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Annoying colors in vim

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Excessive zeal in designing syntax coloring backfires.  Often colors are not only annoying, but they make difficult to read important parts of the program. In other word they are distracting to the extent being dangerous instead of helpful.  Road to hell is paved with good intentions.

This "excessive zeal" effect is especially strong in console based text editors, as GUI provides more colors. Here VIM is one of the worst offenders along with ls command. Here is a typical reaction:

I personally find vim's use of text colors real annoying, primarily because I'm partially color-blind. On my SCO box (which is where I still do a lot of my work) I either work in monochrome (usually green on black -- old habits die slowly) or have set text colors that are high contrast and do not mix blues and greens (my color-blindness is the relatively rare blue-green type -- most color-blindness is red-green). The widespread use of blue backgrounds in applications poses a real problem for me, as combinations like black on blue, light green on blue and so on are barely visible to me. The page borders displayed on this site when running in border mode are almost invisible relative to the white background of the main frame. Another visually annoying application I use is Microlite's Backup Edge. The default color combination (blue background, white foreground) results in an eye-watering session.

The first thing to try is to chose different, less annoying, color scheme. Or at least such in which all major elements are clearly visible. See Color schemes in VIM

Another simple fix is to turn off syntax highlighting. All you could want to know about vim and syntax highlight is at http://vimdoc.sourceforge.net/htmldoc/syntax.html

But what is interesting it does not helps much in editing configuration files. The only way out is to abandon coloring:

syn off

Actually this annoyance can be turned into learning experience and allow you to learn something new about VIM.  If in command mode you put the word syntax, then  space and press tab vim will go through out different options syntax command.

Another suggestions that works on most flavors is to invoke vim as vi. If VIM is invoked as vi it does to use syntax highlighting. The problem is that vi most often if aliased to vim in /etc/profile.   In REHL this is does automatically from /etc/profile.d/ for all but the root user.

$ which vi
vi=vim
$ unalias vi
$ which vi
/bin/vi

Annoing colors are also causing problems in search

andy  September 18, 2009 at 10:24 pm 
I am using Vim on fedora.. How do you turn off yellow highlight between space (text) in vim file?

what command turn off yellow highlight?

Reply

18 Anonymous August 9, 2011 at 9:01 pm
use:
:noh
to turn it off

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[Dec 10, 2010] linux - this is really annoying me how to remove all syntax colors of vim 7+

Dec 10, 2010 | Stack Overflow

Q: this is really annoying me how to remove all syntax colors of vim 7+

I'm using centos 5.5 and installed vim 7 i defined syntax off in vimrc , and it removed me most of the syntax coloring , but i still have colors when i move to curly braces , and when i search for string in source its paint me the result with yellow , all so when i do code completion its also with colors how do i remove all colors from vim i want it to be like old vi.

user63898
6,75026112249

Write this stuff in ~/.vimrc

You might want to try disabling syntax different way as :syntax=off doesn't turn off all the colors. Try using following :set syntax=off or I believe :set syntax= should work as well. This should disable all the colors, including Line number.

For follow up question regarding the colors of line numbers (if anyone want's to disable just that): you can disable the colors of the Line numbers by doing following: :hi LineNr ctermfg=white (really not disabling, just making it white)

You can use :hi to change the colors of mostly anything in VI to make them white or any color, really.

Controlling Linux colors in vi (vim)

BigDumbDinosaur

I personally find vim's use of text colors real annoying, primarily because I'm partially color-blind. On my SCO box (which is where I still do a lot of my work) I either work in monochrome (usually green on black -- old habits die slowly) or have set text colors that are high contrast and do not mix blues and greens (my color-blindness is the relatively rare blue-green type -- most color-blindness is red-green). The widespread use of blue backgrounds in applications poses a real problem for me, as combinations like black on blue, light green on blue and so on are barely visible to me.

The page borders displayed on this site when running in border mode are almost invisible relative to the white background of the main frame. Another visually annoying application I use is Microlite's Backup Edge.

The default color combination (blue background, white foreground) results in an eye-watering session.

anonymous

this works on an ad-hoc basis:

:syn off 

vp70

do following to change color highlighting for comment from darkblue (default) to darkgray

if &term=="rxvt" 
set term=xterm 
endif 
if &term=="xterm" || &term=="rxvt" 
   set t_Co=8 
   map ,u :source ~/.vimrc<CR> 
endif 
syntax enable 
hi Comment cterm=none ctermfg=darkgray ctermbg=none

I agree that color in vi is messed up at least on my Redhat linux system in an xterm. Sorry, but I did not find the suggestion here helpful. Exactly where does one type the magic "set t_Co=0"?

However, for straight up vi (i.e. not vim) , the suggestion here worked like a charm.

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