Tag Archive | tooltips

How to Change the Color of Gnome Panel Text, Handles, Buttons, and More

An issue you will run into when customizing your Ubuntu/Gnome system and playing with themes is not having an easy way to change the color of your text and other aspects of your panels. The gnome-theme-manager applet doesn’t have those options, yet. Not being able to change the color is a problem when using transparency or dark themes; the default color for text is black.

But there *is* an easy way to change the color of your panels’ text, handles, window list button colors (hover, active, and normal), background, etc.

Don’t believe me? Brent Roosshowed us how last year . UPDATE: You can find instructions here: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=334747

Smart Quotes versus Straight QuotesMy only addition to his post is that you must change all the double-quotes when you paste the information to the file in your home folder by typing them in again. Why? Because WordPress’s format for quotes is to use smart quotes instead of straight quotes (see picture) and your changes won’t work if you don’t manually change them all to straight quotes.

Also, play around with the different options in that file by un-commenting the lines (removing the #) and changing the hex color code. You will find that you can change the colors for many different aspects of your panels. Just remember that you must do a ‘killall gnome-panel’ or use a “Refresh GUI” button every time you change and save the file.

You may also want to change the color of your tooltips.

Take a look at my Gnome Panels below (click to enlarge). I was able to change the text color from the default black so I can read it against my dark theme. By playing around with the other color options in the .gtkrc-2.0 file, I was also able to change the window list button hover color (Amarok) and the active color (The Gimp). The normal buttons (Kopete and Swiftfox) are simply from the theme itself, but they are changeable, too.  You can also see that my tooltip color was changed (Amarok).

Gnome Panel Color Changes

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How to Change the Color of your Tooltips

With all the customization fun I’ve been having with my Ubuntu Desktop, one thing kept bugging me. There isn’t an easy way to change the color of the tooltips. I think this is important to have a consistent color scheme throughout your desktop so I went to find a solution.

I found the answer on the Ubuntu Forums yet again, posted by mcduck.

UPDATE: This may also work in other distributions, not just Ubuntu, since it is a GTK setting.

UPDATE: This seems to only work in Ubuntu 6.10 or lower. People have reported that it does not work in Feisty Fawn (7.04).

Now, when changing the color of the tooltips, it’s important to note that this will change it for ALL themes.

To change the color of the tooltips, do this:

  1. gedit ~/.gtkrc-2.0
  2. Copy and paste the following lines in that file:

    style “tooltip” { bg[NORMAL] = “#FFFFFF” }
    widget “gtk-tooltips” style “tooltip”

  3. Change the Hex code (#FFFFFF) to whatever color you want.
  4. Save the file.
  5. Log out and log back in (or do a CTRL+BACKSPACE). You can probably just do a Desktop Refresh:

    killall nautilus gnome-panel

    …and it may work. I haven’t tested it, though.
    …TESTED: It works. NOTE: You’ll have to change ALL the smart quotes ” to regular quotes after you paste. Just delete them and type in the quotes again. Then do another killall nautilus gnome-panel. (2007.02.12)

Test it by placing your mouse over the Date and Time applet.

Enjoy!