I've been trying to get tabs showing up on emacs, and I came across the builtin tab-mode.

I'm trying to set colors and make it look decent, and I ended up here, which told me to modify tab-line-.+ with set-face-attribute.

So I appended this to my init.el:

(set-face-attribute 'tab-line nil
                    ;; some omitted settings, background, foreground, font

(set-face-attribute 'tab-line-tab-inactive nil
                    ;; again, a bunch of omitted settings

When I load the config, I get the error: "Invalid face: tab-line-tab-inactive".

The face does seem to be present in the tab-line.el in the source. What's going on? Thanks!

  • 2
    It may be that set-face-attribute hasn't run yet? Perhaps this is an occasion for with-eval-after-load? Do you have helm-faces? If so what happens if you do M-x helm-faces and search for tab-line? Do you see tab-line-inactive then?
    – Caleb Jay
    Jul 7, 2021 at 2:52
  • 1
    As @CalebJay suggests, these things are only defined after loading tab-line.el, so (with-eval-after-load "tab-line.el" (set-face-attribute 'tab-line nil) (set-face-attribute 'tab-line-tab-inactive nil)) should do the job.
    – NickD
    Jul 7, 2021 at 3:47


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