TerminalColoreopard, Change Terminal.app ANSI Color on Leopard

Posted by Yoshimasa Niwa on 11/02, 2007

Introducing TerminalColoreopard!

Terminal.app on Leopard supports full ANSI color and multi color profile and many encodings and treat japanese correctly but, one thing – the changing the ANSI color is missing. When we use the Tiger, we can change the ANSI colors on Terminal.app using Terminal Colors Plugin. But this nice plugin cannot work with Leopard one. I tried to write same one for Leopard and now, I present it as beta version.

Snow Leopard Support

I uploaded 64bit TerminalColoreopard plugin for Snow Leopard, Mac OS X 10.6.x. It requires to install the newest version of SIMBL prior to use this plugin. If you’re using Leopard, 10.5.x, please use previous version of TerminalColoreopard.

Download and Install

  1. Download the package
  2. Double click to mount one.
  3. If you have never install the SIMBL which TerminalColoreopard need to work, double click SIMBL.pkg to install it.
  4. You confirm the Terminal.app does not work now. If not, you should quit one.
  5. Copy the TerminalColoreopard.bundle into (Your Home)/Library/Application Support/SIMBL/Plugins. If there are no destination, you should create one.


  • Currently the color settings are shared any color profile.
  • Even if you change the color using the palette, it will not affect the screen quickly. You currently refresh the screen manually.

Road to 1.0

  • Fix the defects
  • Add the installer.pkg
  • Add the preset of color set like Tango Colors or something
  • Move color pane into the original preference dialog

Change Log


If you would like to help the TerminalColoreopard project, please feel free to donate via PayPal using the following form.

Amount in USD

Thank you for your donation!

Source Code

Now, I publish this project in open source. You can get the whole source code from my github repository.


TerminalColoreopard is under MIT License.



  • ms kim said at 11/19, 2007
    Hi, Yoshimasa san..
    I got installed on my private library, but I couldn't get it worked. Also, When I installed SIMBL package, It went to the /Library/InputManagers directory. This is not the one that you mentioned above article.
    Do you have any idea? What I can install your prestigious application.

  • Yoshimasa Niwa said at 11/20, 2007
    > ms kim
    At first, Please check the TerminalColoreopard.bundle are placed in ~/Library/Application Support/SIMBL/Plugins. If not, place it and quite the terminal then launch it. If you does not get the Color Preference menu item in Terminal.app Main menu(see the pic), please launch the Console.app(place in /Application/Utilities) and find the log said "TerminalColoreopard installed". If not, it seems the problem of this plug-in. please let me know your environment(I mean, is Intel Mac? The version of Mac OS is 10.5.x?)

    And, now I'm writing the next version of this plug-in which was changed the way to hack the Terminal.app. I also try to put it on the web asap for checking the implementation. Best.
  • Ruzia said at 12/08, 2007
  • J.e. Turcotte said at 02/06, 2008
    Hello... I tried your application (being desperate to change the dark blue to something else for VI, ls, and such via Terminal) ... but it tells me it hasn't been tested with SIMBL 0.2.1, and therefore won't run... good luck and thanks!
  • Yoshimasa Niwa said at 02/08, 2008
    Hi, J.e. Turcotte: The latest version of SIMBL seems 0.8.2 so, I think you can update SIMBL itself using SIMBL.pkg which I included in TerminalColoreopard.dmg. I tested this plugin with this version of SIMBL.
  • TN said at 03/28, 2008

    Thanx for this application. It is working flawlessly with an up-to-date Leopard installation. I understand (maybe from other sources) that the mechanism used, based on SIMBL is unsupported by Apple and will eventually be removed. I'm not an expert on this matter, so apologies in advance if i'm mistaken. I hope that there is a 'long term' solution, until Apple finaly resolves this issue.
  • stef said at 04/24, 2008
    Thanks Niwa, your app works fine... At last I can clearly see my files and folders in Terminal, with colors !
  • Thomas said at 08/11, 2008
    Thanks a lot! Never again too blue...
  • Michael said at 09/09, 2008
    This worked great with Leopard 10.5.4 and Terminal.app. Thank you very much!
  • Stian said at 09/18, 2008
    Woo! This is brilliant! Thank you very much! Keep up the good work! I changed everything to lovely shaded pastels.. it looks lovely! And the best part - my eyes don't hurt anymore.

    PS - for the best experience combine with the fixed-width font Inconsolata http://www.levien.com/type/myfonts/inconsolata.html
  • Richard said at 09/26, 2008
    Thank you!
  • kimc said at 11/26, 2008
    I was crying every time I a see dark blue as directory on black background. This is a life saver!!! Thank you.
  • Vitor said at 03/28, 2009
    I installed sucsessfuly and the menu Color menu appears on Terminal.app.
    I just don't get how to setup the colours, they're still the same!
  • Yoshimasa Niwa said at 03/31, 2009
    Hi, Vitor, You'll get an additional menu item in "Terminal" menu which you can see in the thumbnail on this page. Then you can change the colors. If it still doesn't work, please send me a log which you can get at "All Messages" on Console.app in Utilities with filtering "Terminal"(You may get 'TerminalColoreopard installed' by filtering). Thank you!
  • Daniel said at 04/22, 2009
    thanks so much for this!
  • Michael2 said at 06/25, 2009
    Great Addition! Thanks a lot!
    Greetings to Tokyo, Japan
    from Berlin, Germany
  • godDLL said at 08/18, 2009
    Hey Yoshimasa san, are you going to carry on into Snow Leopard? Or maybe release the source so that someone else can?
  • Yoshimasa Niwa said at 08/19, 2009
    > godDLL-san
    mmm, currently I can't say yes or no because Snow Leopard doesn't support SIMBL(Input Manager) hack any more. I hope Terminal.app on Snow Leopard has an ability to change the color in itself though, if not, I'd try to find out the way to fix this "BUG"!
  • Rob said at 08/28, 2009
    Still no options to change the colors on snow leopard, and they've broken the TerminalColors hack :(
  • Jubal said at 09/08, 2009

    Thank you so much for your Terminal addition! You have made my life so much better ^_^ It works just fine now on Snow Leopard.
  • max said at 09/22, 2009
    Thanks for the app. Works great on SL!
  • Mark Percival said at 09/24, 2009
    Great plugin, It seems the other TerminalColour plugin is broken under SIMBL 64 bit. This one work great on though, thanks.
  • Bayard Randel said at 10/15, 2009
    Superb work!

    ありがとうございました from Dunedin, New Zealand!
  • Knorkebrot said at 11/22, 2009
    Thank you very much, finaly I can read all the blue text again =D You just made my work easier.

    Greetings from Germany =)
  • Jordan Boesch said at 12/16, 2009
    Just tried this and I get this error when opening Terminal:

    Terminal 2.1 (v272) has not been tested with the plugin TerminalColoreopard (null) (v0.2.4). As a precaution, it has not been loaded. Please contact the plugin developer for further information.
  • Yoshimasa Niwa said at 12/17, 2009
    hi Jordan,
    Thank you for your report. I'm not using Snow Leopard mainly, so it is because of update. I'll update this application soon. Thank you!
  • Yoshimasa Niwa said at 12/20, 2009
    Hi Jordan,
    I checked the package on Snow Leopard then It seems works good. Please using 0.2.5 instead of 0.2.4 because 0.2.4 doesn't support Snow Leopard. Thank you!
  • Mark said at 03/31, 2010

    Please could you release a version that works with the 10.6.3 update?

  • tukiyo said at 03/31, 2010
  • Yoshimasa Niwa said at 03/31, 2010
    I'm getting ready to ship new version of TerminalColoreopard for 10.6.3... stay tuned.
  • Classic said at 04/02, 2010
    Thanks for the fast update for 10.6.3!
  • el said at 04/03, 2010
    arigatou gozaimasu~!! hontoni~!!
  • kikuta said at 04/19, 2010
    10.6.3でJordan Boesch同様にエラーが出てしまいます..


    Terminal 2.1.1 (v273) has not been tested with the plugin TerminalColoreopard (null) (v0.2.5). As a precaution, it has not been loaded. Please contact the plugin developer for further information.
  • Yoshimasa Niwa said at 04/19, 2010
    > Kikuta さん
  • Yoshimasa Niwa said at 04/29, 2010
  • kikuta said at 04/29, 2010
    > Yoshimasa Niwaさん

  • Justin said at 06/17, 2010
    A big thanks Yoshimasa.
    Your plugin worked for me (10.6.4)
  • inden said at 11/08, 2010
    my tmux doesn't show a vivid green toolbar anymore, thanks! :)

  • Devin said at 01/04, 2011
    Thank you. So much. Finally I can see ANSI blue now.
  • bluehat said at 04/07, 2011
    Big thanks Yoshimasa! Works perfect for me (10.6.7)! Finally I can use monokai colors from TextMate in my terminal :)

    Here are the RGB values:

    black (0, 0, 0)
    red (229, 34, 34)
    green (166, 227, 45)
    yellow (252, 149, 30)
    blue (196, 141, 255)
    magenta (250, 37, 115)
    cyan (103, 217, 240)
    white (242, 242, 242)
  • Yoshimasa Niwa said at 04/17, 2011
    bluehat: sounds good. I'm also now using monokai-like color schema.
  • Aaron Hope said at 04/27, 2011
    Thing of beauty! It's so nice to have that constant irritant removed.
  • Mark Wadham said at 07/18, 2011
    Hi Yoshimasa,

    Any eta for getting this working with Lion?

    Thanks :)
  • Yoshimasa Niwa said at 08/22, 2011
    Mark: on Lion, Terminal.app itself finally supports this feature so we don't need to use any plugins to change ANSI colors!
  • Andrew Pennebaker said at 11/07, 2013
    This doesn't work on new Macs, but this does:

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