I am currently using Zenburn. My .emacs file contains

(require 'package)
(add-to-list 'package-archives '("melpa" . "http://melpa.org/packages/"))

(add-to-list 'custom-theme-load-path "~/.emacs.d/themes/")
(load-theme 'zenburn t)

I want to use tomorrow-night-bright. So, I placed the tomorrow-night-bright.el file in the same folder with zenburn.el. When I try

(require 'package)
(add-to-list 'package-archives '("melpa" . "http://melpa.org/packages/"))

(add-to-list 'custom-theme-load-path "~/.emacs.d/themes/")
(load-theme 'tomorrow-night-bright t)

Emacs says it can't find the file/folder. When I use M-x customize-themes, it has it listed, but again can't find it when I try to execute it.

1 Answer 1



You're working with this tomorrow-night-bright.el file, right? Here's the entirety of it:

(require 'color-theme-tomorrow)
(color-theme-tomorrow--define-theme night-bright)

It seems like that theme is organized a little bit differently from others. Let's compare it to Zenburn, the one that's currently working from your init file. Zenburn's file ends with

(provide-theme 'zenburn)

This lets you call (load-theme 'zenburn t) and have it work. Note that tomorrow-night-bright.el never calls provide-theme. So we can't just call load-theme on it. We have to find the location of the function color-theme-tomorrow--define-theme, and add it to our load path. By poking around the github repository, I found it here.


So, if we can't just call load-theme, what do we need to do? If you download the two files from the tomorrow-theme repository, put them on your load path. Then, you should be able to call this code:

(load "/path/to/tomorrow-night-bright-theme.el")
(load-theme 'tomorrow-night-bright t)

The first line will create the theme; the second one loads it.

Simpler alternative

Steve Purcell wrote a version of the tomorrow-night themes with "much more extensive face definitions" here. If you download one of those files (or install it from melpa), you should be able to just call load-theme on it.

  • I want to try the simpler alternative. I installed it with Melpa and put the el file in my themes folder. I can use M-x customize-themes and get it to work. But, when I add (load-theme 'sanityinc-tomorrow-bright t), it says it can't find the file.
    – J126
    Commented Nov 29, 2018 at 16:30

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