I would like print some text in either Green Blue Yellow Amber or Red? How can I do it?

Have made the following function but calling

(mcolour "text" "red" "Mybuffer")

did not colour the text.

(defun mcolour (mesg colour buffer)

  (let ( (buf (get-buffer-create buffer))
         (txt (propertize mesg
                          'face '(:foreground colour))) )
    (with-current-buffer buffer (insert mesg))
    (display-buffer bufferr)))
  • 1
    Paste the following snippet into an empty *scratch* buffer and type M-x eval-buffer, or go to the end of the snippet and type C-x C-e: (let ((buf (get-buffer-create "*FOO*")) (txt (propertize "hello-world" 'face '(:foreground "red")))) (with-current-buffer buf (insert txt)) (display-buffer buf)) See also the functions put-text-property and add-text-properties.
    – lawlist
    Nov 16, 2022 at 2:39

1 Answer 1


Your code did not work because it is littered with typos. Here is a working version:

    (defun mcolour (mesg colour buffer)
      (let ((buf (get-buffer-create buffer))
            (txt (propertize mesg
                              'face `(:foreground ,colour))))
        (with-current-buffer buffer (insert txt))
        (display-buffer buffer)))

In detail: you need bufferr to be buffer in the last line; mesg to be txt in the insert form and you must use the back-quote/comma mechanism to evaluate colour.

  • It was not having a comma.
    – Dilna
    Nov 16, 2022 at 9:23
  • The comma works together with the backquote: you were missing both. All the other typos could have been avoided with some care (or by cutting and pasting and formatting @lawlist's comment), but this one you introduced by making colour a variable that needs to be evaluated inside a quoted expression: since quoting inhibits evaluation, you need the backquote/comma mechanism to inhibit some of the evaluation, but allowing the evaluation of colour.
    – NickD
    Nov 16, 2022 at 11:05

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