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Old 05-03-2018, 09:24 AM   #1
Larry James
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18.04: How to Manually Specify Title Bar Color and change Border Width in Themes


I usually have over 10 terminal screen running on my three attached monitors with various terminal applications and remove sessions. The Themes that come with Ubuntu don't have borders. So it's extremely hard to tell where the windows begin and the others end when trying to work. This makes working on the terminal screens extremely difficult.

Also, the active border active and background border colors of the windows are so similar, it very hard to tell which window is selected. I often start to type in the wrong window and spend a lot of productive time trying to figure out which one is active.

For years I have use This Method modify one of the defaults and create a custom workable theme.

In the past, it was dependent on the unity.css file. Since version 18.04 doesn't use Unity, the changes I have tried to make doesn't work anymore.

Can someone help?

Thanks in advance of what to change in either the Adwaita or Ambiance theme.

-- L. James

--
L. D. James
ljames@apollo3.com
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Old 05-03-2018, 01:34 PM   #2
ondoho
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it sounds like your workflow would benefit vastly from a tiling window manager.
this one's very popular (and good): https://i3wm.org/
 
Old 05-03-2018, 09:10 PM   #3
Larry James
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ondoho View Post
it sounds like your workflow would benefit vastly from a tiling window manager.
this one's very popular (and good): https://i3wm.org/
Thank you so much for the input and suggestion. I'll take a look at the Window Manager on my Laptop and give it a test run. As far as workflow, I believe I manage it quite well. I provide computer classes in the community to teach efficiency workflow.

The only problem that I currently have is that I can't tell which window is in the action because the colors are too similar. Maybe people with better eyes can see the difference easier. But every since I've been using Linux (back in the early 90's I've always had my active window title bar blue, and the other title bars, any other color, mostly gray.

I've always had a border around the windows also so that I can tell where they begin and end. I realize that (I believe starting with windows) someone came up with the idea of making the desktop look cleaner and clearer by removing the window border. If this control is available in i3wm, then I'll start using it, until I figure out how to add borders and window color to one of Ubuntu's default themes.

They all look OK and are fine for working with, except for the missing borders and hard to distinguish title bar colors.

Version 18.04 is new, I'm sure soon, someone will figure out how the edit the themes. So far all the searches are coming up with what worked in Ubuntu 16.04 and previous.

-- L. James

--
L. D. James
ljames@apollo3.com
www.apollo3.com/~ljames
 
Old 05-04-2018, 09:57 AM   #4
BW-userx
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there should be a way to gain access to the terminal itself and change its border settings. some only require a right click on it then select preferences. others have a config file, or both.
 
Old 05-19-2018, 10:15 AM   #5
Larry James
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BW-userx View Post
there should be a way to gain access to the terminal itself and change its border settings. some only require a right click on it then select preferences. others have a config file, or both.
Thanks for the alternative, as far as going into each application and making changes. While this is a workaround, and the only alternative I can find at this time, I'll leave the question open until there is some way to actually be able to customize the theme so that there will be some consistency between applications.

I was able to change the terminal to a light color background. It appears there is a very faint border/shadow around the terminal. Unfortunately, this border is black, as to why it doesn't work with the black background.

After nearly 30 years of working with a black terminal background, the colored background is almost as distracting as not having a border (as far as my eyes).

If you (or anyone else) discover a method for tuning a theme (the borders and title color), please try to remember to share it in this thread. I'll keep searching and experimenting and will also bring the information back here.

After the bugs are worked out, either the normal method of Theme editing will begin to work, or the Ubuntu team will publish something that works with this flavor of Linux.

-- L. James

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L. D. James
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www.apollo3.com/~ljames
 
Old 05-19-2018, 10:26 AM   #6
BW-userx
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I have not read them, but they are about themeing in Ubuntutututu 18.04

https://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2018/03/...-new-gtk-theme

https://itsfoss.com/install-themes-ubuntu/

https://itsfoss.com/ubuntu-community-theme/

https://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2018/02/...w-ubuntu-theme
 
Old 05-24-2018, 02:20 AM   #7
ondoho
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what you want is easily possible without changing window managers.
either just try different themes until you hit one that fits your needs, or get into the theme specs, change a few lines in some theme, done.

if you teach this sort of stuff to other people it really shouldn't be hard for you to accomplish, and find the required resources on the 'net.
 
Old 05-24-2018, 07:42 AM   #8
Larry James
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Thanks for the input, @BW-userx!

Still searching and experimenting on how to actually modify a theme for Ubuntu 18.04. It has been a simple process up until the latest version of Ubuntu, which isn't fully using the normal Gnome method or the previous Unity method for modifying.

This is what I found in the provided links:

Link #1 - A collection of themes. All having the same characteristic of lacking easily distinguishable active/background title bars... All missing borders. No current method of modifying those two characteristics.

Link #2 - More themes. Same characteristics as the many tens of themes I've already installed and explored. Title bars not easily distinguishable... no borders.

Link #3 - More themes. Many are duplicates of the many themes I've already installed. I answered a question on Stackexchange.com with basically the same information for installing themes... which is significantly easy.

Link #4 - More themes and information on how to install them. No information on how to make a modification to an installed theme... namely change the title bar's color and to change the border width.

They are about installing themes, which I have installed and tested out many tens of themes. I haven't found one that has easily distinguishable title bars, or borders. If I did find one that worked, it would be a great workaround, but I'd still leave the question open while I search for a method to manually make the two desired changes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ondoho View Post
what you want is easily possible without changing window managers.
either just try different themes until you hit one that fits your needs, or get into the theme specs, change a few lines in some theme, done.

if you teach this sort of stuff to other people it really shouldn't be hard for you to accomplish, and find the required resources on the 'net.
Thanks, @ondonho!

I agree that it should be easily possible, and appears as if it would, and actually has been for years, before the latest version of Ubuntu 18.04. There's something new and different about the changes that have happened with Ubuntu 18.04 LTS where the normal and easy methods don't work. I mentioned that in my original post and actually linked to where I showed the community how to easily make those changes (which I have always done since day one of using Linux almost 25 years ago.

I totally don't want to change windows managers just to have two minor modifications to a default theme. I feel the same way about the ease, which, I'm sure will soon happen, most likely by version 18.04.1. I believe the developer is still deciding which way to go with the default theme protocol. I'm not immediately fluent enough with some of the inner workings of the Ubuntu design (since the change) to be able to do this yet. I'm sure a design method will be set by July when version 18.04.1 LTS will most likely be released.

I understand how odd it probably appears, but I do teach this stuff. I actually searched the net for weeks before strings the thread. I don't spend hours on it every single day, but in the course of a couple of days, there are still hours of searching and testing.

I have always picked a basic default theme, got the specs and changed a few lines and had distinguishing title bars (usually blue for the active window and brownish for the inactive windows), and a border change from "0px" to "6px".

My choice of themes for making the change has always been either Ambiance or Radiance. Over the years, the method for making these changes has changed, and it has only taken a few hours to figure out how to add it to the next version. My modified Ambiance theme from Ubuntu 16.04 LTS causes havoc to my 18.04 LTS screen. Taking the default Ambiance or Radiance that is shipped with Ubuntu 18.04 LTS and making the simple changes done on 16.04 doesn't do anything to the window appearance in 18.04.

Whatever turns out to be the culprit, I'm sure will be extremely simple, as in all tasks after hindsight. When I discover this simple element that is missing, I'll bring the resolution back to this community.

Thanks again for taking the time to share your experience and recommendation!

By the way, the founder of http://Linuxquestions.org is one of my former students. I was an old man with gaps then, and am still an old man with gaps. But I enjoy my computer environment and knowledge sharing. While I'm anxious to fill this particular gap, it's not the end of the world while I explore it.

-- L. James

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L. D. James
ljames@apollo3.com
www.apollo3.com/~ljames
 
Old 05-26-2018, 05:40 PM   #9
Larry James
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I gratefully appreciate all the time and input from the LQ gurus who helped with suggestions and workarounds to get a resolution to my issue.

The question was answered on AskUbuntu.

Place the configuration in ~/.config/gtk-3.0/gtk.css

This code did the trick:

Code:
.titlebar {
    background: #0759EB;
}

.titlebar:backdrop  {
    background: #8A0829;
    color:white;
} 
decoration {
    border: 2px solid #0759EB;
    background: #0759EB;
}

decoration:backdrop {
    border: 2px solid #8A0829;
    background: #8A0829;
}
-- L. James

--
L. D. James
ljames@apollo3.com
www.apollo3.com/~ljames

Last edited by Larry James; 05-27-2018 at 10:06 PM.
 
  


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