Toolbar/Inteface colors

I know I can change the background of the main windows in Scrivener, but can I change the tool bar colors? I know it’s a small thing, but the app looks so Mac-ish and the lack of contrast bothers my eyes.

We’re using graphics for the toolbar, so no they can’t be changed. Interestingly, we modelled most of the UI colours off of programs like Microsoft Office (somewhere in between the Silver and Blue themes in my opinion) not the Mac. We do have it on the list to add support for a “dark” UI theme toggle, so in the future you would be able to choose between dark grey UI components (again probably modelled off of software like Office and such) and the current silver UI components. That will probably be a 2.0 feature though.

Office 2003 is more blue, but I can see what you mean. When I see a non-standard Windows tool bar I immediately think Mac. As a developer, I know this is purely cosmetic and add zero to the function of the app, but I do like to change it when I can. I did change the binder back color, which helps. Being able to change the colors of the toolbar, side-panel header, etc. would be nice.

This is not a “zero” feature. Its all about ergonomics. I can’t concentrate while starring at ugly. My vision blurs with too much light color on the screen after a certain amount of screen time. Personally, I feel that the ability to recolor, darken and even hide chrome elements should come standard on all applications, not just mission critical ones like Scrivener.

Wow, sorry you feel the program is actually ugly. You might consider just turning off the toolbar if it really distracts you to the point of not being productive, and learn to use the other interface components instead. There is nothing you can do with the toolbar that cannot be done elsewhere. On a personal note, I never use the toolbar myself. I always turn it off because I find using keyboard shortcuts and menus to be more efficient.

Don’t be too sorry, Ioa. I’m way out on the deep end of that spectrum, but its still nice to hear some concern.

Trust me, I’ve got everything modified that I can possibly modify. I generally work with everything shut off and I’ve got keyboard shortcuts set to my personal preference to toggle all of it, you know, just in case I forget where all of Scriv’s bajillion features are (that’s not too hard to imagine, I’m sure :stuck_out_tongue: ). My main dislike is for the standard Windows chrome. The title bar, window borders, scroll bars, everything. I even have gripes with the QT standard rich text controls, the text renderer in particular (even though it is a small step better than whatever M$ uses on Word 2010). I even go so far as to use an AHK script to let me control the opacity of windows on the fly so that I can alleviate some of these “irritations”.

Discovered that using it causes Scriv’s Full Screen mode to literally white out, an effect I’ve not seen anywhere else. Toggling it doesn’t fix it. Have to restart Scriv to fix that, so obviously, I don’t do that; I now actually set the full screen mode background and paper to the opacity I want since you guys have generously provided alpha controls on the color picker, but before I go into it, I make the main window small and minimize its opacity (which isn’t quite 100%, but close enough for government work) so that Full Screen shows through to what I want to see (my desktop slideshow).

So, you see, I do what I can to work around my personal issues, but it would be really nice if Scriv would let us recolor the window and control chrome. Ideally, all of my backgrounds would be black, my text would be white and my divisions between panes (including binder and inspector) would mainly exist as uniform blank space between columns of text or what have you, and there would be no default colored matter anywhere around, across or through the main window. Is that too much to ask? (I ask knowing that yes, its asking for control of everything, basically, and mainly for humorous effect; I hate to explain it, but I seem to have a hard time being understood on forums sometimes and I’d hate for someone to take that ridiculous statement at face value).

So, anyway, anything that could be easily done to make Scrivener fade into the background, as it were, would at least be appreciated by me :stuck_out_tongue:

Well, the thing is (and I know this subjective) but personally I feel Scrivener is one of the most capable programs at becoming transparent. Nearly everything can be switched off, all the way down to just a big white rectangle (or white on black if you want!) for the text editor and the menu. In short, you can make the program practically look identical to Notepad.exe if you switch off all toolbars, status bars, binder and inspector—and it’s really easy to do that too. Ctrl-Shift-B, then Alt-EverySingleArrow Key. Boom, you’ve got Notepad. I don’t see how we can make it any more transparent than that. Save it as a template starter (or a layout) and you never have to do that again; just hit Ctrl-Shift-B now and then when you need the Binder, but with a little knowledge even the Binder can be mostly avoided via the View/Go To menu and its subsidiary functions.

But making the UI super-minimal aside, as I said before we do have plans for providing more control over the chrome. Whether that will be as simple as a dark vs. light toggle or a bit more, I can’t say at this time, but at least know we are thinking of you. :slight_smile:

I know, I know what you mean. I do have everything turned off, like you say and beyond. No need to jump to the defense. I’ve already admitted to being an extreme case, and there will be no pleasing me … doesn’t mean I’m not happy, though :stuck_out_tongue:

Mainly I was just wanting to shore up the original poster’s estimation of his thoughts. He’s not the only one thinking it might be keen if our monitors could shed a few less lumens while we work. Well that, and the fact that I think there might be some potentially surprising bug in the Full Screen mode that I trigger by using an exported AHK scripted I googled up to do my dirty work by the name of “opacity.exe”. No clue what else, what normal use case might cause the Full Screen to white out like that, but you never know.

Oh, and if you want to know what I compare everything I use, including Scrivener, against when talking about the ergonomics, minimalism and attractiveness, you could check out SublimeText. Just don’t check it out too hard. Its primarily a coder’s editor and all the customization is done in script files and has a load of plugins to expand its functionality, yada yada yada, so you could easily lose a bunch of writing time playing with it. I know I have, and still do every once in awhile when I get a burr up my bum about some niggling detail or another. With it you can basically rewrite the chrome, replace the artwork for everything, and that amount of control is frankly, insane. Doesn’t mean I don’t crave it sometimes, though :stuck_out_tongue: Even at default, nothing is Windows standard except for the title bar, and its got multiple ways of going full screen and one could very easily just be the normal usage pattern but dumping the title bar and what little window border it had. Its got tabs and project directory sidebar and stats bar and all that sort of thing, and you can keyboard all of that stuff in and out at need. Its scrollbars actually vanish when you don’t need them and even when you do, there’s something very natural about how they operate, not to mention they are beautifully minimal while doing it. Lastly, and often the thing that keeps bringing me back to the application that it has the most gorgeous text renderer I’ve seen anywhere, by a large margin, which I hate to say makes Scriv and all of my other tools, some of which I’m a faithful long time user of, look pretty ugly. That’s actually one of the reasons I like to use partially transparent writing surfaces. The slight blending of the text with the artwork beneath helps alleviate the roughness of the text rendering.

Alright, I’m not sure how much more I can do to convince you how over the top I am about all these silly things. Any actual, functional issues I might have with Scrivener would be over how the paradigms you can get the app to work under (and yes, it holds a special place in my heart because it is so particularly flexible in certain ways) don’t always gel with my analog hardware, and that’s really my problem, isn’t it? Heck, I haven’t even had any performance or bug related issues of note since like the first or second update to the beta. I think you guys do a great service for the writing community in general and that the application itself is growing nicely. I just sometimes have a difference of opinion with it over the exact placement of certain photons. Nothing to worry about :stuck_out_tongue:

Oh, and if we’re voting, I’d prefer a simple toggle. Saves me a ton of grief not being able to dig my hands into the guts of anything. My iPod Touch has been tutoring me greatly. I’ve got some very nice, very customizeable editors on there, but I still spend most of my writing time on that device using IA Writer, which, up until earlier tonight, I couldn’t even change text size with (they just updated it to where it will honor the Accessibility Large Text setting; this idea leaves me conflicted). In situations where I needed a night mode, I’ve just been using the iOS negative color function which I have set as the only function the triple-click home button calls. My second favorite is Byword, which I often need to resort to because of its better Dropbox integration, and it has just the Day/Night switch, though sullied with a choice of fonts and granular font size selection. You put a selector in there, or a switch or a checkbox and, well, what’s a monkey going to do?

The toolbar background request could be addressed by adding a few spacers of various colors to the Customize Toolbars control. Transparent spacers would take the prevailing background color. I think these are needed anyway. Right now the only spacer with a user-controlled cumulative width is the separator, which creates an undesired accordion effect when used for spacing.

With all the time I spend in this superb program, I use low-contrast colors to combat eye strain. So I’m with Kensai about the glaring whites, which include the toolbar and General Meta-Data. Also some ability to customize highlighter colors would be appreciated, even if they retain the existing color names. My notion of highlighter yellow is the understated 00AAAA, whereas Scriv’s is the garish 49FFE1. And it’s just a few bytes of data, somewhere we can’t reach.

Thanks for considering — Jerome


Less garish highlighter colours: seconded.