10 Vim Color Schemes You Need to Own

10 Vim color schemes you need to own

There are a lot of Vim color schemes out there. It’s always hard to find the perfect one. People often use different color schemes depending on what they are working on. This is pretty neat approach that has plenty of supporters. That’s why we did a quick overview of our top 10 themes. Let’s go:

1. GRB256


GRB256 is a color scheme based on ir_black by Gary Bernhardt. It feels really nice especially for Ruby on Rails development, so give it a try.

Download: GitHub

Author: Gary Bernhardt

2. Guardian


Guardian is originally created for XHTML and CSS editing, however you can use it for Ruby and JavaScript development as well.

Download: Vim.org

Author: M. L. (anderskorte)

3. Codeschool


The author created this color scheme to mimic the CodeSchool theme used in their Rails Best Practises course. It is ported to Vim using Coloration.

Download: astonj

Author: AstonJ

4. Distinguished


Distinguished is a dark Vim color scheme for 256-color terminals. It’s often used in the terminal Vim. It’s perfect for JavaScript development. Works great for Ruby and Python too.

Download: GitHub

Author: Kim Silkebækken

5. GitHub


This color scheme is a port of GitHub’s light-background syntax highlighting theme. It looks good with completion menus, diffsplit, STL highlighting and more.

Download: Vim.org

Author: Anthony Carapetis

6. Jellybeans


Jellybeans is a colorful color scheme, inspired by ir_black and twilight. It’s designed primarily for gVim/MacVim, but also includes support for 256 color terminals.

Download: GitHub

Author: nanotech

7. Railscasts


Ryan Bates ported his TextMate color scheme used in the RailsCasts episodes to Vim. If you write Ruby code most of the time, you should definitely try it.

Download: GitHub

Author: Ryan Bates

8. Twilight


Twilight is a clone of TextMate’s twilight scheme. There are a lot of Twilight clones out there, but it seems this is the most preferred. It’s not exactly the same as the original, but in some cases it feels even better. If you are coming from TextMate, we encourage you to give it a try.

Download: Vim.org

Author: Henning Hasemann

9. Vividchalk


This color scheme is another theme ported from TextMate to Vim. It is based on the Vibrant Ink theme TextMate. GUI, 256, 88, and even 16 color terminals are supported.

Download: GitHub

Author: Tim Pope

10. Candy


Candy is one of the hidden color schemes in the Vim world that you can’t find easily. Feel free to download it and use it right away.

Download: Vim.org

Author: Tiza

Bonus: Solarized


You almost thought it won’t be included, didn’t you? Solarized is probably the most popular color scheme out there. If you haven’t tried it yet, you should download and start using it immediately.

Download: GitHub

Author: Ethan Schoonover

As you can easily guess we prefer dark color schemes. However, if you know amazing light theme that deserve to be included just send us a link and it will be featured in the list.

What’s your favourite color scheme? Do you prefer different color schemes for terminal Vim and MacVim/gVim? Let us know.

About the author

Veselin Todorov is a software consultant focused on testing, code quality and building awesome products. He is helping companies to ship their products with confidence and style.

If you are passionate about JavaScript, Node.js, TDD, building and growing applications, you should visit his blog at RobustJS.com