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Piping catkin_make stderr to less while preserving color

Hope this isn't too unrelated to ROS, but in an effort to reduce the amount of times I scroll on a terminal while building my ROS project, I'm trying to pipe catkin_make's stderr to less. However I cannot seem to do so without getting rid of the color, which drastically messes up the readability.

This is where I have reached so far:

catkin_make --cmake-args="-DCLICOLOR_FORCE=1" |& less -R

But with no effect.

Is there any way I can pipe the compiler errors from catkin_make to less , or failing that, is there a way I can nicely display catkin_make errors without having to scroll so much, while still keeping it human readable?

I am running ROS Kinetic on Ubuntu MATE 16.04 64-bit. I'm using tmux on mate-terminal for my programming environment.