From UI elements to syntax highlighting — configure the theme to match your personal preferences

This is a living document which means it is work in progress, not completed yet and can change at any time while the project is still in development major version zero 0.y.z!

Nord Emacs is designed to provide a good UX out-of-the-box, but there is a reason why principles like themes exist a all: Everyone has different preferences and that's a good thing!

To ensure Nord Emacs fit your needs it comes with configurations for UI elements and the code syntax highlighting to make the theme as flexible as possible while still providing sane defaults.

All theme configuration variables must be loaded by your init file that are referred to as init.el in this documentation. The location of the file and more details can be found in Emacs official documentation.

UI Elements

Uniform Mode Lines

By default, only the mode line of the active buffer uses nord3 as background color while inactive buffers are dimmed using nord1.

Screenshot showing Emacs with default mode lines styles
Default mode lines style.

This can be changed to use nord3 as background color highlighting for both active and inactive mode lines by enabling the theme configuration variable nord-uniform-mode-lines:

(setq nord-uniform-mode-lines t)
Screenshot showing Emacs with enabled uniform mode lines style configuration
Emacs with enabled uniform mode lines style configuration.

Syntax Highlighting

Region Highlight Style

By default, Nord Emacs uses nord2 as background color for selected text in the editor to provide a sane default style.

Default editor code selection highlighting.

To use a more colorful highlighting for region selections, Nord Emacs provides the nord-region-highlight configuration that can be set to either snowstorm or frost to use nord4 or nord8 colors from Nord's Frost and Snow Storm palettes.

;; Use `nord8` from Nord's "Frost" palette as background color.
(setq nord-region-highlight "frost")

;; Use `nord4` from Nord's "Snow Storm" palette as background color.
(setq nord-region-highlight "snowstorm")
Selection in the editor with enabled frost region highlight style configuration.
Selection in the editor with enabled snowstorm region highlight style configuration.

The foreground color is nord0 for both options.