[Crossposting from gnu.emacs.help after getting no response there.]

With Emacs 27.1, in the terminal the standard colour scheme, the pop-ups of the menu I get via F10 have a blue background and with the foreground for menu items being either white(-ish) or browny-orange. The highlighting background colour for selection is red, which for makes the browny-orange illegible.

My question is: How do I change the colour of the pop-ups?

The following changes the menu-bar itself, but not the pop-ups:

    (set-face-attribute 'menu nil
                        :inverse-video nil
                        :background "blue"
                        :foreground "white"
                        :bold t)
  • It goes through menu-bar-open->popup-menu->x-popup-menu (C code) -> x_popup_menu_1 but then I lost track: I don't know how the colors are assigned. OTOH, things are perfectly legible for me: wheat against either a blue background or a red background. Not sure why you get brown-orange.
    – NickD
    Dec 21, 2022 at 13:09
  • Following @dalanicolai's answer, when I use emacs -nw -q, customize claims that the foreground for tty-menu-enabled is yellow, but it looks pretty grubby to me.
    – loris
    Dec 21, 2022 at 15:25
  • Only one question per post, please. Please edit to remove all but one of your questions here. Post the others separately. Thx.
    – Drew
    Dec 21, 2022 at 17:46

2 Answers 2


M-x list-faces-display can be used to list all faces. Then, by quickly scrolling through all faces and looking for faces that resemble the 'menu-bar pop-up face', it can be quickly found that the names of the faces used for the menu-bar pop-up start with tty-menu-.... Now, simply use M-x customize-face tty-menu-enabled/disabled/selected to configure the popup faces.


I have subsequently realised that the settings of my Gnome terminal were influencing the colours of the Emacs menu. For the setting Preferences / Colours / Palette / Built-in schemes I had Solarized, which lead to the rather hard to read grubby yellow on lightish blue. Changing this setting to Gnome or Xterm results in a more legible scheme.

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