I'm on windows, using vim 8.0.

When I do

:hi TabLine ctermfg=Red ctermbg=Black

The background of the unselected tabs changes, but not the foreground. It stays Cyan. It works properly for TabLineSel though, but not for this one.

I've quickly looked on Google, but didn't find anything relevant.

Is there a solution (I would like to get the foreground to be White)

Even with the option vim -u NONE, the default fg color for inactive tabs is Cyan.


  • Works for me with 8.0. Try starting vim with -u NONE to rule out the possibility of a plugin interfering. If I have Airline plugin enabled, for instance, some highlight settings can't be changed.
    – B Layer
    Jul 22, 2017 at 12:17
  • Na, I'm still getting this problem...
    – math2001
    Jul 23, 2017 at 0:00
  • 1
    Try adding cterm=NONE
    – tivn
    Jul 24, 2017 at 6:01
  • That's the solution!! Thanks! It made it work!!
    – math2001
    Jul 24, 2017 at 7:25

1 Answer 1


Alright, thanks to @tivn, I got the solution and kind of "understood" the problem.

My guess is that by default, there was something like this:

highlight TabLine cterm=underline


highlight TabLine cterm=undercurl

Since my terminal (cmder and hyper) did not support underlining, the way they understood it was to set the color to Cyan. I tried every other possible value mentioned in the help (:help attr-list), and the other result were that the text disappeared (I guess it was the same color as the background).

So, the solution is, as @tivn said, to add cterm=None, like this:

highlight TabLine cterm=None ctermfg=YourForeground ctermbg=YourBackground

And it works!

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