Better colors so comments aren't dark blue in Vim?

Mostly I edit Ruby files, although shell script file comments are also #

Currently my comments show as dark blue on black which is really hard to read.

See screenshot.

How can I change their color?

I’m willing to consider different schemas for all colors though I do like the black background as a base.

A screenshot of a terminal window with Vim running in it. The comments are dark blue on black background making them hardly visible.

Asked By: Michael Durrant


There are many color schemes which are usually distributed together with vim. You can select them with the :color command.

You can see the available color schemes in vim’s colors folder, for example in my case:

$ ls /usr/share/vim/vimNN/colors/ # where vimNN is vim version, e.g. vim74
blue.vim  darkblue.vim  default.vim  delek.vim  desert.vim  elflord.vim 
evening.vim  koehler.vim  morning.vim  murphy.vim  pablo.vim  peachpuff.vim
README.txt  ron.vim  shine.vim  slate.vim  torte.vim  zellner.vim

I usually use desert. So I open vim, then enter :color desert and enter. To have the color scheme by default every time you open vim, add :color desert into your ~/.vimrc.

(Michael, OP) This was good. The terminal looks like:

Example of VIM on a Ruby file showing syntax highlighting in various colors

Answered By: replay

One option I found was in terminal preferences (top menu, not the window).

This has profile preferences and then a color tab, e.g.

enter image description here

Changing the Palette entry 5 from Dark blue to Light Lilac helped. I finally chose xterm as the color scheme and lightened up the comment color e.g.enter image description here

Answered By: Michael Durrant

You can do it manually with this command:

:hi Comment guifg=#ABCDEF

Where ABCDEF is an appropriate color hex code.

To make it permanent, you will need to add these lines to your ~/.vimrc file (using green as an example):

syntax on
:highlight Comment ctermfg=green
Answered By: terdon

As you are using a dark background in your terminal, you simply need to set

:set background=dark

instead of the default

:set background=light

The colors are then automatically correctly set.

If you want to have this permanently, add the line

set background=dark

to your $HOME/.vimrc file.

Answered By: jofel

I had precisely this problem a little while ago, the solution is to place the following line in your vimrc file:

set t_Co=256

And then you might have to put the following at the end of your your ~/.profile:

#set vim terminal to 256 colors.
if [ -e /usr/share/terminfo/x/xterm-256color ]; then
    export TERM='xterm-256color'
    export TERM='xterm-color'

and then you can set:

hi Comment      ctermfg=lightblue

in your vimrc file and then you will have light blue comments.
vimrc 256:

I also noticed the screen became somewhat prettier by setting it to 256.

Answered By: john-jones

If on a dark background in Debian, then uncommenting set background=dark in /etc/vim/vimrc helps, too.

Or, if you don’t want to interfere with the package’s config file, rather in (a new)

Answered By: Jay

You can generate your own gvim colors and paste them into your vimrc.
Using chrome
Interactive Color picker to generate vim hilight colors

Answered By: mosh

Here is nice git repo with 700+ colorschemes for vim

clone it to ~/.vim/

git clone ~/.vim/

Preview schemes in vim with

:colorscheme mrkn256

(replace mrkn256 with one of these names ls ~/.vim/colors (without the .vim extension ))

To set it permanently edit ~/.vimrc add/change

colorscheme mrkn256
Answered By: Michael D.

Maybe too far off topic but here goes

For Windows 10 WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux)

this worked for me (in .vimrc)

syntax on

colorscheme desert "(or whatever color scheme)
Answered By: W8WCA
:colo desert

I use this command to highlight the comments for example 😉

Answered By: bassman
echo "colorscheme elflord" >> ~/.vimrc

Then re-run.
I like it, light comments.

Answered By: Dr. Alexander

Create a file on user’s home

root@ip-10-100-4-227:~# vi .vimrc

Enter below syntax in file

syntax on
colorscheme desert

Source File

root@ip-10-100-4-227:~# source .vimrc
Answered By: Mansur Ul Hasan
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