses a greyscale background.

Review of already supported faces and colours

1 Magit blame styles

The headers that Magit's blame interface produces were difficult to tell
apart from their context.  A set of carefully selected colours now makes
sure that they are always distinct.  Some subtle background values are
used, in addition to other typographic elements.

Thanks to Damien Cassou for reporting this problem and for providing
valuable feedback that informed the final design.  Refer to issue 71:

2 Paren match colours

The face that highlights the matching delimiter when 'show-paren-mode'
(or equivalent) is enabled uses two dedicated colours, whose names are:
'bg-paren-match' and 'bg-paren-match-intense'.  Those have been reviewed
to make them more obvious in various contexts and to improve their
overall consistency.

A report with relative contrast ratios is available on my website:

I benefited from valuable feedback from Shreyas Ragavan in issue 70:

3 Mu4e faces

Some faces were tweaked to make it easier to distinguish replied,
forwarded, and draft messages from other headers.  The changes are
fairly small in scope, but the effect should be that of an overall

Thanks to Shreyas Ragavan for noticing these inconsistencies and for
their continued participation in addressing them.  See issue 69:

4 Notmuch message headings

A couple of inconsistencies with how notmuch would style email addresses
and folded messages were addressed.  The generic 'italic' face was also
tweaked in the process, removing the foreground it would falsely define.

Thanks to Damien Cassou for bringing these to my attention in issue 72:

5 hl-todo

Let the special keywords of 'hl-todo-mode' use an optional slant, just
like code comments do.  This is to ensure that they feel part of their

6 Magit general interface

Several faces were reviewed in the interest of colour harmony and to
address potential inconsistencies or exaggerations.  The most noticeable
change pertains to the log views, as we now use fewer accent values,
reducing whatever unnecessary "rainbow effect" may have existed.

7 VC commit logs

The presentation of 'vc-print-log' and 'vc-print-root-log' has been
reviewed to reduce the stark contrast between the colours it once used.
While the elements remain distinct, the differences between them are
more subtle, which is preferable when viewing long lists of
similar-looking patterns.

8 Powerline

The active and inactive minibuffers now use appropriate accented
backgrounds or foregrounds for some of their elements.  This makes them
better for their intended function.

Thanks to Shreyas Ragavan and tycho garen for their feedback in issue
73, which was actually about adding support for Spaceline.  It uses
Powerline as its dependency, so we eventually had to accommodate both of

Shreyas also helped by adding a short note in the README which informs
users of those two packages on how to tweak things when conducting tests
or changing themes.  See merge requests 9 and 10:


9 Latex sectioning

The themes will no longer affect the height of the Latex sectioning
faces.  This is because there already exists a variable that scales them

Thanks to Anders Johansson for providing insights in issue 77:

10 Transient pop-up menu

Extended support for its new colour-coded faces that follow in the
footsteps of the 'hydra' package for visual semantics.

11 Miscellaneous

The following faces were refined:

+ 'org-formula' inherits from 'fixed-pitch' to ensure that it does not
  break table layouts when the user opts for a mixed-font setup (such as
  with 'M-x variable-pitch-mode').

+ 'bongo-elapsed-track-part' uses a more appropriate accented

+ 'symbol-overlay-default-face' is less intense than before.  This is in
  response to feedback I received from Manuel Uberti as an aside in
  issue 75:

+ 'rectangle-preview' uses a slightly accented background, which
  distinguishes it from the highlighted region.  This is to denote a
  different state where the user is typing in some text.

+ 'diff-hl-change' now uses the more appropriate yellow colour instead
  of blue.  Yellow denotes "mixed changes" and, therefore, stands
  between "removed" (red) and "added" (green).  As it so happens, yellow
  is a colour that derives by mixing red with green.

New packages

The following are now explicitly supported by the themes:

+ org-table-sticky-header
+ pkgbuild-mode
+ semantic
+ spaceline

More faces or face groups that are defined:

+ git-rebase (magit)
+ doom-modeline-debug-visual
+ file-name-shadow
+ the faces used by Emacs 27's 'display-line-numbers-major-tick' and
+ table-cell

Final notes

There now exists an HTML version of the README, which will hopefully
make things easier for users:

Other changes are not user-facing.  For example, using 'pcase' instead
of 'cond' to make relevant expressions more succinct.  Or defining a
coloured underline in a more straightforward way.  No need to document
them at length.

While this release introduces customisation options, it feels as though
the themes are approaching a stable state.  We know what works, we have
a comprehensive colour palette that can meet our evolving needs, and we
have already achieved broad package/face coverage.  All while conforming
with the overarching objective of this project for a minimum 7:1
contrast ratio between background and foreground values in any given
combination we specify.

I wish to thank everyone who has helped me by testing things and sharing
their thoughts.  The people already mentioned herein:

- Anders Johansson (
- Damien Cassou (
- Manuel Uberti (
- Shreyas Ragavan (
- tycho garen (


Modus Operandi and Modus Vivendi version 0.11.0

By Protesilaos Stavrou <> on 2020-07-31

This entry records the changes since version 0.10.0 (2020-06-24).  The
present release covers close to 100 commits, some of which introduce
far-reaching changes.  It is not just the quantity that matters.
Sometimes even a minor tweak requires lots of testing and forethought.
This release represents another month of intense work and attention to

Palette review of "nuanced" colours

The themes contain a subset of palette variables that have a two-fold

1. Provide a subtle coloured background that can be combined with all
   foreground colours that are intended for text/code highlighting.

2. Produce variegated text in cases where complementary information
   needs to be displayed alongside some more prominent construct
   (e.g. Org table formulas).

In early July 2020, these colours went through a comprehensive review to
improve their intended use.  The complete report is available on my

This formed the preparatory work that enabled several of the changes
documented herein, most noticeable among which is the "Org blocks"
customisation option.

Customisation options

Org blocks

1. The symbols 'modus-operandi-theme-distinct-org-blocks' and
   'modus-vivendi-theme-distinct-org-blocks' are DEPRECATED.  They are
   now REPLACED by the general-purpose 'modus-operandi-theme-org-blocks'
   and 'modus-vivendi-theme-org-blocks' respectively.

2. The aforementioned new symbols allow users to configure different
   styles for Org blocks.

   + Option 'greyscale' (which you must quote like this: 'greyscale)
     will apply a subtle grey background to the contents of the block,
     while it will extend its beginning and end lines to ensure that the
     area is distinct from the rest of the buffer.  This is the style
     you would normally get with the old customisation options.

   + Option 'rainbow' (again, must be quoted) will instead apply a
     colour-coded subtle background in the main area of the block.  The
     exact colour depends on the programming language being used.  You
     would need to check the source code for how these are currently
     mapped (search for "org-src-block-faces").  The basic idea is to
     have different colours that make it easier for mixing the
     input/output of multiple programming languages.  Users who engage
     in literate programming may find this particularly useful.  Because
     the block is already quite apparent, the beginning and end lines
     are not extended to the edge of the window, to avoid exaggerations
     that could create distractions.

Variable pitch headings (proportionately-spaced headings)

The symbols 'modus-operandi-theme-proportional-fonts' and
'modus-vivendi-theme-proportional-fonts' are DEPRECATED.  They are now
REPLACED by the more appropriately-named
'modus-operandi-theme-variable-pitch-headings' and
'modus-vivendi-theme-variable-pitch-headings' respectively.

The intended effect is exactly the same as before, namely, to let
headings in Org and relevant modes use a proportionately-spaced font
regardless of what the default is (typically a monospaced typeface).

Remember that to configure the exact font family for the generic
'variable-pitch' face, you can use something like this:

    (set-face-attribute 'variable-pitch nil :family "FiraGO")

Check the README for further details on setting and mixing fonts.

Faint syntax for programming

Users can now enable 'modus-operandi-theme-faint-syntax' or
'modus-vivendi-theme-faint-syntax'.  The intended effect is to tone down
all syntax highlighting in programming modes, while always respecting
the overarching objective of these themes for a minimum contrast ratio
of 7:1 (highest accessibility standard for colour contrast---WCAG AAA).

The default is to use more saturated colours.

Intense hl-line

Toggling on 'modus-operandi-theme-intense-hl-line' or
'modus-vivendi-theme-intense-hl-line' will apply a more pronounced grey
to the background of faces that highlight the current line.  This
affects tools such as the built-in 'hl-line-mode', which is in turn
enabled automatically by lots of other packages, like 'elfeed' and

The default is to use a subtle grey.

Intense paren-match

Same principle as above.  'modus-operandi-theme-intense-paren-match' and
'modus-vivendi-theme-intense-paren-match' will make the matching
parentheses more intense than the default subtle warm background.  This
concerns modes such as that of the 'smartparens' package as well as the
built-in 'show-paren-mode'.

Refactored the use of bold

A major review of the themes now makes it possible to specify the exact
weight of what a "bold" typeface is.  This is only meaningful for cases
where a font family has variants such as "semibold".

Evaluate this, replacing "semibold" with the one your typeface supports:

    (set-face-attribute 'bold nil :weight 'semibold)

The default is to use a standard bold weight.

Packages and face groups

Refine already-supported faces

+ The following packages now use more appropriate colour combinations:

  - diary
  - annotate
  - transient (magit pop-up menu, though also used elsewhere)
  - fountain
  - calendar
  - mu4e
  - markdown-mode
  - outline-minor-faces

+ Other changes:

  - org-agenda has undergone a thoroughgoing review to improve the
    semantics of colour for scheduled tasks, deadlines, modeline
    filters, current date etc.

  - org and outline-mode headings have been refined to look better with
    the "rainbow headings" option that was introduced in an earlier
    release (check the README).

  - org-quote now works properly with the "Org blocks" option mentioned

  - org-checkbox-statistics uses the same foreground colour as org-todo,
    for the sake of consistency.

  - org-date now always inherits from 'fixed-pitch', to ensure proper
    alignment of elements when a mixed fonts setup is used (tools for
    achieving this effect are documented at length in the README).  The
    relevant patch was contributed by Matthew Stevenson.

  - org-meta-line no longer looks like a comment, which helps denote its
    special utility (e.g. when evaluating a table's formula).

  - org-warning now uses a variant of red for its text, which works
    better in the contexts this face is used (e.g. the agenda or the
    export dispatcher).

  - We now apply a slightly more accented colour combination for
    'secondary-selection', which is chiefly used by Org and Calendar in
    various contexts.

  - Gnus group level faces make more considerate use of colour to better
    denote their significance.

  - Cited text in message buffers has a better sequence of colours.

  - Two new Helm faces are supported.

  - Let 'keycast' use a different border colour when the "3D modeline"
    option is enabled (refer to the README for that option).

  - Extend 'hl-todo-keyword-faces' with the "bug" keyword.

  - More intense colour for 'diff-hl-reverted-hunk-highlight'.

  - Tone down the focused modeline's border colour.

  - Define new bespoke faces that the themes use internally.

  - Use more appropriate colours for 'header-line-highlight'.

  - Apply greyscale line highlight for flycheck current line in the
    diagnostics buffer, instead of the warmer colour combination it had

  - Tweak text colour difference between MU4E read and unread messages.

Added support for new packages

+ bongo
+ boon
+ dictionary
+ eshell-fringe-status
+ eshell-git-prompt
+ eshell-prompt-extras
+ highlight-tail
+ hl-defined
+ notmuch
+ tty-menu


+ Expand the README with new documentation and clarify parts of the
  existing one.

+ Update the Wiki page with screenshots and their descriptions (this in
  itself is a day's worth of work):

+ Make the source code of each theme work better with the built-in
  'outline-minor-mode'.  Check my video if you need a demo on how I use
  this in tandem with 'imenu':

Thanks to, in no particular order:

+ Shreyas Ragavan ( for introducing me to the
  idea that derived the "rainbow" Org blocks and for providing valuable
  feedback in several issues.

+ Matthew Stevenson ( for contributing the
  aforementioned patch for the 'org-date' face.

+ Manuel Uberti ( for offering valuable
  feedback in a number of issues (and special thanks for doing this for
  several months now).

+ Dinko ( for noticing a not-so-obvious bug
  in the initial implementation of the "rainbow Org blocks" option.

+ okamsn ( for providing the necessary
  feedback that allowed me to refactor the use of "bold", mentioned

Refer to the issue tracker (or commit log) for further details:


Modus Operandi and Modus Vivendi version 0.10.0

By Protesilaos Stavrou <> on 2020-06-24

This entry records the changes since version 0.9.0 (2020-06-03).  The
present release is focused on stability and internal improvements.

Fixes and adjustments

Basil L. Contovounesios, aka @basil-conto, (and also a contributor to
core Emacs) sent several patches that do the following:

+ Fix top-level parentheses so that the results of
  'custom-theme-set-faces' and 'custom-theme-set-variables' are not
  passed as arguments to the first 'custom-theme-set-faces'.

+ Fix the docstrings of the custom 'modus-theme-*' faces.

+ Simplify the syntax of properties assigned to each face.

+ Improve the way styles are inherited by Dired and Ibuffer.

Basil also pointed out an inconsistency with regard to an unwanted
underline effect for the 'doom-modeline-urgent' face in Modus Vivendi.
It was promptly removed.

From my part, I fixed issues 46 and 51 that concerned the way the
compiler would evaluate each theme's palette.  The palette is now
defined as a constant.  Further information:


Improvements to existing faces

André Alexandre Gomes (@aadcg) provided valuable feedback and
suggestions in issue 50 on the redesign of several 'org-mode' faces.

The thread is long and contains lots of screenshots:

The changes in outline:

+ Org checkboxes have a subtle background which gives them a more
  pronounced appearance while retaining their overall simplicity.

+ Org dates use a more saturated variant of cyan than they did before.
  It helps distinguish them from their context.  Especially true for
  dates inside of tables.

+ Org agenda dates have also undergone a slight review to match the

+ Org time grid now uses a more appropriate foreground colour, which has
  been designed specifically for unfocused context.

+ Org todo keywords use a more semantically-correct variant of red,
  rather than the purple one they had before.

+ Org statistics' cookies for pending tasks use a red variant as well
  rather than the previous yellow one, in the interest of consistency
  and to avoid exaggerations.

Other internal refinements

+ Subtle review of the Modus Vivendi palette.  In short, it addresses:

  - Imbalanced levels of luminance and inconsistent differences in hue
    between them and their neighbouring colours (e.g. the greens between
    them, and the greens next to the yellows in the context of syntax
    highlighting).  The result was that they would create an undesirable
    emphatic 'pop out' effect when placed close to more moderate

  - Differences in luminance and hue could lead to scenaria where two
    colours could be conflated with each other or otherwise fail to
    perform their intended function.

  - The complete report is on my website:

+ Major review of the 'diredfl' faces, in the interest of improved
  readability and harmony between the various colours.  This benefits
  from the palette changes in Modus Vivendi, but also from a similar
  review to Modus Operandi that was documented in version 0.9.0.

+ Refactor the names of dedicates colours for "marking" purposes.  These
  are used in Dired, Ibuffer, Proced, etc.  Then apply them consistently
  throughout each theme.

+ Make sure that 'stripes' uses the same colours as 'hl-line-mode'.

+ Let symlinks use a more appropriate colour in Dired and Trashed.

+ Refine the use of colour in 'magit-tag', 'eshell-prompt',
  'message-header-name', 'log-edit-header', 'change-log-function',
  'message-mml', 'message-header-name', 'message-separator'.  These are
  subtle (i.e. difficult) tweaks that improve the overall presentation
  in context.

+ Make diff indicators not use an unnecessary background when the
  user-facing option for "subtle diffs" is enabled (check the README for
  the exact name of this option).  This ensures consistency between the
  indicators and the actual scope of the diffs.

+ Add support for the 'minibuffer-line' package and extend existing
  support of the faces used in the built-in Emacs info pages.

My thanks to Basil and André for their contributions!


Modus Operandi and Modus Vivendi version 0.9.0

By Protesilaos Stavrou <> on 2020-06-03

This entry records the changes since version 0.8.0 (2020-04-28).  The
present release contains about 50 commits, covering a month of active

All changes are aligned with the primary objective of this project,
which is conformance with the WCAG AAA accessibility standard for colour
contrast.  This translates to a minimum contrast ratio of 7:1 between a
given combination of foreground and background colours.  The highest
standard of its kind.

All customisation options that are booleans are off ('nil') by default.
The project's policy is to offer such features on an "opt-in" basis,
while always respecting the principle of least surprise.

Refer to the README for further information on the exact names of
symbols and the like.

New customisation options

+ It is now possible to make the faces of Icomplete, Ido, and a few
  other related tools such as 'orderless', use coloured backgrounds to
  style their feedback.  This is the aesthetic already in effect for
  Ivy, Helm, and Selectrum.  The default is more subtle, in that it uses
  just an accented foreground value without any added background.

+ Advanced users can now override both the exact values of colour
  variables, as well as the mapping of properties/variables to faces.
  In practice this means that it is possible to completely change parts
  of the theme (or the entirety of it for that matter).  It also means
  that users can simply access the theme's palette for the sake of
  correctly passing the appropriate value to some bespoke face of

+ An extra increment for scaled headings is now available.  This should
  hold the highest value on the scale.  Such variables only take effect
  when the user opts for the "scaled headings" option.

Overview of changes

+ A set of internal reforms were carried through in order to allow the
  colour palette to be accessed from user configuration files.  This
  required a lot of debugging work to make sure the themes compile
  properly and performance is not affected.

  - The original idea for this redesign was suggested by Len Trigg in
    issue 39:
    Len also provided a real-world implementation of this new option,
    which is included in the project's README.

  - André Alexandre Gomes helped figure out the problems caused by the
    initial design of this feature.  In particular, André identified a
    performance penalty as well as errors pertaining to byte
    compilation.  Everything was eventually resolved.  For more see
    issue 44:

+ Several org-mode faces were reviewed in order to cope well with mixed
  font settings.  This is about use-cases where the main typeface is
  proportionately-spaced, either by default or by some minor mode like
  the built-in 'variable-pitch-mode'.  The intent of configuring those
  faces is to make them always inherit a fixed-pitch (monospace) font
  family, in the interest of preserving the alignment of elements.  The
  idea, suggested code, as well as user feedback were offered by Ben in
  issue 40:

+ Mixed font settings may have some side-effects depending on user
  configurations.  This is unavoidable as we cannot control how users
  define their fonts.  Mark Barton reported one such case, while he was
  able to fix it by making use of the suggested typeface definitions.
  See issue 42:

+ The faces for the 'tab-bar-mode' and 'tab-line-mode' that ship with
  Emacs 27 were written anew.  Same for those of 'centaur-tabs'.  The
  ideas for the redesign as well as the overall aesthetic are Ben's, per
  issue 41:

+ An edge case with Helm's interpretation of colour values for its
  ripgrep interface was reported by Manuel Uberti in issue 49:  It
  essentially had to do with the syntax for the regexp engine as read by
  the underlying 'rg' executable.  Collaboration on that front
  eventually led to fixes in Helm itself, committed by its maintainer.
  Note that the README for the Modus themes already contains information
  on how Helm applies a face to the matches of grep or grep-like
  commands.  Issue 49 confirmed what was already known in that regard
  (i.e. that the "--color=never" command-line option is required to use
  the Helm face, else a colour value from the ANSI colour vector is
  used---both are supported by the themes).

+ The faces for Flycheck, Flymake, and Flyspell that would apply an
  underline effect were completely rewritten to account for relevant
  differences between GUI and TUI Emacs.

  - For GUI Emacs, all affected faces will now just use a colour-coded
    wavy underline.  Empowered by the introduction of dedicated
    linter-related colours in prior commits (for version 0.8.0), we no
    longer have to change the foreground value of the offending text in
    addition to applying the underline effect.  Whereas before the text
    would also get repainted, which was too intrusive in most

  - If support for wavy underlines is not available, we assume the
    presence of a TUI, which generally is relatively more limited in its
    ability to reproduce colours with precision (meaning that the
    dedicated linter colour could be distorted, potentially producing
    inaccessible combinations).  So for those cases we apply a straight
    underline combined with a colour-coded foreground for the affected
    text.  This makes it more intense compared to the GUI equivalent,
    but is the necessary course of action to overcome the constraints
    imposed by the underlying terminal.

+ The palette of Modus Operandi underwent lots of subtle changes to make
  the background value of hl-line-mode more visible while retaining the
  overall style and character of the theme.  In principle, you should
  not be able to tell the difference, unless presented with a careful
  side-by-side comparison.  This is the comprehensive report, including
  a reproducible org-mode document with all the relevant contrast ratios:

+ Fixed `org-hide' to actually "hide" by using the appropriate colour

+ Several other face groups received minor tweaks.

+ The README was improved to better present the available customisation
  options and to cover other topics of interest.

+ Updated the screen shots and their description in the relevant Wiki

Added support for

+ circe
+ el-search
+ eros
+ golden-ratio-scroll-screen
+ highlight-indentation
+ hyperlist
+ indium
+ journalctl-mode
+ minimap
+ nxml-mode
+ vdiff
+ yasnippet


Modus Operandi and Modus Vivendi version 0.8.0

By Protesilaos Stavrou <> on 2020-04-28

This entry records the changes since version 0.7.0 (2020-03-30).  The
present release contains a little more than a hundred commits, covering
one month of intense work.

All changes are aligned with the primary objective of this project,
which is conformance with the WCAG AAA accessibility standard for colour
contrast.  This translates to a minimum contrast ratio of 7:1 between a
given combination of foreground and background colours.

All customisation options mentioned herein are off ('nil') by default.
The project's policy is to offer such features on an "opt-in" basis,
while always respecting the principle of least surprise.

Refer to the README for further information.

Four new customisation options

The options in outline, with their detailed description below:

+ Rainbow headings
+ Section headings
+ 3D modeline
+ Subtle diffs

1. "Rainbow headings" will apply more vivid colours to headings in
   'org-mode' and 'outline-mode'.  The gradation is similar to that of a
   rainbow's colour spectrum.

   The default is to use colour values that are closer to the grey

2. "Section headings" also apply to 'org-mode' and 'outline-mode'.  They
   will draw an overline over each heading and use a nuanced background
   colour that is appropriate for each level.  For Org, this option has
   some additional effects, where it will render keywords and priority
   cookies in a box and add to them a subtle background.  This is to
   make sure that everything feels consistent (to the extent possible).

   The default is to not use overlines, backgrounds, boxes in any of the
   relevant faces.  This is consistent with the standard austere
   colouration of headings: to not deviate too much from a "plain text"

NOTE: "rainbow headings" and "section headings" can work on their own or
be combined together.

3. "3D modeline" will use a faux unpressed button style for the current
   window's modeline (like the standard looks of 'emacs -Q').  The
   colours used for the active and inactive modelines are tweaked
   accordingly to maximise the effect while retaining the visual
   distinction between them.

   The default is to draw the modelines in a two-dimensional style, with
   the active one having a more noticeable border around it.

4. "Subtle diffs" will use colour-coded text for line-wise differences
   without applying any appropriately-coded background value or, where
   necessary, by using only a subtle greyscale background.  This affects
   'diff-mode', 'magit', 'ediff', and 'smerge-mode'.  For Magit an extra
   set of tweaks is implemented to account for the differentiation
   between the focused and unfocused diff hunks.

   Due to their unique requirements, word-wise or refined changes are
   always drawn with a colour-coded background, though it is less
   intense when this option is enabled.

   The default is to use a colour-coded background and foreground
   combination (e.g. light green text on a dark green backdrop) and to
   make appropriate adjustments for refined diffs and modes of
   interaction such as Magit's focused/unfocused diff states.

Other major refinements

+ Thoroughly revise the colours of 'ediff' and 'smerge-mode', so that
  they are aligned with those of 'diff-mode' and 'magit'.  This is in
  addition to the "subtle diffs" options mentioned in the previous

+ Review the faces used by Flycheck and Flymake.  A wavy/curly underline
  is now used in all terminals that support it.  The underlined text is
  drawn with a more nuanced foreground than before.  The previous design
  was exaggerating an already clear effect and could make things more
  difficult under certain circumstances.

+ All language checkers, including the aforementioned linter front-ends,
  now benefit from a new set of colours that are designed specifically
  for this particular purpose.  Makes the affected faces feel more
  different than their context.

+ Use dedicated colours for escape sequences, regular expression
  constructs, and quoted characters.  The goal is to better
  differentiate them from their surroundings.

+ Tweak the colours of 'hydra' to improve the distinction between its
  various types of behaviour.

+ Reduce the overall luminance of the background colours used in the
  fringes by the likes of 'flycheck', 'flymake', 'diff-hl', etc.  They
  should now not stand out more than they should, while retaining their
  intended role.

+ Implement more saturated colours in Elfeed.  The previous choices
  could make it harder to differentiate the various parts of the

+ Make better use of the customisation options for bold and slanted
  constructs where that is allowed.  If a face is not tied to the
  semantics of these styles then it is drawn without them, unless the
  user specifically opts for the relevant customisation options.

Added support for packages (A-Z)

+ ag
+ color-rg
+ ctrlf
+ debbugs
+ eglot
+ forge
+ helpful
+ highlight-symbol
+ ibuffer
+ icomplete
+ iflipb
+ magit-imerge
+ man
+ orderless
+ page-break-lines
+ parrot
+ phi-grep
+ phi-search
+ pomidor
+ rcirc
+ spell-fu
+ switch-window
+ swoop
+ tab-bar-mode
+ tab-line-mode
+ trashed
+ tomatinho
+ tuareg
+ vimish-fold
+ visible-mark
+ vterm
+ wcheck-mode
+ winum
+ woman

Miscellaneous changes and concluding remarks

+ Rewrote large parts of the README to make the customisation options
  easier to discover and understand.

+ Updated the screen shots and their description in the relevant Wiki


Modus Operandi and Modus Vivendi version 0.7.0

By Protesilaos Stavrou <> on 2020-03-30

This entry documents the changes since version 0.6.0 (2020-03-01).  The
present release is the largest to date containing 110 commits.

All changes conform with the primary objective of this project, which is
conformance with the WCAG AAA accessibility standard for colour
contrast.  This represents a minimum contrast ratio of 7:1 between a
given combination of foreground and background colours.

All customisation options mentioned herein are off ('nil') by default.
The project's policy is to offer such features on an "opt-in" basis.
Refer to the README or each theme's source code for the names of these
user-facing symbols.

Major refinements to existing face groups

+ The headline feature of this release is a refined set of colours for
  visualising version-control-system differences ("diffs").  The new
  colours are less intense than before and are designed to better convey
  the meaning of the constructs they apply to.  Affected face groups are
  those of 'magit' and 'diff-mode'.  A future release will assess how
  similar packages, such as 'ediff', can benefit from this work.

+ The other major set of changes concerns the colours that apply to
  fringes (see 'fringe-mode').  A new customisation option allows for a
  distinct background for the fringes (courtesy of Anders Johansson in
  commit 80fb704).  The default uses the same colours as the main
  buffer's background.  Building on this effort, fringe indicators, such
  as those of 'flycheck' now benefit from an entirely new set of
  background+foreground colour combinations that are designed
  specifically for the fringes.

+ A new customisation option allows users to render 'org-mode' source
  blocks in a distinct background colour.  The default is to use the
  same background as the rest of the buffer.  When this option is
  enabled, the background colour for the beginning and end line of such
  blocks is extended to the end of the window (using the ':extend t'
  attribute for >= Emacs 27).  Older Emacs versions already extend to
  the end of the window.

+ The colour combination that shows the matching parentheses or
  delimiters has been reviewed.  The commit is fairly small and the
  changes are immediately noticeable only to the most discerning of
  eyes.  Still, the considerations informing the review imposed a
  rigorous method.  Rather than summarise the findings, interested
  readers are advised to refer to commit af3a327: it offers a
  comprehensive analysis on the matter.

Added support for packages (A-Z)

+ auctex/tex
+ bm
+ buffer-expose
+ centaur-tabs
+ cider (tentative, feedback is much appreciated)
+ csv-mode
+ dynamic-ruler
+ ebdb
+ elfeed-score
+ flyspell-correct
+ fold-this
+ freeze-it
+ frog-menu
+ git-walktree
+ helm-switch-shell
+ highlight-defined
+ highlight-escape-sequences (hes-mode)
+ highlight-numbers
+ highlight-thing
+ hl-todo
+ ioccur
+ julia
+ kaocha-runner
+ markup-faces (adoc-mode)
+ multiple-cursors
+ num3-mode
+ org-roam
+ org-superstar
+ org-treescope
+ outline-minor-mode
+ paradox
+ rainbow-identifiers
+ rg
+ ripgrep
+ sallet (tentative, feedback is much appreciated)
+ selectrum
+ sesman
+ side-notes
+ skewer-mode
+ stripes
+ symbol-overlay
+ syslog-mode
+ vc-annotate (C-x v g)
+ volatile-highlights
+ web-mode
+ yaml-mode

Note about VC-annotate

Quoting from the relevant note in the project's README:

    Due to the unique way `vc-annotate' (`C-x v g') applies colours,
    support for its background mode (`vc-annotate-background-mode') is
    disabled at the theme level.

    Normally, such a drastic measure should not belong in a theme:
    assuming the user's preferences is bad practice.  However, it has
    been deemed necessary in the interest of preserving colour contrast
    accessibility while still supporting a useful built-in tool.

    If there actually is a way to avoid such a course of action, without
    prejudice to the accessibility standard of this project, then please
    report as much (or contribute as per the information in the
    Contributing section).

Overview of refinements to already supported packages

In this section the notion of "dedicated colours" pertains to colour
values that are reserved for special faces.  They are never used for
syntax highlighting or other common scenaria.

+ Define new background colours for fringe indicators (as noted in the
  first section).  Apply them to 'bm', 'diff-hl', 'git-gutter',
  'flycheck' fringe indicators.  All such indicators are now made more
  visible and work better with the new customisation option for
  rendering the fringes in a distinct background.

+ Define dedicated colours for tab-like interfaces.  Currently these
  apply only to 'centaur-tabs'.  The intention is to eventually
  implement them to the tab modes that ship with Emacs 27, as well as
  any other package that offers such functionality.

+ Define dedicated colours for actions that "mark" items.  Use them in
  'dired', 'proced', 'gnus'. An accented background is combined with an
  accented foreground.  The intention is to make the underlying
  construct distinct even under circumstances where the mark's
  background changes, such as when it intersects with 'hl-line-mode' or
  'stripes': the accented foreground will still be recognisable as a
  colour that differs from the main foreground.  The use of a bold font
  weight further reinforces the intended action.

+ Refine 'dired' faces to account for the new "mark" styles.
  Directories are no longer rendered in a bold weight.

+ Tweak the colours used in the built-in 'diary' and 'calendar' for
  better usability.

+ Tweak 'deadgrep' colours for consistency with packages that offer
  similar functionality.

+ Tweak 'compilation-line-number' in the interest of consistency with
  similar interfaces.

+ Use a more appropriate colour for 'trailing-whitespace'.  It now is a
  colour value that was designed specifically as a background.

+ Expand 'fountain-mode' support by covering its new heading faces.  The
  headings will be presented in larger font sizes, or using proportional
  fonts, should the user enable the relevant theme customisation options
  (see README or source code).

+ Remove bold weight from matching parentheses in 'show-paren-mode' and
  'smartparens'.  The temporarily applied bold weight can cause
  misalignments while using certain fonts.  Also apply the new colours
  for matching delimiters, as documented in the first section.

+ Refine 'outline-mode' colours to be consistent with those of Org's

+ Several usability and colour refinements for 'helm' and related
  packages in that milieu.

+ Remove box property from emphasis markers in the mode line.  It
  created inconsistencies with other faces.

+ Refine the colours used in Magit logs, `change-log', `log-view'.  They
  are meant to be more distinct from their context, without drawing too
  much attention to themselves.

+ Minor internal fixes for indentation and the like.

Miscellaneous changes and concluding remarks

+ Add section in the README which documents a legal requirement for all
  potential non-trivial code contributions: the need to assign copyright
  to the Free Software Foundation.  The Modus Themes are now distributed
  via the official GNU ELPA repository and copyright over them is
  assigned to the FSF.

+ Add CHANGELOG file which consolidates all tagged release notes such as
  this one.

+ Add new screen shots to the relevant Wiki page, together with detailed
  descriptions on what is being demonstrated:

Special thanks to Manuel Uberti for reporting several issues and
offering feedback where appropriate.  I was able to add support for lots
of new packages.  While a few among the already supported face groups
underwent tweaks and refinements.  The 'helm' ecosystem benefited the

Thanks to Anders Johansson for the patch that introduced the
fringes-related customisation option.  It inspired me to reconsider the
use of this particular area of the interface, which eventually led to
the barrage of commits that refashioned the fringe indicators.  A major
win overall.

Thanks to Jonathan Otsuka for fixing an error of mine on the naming of
some symbols.  My apologies for missing it: I will be more careful from
now on.

Note: both patches were small, requiring no copyright assignment.
Larger contributions are always welcome, though make sure you read the
section in the README with regard to assigning copyright to the Free
Software Foundation.


This release contains lots of refinements and additions.

Let me start with an administrative point: I have completed the process
of assigning my copy rights to the Free Software Foundation.  This
covers every contribution I make to GNU Emacs.  In practice, it means
that the Modus themes can now be included in the official ELPA archive
and theoretically be shipped with Emacs itself.  The ELPA inclusion is
ongoing.  Once it is completed, I will update the docs accordingly.

The administrative change has no effect on the way this project is
handled.  I still am the developer/maintainer and will continue to
improve things further.  If you still have questions, feel free to
contact me:

Moving on to the changes since version 0.5.0 (2020-01-26).

Added support for:

+ alert
+ apropos (built-in)
+ dap-mode
+ deft
+ dim-autoload
+ dired-git
+ enhanced-ruby-mode
+ gbd-mi.el (built-in library)
+ helm-ls-git
+ helm-xref
+ imenu-list
+ jira (org-jira)
+ js2-mode
+ jupyter
+ org-pomodoro
+ origami
+ rmail (built-in)
+ vc-print-log (built-in)
+ window-divider-mode (built-in)
+ xref (built-in)

Refinements to existing faces:

+ A new subset of "nuanced" accent colours has been introduced.  These
are named {red,green,yellow,blue,magenta,cyan}-nuanced.  Their purpose
is to be used in contexts where lots of structured information is
presented to the user, but each component does not need to draw too much
attention to itself (e.g. Org's metadata).  As always, their contrast
ratio is designed to always be >= 7:1 relative to the backgrounds they
may be combined with.

+ Greatly improve the support for Gnus, even though most changes are
subtle and are made in the interest of consistency.  The group levels
now make use of the "nuanced" palette where appropriate (to denote
levels of lower importance).

+ Several refinements for Org, including the use of "nuanced" colours
for various metadata tags.  The agenda headers will now be scaled
appropriately and use a variable-pitch font if the user sets the
relevant customisation values of the theme they are using (check the
documentation in each theme file or the repo's README).

+ Lots of refinements for Helm.  Some of these were introduced to align
the overall aesthetic with equivalent metaphors in Ivy.  Others are
meant to improve the styles of the headers and make various constructs
consistent with their variants in the Helm ecosystem but also with their
non-Helm counterparts (such as xref file names with and without Helm,
but also with Helm's grep).

+ Improve the colours of buttons in contexts such as M-x customize.
This is especially noticeable in modus-vivendi-theme (the dark theme)
where the buttons are a darker shade of grey rather than the original
lighter one.

+ Keycast now uses styles that are more consistent with the overall
aesthetic of the Modus themes.  This means that the mode line indicators
are blue-ish (blue is generally used for highlights in the mode line,
but also when hovering over an item with the mouse pointer).  The pseudo
button effect (colours + 3d) has been removed in favour of a flat look,
in line with the flatness of the mode line itself.  Whereas before the
keycast faces where designed to be consistent with the package's

There were also a few minor refinements for:

+ calendar and diary
+ icomplete
+ mm-uu-extract
+ nobreak-hyphen and nobreak-space
+ org-habit
+ tooltip-mode

Finally, the Commentary section of each theme has been greatly expanded.
It now includes the user-facing customisation options and the complete
list of supported packages.


This release contains support for several new packages and lots of
refinements for existing ones.  A lot of work went into making the
themes more robust by reviewing the inheritance of styles from one
face group to another (in general, the ':inherit' property should not
be used frivolously).  Several subtle changes were made to the colour
palette of both themes to ensure consistency, enable more possible
combinations, and avoid potential ambiguity under certain potential

Overall, this release gives me confidence that the themes have reached
a fairly stable state.  What follows is an overview of the changes
since version 0.4.0 (2020-01-02).

Added support for:

+ equake
+ flymake
+ focus
+ fountain (fountain-mode)
+ git-lens
+ git-timemachine
+ hi-fill-column
+ highlight-blocks
+ info-colors
+ lsp-mode
+ lsp-ui
+ proced (built-in)
+ regexp-builder (built-in)
+ suggest


+ The header line uses its own dedicated colours.  Several changes
  were made in 'eww', 'info', 'elfeed', 'magit', 'flycheck' to make
  sure that any accent value that appears there conforms with the
  overarching accessibility objective of the Modus themes (contrast
  ratio of >= 7:1, else WCAG AAA).
+ 'ivy' no longer uses a box style for the current line, as that was
  not always reliable.  Appropriate colours are used instead.
+ 'org-mode' blocks use a foreground value that distinguishes their
  opening and closing tags from source code comments.
+ The 'org-ellipsis' face was configured to always inherit the looks
  of its respective heading or element, rather than have its own
  excessive styling.
+ 'paren-match' has colours that are designed specifically for it.
  This is done to retain their utility while making sure they are not
  mistaken for some other type of feedback.
+ 'magit' has explicit styles for the mode line process indicators,
  instead of inheriting from another face.  The intention is to use
  foreground values that are designed specifically for use on the mode
  line (the minimum contrast ratio requirement).
+ 'erc' faces have been thoroughly reviewed in the interest of better
  usability.  Its mode line indicators now use appropriate colours.
+ The faces of the 'messages' library have been thoroughly reviewed.
  This affects various email interfaces, but also 'elfeed' entry
  metadata headings.
+ 'whitespace-mode' no longer has a newline character that stands out.
  That kind of emphasis was not necessary, given that the symbol used
  is a dollar sign, which is already far more visible than a mid dot.
+ 'font-lock' (generic syntax highlighting) has better colour
  combinations for regexp grouping constructs.
+ 'rainbow-delimiters' was given its missing base error face.
+ 'git-commit' comment action uses a slightly different foreground
  value than before to better match its context.
+ 'isearch' and 'query-replace' use colours that properly denote each
  action's utility.
+ 'visual-regexp' has been reviewed to make the matching groups more
  distinct from each other.
+ 'occur' and any other buffer that relies on the 'match' face can now
  benefit from the new colour combinations, in that its results cannot
  be confused for the active 'isearch' or 'query-replace' or even
  their lazily highlighted results (or, indeed, of any other search
+ 'company' uses faces for its search feedback that are consistent
  with other search metaphors.
+ Emacs 27's new ':extend' property is only implemented where
  necessary (note that the latest release is version 26.3).


This is an overview of the changes since version 0.3.0 (2019-12-25).

Add support for:

	+ ert
	+ flycheck-indicator
	+ mentor
	+ mu4e-conversation
	+ powerline-evil
	+ telephone-line
	+ vc (built-in version control)

Refinements to already-supported packages:

	+ company-mode (several refinements)
	+ doom-modeline (major review)
	+ helm (several tweaks)
	+ hl-line-mode (use unique background)
	+ ivy (improve matching line)
	+ line-number-mode (minor tweaks)
	+ markdown-mode (comprehensive expansion)
	+ mode-line (more appropriate styles for the highlight)
	+ powerline (minor tweaks)
	+ region (use unique background)
	+ swiper (improve matching line in main window)
	+ whitespace-mode (several refinements)
    + mu4e (tweak mu4e-modeline-face for consistency)


	+ Fix actual and potential problems with cursor faces that would
      distort the use of appropriate background and foreground colours.
      The documentation stipulates that the `cursor' face cannot be
      inherited by other faces, due to its peculiar nature of only
      recognising the background colour.
	+ Add support for more bold constructs in code.  As with all such
      options, it is disabled by default, expecting the user to
      explicitly opt in.
	+ Declare additional custom faces.  Only meant for internal use.
	+ Subtle refinements to "active" colour values in both Modus
      Operandi and Modus Vivendi.  These mostly concern the mode line
      (with a few special exceptions), where emphasis has been placed on
      the need to provide greater contrast between accent values that
      can be used there.
	+ Minor documentation refinements.


Overview of changes since 0.2.0 (2019-12-18):

+ Add support for the following packages:

  + apt-sources-list
  + calfw
  + counsel-css
  + counsel-notmuch
  + counsel-org-capture-string
  + cov
  + disk-usage
  + evil-visual-mark-mode
  + geiser
  + keycast
  + org-journal
  + org-noter
  + paren-face
  + powerline
  + vc
  + xah-elisp-mode

+ Explicitly style the following packages (these were already covered,
  in terms of the colours they used, but are now targeted directly):

  + calendar
  + counsel
  + cursor
  + package (M-x list-packages)

+ Minor tweaks to face groups:

  + dired
  + compile

+ Fixes and refinements:

  + Documentation strings will now inherit the option for slanted
    constructs (off by default -- see the README about all the user
  + Comment delimiters have the same styles as the body of the comment
    to avoid inconsistencies when the option for slanted constructs is
  + The line number that is displayed in the compile log is now
    correctly styled.
  + Removed duplicate entries for ivy-remote and added ivy-separator.
  + Ensure that the minibuffer prompt is always above the minimum
    contrast ratio of 7:1, by using a more appropriate shade of cyan.
  + Properly reference a couple of variables in Modus Vivendi.

+ Internal adjustments:

  + Decouple the core dired faces from those of external packages.
  + Same for org and org-recur.

+ Minor documentation updates.


Overview of changes since 0.1.0 (2019-12-09):

+ Comprehensive review of `org-mode' faces.  The use of colour should
now be more consistent with the semantics of each element.  These should
also respond better to a variety of combinations, such as when the user
has `hl-line-mode' enabled.  The agenda view is the greatest beneficiary
of this review.

+ Make `mu4e' mode line faces consistent with other elements that may be
placed on the mode line.

+ Make `gnus' header name/subject more distinct.

+ Several minor refinements to `ivy' and its extensions.

+ General usability refinements to `ace-window'.

+ Minor review of `elfeed' styles, in the interest of improving the
contrast between the elements.

+ Add support for:
  + `persp-mode' (fork of the already supported `perspective')
  + `dashboard'
  + `evil-mode'
  + `evil-goggles'
  + `ruler-mode'


First stable release of Modus Operandi and Modus Vivendi.