Provided by: taskwarrior_2.6.2+dfsg-1_amd64 bug


       task-color - A color tutorial for the Taskwarrior command line todo manager.


       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

       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

           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 equivalent:

           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 bold 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 bold 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

       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 - color255).

       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

           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

           $ 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

           $ 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

       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.

       In such cases, consider using  the  'rule.color.merge=no'  option  to  disable  the  color

       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 'color.deleted'
       has the highest precedence, and 'color.uda.' 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.

       There is also 'color.project.none', 'color.tag.none' and


       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

              include dark-256.theme

       You can use any of the standard Taskwarrior themes:


       Bear  in mind that if you are using a terminal with a dark background, you will see better
       results using a dark theme.

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

           $ task color legend

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


       Copyright (C) 2006 - 2021 T. Babej, P. Beckingham, F. Hernandez.

       Taskwarrior       is       distributed      under      the      MIT      license.      See for more information.


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

       For more information regarding Taskwarrior, see the following:

       The official site at

       The official code repository at

       You can contact the project by emailing


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