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Old 07-30-2010, 06:25 PM   #1
monkbythesea
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How to edit skin/theme colors?

Hello. New to the forums and just want to say hello and how much I really enjoy your software. I have spent a week testing Adobe Digital Editions, MobiPocket, Alfa, etc. and Calibre is by far the most feature-rich, smallest learning curve, and most beautiful gui. However, as much as I like the gui, I would like to possibly skin it myself or perhaps inquire if it is something you plan on doing or someone already has done. Specifically, are there other skins or themes for the gui? If so, I apologize for not finding it and perhaps you can direct me to a post. If it hasn't been done, is it something I can do myself? Perhaps something via xml editing?

I have an HTPC setup in my living room where I am running the 7MC 10-ft interface software to access all my media: tv, movies, music, games and cable tv. I have recently modified this setup to now include ebook, magazines and comic books via your software. Now, I know for many that reading on a tv is not usable, but for me it is. I have a 60-in wide tv and reading magazines is not only very usable, but highly convenient. It's just nice being able to peruse all my magazines and comic books for the kids from the comfort of my couch. No mess to worry about and showing off my ebook and magazine collection via coverflow on a 60-in wide screen is pretty impressive.

Now if I can just skin the gui of Calibre to have a color scheme more in tune with the rest of my media center software interface, that would be awesome. Mainly I'm just looking for a darker theme, something along the lines of Adobe Digital Editions. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

P.S. Any way to have a "night time" reading mode with the built-in ebook reader? This is where the font color is white and the background is black.
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Old 07-30-2010, 07:41 PM   #2
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Old 07-30-2010, 08:03 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monkbythesea View Post


P.S. Any way to have a "night time" reading mode with the built-in ebook reader? This is where the font color is white and the background is black.
Have you tried usind a custom stylesheet in the viewer, setting your own color and background-color preferences?
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Old 07-30-2010, 10:04 PM   #4
kovidgoyal
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There's no way to theme the interface, I'm afraid. It should be using whatever colors are setup for your system theme, however. What operating system are you on? Check the sticky thread on custom stylesheets for the viewer to see examples of dark background settings.
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Old 07-31-2010, 12:37 AM   #5
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Plus, you can set your own icons now...
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Old 08-02-2010, 01:10 AM   #6
monkbythesea
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Changing the icons and using custom style sheets is nice, but only icing on cake as far as changing entire color scheme of the GUI. However, the cusotm style sheets do answer my postscript about white on black reading view. Well, no matter, it was only a cosmetic thing anyways. Thanks for the quick replies.
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Old 08-02-2010, 02:56 AM   #7
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On Linux, you can change the theme somewhat using qtconfig. I think that's why Dr. Goyal asked you what OS you are using.
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Old 08-02-2010, 03:18 PM   #8
monkbythesea
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Smile

Win 7 x64. You can change GUI on Linux. Well, just one more reason nagging at me to go over to Linux.

From a GUI standpoint, I feel eBook reader programs are too bright, too obtrusive to the eye while reading. I personally believe darker shades should be used for the toolbars in combination with darker shades or more muted whites for the background of the text. Now I have learned Calibre styesheets will allow manipulation of the text background, but I feel it should be standard. Not just for Calibre, but all eReaders. I've been reading eBooks for quite sometime, for hours on end, and find the stark contrast became tiresome on my eyes, and the brightness of the color schemes became irritating.

I think Adobe Digital Editions has a great color scheme and perhaps similar reasons led them to skin it in that manner.

Now most eReaders allow you to use a "night mode" which is usually jargon for white text on black background, which is better. And switch over to fullscreen and GUI not even visible. However, I have always felt "night views" contrast caused a a somewhat subconcious vertigo effect on eyes. I remeber in architecture school playing with color schemes and contrast and manipulating color contrasts of orange/blue, black/white, etc. Drastic contrast often takes on a 3D effect and can be disorientating and stressful on the eyes. I think Adobe Digital Edition's muted yellow/dark gray scheme very pleasing on the eyes. And I usually do not run any program in fullscreen beacause I'm just one of those people that likes constant/quick access to the menus, so the GUI is usually always present. For my own reasons as I posted above, I am using such software on 60" TV in living room. Brighter color schemes on that size tv is like trying to read with a spotlight pointed at you. But regardless of the screen size, I think eReaders could benefit from more muted colors and contrast.

At any rate, my post was merely an inquiry to see if it could be done for my personal taste and to make a humble commentary of the skinning of eReader software. However, the features of Calibre are so extensive, I feel almost silly posting a commentary on the color scheme. Well, perhaps in the future. And make Calibre for windows mobile and I'd be in eReader bliss.

Last edited by monkbythesea; 08-02-2010 at 03:29 PM.
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