I run the following vim command to change the colour of highlighted columns to something more palatable than the default red:

:highlight ColorColumn ctermbg=235 guibg=#2c2d27

rather than run this manually everytime I start vim, I'd like to automate this. But how? I've tried adding the following to .vimrc:

highlight ColorColumn ctermbg=235 guibg=#2c2d27

But that has no effect (no errors, it's just ignored after restart). Am I doing something wrong? I got the command from this Q:


But it didn't seem to shed light on my particular problem.

  • 1
    Add it to the colourscheme you are currently using...
    – jasonwryan
    Commented May 14, 2014 at 7:25

2 Answers 2


You need to select a colorscheme prior to adding any highlight commands in your .vimrc file.


colorscheme desert
highlight ColorColumn ctermbg=235 guibg=#2c2d27



It seems that your colorscheme had overrided your configuration. You can override it by the way in @slm's answer or create another configuration for colorscheme in ~/.vim/after/colors/<colorscheme name>.vim.

But you can always override settings in all colorscheme by adding this line to your .vimrc:

autocmd ColorScheme * highlight ColorColumn ctermbg=235 guibg=#2d2d27

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