I use helm a lot. I have a problem setting colors. In my init.el I have

(require 'helm)
(require 'helm-config)

;; change active line color
(set-face-attribute 'helm-selection nil 
                   :background "red"
                   :foreground "white")

Supose I have the situation in the picture below where I search for XXX. In C the helm-occur buffer uses red/white colors for the selected line. But in the parent buffer in point B I still have green and purple for the pattern match. I'd like to change the colors in B so that they match what happens in C. I suppose I should do something like the code above, but I don't understand what controls the colors in B

enter image description here

1 Answer 1


First, instead of the code you're using to customize face helm-selection, just use M-x customize-face, and save your changes. Using Customize is nearly always a better idea.

To your question:

Put your cursor on the text whose face you want to know, e.g. the face you say is "green and purple", and use C-u C-x =. The *Help* buffer will tell you (near the bottom) what faces are present at that position.

Then use M-x customize-face to customize that face (likewise, any others). When customizing you can even define a face to just inherit from some other face. Easy-peasy.

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