I would like to change the color of part of the command line, the stuff that's echo'd from vim scripts. I know it can be different since when your search hits the bottom it prints a message in red text.

I tried to echo vt100 color codes but they were escaped instead. For example, :echo "\033[0;32m some text" just prints those characters literally (except the escape, which is shown as ^[)

Ideally I'd like to find a solution that works in both vim-gtk as well as the terminal UI.

  • 1
    Try :help echohl
    – D. Ben Knoble
    Jun 30, 2020 at 0:59
  • 1
    I am pretty sure, you can do this starting from 8.2.258 and using the echoraw() function, like this: call echoraw("\033[38;5;124m")|echo "red text" Jun 30, 2020 at 6:28
  • 1
    hi @ChristianBrabandt How to revert normal font? Please. I cannot find it in :h echoraw. Maybe :call echoraw("\x1b[41m") | echo " red text" | call echoraw(" \x1b[0m") | echo "unformmated text" isn't the way, is it? Apr 20, 2021 at 12:03
  • echon works weirdly with echoraw() Apr 20, 2021 at 12:14

1 Answer 1


Try combination of :h echohl and :h echon:

:echohl Statement | echon "Hello " | echohl Identifier | echon "World" | echohl None | echon "!!!"

echohl will apply highlight group to the next echo, echon or echomsg, but if you want to apply highlighting to a part of your message you should use echon.

enter image description here

To have all your message in one color, use echo or echomsg:

:echohl Todo | echo "Hello World!!!" | echohl None

enter image description here

To define your own colors use :h :hi

:hi MyColor guifg=#00ff00 ctermfg=green
:echohl MyColor | echo "Hello World!!!" | echohl None

enter image description here

You can not change font of the messages, but I might be wrong.

  • Well you may be able to italicize or bold it
    – D. Ben Knoble
    Jun 30, 2020 at 11:52
  • @D.BenKnoble but can we change it from Consolas to Liberation Mono?
    – Maxim Kim
    Jun 30, 2020 at 12:00
  • Doubtful—I think that’s handled by the emulator
    – D. Ben Knoble
    Jun 30, 2020 at 12:01
  • This is exactly what I was looking for! Thanks! I was trying to Google for an answer for this initially, but searching "vim change command line color" turned up a lot of results about setting syntax highlighting and color schemes instead
    – Thomas N
    Jun 30, 2020 at 17:54
  • See also defined a simple function that you can call with the warning message as the argument. Summary: function! EchoWarning(msg); echohl WarningMsg; echo "Warning"; echohl None; echon ': ' a:msg; endfunction; call EchoWarning('test') (copy-paste-remove semicolon-indent) Apr 20, 2021 at 11:40

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