I'm trying to create a new custom colorscheme and syntax highlighting. I have copied some examples into ~/.vim/colors/ and ~/.vim/syntax with new names inside for the scheme.

All the basics work fine, so happy with the files.

I am trying to get some custom colour comments working, rather than just a single one, so something similar to

# = Normal comment
##1 = Red
##2 = Dark Red

In my colorscheme I have (that I can't get working)

hi Comment term=bold ctermfg=4 guifg=#406090
hi Comment1 term=bold ctermfg=4 guifg=#a00000
hi Comment2 term=bold ctermfg=4 guifg=#800000
"" I want to reference these

In my syntax file I have...

HiLink perlComment            Comment
HiLink perlComment1           Conditional
HiLink perlComment2           String

syn match  perlComment          "#.*" contains=perlTodo
syn match  perlComment1         "##1.*" contains=perlTodo
syn match  perlComment2         "##2.*" contains=perlTodo

This partly works, in that I can get the unique comment highlighting working, but ONLY if I match it to a String/Conditional/Comment, i.e an already established 'keyword' or colorshceme or something (not sure what the term is here).

So I was thinking I could do something like...

HiLink perlComment2 Comment2 

To match the earlier colorscheme settings (but this doesn't work, I can't seem to reflect changes from the colorscheme file), so I'm likely misunderstanding what's happening.

Is there a way to create a custom term like String/Conditional that would match in the colorscheme ? I think I'm missing a link somewhere.

  • I'm not sure I understand where the problem is with what you've tried so far. Does HiLink perlComment2 Comment2 not work?
    – Rich
    Mar 22, 2018 at 11:50
  • Hi Rich, no, it feels like it's ignoring anything anything I set in the colorscheme (but it recognises the colorscheme file when I switch to it). But I can't seem to reference that properly, or I'm missing something.
    – Ian
    Mar 22, 2018 at 11:55
  • 1
    What's the output of :verbose hi Comment2 ?
    – Rich
    Mar 22, 2018 at 12:17
  • Comment2 xxx term=bold ctermfg=4 Last set from ~/.vim/colors/mycolorscheme.vim
    – Ian
    Mar 22, 2018 at 12:23
  • 1
    How about :verbose hi perlComment2? And :syntax list perlComment2
    – Rich
    Mar 22, 2018 at 12:31

1 Answer 1


I was an idiot thinking that the colorscheme was using guifg, when in my case it was using ctermfg, so when I started changing that in the colorscheme, all worked fine. So I just needed...

hi Comment1 term=bold cterm=bold ctermfg=205

As an example, the rest was fine.

Thanks to Rich for the help in getting there.

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