I load the solarized-dark theme in the last line of my .emacs files thusly:

(load-theme 'solarized-dark t)

However, this causes Aquamacs to look like: bad theme If I then load the theme again by entering M-x load-theme RET solarized-dark, the theme looks correct: correct theme How can I get the theme to load correct from my .emacs?

1 Answer 1


This is possibly due to a legacy startup setting in Aquamacs. You have a couple of options to fix it.

Patch Aquamacs

Try the patch posted here, which worksforme.

--- Contents/Resources/lisp/aquamacs/macosx/aquamacs-frame-setup.el.orig    2017-04-06 14:38:45.000000000 -0400
+++ Contents/Resources/lisp/aquamacs/macosx/aquamacs-frame-setup.el 2017-04-06 16:30:54.000000000 -0400
@@ -79,7 +79,7 @@
  '((create-frame-min-width 68)
 ;; do not set any fonts here. aquamacs.el takes care of this,
 ;; checking that the fonts actually exist.
-   (default-frame-alist 
+   (initial-frame-alist 
      ((foreground-color . "Black") (background-color . "White") 
       (cursor-type . box) (cursor-color . "Red")
       (vertical-scroll-bars . right)  

Edit your init-file

In your ~/.emacs or ~/.emacs.d/init.el or ~/Library/Preferences/Aquamacs Emacs/Preferences.el (where ever you load your theme from, add (setq default-frame-alist nil) before you load your theme, a la:

(when window-system
  (when (featurep 'aquamacs)
    (setq default-frame-alist nil))
  (load-theme 'my-new-theme t))

Or, more simply:

(setq default-frame-alist nil)
(load-theme 'my-new-theme t)
  • Thanks for the response. Unfortunately, I can no longer test this as when I use Emacs, I use Spacemacs on "emacs-mac" these days. Apr 6, 2017 at 2:40
  • 1
    @StevenShaw Understandable. This has bugged me for years, and I worked around it by using an old style "color-theme". I only came across your question while doing a little research after deciding to dig into this and find a proper fix.
    – nega
    Apr 6, 2017 at 21:16

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