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Neon Color Scheme

by MattDMo ST2/ST3

A colorful bright-on-black color scheme for Sublime Text and TextMate. Its aim is to make as many languages as possible look as good as possible. Includes extended support for Python, Ruby, Clojure, JavaScript/JSON, C/C++, diff, HTML/XML, Markdown, reStructuredText, PHP, CSS/SCSS/SASS, GitGutter, Find In Files, AAAPackageDev, and SublimeLinter.

Labels color scheme



  • Total 9K
  • Win 4K
  • OS X 3K
  • Linux 2K
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Windows 6 11 4 11 15 10 9 14 8 6 8 11 14 12 6 11 5 12 14 14 11 15 12 5 2 9 13 9 12 14 5 8 6 7 12 12 8 5 10 13 10 10 12 14 1 6
OS X 3 14 5 10 10 4 11 6 5 4 4 10 9 8 9 5 6 9 9 10 6 4 8 4 6 4 7 7 9 6 9 7 10 8 9 10 6 2 1 9 3 8 9 6 2 4
Linux 3 8 3 1 5 8 5 4 5 3 1 6 5 9 6 8 5 1 8 3 4 4 4 4 6 10 7 7 3 4 4 2 6 4 1 4 3 2 6 5 6 9 7 2 3 3



Neon Color Scheme

Neon is a colorful bright-on-black color scheme for Sublime Text 2/ST3 and TextMate (versions 1 and 2). In designing it, I've aimed to make as many languages as possible look as good as possible, taking advantage of as many of the available scopes as I can. Neon was originally designed for Python, which has a very detailed language definition, but lots of languages look good with it, like JavaScript, CSS, HTML, Ruby, PHP, shell scripts, XML, Clojure, Fortran (really!), R, LaTeX, Markdown, reStructuredText, and more. It's also great when using @wuub's fantastic SublimeREPL plugin, which I can't say enough good things about.

PythonImproved with Neon

Languages/Plugins Supported

Neon's main goal is to make as many languages as possible look as good as possible. That being said, there are some language/markup/framework-specific scopes and sections that you might be interested in:

For major changes, I'll test most if not all of the above languages, as well as R, Makefile, Lua, Java, Perl, Fortran (my excuse — I work with NumPy), LaTeX, and bash shell scripts, with maybe some others thrown in for fun. When I say “as many languages as possible” I mean it!

If you have a particular language or plugin you'd like Neon to support, just open an issue and I'll see what I can do.

There are a bunch of scopes in here that are only found in my Python Improved language definition package — IPython In/Out statements, Django-specific highlighting (adapted from Djaneiro), a bunch of improvements from @facelessuser's Better Python and @petervaro's Python 3 package, along with various enhancements, extensions, and bug fixes of my own and contributed by others. If you work with Python, I'd highly recommend getting it.

Clojure with Neon

You can find out more about themes in the TextMate manual. All the information there applies to Sublime Text as well, which was heavily influenced by TextMate. Both programs can share themes and language definitions pretty much interchangeably, and snippets are usually pretty easy to port from one to the other as well. But, unfortunately for you Win/Lin people, TextMate is only available for OSX.

R with Neon

What Font is That?

I discovered Cousine while browsing Google Fonts one day and absolutely love it.

Cousine was designed by Steve Matteson as an innovative, refreshing sans serif design that is metrically compatible with Courier New™. Cousine offers improved on-screen readability characteristics and the pan-European WGL character set and solves the needs of developers looking for width-compatible fonts to address document portability across platforms.

It's one of the first things I install when setting up a new workstation or VM, and it used to be my go-to monospace font for web design and programming.

More recently, I've been using Liberation Mono, part of the Liberation font family. It's almost an exact duplicate of Cousine (with a few minor differences), and has the advantage of being available for Fedora (out of the box) and RHEL/CentOS as liberation-fonts, and as ttf-liberation for Debian and Ubuntu (my current distro of choice).

Installation for Sublime Text 2/3

The easiest method is through Package Control, which you need to install first as it doesn't come with Sublime Text. Open the ommand palette with CtrlShiftP (Windows/Linux) or ShiftP (OSX) and type ***pci*** to bring up Package Control: Install. Click or hit Enter, type in neon, and Neon Color Scheme should show up. Select it, then activate the theme by choosing the Preferences -> Color Scheme -> Neon Color Scheme -> Neon menu option. Alternatively, paste the following line in Packages/User/Preferences.sublime-settings (Preferences -> Settings - User):

"color_scheme": "Packages/Neon Color Scheme/Neon.tmTheme"

If you like to do things the old-fashioned way, in ~/Library/Application Support/Sublime Text 2/Packages/User (OSX), %APPDATA%\Sublime Text 2\Packages\User (Windows), or ~/.config/sublime-text-2/Packages/User (Linux) (change the 2 to 3 for ST3…):

git clone https://github.com/MattDMo/Neon-color-scheme.git "Neon Color Scheme"

This will create a menu option Neon under Preferences -> Color Scheme -> User -> Neon Color Scheme.

TextMate Installation:

For right now, manual cloning is the only option. Hopefully a bundle will be available soon for TM1 and TM2. From your home directory (or anywhere, really), enter:

git clone https://github.com/MattDMo/Neon-color-scheme.git "~/Library/Application Support/TextMate/Themes"

Or, you can just download the .zip file and put it in the proper theme directory yourself.


While I really like the level of control I get with Sublime's system of config files, editing themes by hand (in XML) can be pretty rough. I recommend checking out @aziz's tmTheme-Editor. It works with just about any modern browser that implements all of the HTML5 APIs. It's a pretty neat tool, and Neon is included!

However, for most of my editing, I use @facelessuser's ColorSchemeEditor, a cross-platform GUI tool (written in Python) for creating and editing .tmTheme color schemes, and it has very quickly become one of my favorite apps. If the forum is working, check out this post in the Sublime Text forum announcing the plugin and app. The documentation is minimal, it's not available through Package Control, and you currently need to download the platform-specific compiled binaries via links from the forum post (hint, google the page's URL and view the cached version to get the links if the forum is still down) and put them in your Packages/User directory in order for the plugin to work, but it's so worth it if you need to tweak or completely refactor a color scheme. If you want to try and build the binary yourself, read through this issue. The directions are for Windows, but they also work on OS X and Linux. I also wrote a blog post about building ColorSchemeEditor yourself a little while back, so if you're comfortable with hacking Python, check it out!


Sometimes the same file looks different in TextMate and Sublime Text. It may be that the scopes are defined somewhat differently, or that the parsers don't work in quite the same way. Hack the .tmlanguage definition files if you're interested, it's an exciting combination of XML and regex! To ease the pain somewhat, I definitely recommend installing AAAPackageDev via Package Control. Among many other things, it allows you to convert XML/Plist-based .tmLanguage files to YAML syntax, which Neon conveniently supports! Everything is much more straightforward to understand and edit, and when you're done you can run a build system from the Command Palette to convert the YAML back to XML.

YAML-tmLanguage syntax highlighting with Neon

If you have questions, concerns, or suggested improvements, I'd love to hear from you! Feel free to open an issue or send a pull request and I'll get back to you as soon as I can. You can also email me at mattdmo@pigimal.com. Find my blog on Sublime Text and other stuff at MattDMo.com.


© 2013-2015 Matt Morrison mattdmo@pigimal.com.

This is free software. It is licensed under the MIT License. Feel free to use this in your own work. However, if you modify and/or redistribute it, please attribute me in some way, and it would be great if you distribute your work under this or a similar license, but it's not required. A shout-out or a beer would be appreciated.

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