Is there any way to change the background color of the popup menu in gvim? The default background color is pink, which is a little weird to me.

prompt menu

1 Answer 1


You can use the following highlight groups:

  • Pmenu – normal item
  • PmenuSel – selected item
  • PmenuSbar – scrollbar
  • PmenuThumb – thumb of the scrollbar

For example to set a grey background:

:highlight Pmenu ctermbg=gray guibg=gray

For Gvim you only need the guibg part (ctermbg is used when Vim is run in a terminal), but I find it useful to always define both.

I didn't know this either; I used :help i_ctrl-x to find the help page for that key, then followed the ins-completion link mentioned in the entry, and searched for highlight with /highlight ;-)

Another way to find this information would have been to use :help highlight-groups, which lists all default highlight groups.

  • 1
    What an epic, awesome answer. Concise and absolutely love the "how to" find the info within vim, as its built-in help is quite robust. Thanks for teaching me how to fish today. Commented Jan 1, 2021 at 0:13
  • Where could we find a list of colors that we could input instead of gray?
    – Mailbox
    Commented Jul 27, 2023 at 16:05
  • Any way to do the same in lua (for neovim)? Commented Sep 3, 2023 at 11:06
  • to above comment, in ~/.config/nvim/init.lua put: vim.cmd('highlight Pmenu ctermbg=gray guibg=black') tags for google, might have helped me sooner: neovim, nvim, vim.diagnostic.open_float, window background color
    – Dale
    Commented Apr 8 at 0:43

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