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5.2.6 Faces for TODO keywords

Org mode highlights TODO keywords with special faces: org-todo for keywords indicating that an item still has to be acted upon, and org-done for keywords indicating that an item is finished. If you are using more than two different states, you might want to use special faces for some of them. This can be done using the variable org-todo-keyword-faces. For example:

(setq org-todo-keyword-faces
'(("TODO" . org-warning) ("STARTED" . "yellow")
("CANCELED" . (:foreground "blue" :weight bold))))

While using a list with face properties as shown for ‘CANCELEDshould work, this does not always seem to be the case. If necessary, define a special face and use that. A string is interpreted as a color. The variable org-faces-easy-properties determines if that color is interpreted as a foreground or a background color.