I'm using this colorscheme, how can I change the color of the line numbers? I think that the colorscheme will overwrite anything I'll put in .vmrc.


1 Answer 1


You have a few options to accomplish that.

Actually changing the highlight rules after setting the colorscheme in your Vimrc is not a completely unreasonable approach, since the colorscheme is usually only reloaded if you set the background, so if you tend not to switch from "light" to "dark" or vice-versa, you might be fine...

There are better approaches though.

As recommended in :help :colorscheme:

To customize a color scheme use another name, e.g. ~/.vim/colors/mine.vim, and use :runtime to load the original color scheme:

runtime colors/evening.vim
hi Statement ctermfg=Blue guifg=Blue

It fails to mention you should also set g:colors_name, which is what is used to reload the theme after you change the background, so make sure you include this line there:

let g:colors_name = 'mine'

Except instead of "mine" use the name you used for the colorscheme, the name you used for the colors/*.vim file you created.

Another option is to use an :autocmd, using the ColorScheme event to load additional highlights right after a colorscheme is loaded.

A simplistic example would be:

augroup colorscheme_override
  autocmd ColorScheme one highlight LineNr ctermfg=Blue guifg=Blue
augroup END

This will only override the "one" colorscheme (use a * for the match to override any colorscheme.)

One advantage of the autocmd approach is that you don't need a new colorscheme name (but then one disadvantage is that it's harder to pick the unmodified colorscheme.) You don't need to touch g:colors_name in the autocmd approach, since the original theme will have taken care of that for you already.

The approaches above are a bit naive in that they're setting colors regardless of whether the background is light or dark. Typically you would want to check for that to decide on it. Use a block similar to:

if &background ==# 'light'
  highlight LineNr ctermfg=DarkBlue guifg=DarkBlue
  highlight LineNr ctermfg=LightBlue guifg=LightBlue

If using a ColorScheme autocmd, you probably want to call a function from the autocmd and then add all your extra logic there for the overrides, including the blocks for light and dark backgrounds.

  • Thanks so much for the detialed answer. Can't I just edit vim file of the colorscheme I'm using?
    – idankor
    Commented Oct 26, 2019 at 20:35
  • Yes, you can edit it, but that might make it hard to keep it updated with upstream. For instance, if you get it from a plug-in manager, you'll get out of sync...
    – filbranden
    Commented Oct 26, 2019 at 20:44

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