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altercation /solarized

precision color scheme for multiple applications (terminal, vim, etc.) with both dark/light modes

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title: Solarized description: Precision colors for machines and people author: Ethan Schoonover tags: test, testing, test123 colors: light yellow created: 2011 Mar 15 modified: 2011 Apr 16


Precision colors for machines and people

solarized dualmode

Solarized is a sixteen color palette (eight monotones, eight accent colors) designed for use with terminal and gui applications. It has several unique properties. I designed this colorscheme with both preciseCIELAB lightness relationships and a refined set of hues based on fixed color wheel relationships. It has been tested extensively in real world use on color calibrated displays (as well as uncalibrated/intentionally miscalibrated displays) and in a variety of lighting conditions.

See the changelog for what's new in the most recent release.

solarized palette

solarized vim

Currently available in formats for (cf screenshots below):

Editors & IDEs

Terminal Emulators

Other Applications

  • Mutt e-mail client also by me


  • Adobe Photoshop Palette (inc. L*a*b values)
  • Apple Color Picker Palettes
  • GIMP Palette

Don't see the application you want to use it in? Download the palettes (or pull the values from the table below) and create your own. Submit it back and I'll happily note the contribution and include it on this page. See also theUsage & Development section below for details on the specific values to be used in different contexts.


Click here to download latest version

Current release is v1.0.0beta2. See the changelog for details on what's new in this release.

Fresh Code on GitHub

You can also use the following links to access application specific downloads and git repositories:

  • Canonical Project Page:*

Downloads, screenshots and more information are always available from the project page:

  • Full Git Repository:*

The full git repository is at: it using the following command:

$ git clone git://
  • Application Specific Repositories:*

You can clone repositories specific to many of the application specific color themes. See links in the list above or select from this list:

Note that through the magic of git-subtreethese repositories are all kept in sync, so you can pull any of them and get the most up-to-date version.


Selective contrast

On a sunny summer day I love to read a book outside. Not right in the sun; that's too bright. I'll hunt for a shady spot under a tree. The shaded paper contrasts with the crisp text nicely. If you were to actually measure the contrast between the two, you'd find it is much lower than black text on a white background (or white on black) on your display device of choice. Black text on white from a computer display is akin to reading a book in direct sunlight and tires the eye.

solarized selective contrast

Solarized reduces brightness contrast but, unlike many low contrast colorschemes, retains contrasting hues (based on colorwheel relations) for syntax highlighting readability.

Both sides of the force

solarized dualmode

I often switch between dark and light modes when editing text and code. Solarized retains the same selective contrast relationships and overall feel when switching between the light and dark background modes. A lot of thought, planning and testing has gone into making both modes feel like part of a unified colorscheme.

16/5 palette modes

solarized palettes

Solarized works as a sixteen color palette for compatibility with common terminal based applications / emulators. In addition, it has been carefully designed to scale down to a variety of five color palettes (four base monotones plus one accent color) for use in design work such as web design. In every case it retains a strong personality but doesn't overwhelm.

Precision, symmetry

solarized symmetry

The monotones have symmetric CIELAB lightness differences, so switching from dark to light mode retains the same perceived contrast in brightness between each value. Each mode is equally readable. The accent colors are based off specific colorwheel relations and subsequently translated to CIELAB to ensure perceptual uniformity in terms of lightness. The hues themselves, as with the monotone *a*b values, have been adjusted within a small range to achieve the most pleasing combination of colors.

See also the Usage & Development section below for details on the specific values to be used in different contexts.

This makes colorscheme inversion trivial. Here, for instance, is a sass (scss) snippet that inverts solarized based on the class of the html tag (e.g.

to give a dark background with red accent):

$base03: #002b36; $base02: #073642; $base01: #586e75; $base00: #657b83; $base0: #839496; $base1: #93a1a1; $base2: #eee8d5; $base3: #fdf6e3; $yellow: #b58900; $orange: #cb4b16; $red: #dc322f; $magenta: #d33682; $violet: #6c71c4; $blue: #268bd2; $cyan: #2aa198; $green: #859900; @mixin rebase($rebase03,$rebase02,$rebase01,$rebase00,$rebase0,$rebase1,$rebase2,$rebase3) { background-color:$rebase03; color:$rebase0; \* { color:$rebase0; } h1,h2,h3,h4,h5,h6 { color:$rebase1; border-color: $rebase0; } a, a:active, a:visited { color: $rebase1; } } @mixin accentize($accent) { a, a:active, a:visited, code.url { color: $accent; } h1,h2,h3,h4,h5,h6 {color:$accent} } /\* light is default mode, so pair with general html definition \*/ html, .light { @include rebase($base3,$base2,$base1,$base0,$base00,$base01,$base02,$base03)} .dark { @include rebase($base03,$base02,$base01,$base00,$base0,$base1,$base2,$base3)} html \* { color-profile: sRGB; rendering-intent: auto; }

See also the full css stylesheet for this site.


Installation instructions for each version of the colorscheme are included in the subdirectory README files. Note that for Vim (and possibly for Mutt) you may want to clone the specific repository (for instance if you are using Pathogen). See the links at the top of this file.

Font Samples

Solarized has been designed to handle fonts of various weights and retain readability, from the classic Terminus to the beefy Menlo.

font samples - light font samples - dark

Clockwise from upper left: Menlo, Letter Gothic, Terminus, Andale Mono.

Preview all code samples in specific font faces by selecting a link from this list:


Click to view.


mutt darkmutt light

C (Vim)

c darkc light

Haskell (Vim)

haskell darkhaskell light

HTML (Vim)

html darkhtml light

Java (Vim)

java darkjava light

Javascript (Vim)

javascript darkjavascript light

Pandoc Markdown (Vim)

These screen shots show Vim running with my own Pandoc Kit Syntax.

pandoc darkpandoc light

Perl (Vim)

perl darkperl light

PHP (Vim)

php darkphp light

Python (Vim)

python darkpython light

Ruby (Vim)

ruby darkruby light

Shell (Vim)

shell darkshell light

TeX (Vim)

tex darktex light

The Values

L*a*b values are canonical (White D65, Reference D50), other values are matched in sRGB space.

SOLARIZED HEX 16/8 TERMCOL XTERM/HEX L\*A\*B RGB HSB --------- ------- ---- ------- ----------- ---------- ----------- ----------- base03 #002b36 8/4 brblack 234 #1c1c1c 15 -12 -12 0 43 54 193 100 21 base02 #073642 0/4 black 235 #262626 20 -12 -12 7 54 66 192 90 26 base01 #586e75 10/7 brgreen 240 #585858 45 -07 -07 88 110 117 194 25 46 base00 #657b83 11/7 bryellow 241 #626262 50 -07 -07 101 123 131 195 23 51 base0 #839496 12/6 brblue 244 #808080 60 -06 -03 131 148 150 186 13 59 base1 #93a1a1 14/4 brcyan 245 #8a8a8a 65 -05 -02 147 161 161 180 9 63 base2 #eee8d5 7/7 white 254 #e4e4e4 92 -00 10 238 232 213 44 11 93 base3 #fdf6e3 15/7 brwhite 230 #ffffd7 97 00 10 253 246 227 44 10 99 yellow #b58900 3/3 yellow 136 #af8700 60 10 65 181 137 0 45 100 71 orange #cb4b16 9/3 brred 166 #d75f00 50 50 55 203 75 22 18 89 80 red #dc322f 1/1 red 160 #d70000 50 65 45 220 50 47 1 79 86 magenta #d33682 5/5 magenta 125 #af005f 50 65 -05 211 54 130 331 74 83 violet #6c71c4 13/5 brmagenta 61 #5f5faf 50 15 -45 108 113 196 237 45 77 blue #268bd2 4/4 blue 33 #0087ff 55 -10 -45 38 139 210 205 82 82 cyan #2aa198 6/6 cyan 37 #00afaf 60 -35 -05 42 161 152 175 74 63 green #859900 2/2 green 64 #5f8700 60 -20 65 133 153 0 68 100 60

Usage & Development

If you are considering developing a port for Solarized, please see also thedeveloper notes for information about optional repository structure and readme formats.

Solarized flips between light and dark modes. In each mode, four monotones form the core values (with an optional fifth for emphasized content).

value samples - dark

value samples - light

Thus in the case of a dark background colorscheme, the normal relationship for background and body text is


(please note that body text isnot


). Note also that in cases where the background and foreground can be specified as a pair value, text can be highlighted using a combination of


. The L*a*b lightness difference between




is identical by design, resulting in identical readability against both normal and highlighted backgrounds. An example use case is folded text in Vim which uses


for the background and


for the foreground.

The values in this example are simply inverted in the case of a light background.

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