I'm using Vim (v. 8.2) with YouCompleteMe as a code completion engine. I welcome the addition of signature help, but I'm not happy with the default colors:

default signature help for desert colorscheme

Does anyone know what highlight group is related to signature help so that I can tweak its appearance?

This should be tweak-able, since using a different color scheme (gruvbox in my case) and switching back to my default (desert) gives a modified appearance:

enter image description here

At the end, I'd like to try making the current argument have no background coloring and be displayed in bold instead. The Pmenu (and PmenuSel etc) group is irrelevant to the signature help (it does control the appearance of the autocompletion menu but doesn't help much with signature help)

  • 1
    Welcome to Vi and Vim! Thanks for writing a detailed question.
    – filbranden
    Commented May 8, 2020 at 19:29
  • 1
    Try :sign list to see the list of signs, and look for texthl in the output (based on :help sign; untested). I'm not sure you can modify already-placed signs, and the highlight group is defined when they are placed. But you can modify said group, if you find out what it is. EDIT: perhaps you really meant function signatures, in which case ignore what I said
    – D. Ben Knoble
    Commented May 8, 2020 at 21:08

1 Answer 1


The highlight group used to style the current argument is called YCMInverse, since its default is to reverse foreground and background colors.

Its default is defined here as:

hi default YCMInverse term=reverse cterm=reverse gui=reverse

Since it's defined using hi default, you can override it by setting your own from your vimrc.

For example, to highlight it in bold, instead of reverse, you can add the following line to your vimrc:

hi YCMInverse term=bold cterm=bold gui=bold

Unfortunately, the YCMInverse group doesn't really seem to be documented in YouCompleteMe's help file. (Other highlight groups are documented there, but not this particular one.)

  • What about the background (ctermbg) for the signature help?
    – Unix
    Commented Aug 12, 2020 at 10:13

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