Provided by: task_2.0.0.release-0ubuntu2_i386 bug


       task-color  -  A  color  tutorial for the taskwarrior command line todo


       The first thing you need is a terminal  program  that  supports  color.
       All  terminal  programs  support  color, but only a few support lots of
       colors.  First tell your terminal program to use  color  by  specifying
       the TERM environment variable like this:


       In  this  example,  xterm-color  is used - a common value, and one that
       doesn't require that you use xterm.  This works for most setups.   This
       setting  belongs  in  your  shell  profile (~/.bash_profile, ~/.bashrc,
       ~/.cshrc etc, depending on which shell you use).   If  this  is  a  new
       setting,  you will need to either run that profile script, or close and
       reopen the terminal window (which does the same thing).

       Now tell taskwarrior that you want to use color.  This is  the  default
       for taskwarrior, so the following step may be unnecessary.

           $ task config color on

       This  command  will  make sure there is an entry in your ~/.taskrc file
       that looks like:


       Now taskwarrior is ready.


       It should be mentioned that taskwarrior is aware of whether its  output
       is  going  to  a  terminal,  or  to  a  file  or  through a pipe.  When
       taskwarrior output goes to a terminal, color is desirable, but consider
       the following command:

           $ task list > file.txt

       Do  we  really  want  all  those  color  control  codes  in  the  file?
       Taskwarrior assumes that you do not,  and  temporarily  sets  color  to
       'off'  while  generating the output.  This explains the output from the
       following command:

           $ task show | grep '^color '
           color                        off

       it always returns 'off', no matter what the setting, because the output
       is being sent to a pipe.

       If  you  wanted  those  color  codes, you can override this behavior by
       setting the _forcecolor variable to on, like this:

           $ task config _forcecolor on
           $ task config | grep '^color '
           color                        on

       or by temporarily overriding it like this:

           $ task rc._forcecolor=on config | grep '^color '
           color                        on


       Taskwarrior has a 'color' command that will show all the colors  it  is
       capable of displaying.  Try this:

           $ task color

       The  output cannot be replicated here in a man page, but you should see
       a set of color samples.  How many you  see  depends  on  your  terminal
       program's ability to render them.

       You  should at least see the Basic colors and Effects - if you do, then
       you have 16-color support.   If  your  terminal  supports  256  colors,
       you'll know it!


       The basic color support is provided through named colors:

           black, red, blue, green, magenta, cyan, yellow, white

       Foreground  color  (for  text)  is simply specified as one of the above
       colors, or not specified at all to use the default terminal text color.

       Background color is specified by using the word 'on', and  one  of  the
       above colors.  Some examples:

           green                 # green text, default background color
           green on yellow       # green text, yellow background
           on yellow             # default text color, yellow background

       These colors can be modified further, by making the foreground bold, or
       by making the background bright.  Some examples:

           bold green
           bold white on bright red
           on bright cyan

       The order  of  the  words  is  not  important,  so  the  following  are

           bold green
           green bold

       But  the 'on' is important - colors before the 'on' are foreground, and
       colors after 'on' are background.

       There is an additional 'underline' attribute that may be used:

           underline bright red on black

       And an 'inverse' attribute:

           inverse red

       Taskwarrior  has  a  command  that  helps  you  visualize  these  color
       combinations.  Try this:

           $ task color underline bright red on black

       You  can  use  this  command  to see how the various color combinations
       work.  You will also see some sample colors displayed,  like  the  ones
       above, in addition to the sample requested.

       Some  combinations  look  very  nice,  some  look  terrible.  Different
       terminal programs do implement slightly different  versions  of  'red',
       for  example, so you may see some unexpected variation across machines.
       The brightness of your display is also a factor.


       Using 256 colors follows the same form, but the  names  are  different,
       and some colors can be referenced in different ways.  First there is by
       color ordinal, which is like this:


       This gives you access to all 256 colors, but  doesn't  help  you  much.
       This range is a combination of 8 basic colors (color0 - color7), then 8
       brighter variations (color8 - color15).  Then a  block  of  216  colors
       (color16  -  color231).   Then  a  block  of 24 gray colors (color232 -

       The large block of 216 colors (6x6x6 = 216) represents  a  color  cube,
       which  can  be  addressed via RGB values from 0 to 5 for each component
       color.  A value of 0 means none of this component color, and a value of
       5 means the most intense component color.  For example, a bright red is
       specified as:


       And a darker red would be:


       Note that the three digits represent the three component values, so  in
       this  example  the  5,  0  and  0  represent  red=5,  green=0,  blue=0.
       Combining intense red with no green and no blue yields red.  Similarly,
       blue and green are:


       Another  example  -  bright  yellow - is a mix of bright red and bright
       green, but no blue component, so bright yellow is addressed as:


       A soft pink would be addressed as:


       See if you agree, by running:

           $ task color black on rgb515

       You may notice that the large color block is represented as 6  squares.
       All  colors  in  the first square have a red value of 0.  All colors in
       the 6th square have a red value of 5.  Within each square, blue  ranges
       from  0  to 5 left to right, and within each square green ranges from 0
       to 5, top to bottom.  This scheme takes some getting used to.

       The block of 24 gray colors can also be accessed as gray0 - gray23,  in
       a continuous ramp from black to white.


       If you specify 16-colors, and view on a 256-color terminal, no problem.
       If you try the reverse, specifying 256-colors and viewing on a 16-color
       terminal, you will be disappointed, perhaps even appalled.

       There  is  some  limited  color  mapping  - for example, if you were to
       specify this combination:

           red on gray3

       you are mixing a 16-color  and  256-color  specification.   Taskwarrior
       will  map red to color1, and proceed.  Note that red and color1 are not
       quite the same tone.

       Note also that there is no bold or bright attributes when dealing  with
       256 colors, but there is still underline available.


       Taskwarrior  will  show  examples  of  all  defined colors used in your
       .taskrc, or theme, if you run this command:

           $ task color legend

       This gives you an example of each of the colors, so  you  can  see  the
       effect,  without  necessarily creating a set of tasks that meet each of
       the rule criteria.


       Taskwarrior  supports  colorization  rules.   These  are  configuration
       values  that specify a color, and the conditions under which that color
       is used.  By example, let us add a few tasks:

           $ task add project:Home priority:H pay the bills               (1)
           $ task add project:Home            clean the rug               (2)
           $ task add project:Garden          clean out the garage        (3)

       We can add a color rule that uses a blue background for  all  tasks  in
       the Home project:

           $ task config color.project.Home 'on blue'

       We  use  quotes  around 'on blue' because there are two words, but they
       represent one value in the .taskrc file.  Now suppose we wish to use  a
       bold yellow text color for all cleaning work:

           $ task config color.keyword.clean 'bold yellow'

       Now  what  happens  to  task  2,  which  belongs  to project Home (blue
       background), and is also a cleaning task (bold yellow foreground)?  The
       colors are combined, and the task is shown as "bold yellow on blue".

       Color  rules  can  be  applied  by  project and description keyword, as
       shown, and also by priority (or lack of priority), by active status, by
       being  due  or  overdue,  by  being  tagged,  or  having a specific tag
       (perhaps the most useful rule) or by being a recurring task.

       It is possible to create a very colorful mix of rules.  With  256-color
       support,  those  colors  can  be  made  subtle,  and complementary, but
       without care, this can be a visual mess.  Beware!

       The precedence for the color rules is determined by  the  configuration
       variable 'rule.precedence.color', which by default contains:


       These are just the color rules with the 'color.' prefix  removed.   The
       rule  ''  is the highest precedence, and 'color.deleted'
       is the lowest.

       The keyword rule shown here as  'keyword'  corresponds  to  a  wildcard
       pattern,  meaning  'color.keyword.*', or in other words all the keyword
       rules.  Similarly for the 'color.tag.*' and 'color.project.*' rules.

       There    is    also    'color.project.none',    'color.tag.none'    and
       'color.pri.none' to specifically represent missing data.


       Taskwarrior  supports  themes.  What this really means is that with the
       ability to include other files into the .taskrc file, different sets of
       color rules can be included.

       To  get  a  good idea of what a color theme looks like, try adding this
       entry to your .taskrc file (note  that  your  installation  may  use  a
       slightly different path from the example):

              include /usr/local/share/doc/task/rc/dark-256.theme

       You can use any of the standard taskwarrior themes:


       You  can  also  see how the theme will color the various tasks with the

           $ task color legend

       Better yet, create your own, and share it.  We  will  gladly  host  the
       theme file on <>.


       Copyright (C) 2006 - 2012 P. Beckingham, F. Hernandez.

       Taskwarrior    is    distributed    under    the   MIT   license.   See       for       more


       task(1), taskrc(5), task-faq(5), task-tutorial(5), task-sync(5)

       For  more  information  regarding  taskwarrior,  the  following  may be

       The official site at

       The official code repository at

       You can contact the project by writing an email to


       Bugs in taskwarrior may be reported to the issue-tracker at