Here is what my tab-bar in GVim looks like:

enter image description here

I'm having a hard time to identify which of the tabs is the active one.

How can I configure the color of the tab-bar, for example I'd like to use a different color for the highlighted one, or for the others.

I found similar questions on the StackExchange-network:


However, the following code (from the question's answer)

:hi TabLineFill ctermfg=LightGreen ctermbg=DarkGreen
:hi TabLine ctermfg=Blue ctermbg=Yellow
:hi TabLineSel ctermfg=Red ctermbg=Yellow

changes nothing for me.

2 Answers 2


The colors of the tabs follow the general color scheme configured on your system. The tabs should look similar to tabs in other programs.

Try changing the GTK theme on your system, for example using the gnome-tweak-tool. Or on Ubuntu, using ubuntu-tweak. See also: How can you change the GTK Theme and Window Decorations separately in Unity?

  • I'm using Plasma/KDE on Debian. gnome-tweak-tool has no effect in my setup. Your answer is nevertheless correct. Thank you.
    – Patrick B.
    Commented Jan 13, 2017 at 21:55

You can remove the e flag from the 'guioptions' option, this way the tab line matches the general colorscheme.

set guioptions-=e

Then use the :highlight command's GUI options, e.g.:

hi TabLine guifg=#fadfc2 guibg=#7d8e7b gui=underline
hi TabLineSel guifg=#ffffff guibg=#ef114a gui=bold,italic
hi TabLineFill guifg=#2dbd1e guibg=#ffffff

Conveniently, you can add that to your "gvimrc" file.

Note: I use gVim in Windows 10 with the 9.0 version.

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