Issue 40800 - Make an option to switch off toolbar gradients
Summary: Make an option to switch off toolbar gradients
Alias: None
Product: ui
Classification: Code
Component: ui (show other issues)
Version: 680m69
Hardware: All Windows 2000
: P5 (lowest) Trivial with 21 votes (vote)
Target Milestone: AOO PleaseHelp
Assignee: AOO issues mailing list
QA Contact:
Depends on:
Reported: 2005-01-17 14:56 UTC by ivarclemens
Modified: 2013-02-07 22:05 UTC (History)
2 users (show)

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

Attachments ugly toolbar rendering (IceWM windowmanager) (5.52 KB, image/png)
2005-03-10 20:04 UTC, jmnbpt
no flags Details
OOo Writer 1.9.79 (beta) - ugly rendering (IceWM) (26.09 KB, image/png)
2005-03-10 20:04 UTC, jmnbpt
no flags Details
OO2 under KDE with dark colors (43.87 KB, image/png)
2005-10-26 06:47 UTC, coreyfro
no flags Details

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Description ivarclemens 2005-01-17 14:57:00 UTC
There is no way to disable the new toolbar gradients. I don't know what you guys
were thinking when you made those toolbars, but they REALLY look ugly.

Comment 1 stefan.baltzer 2005-01-18 17:28:04 UTC
SBA->ivarclemens: You do not know what we are thinking. Hmmm. AFAIK It was
something like "Let's make things better for the majority of users" or the like.
Maybe "Let's see who's first to say "Every change confuses, don't change
anything that I am used to, but go faster with the things I'd like to have
changed" And yes, maybe we didn't think anything at all and the intention was to
make the product unusable or at least as ugly as possible.

Is this what you wanted to read as a reaction? Probably not. And I have to admit
I was not very serious so far :-)

Dont insult us for working on a product that YOU GET FOR FREE. Thank you for
your comprehension.

Let's start over and do serious business:
I am well awarethat there were several other users who could not wait to get
over the "boring gray UI" of OOo 1.1.X. The general UI of OOo 2.0 is dedicated
to look like the other applications (according to the system defaultsWindows
Theme / Window manager settings). It is out of the question that Windows XPs
Look and Feel is not everybody's favorite.

I regard this Feature request as "Make an option to switch off gradients in UI"
Please note that you'd better find a developer from the community to deal with
this as I don't see any effort being done in the foreseeable future.

SBA->CJ: Beauty lies in the eye of the beholder. Please proceed.
Comment 2 stefan.baltzer 2005-01-18 17:32:23 UTC
SBA: I adjusted the summary to summarize the findings. (Old summary: "Toolbar
Comment 3 lyx 2005-02-02 01:31:49 UTC
I agree that it may not be fair to ask for a bugfix in the above manner, but:

"The general UI of OOo 2.0 is dedicated to look like the other applications
(according to the system defaultsWindows Theme / Window manager settings). It is
out of the question that Windows XPs Look and Feel is not everybody's favorite."

Wait, does that mean that OpenOffice for Windows is only for WindowsXP-Users and
only for those who do not change the defaults? I really hope this isn't meant

Considering the posted screenshot - it may have the word "ugly" in its filename,
but this screenshot is nothing yet in terms of uglyness. This screenshot
actually looks great compared to how ooo2 looks on my system. Try changing the
default-color-scheme on windows to a dark-desktop (dark backgrounds, bright
foregrounds), then launch ooo2 and see for yourself.
Comment 4 ivarclemens 2005-02-02 07:19:13 UTC
First of all, I'm sorry for posting a feature request in such a rude manner.

Secondly, I have an idea: what if you just make the from/to colours of the
toolbar gradient configurable? You could put some special entries in the colour
picker for system colours, so it automatically blends in.

People like me could just set the from/to colours to the same value and the
gradient would be gone.

Don't know if it will work though. There may be some issues with the dropdown
menu (the one that lets you add buttons to the toolbar) for example.
Comment 5 ed2 2005-02-17 22:39:43 UTC
"The general UI of OOo 2.0 is dedicated to look like the other applications
(according to the system defaultsWindows Theme / Window manager settings)"

What Window manager are the toolbar gradients and shaded activated buttons meant
to fit in with? I have certainly never seen one with these native features, and
I have used most common Window Managers!
Comment 6 truilus 2005-03-08 22:21:16 UTC
I am running Windows 2000 and Windows XP with the "Classic" look and feel and in
neither environment the toolbars look like "the system default". There is no
other Program (apart from the newer MS Office stuff on XP) that have these kind
of toolbars. I can get used to them, but I would still prefer them to look like
the rest of the system.
Comment 7 jmnbpt 2005-03-10 20:04:02 UTC
Created attachment 23659 [details] ugly toolbar rendering (IceWM windowmanager)
Comment 8 jmnbpt 2005-03-10 20:04:56 UTC
Created attachment 23660 [details]
OOo Writer 1.9.79 (beta) - ugly rendering (IceWM)
Comment 9 jmnbpt 2005-03-10 20:05:55 UTC
The toolbar actually looks good. It's the background rendering that does not
look good.

The images in the two attachment above shows how it looks with IceWM 1.2.17.
I've also tried it with WindowMaker.

Strangely enough (for me!), it does not look bad in KDE or Gnome! It seems that
these Window Managers somehow "take over" the OOo look setup and use the
system's current render.

Other than that, I am pleased to see significant improvements in the Beta
product, even if their scope is outside the subject of this Issue. (Hey, the
programming community need positive feedback!)  :-)

Comment 10 mikeymike 2005-03-14 16:43:45 UTC
I think while the toolbar gradients will be popular with the average user, I
think there's a danger of looking too much like MSOffice.  And as far as I can
see, there are no effects on the menus, which clash with the toolbar gradients.
Comment 11 adotokin 2005-03-19 12:12:51 UTC
*** Issue 40800 has been confirmed by votes. ***
Comment 12 mikeymike 2005-05-09 11:41:20 UTC
Any chance of getting this feature in for OO 2.0?
Comment 13 coreyfro 2005-10-26 06:47:35 UTC
Created attachment 30847 [details]
OO2 under KDE with dark colors
Comment 14 coreyfro 2005-10-26 07:08:10 UTC
As you can see from my attachment, I have a theme for KDE that is simple, 
stark, and contrasty.  If has been liked by most people I have shown it to and 
I have a couple of friends working on skinning Mac OS X in a similar way.  My 
theme is easy to read, uncluttered, and above all else, easy on the eyes after 
hours and hours of use. 
I understand that most people put up with insanely bright themes designed to be 
inviting, colorful and, yes, even lickable, but having been one of them and 
progressed, I feel humans weren't made to be bombarded with this visual 
complexity for an extended period of time.  I think most geeks would agree with 
You shouldn't ignore those who long for something more usable.  Utility may be 
lost on the masses, but not to us geeks.  Sure, these gradients may look good 
on a SPECIFIC platform, but on others they look hideous!  Is this how you want 
to present a cross platform, open source office suite to the world at large? 
I feel the desire for an option to disable this gradient is not an unreasonable 
request.  I agree with the original poster (who, I think, had a less to 
complain about than mine and the ice example) that this "feature" is 
unnecessary fluff and  the old adage "if it ain't broke" has been at the tip of 
my tongue while writing this submission.  At least give us a way to "unbreak 
the broke." 
If there is a way to remove this gradient NOW please let me know because I will 
kill it DEAD in an instant and live happily ever after. 
Comment 15 don_reba 2005-10-26 21:08:03 UTC
Ideally, there would be a choice between using the MS Office XP look and using 
system settings.
Comment 16 denyer 2005-10-26 21:10:26 UTC
"It is out of the question that Windows XPs Look and Feel is not everybody's

OS usage statistics in corporate, education and government establishments might
indicate otherwise -- Win2K (and older flavours of NT) are quite prevalent.
Since many end-users are thrown by non-standard interfaces (rationally or
otherwise) it would indeed be nice to be able to switch off the gradient (along
with XP-style icon highlighting, though that's probably a separate issue.)
Anything fostering user receptiveness makes it easier to suggest adoption.

Also, as already mentioned, many users have personal requirements that lead them
to high-contrast/inverted displays, whether for medical or preference reasons.
This seems like a simple config option that would help with accessibility.
Comment 17 mikeymike 2005-10-26 22:20:49 UTC
I would have no problem if this enhancement were made available in the form of
the user needing to do a configuration file edit.
Comment 18 coreyfro 2005-10-27 01:50:15 UTC
"It is out of the question that Windows XPs Look and Feel is not everybody's 
Since when is XP the end-all-be-all interface?  XP's interface is made popular 
by the success of XP, XP is not popular because of its interface.  How 
presumptuous is it for an open source office suite to pick sides with one 
CLOSED platform?  I also have a hard time believing that everyone who uses XP 
likes the interface.  I use Apples every day and the UI makes me wanna vomit. 
Sure, you want to match the UI of the most popular platform, especially since 
you aim to replace MS-Office as quickly as possible.  I understand that you'll 
have to appease people used to MS-Office.  I still think you'll find Windows XP 
users as the minority in your user base.  Aim high, but not so high you miss 
your target. 
Now, the technical merits of gradients in interfaces: 
If you want to look at the popularity (or lack there of) of gradients in 
interfaces, look online.  I just ran through my daily list of sights and only 
one, anandtech, had gradients in its navigation wigits.  This is one out of 27 
web sights I browse daily.  Each web sight has easily gone through the same 
loving process of design development as a GUI skin and yet a small minority 
choose to use gradients in anything but logo's and backgrounds; a handful use 
them in buttons or behind links. 
You may consider this apples and oranges, but think of this from a usability 
standpoint.  People are assaulted by hundreds of different design paradigms a 
day surfing the web but people still get around.  Talk about uncanny success in 
design by thousands and thousands of web authors!  What better place to 
research UI development? 
What people want and what people get are often two different things.  People 
get Mac OS, Windows XP, and OpenOffice 2.0.  People want their web sights to 
look nice.  Find me a web sight modeled after Windows XP. 
Comment 19 laserjones 2006-02-01 17:28:41 UTC
Interestingly, when I switch Windows XP back from my preferred "Windows Classic"
look to its toyish default look, the toolbars in OOo 2.0 look just fine and have
no more gradients!  So actually the option to turn the gradients off must
already be hidden somewhere in the code.  It just seems that the adaptation of
OOo to the system GUI does work in *some* cases, but not in all.  Wouldn't this
be a (non-critical) bug rather than a feature request then?

Is there a possibility to manually select the XP default design of OOo by
editing some config file?

Also, I suggest to increase the priority of this issue from 5 to 4, as one
cannot say that "it does rarely affect anybody noticeably" (definition for
priority 5), but more of a "problem which is non-critical or rarely occuring"
(P4 definition) and - above all - it is a *usability* issue.  Believe it or not,
but many people *are* impaired in their workflow by such distracting graphics.

Thanks for your time - and thanks to the developers for a great product!
Comment 20 mikeymike 2006-02-01 17:35:23 UTC
I think you'll find that's because WinXP's Luna theme (the default) gives what
Windows calls "3D objects" (read:  window/toolbar background colours) is
near-white.  OpenOffice (I believe) will use the background colour as its
reference to begin doing the fade-out effect from, to white.  So if the
background is already white, there's not much fading to do.

If you set the Window pane colour to white, then start OpenOffice, the toolbars
will be white too.
Comment 21 maclir 2007-06-26 16:25:49 UTC
I would most certainly welcome an option for gradients to be disabled; XP's
'Classic' look would finally be correct should an option to disable be given.
Until the 2.x series and greater is given this option, I'm staying at 1.1.5.