19.2 Standard Faces
To see what faces are currently defined, and what they look like,
type M-x list-faces-display. It's possible for a given face to
look different in different frames; this command shows the appearance
in the frame in which you type it.
Here are the standard faces for specifying text appearance. You can
use them on specific text, when you want the effects they produce.
- This face is used for ordinary text that doesn't specify any other face.
- This face uses a bold variant of the default font, if it has one.
It's up to you to choose a default font that has a bold variant,
if you want to use one.
- This face uses an italic variant of the default font, if it has one.
- This face uses a bold italic variant of the default font, if it has one.
- This face underlines text.
- This face forces use of a particular fixed-width font.
- This face forces use of a particular variable-width font. It's
reasonable to customize this to use a different variable-width font,
if you like, but you should not make it a fixed-width font.
- This face is used for making the text less noticeable than the surrounding
ordinary text. Usually this can be achieved by using shades of gray in
contrast with either black or white default foreground color.
Here's an incomplete list of faces used to highlight parts of the
text temporarily for specific purposes. (Many other modes define
their own faces for this purpose.)
- This face is used for highlighting portions of text, in various modes.
For example, mouse-sensitive text is highlighted using this face.
highlight, but used for portions of text on mode lines.
- This face is used for highlighting Isearch matches.
- This face is used for lazy highlighting of Isearch and Query Replace
matches other than the current one.
- This face is used for displaying a selected region (when Transient Mark
mode is enabled—see below).
- This face is used for displaying a secondary X selection (see Secondary Selection).
- The face for highlighting excess spaces and tabs at the end of a line
show-trailing-whitespace is non-
- The face for displaying the character “nobreak space”.
- The face for highlighting the ‘\’ or ‘^’ that indicates
a control character. It's also used when ‘\’ indicates a
nobreak space or nobreak (soft) hyphen.
When Transient Mark mode is enabled, the text of the region is
highlighted when the mark is active. This uses the face named
region; you can control the style of highlighting by changing the
style of this face (see Face Customization). See Transient Mark,
for more information about Transient Mark mode and activation and
deactivation of the mark.
These faces control the appearance of parts of the Emacs frame.
They exist as faces to provide a consistent way to customize the
appearance of these parts of the frame.
- This face is used for the mode line of the currently selected window,
and for menu bars when toolkit menus are not used. By default, it's
drawn with shadows for a “raised” effect on window systems, and
drawn as the inverse of the default face on non-windowed terminals.
modeline is an alias for the
mode-line face, for
compatibility with old Emacs versions.
mode-line, but used for mode lines of the windows other
than the selected one (if
nil). This face inherits from
mode-line, so changes
in that face affect mode lines in all windows.
- Similar to
mode-line for a window's header line. Most modes
don't use the header line, but some special modes, such the Info mode, do.
- This face is used for the vertical divider between windows.
By default this face inherits from the
on character terminals. On window systems the foreground color of
this face is used for the vertical line between windows without
- This face is used for the prompt strings displayed in the minibuffer.
By default, Emacs automatically adds this face to the value of
minibuffer-prompt-properties, which is a list of text
properties used to display the prompt text.
- The face for the fringes to the left and right of windows on graphic
displays. (The fringes are the narrow portions of the Emacs frame
between the text area and the window's right and left borders.)
- This face determines the visual appearance of the scroll bar.
See Scroll Bars.
- This face determines the color of the frame border.
- This face determines the color of the cursor.
- This face determines the color of the mouse pointer.
- This is the basic tool-bar face. No text appears in the tool bar, but the
colors of this face affect the appearance of tool bar icons. See Tool Bars.
- This face is used for tooltips. See Tooltips.
- This face determines the colors and font of Emacs's menus. See Menu Bars. Setting the font of LessTif/Motif menus is currently not
supported; attempts to set the font are ignored in this case.
Likewise, attempts to customize this face in Emacs built with GTK and
in the MS-Windows port are ignored by the respective GUI toolkits;
you need to use system-wide styles and options to change the
appearance of the menus.