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Bug 99409 - hard to read colors on man pages
hard to read colors on man pages
Product: Red Hat Linux
Classification: Retired
Component: man (Show other bugs)
All Linux
medium Severity medium
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Assigned To: Eido Inoue
Ben Levenson
: FutureFeature
Depends On:
  Show dependency treegraph
Reported: 2003-07-18 15:15 EDT by Jeff Bastian
Modified: 2007-04-18 12:55 EDT (History)
1 user (show)

See Also:
Fixed In Version:
Doc Type: Enhancement
Doc Text:
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Clone Of:
Last Closed: 2003-07-21 15:51:19 EDT
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Regression: ---
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Documentation: ---
Verified Versions:
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oVirt Team: ---
RHEL 7.3 requirements from Atomic Host:
Cloudforms Team: ---

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Description Jeff Bastian 2003-07-18 15:15:23 EDT
From Bugzilla Helper:
User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.4) Gecko/20030624

Description of problem:
I like to use terminals with white text and black backgrounds.  The default
colors in many programs are hard to read against a black background.  I've
discovered ways of customizing the colors of most everything: vim, ls, etc.  I
have searched high and low, man pages, google, and more, and have not discovered
a way to change the colors on man pages, so I need to use reverse video to read
man pages, or do
  man foo | col -b | less
to strip all colors, but that's no fun.

Is there a way to customize the colors used by man?

Version-Release number of selected component (if applicable):

How reproducible:

Steps to Reproduce:
1. start a terminal with a black background color
2. read a man page on your favorite command
3. note dark blue text very hard to read
Comment 1 Eido Inoue 2003-07-21 15:51:19 EDT
can't do this without some serious a) troff hacking or b) remaping of colors
through Your Favorite Terminal.

Troff colors etc kinda pre-date the notion of "relative colors to the background".

If you have problems with this, you likely also have problems with the colors in
ls I presume.
Comment 2 Jeff Bastian 2003-07-21 16:21:42 EDT
No, actually, it was very easy to change the colors for ls.  The
/usr/bin/dircolors command makes it easy to pick your own colors and put them
into the LS_COLORS environment variable.  And vim is easy with
  set background=dark
  syntax on

I was hoping a MAN_COLORS environment variable might be used somehow, but I
don't know much about groff (nor troff nor nroff), so it might very well require
some serious hacking.

Thanks for the quick response!
Comment 3 Jeff Bastian 2005-02-16 19:33:05 EST
A friend of mine pointed out a way to change the colors not in the man pages but
in the X resources for xterm.  I added these lines to my ~/.Xdefaults file and
ran xrdb to pick up the changes:

*VT100*colorULMode:       on
*VT100*colorBDMode:       on
*VT100*colorBD:           yellow
*VT100*colorUL:           green

Now my man pages have very easy to read colors against dark backgrounds.


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