GNU ELPA - modus-themes


Elegant, highly legible and customizable themes
modus-themes-4.2.0.tar, 2023-May-30, 1.44 MiB
Modus-Themes Development <~protesilaos/>
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To install this package, run in Emacs:

M-x package-install RET modus-themes RET

Full description

Modus themes for GNU Emacs


Highly accessible themes, conforming with the highest standard for colour contrast between background and foreground values (WCAG AAA). They also are optimised for users with red-green colour deficiency.

The themes are very customisable and provide support for a very wide range of packages. Their manual is detailed so that new users can get started, while it also provides custom code for all sorts of more advanced customisations.

Since August 2020, the original Modus themes (modus-operandi, modus-vivendi) are built into Emacs version 28 or higher. Emacs 28 ships with modus-themes version 1.6.0. Emacs 29 includes version 3.0.0. Emacs 30 provides a newer, refactored version that thoroughly refashions how the themes are implemented and customized. Such major versions are not backward-compatible due to the limited resources at my disposal to support multiple versions of Emacs and of the themes across the years.

Old versions

modus-themes-4.1.1.tar.lz2023-Feb-23 194 KiB
modus-themes-3.0.0.tar.lz2022-Oct-28 138 KiB
modus-themes-2.7.1.tar.lz2022-Oct-01 137 KiB
modus-themes-2.6.0.tar.lz2022-Aug-19 137 KiB
modus-themes-2.5.0.tar.lz2022-Aug-03 136 KiB
modus-themes-2.4.1.tar.lz2022-Jun-01 133 KiB
modus-themes-2.3.0.tar.lz2022-Apr-01 132 KiB
modus-themes-2.2.0.tar.lz2022-Feb-23 128 KiB
modus-themes-2.1.0.tar.lz2022-Feb-17 127 KiB
modus-themes-2.0.0.tar.lz2021-Dec-25 118 KiB
modus-themes-2.0.0.tar.lz2021-Dec-25 118 KiB
modus-themes-1.7.0.tar.lz2021-Nov-18 122 KiB
modus-themes-1.6.0.tar.lz2021-Sep-29 117 KiB
modus-themes-1.5.0.tar.lz2021-Jul-15 114 KiB
modus-themes-1.5.0.tar.lz2021-Jul-15 114 KiB
modus-themes-1.4.0.tar.lz2021-May-25 108 KiB
modus-themes-1.3.2.tar.lz2021-Apr-18 100 KiB
modus-themes-1.2.4.tar.lz2021-Mar-1694.2 KiB


This document contains the release notes that are included in each tagged commit on the project's main git repository:

The newest release is at the top. Since the notes are meant to be in plain text format, I copy them verbatim.

For further details, please consult these additional resources:



I won a Google award for the Modus themes

Report here:

This is not a "change" per se, but it is worth documenting here. It shows how important accessibility can be in empowering people to use their computer and, in our case, to exercise their software freedoms.

The Modus themes tend to one aspect of accessibility. They do not exhaust the topic, though they should at least raise awareness about the significance of tending to the usability needs of everyone. The effort I put into documenting the themes (and my other packages) should be understood in this light as a means of helping people enjoy their software freedom by learning how to use and extend the program in question.

New tritanopia-optimised themes

I have created a pair of light and dark themes that are intended for people with blue-yellow colour deficiency (tritanopia). These are modus-operandi-tritanopia (light) and modus-vivendi-tritanopia (dark). Screenshots of all the Modus themes are available on my website:

The entire collection is now described in the manual as follows:

The Modus themes consist of eight themes, divided into four subgroups.

Main themes
modus-operandi is the project's main light theme, while modus-vivendi is its dark counterpart. These two themes are part of the project since its inception. They are designed to cover a broad range of needs and are, in the opinion of the author, the reference for what a highly legible "default" theme should look like.
Tinted themes
modus-operandi-tinted and modus-vivendi-tinted are variants of the two main themes. They slightly tone down the intensity of the background and provide a bit more color variety. modus-operandi-tinted has a set of base tones that are shades of light ochre (earthly colors), while modus-vivendi-tinted gives a night sky impression.
Deuteranopia themes
modus-operandi-deuteranopia and its companion modus-vivendi-deuteranopia are optimized for users with red-green color deficiency. This means that they do not use red and green hues for color-coding purposes, such as for diff removed and added lines. Instead, they implement colors that are discernible by users with deueteranopia or deuteranomaly (mostly yellow and blue hues).
Tritanopia themes
modus-operandi-tritanopia and its counterpart modus-vivendi-tritanopia are optimized for users with blue-yellow color deficiency. The idea is the same as with the deuteranopia variants: color coding relies only on hues that are accessible to people with tritanopia or tritanomaly, namely, shades of red and cyan.

Recalibrated the "graph" colours in all themes

The new palette subset improves the contrast of all the relevant colours when presented side-by-side. These are most notably used by the org-habit consistency graph, which is displayed in the Org agenda. The deuteranopia and tritanopia themes have their own bespoke … …