I'm using a Ubuntu (11.04 Server Edition) virtual machine as my development environment. It doesn't have a desktop environment since I don't think its necessary and I want to keep it lightweight. I'm accessing it via SSH with PuTTY on Windows 7. I grew fond of Emacs 24 as an IDE but still want to use inside a terminal.

I successfully enabled the 256 color version of xterm to render Emacs 24 themes properly, however the terminal doesn't render comments in italics and classes/functions/methods underlined as it is declared on the theme code. I noticed that the bold font style works after enabling it in PuTTY.

I tried changing the Terminal-Type string in PuTTY to rxvt-unicode with no avail. I also tried other terminal emulators like SecureCRT and forks like PuTTYcyg and KiTTY since I noticed Putty doesn't display fonts in italics as a general font setting.

I also tried Vim and other systems with all this options and configurations and it didn't work.

Is there a way to achieve this? How?


Just an FYI: Anything libvte based supports bold, italics, underline and strikethrough. No other terminal engine supports all four. Application support is virtually zero though because the functionality is only a few months old and it'll be many many years before the escape sequences are accepted and standardized.

  • Only if time is flowing backwards. They were standardized in 1976. – JdeBP Sep 2 '16 at 14:47
  • Really? I've never seen any period terminal that has support for italics and strikethrough. Bold/high-intensity, and underline, sure, but nothing more than that. If I am mistaken I am genuinely interested to learn as such; I happen to be doing a lot of research on terminal emulation at the moment. – i336_ Sep 2 '16 at 23:00
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    Yes. The control sequences for bold, underline, and italics were standardized in ECMA-48 published in 1976. The control sequence for strikethrough was added in the third edition, published in 1984. – JdeBP Sep 30 '16 at 22:33
  • Wow. Thanks for the information. I really need to read up on the standards, and look beyond my experiences of xterm/(u)rxvt and their reference documentation. MAME's VT220 emulation is getting better, at least... – i336_ Oct 2 '16 at 12:44
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    I recommend ECMA-48, the DEC VT520 Video Terminal Programmer Information, and ITU T.416, for starters. – JdeBP Oct 14 '16 at 17:29

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