Solarized
April 13, 2011 7:07 PM   Subscribe

Solarized is the mother of all colour schemes. "Solarized is a sixteen color palette (eight monotones, eight accent colors) designed for use with terminal and gui applications. It has several unique properties. I designed this colorscheme with both precise CIELAB lightness relationships and a refined set of hues based on fixed color wheel relationships. It has been tested extensively in real world use on color calibrated displays (as well as uncalibrated/intentionally miscalibrated displays) and in a variety of lighting conditions."
posted by chunking express (95 comments total) 186 users marked this as a favorite

 
Navy & Mustard is the new Teal & Orange
posted by ShutterBun at 7:13 PM on April 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


I like it. I need to use these colors for Font Lock Mode in Emacs and everywhere else.
posted by DU at 7:14 PM on April 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


If there were a way to integrate this into the Readability plugin, I'd be a very happy camper.
posted by Scientist at 7:20 PM on April 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Currently available for:

- Vim
- Mutt e-mail client
- Xresources / Xdefaults
- iTerm2
- OS X Terminal.app
- Adobe Photoshop Palette
- Apple Color Picker Palette
- GIMP Palette

There's version out there for Textmate, which is my favorite One True Editor. I hope it works well with my preferred set of languages, this is pretty.
posted by egypturnash at 7:34 PM on April 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's also available for Xcode 4.
posted by pmbuko at 7:36 PM on April 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


It... It's... like a massage... for my eyeballz!!!
posted by MeatLightning at 7:40 PM on April 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Get work done or mess with my STATA preferences. Decisions, decisions.
posted by shothotbot at 7:41 PM on April 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Scientist, if you are using Chrome then you need the wonderful extension that is Stylebot.
posted by anigbrowl at 7:45 PM on April 13, 2011 [5 favorites]


Stuck it in my vimrc but not real impressed so far. It's pretty low contrast and everything just looks gray.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 7:46 PM on April 13, 2011


I'm not used to the how light the 'dark' background is. Agreed that contrast is really low. After looking at Solarized for a few minutes, I switched back to Koehler.
posted by kuatto at 7:50 PM on April 13, 2011


I've been using this for a while in vim, but undid all the colour wheel/lightness relationship cleverness by changing the background from 'someone did a poor job of cleaning up that dirty protest' to off-white.
posted by jack_mo at 7:52 PM on April 13, 2011


Is there a nice place out there to find well thought out color schemes like this, for things like Emacs, Pygments, CSS, etc?
posted by freebird at 7:53 PM on April 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


I was expecting this to be about the CGA 4 bit palette.
posted by boo_radley at 7:55 PM on April 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


The TextMate version is not ready for prime time, but this has promise. I've been staring at Ruby Blue for four years.
posted by littlerobothead at 7:57 PM on April 13, 2011


I'm hard at work on beta2. Feedback welcome.

I figure the MeFi crowd will be more interested than others in the genesis of the colors.

I had both the yellow and blue key hues in mind when I began this months ago. The blue is beautiful and terrifying to me when I use it at about 96% opacity. I have a very strong, long term fear of death by drowning and this correlates to what I imagine is the green blue of deep ocean water, filled with the sediment stirred up by the ocean liner as it impacts on the seabed. I realize there would be no visible light there, but that hardly matters .

The yellow is as close as I can get to my own synesthesia. I don't have wide ranging synesthesia where it's all magical sounds==colors==music. I have one color which is also a shape and a kind of smell/taste. It's all one thing and thinking about it brings all aspects of it immediately to mind/sensation. The yellow in Solarized is essentially this.

I first became aware of this one afternoon at home when my family lived in the woods on a lake. This lake is also bound up with my fear of deep water, so there is a pleasant, fearful symmetry to the whole thing for me.

I'd put this on the main Solarized page but I thought it might weird too many people out.
posted by i blame your mother at 7:59 PM on April 13, 2011 [159 favorites]


Ever chasing better color/font layouts for terminal.app, and going to give this a try.

I'm not sure about it, but it seems pretty decent. I always get annoyed with "clever" layouts that end up using bad font choices that put style over readability. Great for web pages maybe, but not so much for code.

(kind of like the transparency thing for terminal windows- does anyone here use that in their day-to-day life? if so, how do you cope with the changing backgrounds, etc?)
posted by EricGjerde at 8:00 PM on April 13, 2011


Needs more Emacs!
posted by freebird at 8:01 PM on April 13, 2011 [4 favorites]


That explanation was a lot more interesting than the one on HN :-)
posted by anigbrowl at 8:02 PM on April 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Colour Scheme out of LAB Space!
posted by adipocere at 8:04 PM on April 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


@anigbrowl - everything on HN is accurate in terms of how I developed the scheme from a mechanical perspective, just doesn't dip into the design brief, so to speak. Years of conditioning to separate my art and technical sides when speaking to different audiences, something I am trying to undo slowly. I suppose HN would be receptive, PG being artsy and a fair % of HN as well. Maybe I'll post this on my site someday.

@freebird - there are a couple emacs ports already, one of which I'm going to pull into beta2
posted by i blame your mother at 8:06 PM on April 13, 2011


It's got nothing on Hot Dog Stand.
posted by TrialByMedia at 8:13 PM on April 13, 2011 [12 favorites]


I've been using the Zenburn Emacs color theme. It's a nice "muted" color theme with a dark background. I might have to check out the emacs themes for this one.
posted by formless at 8:27 PM on April 13, 2011


A reddit thread on Solarized themes for emacs
posted by jsled at 8:35 PM on April 13, 2011


I'd put this on the main Solarized page but I thought it might weird too many people out.

No, no, not at all. Bless your heart! Would you like some fresh pie? How about those Yankees?
posted by orthogonality at 8:36 PM on April 13, 2011 [5 favorites]


I like it. I need to use these colors for Font Lock Mode in Emacs and everywhere else.

Kieran Healy's version of the emacs starter kit uses it (as does mine, very lightly derived from his).

I'm using the light mode in iTerm2 and the dark mode in emacs, but what I'd really like is someone to whip something up for roxterm. I tried doing it myself but I wasn't happy with the results (actually the color scheme I was using in roxterm already (and have been using since like 2002, when it was gnome-terminal) wasn't very far off from parts of solarized already).
posted by kenko at 9:01 PM on April 13, 2011


It would be pretty easy to extract just the solarized part from those kits, if that's all you want.
posted by kenko at 9:02 PM on April 13, 2011


I'm finding the contrast too low for comfortable reading on this (impossible to calibrate) laptop screen. I have MeFi set to black-on-white and that's much easier on the eye.

Everyone's different. I think the solution to colour schemes is easy configurability, not one-size-fits-all.
posted by dickasso at 9:15 PM on April 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


Checking in to say both that I like this scheme so far, and that 'i blame your mother' and I joined Mefi on the very same day. So, uhh, there ya go...
posted by jalexei at 9:16 PM on April 13, 2011


Doesn't everyone use green text on a black background with a flashing block cursor?
posted by crataegus at 9:35 PM on April 13, 2011 [14 favorites]


also available for visual studio
posted by askmehow at 10:05 PM on April 13, 2011 [5 favorites]


Green text? Hot dog stand? I was actually kind of infatuated with the code for astronaut.vim which is a high contrast colorscheme developed by a genuine nasa dude. He worked on the WMAP and the false color of the WMAP images always remind me of astronaut.vim.
posted by i blame your mother at 10:15 PM on April 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


This has been all over the twitters this week. I was debating including it in iTerm 2 [self link] but I didn't think there was enough contrast for me. It seems to have made quite a splash, especially for a color scheme...
posted by jewzilla at 10:46 PM on April 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm pretty sure I've spent more time in the last couple of days fiddling around with dotfiles and color schemes than I have in doing actual work.

This is not helping.
posted by brennen at 11:36 PM on April 13, 2011


This ended up nulling my keyboard mappings, which I use with GNU screen and emacs. Sorry, i blame your mother. It looks great, but it might need a bit of extra work.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:52 PM on April 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Seem to be a few conversions for eclipse as well.
posted by titus-g at 11:58 PM on April 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


Yak Shaving!
posted by jewzilla at 12:07 AM on April 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


@Blazecock Pileon, if you mean the emacs port I'm not the dev on that, but I'm sure he'd like to hear if there is a bug report. If you have some unholy alliance of vim, gnu screen and emacs going on that involves my vim key mapping, I'll take a look. I will also report you to the editor war authorities in that case.
posted by i blame your mother at 12:22 AM on April 14, 2011 [6 favorites]


While this looks very pretty, I personally find it kind of unusable for work. I much prefer black text on a very faint yellow background, with strongly coloured accents. It may not be as balanced, but I can distinguish things much more easily.
posted by Zarkonnen at 12:38 AM on April 14, 2011


Oh God, I now feel the urge to fiddle away on my editor colours. And I've just found a set that I like.

One thing I like is to make different shell windows different colours. So my build windows are light blue on dark blue, my Telnet windows are green on really dark green and so on. It's quick to find them on my cluttered desktop (What? I need ClearQuest, ClearCase, a terminal emulator, a couple of shells, an FTP server, an editor, Access and Communicator. It piles up fast.)

I run Andale Mono on everything that needs a monospace font. Which I think I found on AskMe once. So if I get my colour palette here my life will be officially dominated by MeFi.
posted by Harald74 at 1:27 AM on April 14, 2011


So my build windows are light blue on dark blue, my Telnet windows are green on really dark green and so on.

xtfix is an interesting gesture in a similar direction, for people on *nix.

I spent about 20 minutes this morning changing my prompt colors for each of the different hosts I run the same shell config on.

I would really like a Vim colorscheme that only shows up when I'm on a git branch other than master. Solarized would be a pretty good candidate. Maybe I'll spend some time doing this tomorrow.

It's quick to find them on my cluttered desktop

I think I would lose my mind without multiple workspaces.
posted by brennen at 1:44 AM on April 14, 2011


I think I would lose my mind without multiple workspaces.

I've got two 24" widescreen displays. It helps a lot. And I confine my browsing to a single Citrix desktop.

All the multiple desktop applications I've tried on Windows are broken in some way. I used to develop on HP-UX and Solaris, and there it just worked. Apparently we're about to migrate to Windows 7. I haven't looked into it, but I hope that helps.
posted by Harald74 at 1:53 AM on April 14, 2011


I found a version for notepad++...I have to do some coding here in a bit, I'll see how it flies.

Maybe a Windows 7 theme based on this? Hm.
posted by maxwelton at 2:14 AM on April 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


Has anyone else tried this with vim on konsole? I used the konsole port but I wonder if the mappings are screwed up or something, since it doesn't look right when I run vim. I am comparing it to the screenshots on the website, and in my case some of the syntax appears to be highlighted with the wrong color from the pallette, if you know what I mean.
posted by theyexpectresults at 2:16 AM on April 14, 2011


theyexpectresults - I think it just looks substantially different (that is: worse) in terminal mode.
posted by brennen at 2:24 AM on April 14, 2011


I remember teal and orange. Whatever happened to those guys.
posted by Damienmce at 2:35 AM on April 14, 2011


Here's another Visual Studio port from studiostyl.es.
posted by rh at 2:39 AM on April 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Nice work! and not just for terminals, if I may say so. Thanks for sharing.

May I ask if you've had any feedback from color blind users? We work from time to time with a developer who calls me out because he struggles with red.

And with art and technology? I feel your pain. Just accept that you need to speak two different languages.
posted by Elizabeth the Thirteenth at 2:50 AM on April 14, 2011


Holy crap, I'm actually impressed with a colour palette...
posted by sodium lights the horizon at 3:04 AM on April 14, 2011


Something is not working right with the reddit solarized themes. It's setting my the background, text foreground and the modeline all to basically the same color somehow. Except I don't think it's the theme, I think it's my terminal window or something. None of the installed-by-default themes look like their screenshots either...
posted by DU at 4:50 AM on April 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Cool, I may actually have time to get back to some coding projects today, I'll see how I like this in Vim.
posted by octothorpe at 5:00 AM on April 14, 2011


Oh, nevermind. export TERM=xterm-256color fixed it for me. I've never heard of this before. Why isn't it on by default?
posted by DU at 5:16 AM on April 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'd love this for TextWrangler.
posted by odinsdream at 5:16 AM on April 14, 2011


I just put together a nice initial Colloquy style for those who are interested in OSX IRC goodness. The dark style needs some love, but it's in-progress over on github.
posted by verb at 5:46 AM on April 14, 2011


I really like this.. except that I think it's compromised by using the same palette for both light and dark backgrounds. For me, it needs a little more contrast to be spot-on, which would be easily achieved with separate palettes.

Good to see someone thinking beyond crudely-mixed primary and secondary colours though.
posted by malevolent at 6:03 AM on April 14, 2011


I'm going to have to try this for Emacs today. I really like the contrast.
posted by middleclasstool at 6:04 AM on April 14, 2011


If you change the background from sandy to white, it kind of looks like an epaper display.
posted by DU at 6:19 AM on April 14, 2011


Tried it and don't like it. I'm finding both the dark and light versions to be basically unreadable in Vim on my machine, just not enough contrast between the colors.
posted by octothorpe at 6:38 AM on April 14, 2011


As a set of colors I like it. But I have to agree with the people here saying the contrast just isn't enough for me to be comfortable reading it. I have a big problem with site design that incorporates gray text on an off-white background; there just seems to be no reason to intentionally reduce readability of your content, and it gets worse when using it in an editor. Lots of the tags fade into the background, other things seem to pop out but not because they are more or less important than other things which appear hidden.

Chalk it up to personal preference I guess. I like the idea, but in execution I'm happier with the default coding colors in Textwrangler - and if the white background starts to bug me I can always ctrl-opt-cmd-8.
posted by caution live frogs at 7:20 AM on April 14, 2011


it's very nicely done - and I definitely appreciate the consistency of coloring across multiple applications - but it's just not dark enough.

this is speaking as someone who released an almost-all-black GTK/GTK2 theme back in the day because of how much I loathe standard application/window coloring.
posted by namewithoutwords at 7:37 AM on April 14, 2011


DU: "Oh, nevermind. export TERM=xterm-256color fixed it for me. I've never heard of this before. Why isn't it on by default?"

RMS only knows. Now, wait until you're using rxvt-unicode-256colors (because urxvt is vastly superior to xterm, in sheer speed if nothing else) and then launch screen, and screen fails to start because it has an arbitrary length limit for $TERM of 20 chars. That'll be the day you finally ditch screen and switch to tmux. It was for me, anyway.
posted by namewithoutwords at 7:46 AM on April 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


urxvt is vastly superior to xterm, in sheer speed if nothing else

I'm actually running gnome-terminal because xterm is a mess. I just tried rxvt but emacs doesn't recognize "rxvt-256colors" or even "xterm-256colors" from inside of rxvt. Who knows.

To sum up: I'm using gnome-terminal but setting the term (inside of screen) to xterm-256colors.

My computer is a tissue of lies.
posted by DU at 7:58 AM on April 14, 2011


Thanks to titus-g for linking to the eclipse version. I installed the color theme plugin but I can't figure out how to actually install a new color theme with it.

The website for the plugin has this for usage instructions:

After the installation, go to Window→Preferences→General→Appereance→Color Theme to change the color theme.

But it doesn't say how to actually install new themes (I've have the color theme .xml file, but I don't know what to do with it).
posted by MustardTent at 8:05 AM on April 14, 2011


Is there an easy way to set up my WindowsXP colors with this pallette?

And what font is that he's using on the Solarized page?
posted by straight at 8:23 AM on April 14, 2011


How would one implement this in Dreamweaver? (Yeah, yeah, I know. But the code view is pretty nice, the site management is useful, and I've been using it for about a decade.)
posted by epersonae at 8:34 AM on April 14, 2011


straight, the site's colophon says DIN Pro.
posted by epersonae at 8:38 AM on April 14, 2011


I knew I count on MetaFilter to enjoy colour schemes as much as I do.

I made a dark theme for Alfred, for those of you who use it on their Mac. (It's the best launcher thing ever.)
posted by chunking express at 8:52 AM on April 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I made a dark theme for Alfred...

That was very nice of you.
posted by qwip at 10:06 AM on April 14, 2011


Oh dear lord I want this as a straight OSX palette. Someone tell me there's a super-secret way to do that. This is like a down pillow for my retinas.
posted by Navelgazer at 10:07 AM on April 14, 2011


The OSX colour picker has an eye dropper tool that will let you select any colour on your screen. I used that when making my Alfred theme.
posted by chunking express at 10:52 AM on April 14, 2011


Oh dear lord I want this as a straight OSX palette. Someone tell me there's a super-secret way to do that.

OSX uses an Altivec microprecision kerning engine that generates 136 bits per micron/inch of greyscale color saturation. As a result, the sub kerning pixel aliasing and 27 bit wide bus blitting kernel therefore limits user color choice to either of an inoffensive baby blue or sterile offense free gray.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 11:19 AM on April 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


If someone could tell me how I can modify mIRC to use this color scheme I'd love you forever.
posted by flatluigi at 11:19 AM on April 14, 2011


Actually, it does offer an Apple color palette. There are even detailed instructions on how to install it.
posted by verb at 12:37 PM on April 14, 2011


Yeah, I'm not a coder, so the specific usages don't help me, but I installed the OS X palette with a quickness. It's nice to have a palette that so much time and care has gone into available in my color picker at all times.

There's also an OS X palette for the popular Zenburn palette as well: link.

Thank you for creating this, Ethan! Your work is appreciated.
posted by Ian A.T. at 3:09 PM on April 14, 2011


flatluigi:

pasting the following in your remote script section (Tools -> Script editor -> Remote tab) and then using /solarize should put it in your palette. You'll then have to put the colors right in the color dialog (click on the crayons icon in the toolbar or press Alt-K):
alias solarize {
  %colornumber = 0
  %i = 1
  while (%i != 17) {
    color %colornumber $solarcolor(%i)
    %i = %i + 1
    %colornumber = %colornumber + 1
  }
}
alias solarcolor {
  var %colorvalues = 002b36,073642,586e75,657b83,839496,93a1a1,eee8d5,fdf6e3,b58900,cb4b16,dc322f,d33682,6c71c4,268bd2,2aa198,859900
  var %hexvalue = $gettok(%colorvalues,$1,44)
  return $base(%hexvalue,16,10)
}
(The != 17 is a kludge; it'll work, but it should be <= 16; mefi and <pre> don't play nice together.
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 4:57 PM on April 14, 2011


It's been years since I've last scripted. The first lines should read:
alias solarize {
  var %colornumber = 0
  var %i = 1
  while (%i != 17) {
    color %colornumber $solarcolor(%i)
    %i = %i + 1
    %colornumber = %colornumber + 1
  }
}
So that the variables don't clash. It's mIRC scripting tho, so one shouldn't complain too much about kludges.
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 4:59 PM on April 14, 2011


AHAHAHA! Khaled Mardam-Bey is a fucking joker. You need to reverse the RGB values, so solarcolor should read:
alias solarcolor {
  var %colorvalues = 362b00,423607,756e58,837b65,969483,a1a193,d5e8ee,e3f6fd,0089b5,164bcb,2f32dc,8236d3,c4716c,d28b26,98a12a,009985 
  var %hexvalue = $gettok(%colorvalues,$1,44)
  return $base(%hexvalue,16,10)
}

posted by Monday, stony Monday at 5:30 PM on April 14, 2011


I just spent over an hour making solarized Ableton Live skins. Yay!
posted by neuromodulator at 10:51 PM on April 14, 2011


Do share!
posted by flaterik at 3:14 AM on April 15, 2011


> How would one implement this in Dreamweaver?

It's complicated, unfortunately. You can either do it manually in the preferences (that's over 200 separate colour definitions, covering PHP, Javascript, XML, ASP, Actionscript and everything else.

Alternatively, here's a link to a different colour scheme file that you can modify to make a Solarized one.

Once you've done that, just locate the Colors.xml file and email it to me so that I can use it.

Thanks in advance.
Also, I'm in a bit of a hurry, so could you get it done for Monday?
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 3:58 AM on April 15, 2011


Oh, there's an emacs theme on the main page now. Thanks!
posted by DU at 5:39 AM on April 15, 2011


But it doesn't say how to actually install new themes (I've have the color theme .xml file, but I don't know what to do with it).

There is an import button on the Themes tab in the Eclipse Preferences.

Given that, I used it for about 10 seconds because I hate the peach background color.
posted by smackfu at 7:52 AM on April 15, 2011


I don't know if it's my colorblindness or whatever.. but all I see is grey and red/orange on a yellow-ish background. There are a lot more different colors in the dark version (and it looks quite nice), but the light version is unusable for me.
posted by Harry at 9:16 AM on April 15, 2011


Do share!

I just mailed them off to ibym. Hopefully he'll host them on the main site.
posted by neuromodulator at 10:37 AM on April 15, 2011


Fantastic! Any chance this could be used in BBEdit?
posted by J-Garr at 10:59 AM on April 15, 2011


What I want is to be able to switch between a light on dark for while I'm working (right know I use koelher) and a dark on light for when I'm projecting code for review with other people, since I've found that the dark backgrounds suck with presentations. The light versions in this scheme look pretty good.
posted by bleary at 11:13 AM on April 15, 2011


Hell's bells. I just broke some of the default Dreamweaver code coloring (PHP, mostly) by deleting files w/out backing up. :(

Damn you, le morte de bea arthur.

anybody know where I can find a copy of the defaults in \configuration\CodeColoring ?
posted by epersonae at 11:17 AM on April 15, 2011


Ah, this dark color scheme for Dreamweaver seems to include all the relevant bits. Tho, wow, hard to read. (And I'm just not all that big on dark code editing screens.)
posted by epersonae at 11:25 AM on April 15, 2011


oh f me. I somehow clobbered syntax highlighting. and I have a backup of my .vimrc too. :(
posted by bleary at 11:40 AM on April 15, 2011


I need ClearQuest, ClearCase

No-one *needs* ClearQuest and ClearCase. They merely have them foisted upon them.
posted by rodgerd at 2:55 PM on April 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


"Black text on white from a computer display is akin to reading a book in direct sunlight and tires the eye."

Turn your screen brightness down!

For Pete's sake...

Having said that, I do favor low contrast themes for programming.
posted by Soupisgoodfood at 7:24 PM on April 15, 2011


Emacs nerds: I'm still relatively new to .emacs file configuration. What do I need to add to turn this on by default? I've got it properly installed and can manually hit it with M-x color-theme-solarized-dark but want to turn it on automatically.
posted by middleclasstool at 9:01 AM on April 16, 2011


(require 'color-theme)
(require 'color-theme-solarized)
(color-theme-initialize)
(eval-after-load "color-theme"
  '(progn
    (color-theme-solarized-dark)))
posted by LogicalDash at 10:11 AM on April 16, 2011


i blame your mother, thanks for an awesome color scheme, I switched my putty to it (I can email you the Windows registry settings file if you like), but that bit about how you came up with the colors does weird me out. If it was on the page, I would probably not have downloaded it :)
posted by azazello at 12:55 AM on April 17, 2011


LogicalDash's steps should work, but here's the instructions from the actual file itself:
;;; 1. Install the color-theme package
;;; (http://www.emacswiki.org/cgi-bin/wiki/ColorTheme)
;;; 2. Load this file
;;; 3. M-x color-theme-solarized-[dark|light]
So I just did:
(load-file "/path/to/my/copy")
(color-theme-solarized-light)

posted by DU at 4:50 AM on April 17, 2011


but that bit about how you came up with the colors does weird me out. If it was on the page, I would probably not have downloaded it

What a strange thing to say. Are you worried about the lovely colors infecting you?
posted by odinsdream at 11:17 AM on April 17, 2011


« Older All of the media consumed by Steven Soderbergh in ...  |  Shaun of the Dead in 30 Second... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments