(or emacs irrelevant)

Fancy minibuffer faces for Ivy completion

Today, I'll describe a recent improvement to the display of Ivy completion. To use it, add this code to your configuration:

(setq ivy-display-style 'fancy)

After this, swiper will look like this:


And counsel-M-x will look like this:


If you haven't used it before, counsel-M-x is part the counsel package on MELPA, or part of swiper package if you're installing from GNU ELPA. Basically, it's a M-x replacement (that I like to bind to C-t for efficiency reasons), that doubles as find-function (just press C-. instead of RET to find the function instead of calling it). If you're using counsel-M-x I highly recommend to also install smex, since then counsel-M-x will use smex for sorting the matched commands.

The update will propertize the minibuffer contents with a new set of faces:

(defcustom swiper-minibuffer-faces
  "List of `swiper' faces for minibuffer group matches.")

Initially, when responding to #212, I used the original swiper faces in the minibuffer as well. But after some use, their brightness became a bit annoying. So I introduced a new set of faces that can be customized separately.

Here are the settings that I'm currently using:

   ((t :background "#dddddd")))
   ((t :background "#bbbbbb" :weight bold)))
   ((t :background "#bbbbff" :weight bold)))
   ((t :background "#ffbbff" :weight bold))))

It's similar to what the Firefox address bar uses: gray background and bold font. Additionally, the matching parts are highlighted with pale gray, blue and magenta colors. If you like the color scheme, it's part of eclipse-theme. Another choice, for even less distraction, could be to remove the background from these faces, only leaving the bold part on the matches.

Thanks to @Wilfred for nudging me to finally implement this feature. It's been on my list for a long time, but I've been putting it off.