I am trying to read the man pages in color. So far I have been using eshell and just typing man <program> However this does not use color to highlight the options etc.

I have read that M-x woman mode will render the man pages in color.

However not only does this fail to render the pages in color, usually it does not work at all or it shows the pages not in color (which is what the M-x man command does).

Is there a way to render the man pages in color?

  • Assuming that you're already able to view man pages in color inside your bash console; inside your emacs, launch M-x term then, within term, man <program>?
    – Nsukami _
    Commented Jul 26, 2015 at 12:39
  • Good idea. I was hoping there was a more built in way
    – Startec
    Commented Jul 26, 2015 at 12:42
  • Man pages don't have colors, only bold and italics. Do you see things in bold and italics (or underline)? If so, that's all there is. If not, what operating system are you using? Commented Jul 26, 2015 at 15:19
  • 1
    Customize man's faces ?
    – politza
    Commented Jul 26, 2015 at 19:23

1 Answer 1


Add the follows to your init file and use M-x man or the man command in eshell to view man pages: (the colors fits the wombat theme; you can change them for yourself)

(require 'man)
(set-face-attribute 'Man-overstrike nil :inherit 'bold :foreground "orange red")
(set-face-attribute 'Man-underline nil :inherit 'underline :foreground "forest green")

Or to be theme agnostic:

(require 'man)
(set-face-attribute 'Man-overstrike nil :inherit font-lock-type-face :bold t)
(set-face-attribute 'Man-underline nil :inherit font-lock-keyword-face :underline t)


  • What should I do to applu this to woman?
    – alper
    Commented Jul 5, 2020 at 12:16

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