Issue 18829 - Support for skins
Summary: Support for skins
Alias: None
Product: ui
Classification: Code
Component: ui (show other issues)
Version: OOo 1.0.0
Hardware: All All
: P5 (lowest) Trivial with 110 votes (vote)
Target Milestone: ---
Assignee: AOO issues mailing list
QA Contact:
: 72476 (view as issue list)
Depends on:
Reported: 2003-08-29 20:44 UTC by arego
Modified: 2013-02-07 22:42 UTC (History)
3 users (show)

See Also:
Issue Type: FEATURE
Latest Confirmation in: ---
Developer Difficulty: ---


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Description arego 2003-08-29 20:44:48 UTC
Just an idea. It would be really cool a kind of easy-to-install-and-use support 
for skins (like Mozilla) for (Sorry for my basic english).
Comment 1 stefan.baltzer 2003-09-08 15:38:55 UTC
SBA: Reassigned to Bettina from the User Experience team for consideration.
Comment 2 watersrw 2004-09-19 17:58:15 UTC
Would enhance its acceptance in  certain quarters, and give a lead over MS Office
Comment 3 arego 2004-11-08 21:20:18 UTC
*** Issue 18829 has been confirmed by votes. ***
Comment 4 bierdrinker 2005-01-28 22:03:18 UTC
I definately think, that the option for different skins would make oo more
interesting. Many People are so used to the Microsoft layout! I think it would
make sens to make all the symbol bars a bit more colorful and more "Microsoft
like". This would make it much easier to switch from MS to OO!!! And thats what
we all want, right?

Greetings from Viena!

Comment 5 bierdrinker 2005-01-28 22:06:28 UTC
refering to my previous comment: The new Firefox is a good example: Its so
simmilar to internet explorer, and therefor switching is really easy!Its a
greate browser by the way!!!
Comment 6 bobharvey 2005-03-13 12:14:05 UTC
I think that this is a very important suggestion.

I have introduced a number of beginners to Ooo 1.1 and now find that the icons
and toolbar behaviour of 2.0 is rather different - this may well confuse the
elderly or  beginner market I address, and they may stay on 1.1 for ever.

There was some talk during the development cycle (I wish I could remember where)
that the appearance of 1.1 would be avaialable as an option, but I can't find
that anywhere, not yet any method of changing icons for toolbar items.

Given that the whole UI is internationalisable, it would not be a huge step into
the unknown to allow the graphical elements to be separately switchable, hence
giving a 'skinning' capability.  It would be like internationalising within one
language.  The new version picks up a lot of behaviour from the window manager
running on the host, so most of the hooks must be there.

Perhaps a simple GUI for creating the text and graphical elements and building a
UI could be made available?
Comment 7 bytetraveler 2005-07-09 00:19:05 UTC
This is absolutely necessary if OOo is to have a chance. I'm a "technocrat," and
agree with those devotees who believe that it's a great product, but I can't
"convert" a single co-worker if they start laughing the moment one of the apps

OOo looks.... Well... Embarassingly amateurish.

As we've seen with Firefox & other apps, allowing folks to create "skins" spurs
all kinds of independent development with the result being aesthetic offerings
that appeal to all kinds of diverse tastes, while still allowing us "geeks" to
enjoy what my coworkers say looks like something their kids did at daycare!
Comment 8 denyer 2005-10-26 22:03:05 UTC
I wouldn't say amateurish, except insofar as I regard the XP 2003 interface as
amateurish (bright colours and gradients... well, it's nice to be able to turn
kibble off.)

A 1.1 style option would be great for office environments, as well as prior users.
Comment 9 bunced 2005-10-27 16:39:48 UTC
Could we not use an XUL user interface like the people over at Firefox do. That
was, themes can be easily applied and plugins can also be made easier.
Comment 10 calabrone 2007-05-12 18:08:34 UTC
I don't think this is unimportant, so that nothing is done...

Of course noone is against a good develompent and good code and all this stuff,
but i really think that it would be much easier to get new users if there was a
skinnable user interface...

Perhaps you could chosse between using the "standard theme" like it is at the
moment - platform independent...
or extra skins...perhaps done by everyone who wants to....maybe like they did in
firefox or thunderbird...
Comment 11 bobharvey 2007-05-12 18:23:05 UTC
There has been a lot of debate about the Microsoft ribbon interface, and whether
to copy it.

If we had a skinnable interface, done correctly, users out there could be
contributing their own vision, and perhaps things different again from the
Comment 12 calabrone 2007-05-13 19:54:15 UTC
I'm sorry for commenting again, but one thing should be mentioned, too:

You can discuss about those ribbons in the new ms office - but the general
target of this "experiment" was, that it becomes easier to use, especially for
newcomers...and of course to provide faster work for experienced users...

short, to enhance usability

and this is one thing open office has to do as well...many users can't even find
many good features, because of the ui at the moment...

and with a skinnable ui there would be a chance for to improve this as well
Comment 13 singingophelia 2007-05-14 00:10:18 UTC
I want plain dull grey or even a flat black. It's unnecessarily shiny, and it
hurts my eyes when writing papers at 3am.
Comment 14 petervr 2007-06-25 14:29:54 UTC
This issue dates Fri Aug 29 19:44:00 2003

Four years later, apparently OO.o developers still don't understand the SKIN is
what gives M$ Office the advantage.
This shouldn't be P5 but P1 !!! It's the first thing users see.

I have some work stations with OO.o 2.2 - and all remarks I get on them are
alike... "We can't work with this 'old kind of MS Office'"

As far as I'm concerned OO.o development should be 100% "skinnability" next week.
It's like bytetraveler wrote in 2005 (!!!!!): "I can't
"convert" a single co-worker if they start laughing the moment one of the apps

The LOOKS of your program are so much more important than how it works! M$ is
the best proof of this. 
Microsoft now made a huge mistake adapting their file formats (doc -> docx, xls
-> xlsx, ...)
It's time to get people using "good looking OO.o"
Comment 15 ner0lph 2007-08-16 00:20:27 UTC

Just a small idea: to make possible the addition or the suppression of topics of
icons via the GUI (where one can just choose them).
Comment 16 mjponso 2007-10-07 04:07:30 UTC
I believe I have found out how to skin the toolbars to an Office XP look.  Would
anyone be interested in testing this toolbar skin once I get enough buttons changed?
Comment 17 johanneseva 2008-04-11 03:35:05 UTC
Could somebody mark it as a duplicate of #72476 ?
Comment 18 gewuerzwiesel 2008-05-06 19:06:56 UTC
Absolutely important issue. Of course the main issue should be creating a
workable  open-Source office suite. But for being a absolute user-friendly
programm, it should be possible to change the ui easily (like Firefox,

(Excuse my basic english)
Comment 19 pvolgger 2008-05-23 00:35:39 UTC
Possibilty that it can look more familiar with MSO is very important for acceptance.
Comment 20 pakitochus 2008-05-27 18:41:17 UTC
I think that's one of the best ideas to develop. User Interface is what people
see first, and the possibility of change it, joined to the
community working together could give the best results. That's one of the best
things Firefox does: everyone can make the navigator looks just as wanted, and
that's very important if we want people to feel comfortable with OOo. 

And of course, online participation is one of the principles of OpenSource. 
Comment 21 flydead 2008-08-25 08:09:42 UTC
Very Nice Icons
Comment 22 jenciso 2008-11-29 18:33:24 UTC
from 2005 to nov2008... is there anybody who has answered if this is anything
that could be done? Is this possible? Is it realistic? Is there any chance of
doing this?

I really don't care if OO looks same as MSO... but I would love to use a skin I
like, and not the actual look&feel. If there are users that likes (or are used
to) MSO look&feel, and using a MSO-skin would help them - it should be possible.
I'm probably not one, but that is not the central thing...

The UI is nothing the developers should decide about - it's the users who should!
You may agree that the actual look&feel is some kind of "engineeristic art"
(sorry for the guys who actually draw this ugly icons :)

...sorry if I sound angry - my English is not so good, but I can't believe there
is no "official" answer to the issue.

greetings from Uruguay
Comment 23 bobharvey 2008-11-30 12:01:19 UTC
I have just read 
which has as a mission statement
“Create a User interface so that becomes the users' choice not
only out of need but also out of desire"

I feel that skinning would be a very important part of making this come true. 
Comment 24 johanneseva 2008-12-04 03:32:05 UTC
If you don't know about it, take a look at RedOffice. I wrote a review of
RedOffice beta some month ago, seems to be a layer over OOo - kind of skin?
Comment 25 ak13 2008-12-16 20:50:26 UTC
If you are trying to snag customers from MS, you need to consider the market.
Many of them (such as a friend that I recently ported over to Linux) are older
and do not want to learn a new program. A skin would be able to fix all of this.
I know OO doesn't want to "look" like MS if they think MS is doing things wrong,
but you have to think about customers who want better software but don't want a
big change.

At the very least let the background GREY be skinnable! Seriously, I wouldn't
trust or tolerate a website with a grey background, writer should take note of
the styles of websites! Even the headings and backgrounds on the menu bar on
this webpage have gradients!

This should be a quick update, add-on, or extension
Comment 26 winallsys 2009-05-04 20:42:22 UTC
I think this really need to be implemented. I had NO idea how to use OOo when I
first started, and just improving the looks would make this a MS Office killer.
People, small businesses, big buisness, gov't, would all flock to OOo. I think
this is THE most needed upgrade, and I really hope it gets implemented. 
Comment 27 marchombre 2009-05-04 21:22:29 UTC
In my opinion, trying to copy MS is not a good reason for developping such
tuning possibilities.

The good reason is simple, a bit stupid, but I agree completly with it : the
better it looks, the better it is. As simple as that ; It seems very
professional, you can "pimp your OO", bingo you take it.

Because having to learn how to use a software is so much easier when this
software looks great ;) 

So PLEASE do something about it !! I think it's a very important matter ! The
first thing i thought when i opened OO the first time is : aw that's a bit
ugly... Plus I was on Ubuntu and the theme was kind of cheap. And the first
thing I did was searching for theme.
Comment 28 rhuarch 2009-06-10 18:33:09 UTC
I'd really like to see this implemented!  I love to make skins and I think would be a much more accessible application if it allowed
skinning.  Please upgrade the priority for this feature.
Comment 29 sunsear 2010-02-17 21:49:04 UTC
No offence intended, but OpenOffice just looks bad. It has been that way for a
long, long time. I find myself using OpenOffice for a while and then paying for
MSOffice because it simply looks better. 

Hope to see this before this issue reaches it's 10 year anniversary.

Comment 30 ooburger 2010-02-18 00:39:42 UTC
I have toggles between Open Office and Microsoft Office for some years now. I
have always liked MS Office for its functionality and its GUI, but I have loved
Oo for being free and having just about all the functionality you could need.

But we are in year 2010 now...I am sorry to say Open Office but we just cant go
on using the GUI of a program from 2001. Admittedly, looks are not everything,
but looks will give you a competitive edge over MS Office. People like shiny
toolbars and smooth animations but keeping it clean at the same time. If you can
do this...MS Office would never be an option again.

Cheers. Thanks.
Comment 31 daniel32708 2010-02-28 18:39:18 UTC
2010: This issue was first posted in 2003. It is 2010 now, and developers have
basically ignored this request. Is it really that hard to make this possible?
This would make the # of OOo users huge, just like it has happened with
Firefox... come on guys,  OOo is a great product, but we need skins to make it
Comment 32 bettina.haberer 2010-05-21 15:09:51 UTC
To grep the issues easier via "requirements" I put the issues currently lying on
my owner to the owner "requirements". 
Comment 33 cno 2010-06-10 07:08:31 UTC
*** Issue 72476 has been marked as a duplicate of this issue. ***