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Thread: changing colors, not themes

  1. #1

    Default changing colors, not themes

    I have been trying to set up the open Suse 13.1 default KDE to what I prefer, but all I can find is theme changes, I'd like to change colors, transparencies etc individually and get rid of or disable themes all together. Alternatively, find a fully configurable theme, (essentially a non-theme).
    How can I do this?

  2. #2

    Default Re: changing colors, not themes

    Quote Originally Posted by puppybreath View Post
    I have been trying to set up the open Suse 13.1 default KDE to what I prefer, but all I can find is theme changes, I'd like to change colors, transparencies etc individually and get rid of or disable themes all together. Alternatively, find a fully configurable theme, (essentially a non-theme).
    How can I do this?
    Configure Desktop->Application Appearance->Colors?

    But what exactly do you mean with theme? What exactly do you want to change?

    If you mean the plasma themes ("desktop themes"), you cannot change the transparency, that is defined by the theme.
    And there is no fully-configurable theme (non-theme) either.
    But a theme are just SVG graphics which you could change yourself to your likings.
    And you can select different themes for different components on the "Details" tab, and you can choose the color scheme for plasma independently there.

    If you don't like that, better use something else than KDE4 (or Plasma 5 for that matter).
    Examples: KDE3, GNOME, LXDE, XFCE, Enlightenment, WindowManager, Mate, Cinnamon... (the first 6 are included in the distribution, for the other two you would have to add additional repos)

  3. #3

    Default Re: changing colors, not themes

    Quote Originally Posted by wolfi323 View Post
    Configure Desktop->Application Appearance->Colors?

    But what exactly do you mean with theme? What exactly do you want to change?

    If you mean the plasma themes ("desktop themes"), you cannot change the transparency, that is defined by the theme.
    And there is no fully-configurable theme (non-theme) either.
    But a theme are just SVG graphics which you could change yourself to your likings.
    And you can select different themes for different components on the "Details" tab, and you can choose the color scheme for plasma independently there.

    If you don't like that, better use something else than KDE4 (or Plasma 5 for that matter).
    Examples: KDE3, GNOME, LXDE, XFCE, Enlightenment, WindowManager, Mate, Cinnamon... (the first 6 are included in the distribution, for the other two you would have to add additional repos)
    Thank you, I was hoping for an ability to reconfigure the desktop so things would stand out better. My problem with themes is that they are almost always designed to be visually appealing using similar colors, if the colors are too similar they wash out for me so I have a bit of difficulty reading when colors are too similar. I don't need the typical 'high contrast' theme, but more contrast than is furnished with the average themes designed for good looks.
    typically, what I normally aim for is a clear demarkation, dark background with lighter colored text and border around and between menus etc.

    I'll look into KDE3, and also into creating my own theme. Thanks again!

  4. #4

    Default Re: changing colors, not themes

    Quote Originally Posted by puppybreath View Post
    Thank you, I was hoping for an ability to reconfigure the desktop so things would stand out better.
    Well, you can configure a lot of things regarding the desktop, especially in KDE.

    My problem with themes is that they are almost always designed to be visually appealing using similar colors, if the colors are too similar they wash out for me so I have a bit of difficulty reading when colors are too similar. I don't need the typical 'high contrast' theme, but more contrast than is furnished with the average themes designed for good looks.
    I'm still not sure what you mean with "theme", or what you really want to change.

    typically, what I normally aim for is a clear demarkation, dark background with lighter colored text and border around and between menus etc.
    The menus and texts/texts background in an application are totally unrelated and not at all influenced by the desktop theme.
    Maybe you are talking about the "widget style" here? Or the color settings as already mentioned in the first post?
    Both settings can be found in "Configure Desktop"->"Application Appearance", and you can configure colors for many elements separately without having to choose a color scheme.


    I'll look into KDE3, and also into creating my own theme. Thanks again!
    KDE4's desktop themes are located in subfolders in /usr/share/kde4/apps/desktoptheme/. If you want to change an existing one better create a copy with a different name and edit that. Changes to the existing ones might get lost when installing updates. Or copy it to ~/.kde4/share/apps/desktoptheme/ (create the folder if it doesn't exist) and change it there. And there's also a possibility to download new themes from the Internet (click in "Get New Themes..." in Configure Desktop->Workspace Appearance->Desktop Theme).

    But as I said, I'm not at all sure that you are really wanting to change the desktop theme.

  5. #5

    Default Re: changing colors, not themes

    Quote Originally Posted by wolfi323 View Post
    Well, you can configure a lot of things regarding the desktop, especially in KDE.


    I'm still not sure what you mean with "theme", or what you really want to change.


    The menus and texts/texts background in an application are totally unrelated and not at all influenced by the desktop theme.
    Maybe you are talking about the "widget style" here? Or the color settings as already mentioned in the first post?
    Both settings can be found in "Configure Desktop"->"Application Appearance", and you can configure colors for many elements separately without having to choose a color scheme.



    KDE4's desktop themes are located in subfolders in /usr/share/kde4/apps/desktoptheme/. If you want to change an existing one better create a copy with a different name and edit that. Changes to the existing ones might get lost when installing updates. Or copy it to ~/.kde4/share/apps/desktoptheme/ (create the folder if it doesn't exist) and change it there. And there's also a possibility to download new themes from the Internet (click in "Get New Themes..." in Configure Desktop->Workspace Appearance->Desktop Theme).

    But as I said, I'm not at all sure that you are really wanting to change the desktop theme.
    That's it, I need to change all the colors around. I was stuck thinking about themes for some reason, Thank you again!

  6. #6

    Default Re: changing colors, not themes

    Just FYI, I had also similiar questions and when asking on the KDE devs forums, I got told that many of the KDE 3 configuration abilities were dropped in KDE 4. For example, you can no longer define different background colors to different desktops. They partly went the GNOME way with KDE4 by no longer directly allowing the user to configure what he wants. Thus if you don't find configuration abilities in KDE 4 that you know from KDE 3 chances are very high that these options are just gone, even if one or the other small option might have survived and can be restored with manual configuration file changes. But, as Wolfi already mentioned, your settings will be gone when you do any configuration using the KDE desktop etc configuration utilities, so that is of limited use.
    The unwillingness of the KDE team to drop the much-hated "Cashew" is another example that the KDE project people care more for what they like than what their users (dis-)like. This led me going back to good old FVWM, which is much more powerful than KDE but needs more than a few mouse clicks to configure.

  7. #7

    Default Re: changing colors, not themes

    Quote Originally Posted by Brotzkocken View Post
    They partly went the GNOME way with KDE4 by no longer directly allowing the user to configure what he wants.
    Well, that's totally not true, I'd say.
    But as parts of KDE4 (the desktop in particular) have been rewritten from scratch, not all options that were available in KDE3 are available in KDE4. Things got reshuffled/changed, some things got dropped, other things were added. KDE4 has many options that were not even possible to implement in KDE3.

    But saying that KDE "went the GNOME way" is utter nonsense! (whatever the "GNOME way" may be...)

    The unwillingness of the KDE team to drop the much-hated "Cashew" is another example that the KDE project people care more for what they like than what their users (dis-)like.
    The main reason for that is in fact the flexibility and reconfigurability of KDE/Plasma.
    Without the cashew, you might end up with a desktop where you cannot reach the desktop settings any more.

    Btw, this topic is being discussed heavily again at the moment for Plasma 5, e.g.:
    https://forum.kde.org/viewtopic.php?f=285&t=122416
    https://forum.kde.org/viewtopic.php?f=285&t=123462

    And for KDE4 there is a "I hate the cashew" plasmoid, which you can install to hide the cashew.

    This led me going back to good old FVWM, which is much more powerful than KDE but needs more than a few mouse clicks to configure.
    I doubt that FVWM is "much more powerful than KDE".

    But you're of course free to use whatever you prefer.
    We do have choice.
    Last edited by wolfi323; 31-Oct-2014 at 04:53.

  8. #8

    Default Re: changing colors, not themes

    @wolfi,

    that's interesting. Would be really a good direction if they manage to implement an undo/undelete widgets function. Then the official reason for imposing the cashew onto all users would become invalid so there won't be a real reason to keep this small bugger any longer.

    But the real reason going back to FVWM is another: KDE4 offers a tiled desktop, but it cannot overlap windows between multiple desktop screens. Instead of placing a window correctly on 2, 4 or even more screens, it gets clipped. This behavior is highly counterintuitive. If you are accustomed to spread a very large window onto multiple screens to avoid the chores of tedious scrolling, then this is very annoying.

    KDE devs say this is impossible because of design-imposed limitations in KDE. Would be nice if they manage to fix this in the next version...

  9. #9

    Default Re: changing colors, not themes

    Quote Originally Posted by Brotzkocken View Post
    that's interesting. Would be really a good direction if they manage to implement an undo/undelete widgets function. Then the official reason for imposing the cashew onto all users would become invalid so there won't be a real reason to keep this small bugger any longer.
    Well, personally I don't care really whether that icon is there or not. Most of the time it's covered/hidden by open windows anyway.

    But the real reason going back to FVWM is another: KDE4 offers a tiled desktop, but it cannot overlap windows between multiple desktop screens. Instead of placing a window correctly on 2, 4 or even more screens, it gets clipped. This behavior is highly counterintuitive. If you are accustomed to spread a very large window onto multiple screens to avoid the chores of tedious scrolling, then this is very annoying.
    As I said, use what you prefer.
    Still, generally stating that "FVWM is much more powerful than KDE" is totally incorrect, even if FVWM has a feature that you like that KDE4 doesn't have.

    And because you said that "many of the KDE 3 configuration abilities were dropped in KDE 4": AFAIR KDE3 did not have tiling at all.

    I do not have multiple screens though, and do not like tiling anyway.

    KDE devs say this is impossible because of design-imposed limitations in KDE. Would be nice if they manage to fix this in the next version...
    I think tiling has been removed completely in kwin5.

    Your wanted behaviour might maybe be possible via kwin scripts though.
    But again, if FVWM behaves the way you want, then use it.
    No reason to spread FUD and lies here.
    Last edited by wolfi323; 01-Nov-2014 at 09:37.

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