I'm trying to turn off all colored text when using gnu emacs as emacs -nw on linux. This answer gives a snippet of code to use for this purpose:

(cl-loop for face in (face-list) do
     (set-face-attribute face nil :foreground nil :background nil))

However, when I put this in my .emacs file, I get this error:

Symbol's function definition is void: cl-loop

How do I fix this?

  • 1
    cl-loop is from cl-macs.el. Have you tried adding (require 'cl-macs) before using cl-loop? Commented Feb 22, 2020 at 18:58
  • 3
    @Aquaactress cl-macs.el is an internal subpackage of the package cl-lib.el. You should always (require 'cl-lib) or (eval-when-compile (require 'cl-lib)) instead. See (cl) Organization.
    – Basil
    Commented Feb 22, 2020 at 19:04
  • That works. Aquaactress or Basil, maybe that should be an answer so I can accept it. Thanks!
    – user5457
    Commented Feb 22, 2020 at 19:05
  • @Aquaactress: I don't see that the manual section you point to says that cl-macs.el is "an internal subpackage" or that "you should always...". What it says is that you can just load cl-lib.el to get the macros (and a bunch of other stuff) autoloaded. If you only need a macro for byte-compilation I see no reason why you would necessarily want to load all that's in cl-lib.el. Of course there's nothing wrong with loading cl-lib.el, and yes, it's generally what people do who want some of its functionality.
    – Drew
    Commented Feb 23, 2020 at 2:27
  • @Drew I think you meant to reference Basil. I was not the one who referenced that section. Commented Feb 23, 2020 at 20:09

1 Answer 1


The direct solution is to (require 'cl-lib) somewhere, but this is a trivial enough loop that Emacs comes with a macro specifically for it, without needing cl-lib:

(dolist (face (face-list))
  (set-face-attribute face nil :foreground nil :background nil))

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