In Python, keyword arguments passed to functions can take the form of "keyword"="value", such as in this example:

some_function(somearg="foo", someotherarg=True)

I'm using python-mode in Emacs 27, and I'd like to change the color of the equals sign and/or the keyword, to make them more visually obvious (to me). How can I do this?

1 Answer 1


My proposal simply detects equal signs and assumes that the words placed before this sign are keywords.

(defface argument-face
  '((t (:foreground "orange")))
  "Face for argument"
  :group 'font-lock-faces)
(defface equal-face
  '((t (:foreground "red")))
  "Face for equal sign"
  :group 'font-lock-faces)
(font-lock-add-keywords 'python-mode
 `(("\\([[:word:]]*[_[[:word:]]*]*\\)\\(=\\)[^ ]"  (1 'argument-face)(2 'equal-face))))

The code has to be put in the initialization file.

  • Unfortunately, this does not distinguish between keyword asignments in function signatures, and assignments elsewhere in one's code.
    – mhucka
    Commented Jul 12, 2022 at 19:17
  • You are right. Note that I changed the code so that you get an invalid pattern if you add a space before or after the equal sign. This will allow you to mark the difference. Hopefully someone will provide you with a more elegant solution. Commented Jul 13, 2022 at 21:06

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