Herald (Vim Color Scheme)

My very own VIM color scheme. Featuring 256, 16 and 8 color support, high readability and... pretty colors!

I use Vim a lot. It’s my editor of choice when I code (mainly in Ruby), and also when I write my blog post and articles (mainly in Textile).

One thing I always liked about Vim was it powerful syntax highlighting: there’s probably a syntax highlighting file for every programming language ever created, even the new ones (Nimrod? Sure, here!).

Furthermore, Vim allows you to create color schemes, and that’s surprisingly easy to do. Everything you need to do is in the docs, but that may put you off, so you can just start by editing an existing one — that’s what I did.h3. InfiniteRed Black

I’ve been using the ir_black color scheme for near enough a year. It’s an excellent color scheme, recommended especially for writing Ruby code:

I honestly thought this was the best Vim color scheme until I discovered Moria…


Recently I switched to moria, mainly because I find it easier on the eyes. It’s a matter of taste, of course:

The trick is in the background: it’s not completely black. Still, I didn’t quite like the colors, so I decided to write my own…


Meet herald.vim (this is a direct link to the raw file, but you may also want to check my stash on GitHub or the script page on Vim.org):

To sum up, here’s the features offered by this new color scheme:

  • It’s easier to differentiate syntax elements; in particular reserved words like if or end, constants (symbols) and identifiers (instance variables).
  • Operators are highlighted and easier to notice.
  • Dark gray background and black column/row selectors.
  • Added highlight for titles (useful for Textile)
  • Comments do not stand out, unlike in most color schemes
  • Support for 256 color terminal (special thanks to Wolfgang Frisch for providing all the info and tools required)

So what do you think? Is it tool colorful perhaps? How would you improve it?

Legacy Comments

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Wm Tanksley

Very nice.

I also appreciate a color scheme that degrades elegantly to low-color modes, so that I can use the essentially same scheme even when I’m remotely logged in. Degrading to 256 is good, but can you degrade to 16? I use baycomb for exactly this reason; it’s honestly not as nice as your scheme (for example, it doesn’t highlight the cursor row and column), but it does have a lot of features, and it smoothly degrades to lower numbers of colors.



I still find Desert to be the best universal color theme for VIM. It works for any language and it distinguishes between more text elements than any other theme I have tried.

@Wm Tanksley:
I will make it degrade to 16 colors, even if it won’t look great, obviously… I’ll try my best.

Thanks for pointing out desert: I personally don’t like it much, but I can check it out to see what elements it highlights and how.


Brilliant scheme – you are enabling my laziness by doing such a good job I can now cross off of my todo list the task of customizing my own further. Thanks.

Nice color scheme. I tried using moria as well, and you’ve fixed the biggest downside (to me, at least), which is to intrusive comments.

Your vimrc file also gave me a lot of inspiration, by the way :)


Looks good, but the visual mode lacks contrast (for me).

Hey, that’s the first theme I see which doesn’t seem to suck when using `cursorline` and `cursorcolumn`. Thanks!

Version 0.2.0 released!

See the new project page for more information.

It does look incredibly colorful. I don’t know if I’ll like it, but I will give it a spin. I am using ir_black at the moment.