Dark on Dark - Thunar Icons in Panel almost invisible

So after a recent update, the icon for Thunar in the Window Buttons of the Panel (and also in the top-left corner of the title bar), is dark by default. The Panel and Title Bars are also dark, so the Thunar icons are just not properly visible. I feel its important that Thunar icons are distinguishable. In the ideal world there’d be a ‘Style’ select in Thunar’s Preferences > Display tab > Window Icon section and I’d imagine that with this style selector there’d be a dropdown list to select between (if you are running Papirus Maia?):

/usr/share/icons/Papirus-Maia/16x16/places/folder-black.svg (the current default)

This might mean that many of the files in the Papirus folder (/usr/share/icons/Papirus-Maia/16x16/places/) would need to be duplicated in all the different colours, but not necessarily. Also may require some kind of confluence between Xfce, Manjaro and Papirus(?), but maybe there’s a way to do this easily that I’ve overlooked?

If there’s no remedy, I might write a hacky script to changes the ‘color’ attribute of the SVGs and just leave the script here in these forums.

Uninstall/ reinstall your theme… might work. Try another theme???

Can you reproduce this with Papirus / Papirus-Light / Papirus-Dark?

Thanks @Yochanan and @manyroads for your suggestions.

I did try changing the the theme from the default:

  • Papirus : Uses a blue version of the icon, rather than a custom color and I’ve not been able to change it, also uses the large version of the icon in so in special folders like home I see a little dark dot in the middle of the icon rather than the bespoke 16x16 version of the icon.
  • Papirus-Light : blue icon as above + makes the Status Tray icons less visible (dark on dark)
  • Papirus-Dark : blue icon as above + makes icons in the light region of Thunar almost invisible (light on light).

A slightly hacky way to do this, but should work and persist.

Scroll down to see what this looks like, with the parts that are a bit annoying having a cross near them and the things I’m happy with getting a tick.

mkdir -p ~/.local/share/icons/Papirus-Maia/16x16/places
cd ~/.local/share/icons/Papirus-Maia/16x16/places/

## You can replace folder-teal.svg with any of the colors in the folder.
ln -s /usr/share/icons/Papirus-Maia/16x16/places/folder-teal.svg ~/.local/share/icons/Papirus-Maia/16x16/places/folder.svg            ## For the folder icon in the main window (and unfortunately the icon in address bar and Side Pane)
ln -s /usr/share/icons/Papirus-Maia/16x16/places/folder-teal.svg ~/.local/share/icons/Papirus-Maia/16x16/places/inode-directory.svg   ## For the folder icon in the Panel and Title Bar

cp /usr/share/icons/Papirus-Maia/16x16/places/user-home.svg .             ## but unfortunately alters address bar, but not Side Pane, YAY
cp /usr/share/icons/Papirus-Maia/16x16/places/user-desktop.svg .          ## but unfortunately alters address bar AND Side Pane AND Menu Bar
cp /usr/share/icons/Papirus-Maia/16x16/places/user-trash.svg .            ## but unfortunately as above
cp /usr/share/icons/Papirus-Maia/16x16/places/user-trash-full.svg .       ## but unfortunately as above
cp /usr/share/icons/Papirus-Maia/16x16/places/folder-documents.svg .      ## but unfortunately as above
cp /usr/share/icons/Papirus-Maia/16x16/places/folder-download.svg .       ## but unfortunately as above
cp /usr/share/icons/Papirus-Maia/16x16/places/folder-music.svg .          ## but unfortunately as above
cp /usr/share/icons/Papirus-Maia/16x16/places/folder-pictures.svg .       ## but unfortunately as above
cp /usr/share/icons/Papirus-Maia/16x16/places/folder-publicshare.svg .    ## but unfortunately as above
cp /usr/share/icons/Papirus-Maia/16x16/places/folder-templates.svg .      ## but unfortunately as above
cp /usr/share/icons/Papirus-Maia/16x16/places/folder-video.svg folder-videos.svg  ## must rename (to plural) but unfortunately as above
cp /usr/share/icons/Papirus-Maia/16x16/places/folder-drag-accept.svg .    ## icon for a folder when you're dragging a file into it
sed -i 's/class="ColorScheme-Text"/class="ColorScheme-Highlight"/' user-*    ## in my case Highlight was (dynamically?) already specified as #16a085
sed -i 's/class="ColorScheme-Text"/class="ColorScheme-Highlight"/' folder-*  ## as above

## If you want to change the color variable, uncomment below and change the green #00ff00 value to your choosing
# sed -ri 's/ColorScheme-Highlight \{ color:[#A-Za-z0-9 ]+;/ColorScheme-Highlight { color:#00ff00;/' user-*
# sed -ri 's/ColorScheme-Highlight \{ color:[#A-Za-z0-9 ]+;/ColorScheme-Highlight { color:#00ff00;/' folder-*

sudo gtk-update-icon-cache -f /usr/share/icons/Papirus-Maia    ## Refresh the icon cache

As you can see, most icons in the side panel turn teal also, resulting in teal on teal when that folder is open. A problem, but much less problematic than the former. Wondering whether there should be a separate icon for the Side Panel and Address Bar that is simply black. Interestingly, gtk might be able to override the class=“ColorScheme-Highlight” and force the class to “ColorScheme-Text” or force a color when the directory is open?

If someone wants to chip in with that or a better solution that maybe doesn’t require copying any files at all (I think it would be possible) then please do that.


Theme : Matcha-sea
Icon : Papirus-Maia

This is what i have by default, there is no teal on teal.
Is that what you mean ?

Hi @yannssolo, yes the work I did created a ‘teal on teal’ problem and the default that you’ve highlighted is the dark (black) on teal, which would be good to preserve if possible.

Why do you think it won’t be preserved ?
Who wants to have teal on teal ?

I think i did not get your point :slight_smile:

Look at the Green ticks on my image and the OP.

My system is up to date, i do not have your teal on teal icons, no visibility issue.
Unless, you know how system theming will evolve in the future…

No I’m not preempting any change. I’m producing a bespoke system with teal icons rather than the default (which produces bad dark on dark problems in the Panel). Making the icons teal has a couple side-effects as shown in my current solution.

If you read the Opening Piece and look at the proposed current solution, you will understand the problem I’m trying to solve here.

So, you are creating yourself a problem nobody has and resolving it by yourself.
i like it

Good to see you are on the same page now, @yannssolo :slight_smile:

Possible solution to the teal on teal problem that is created in the above script (and teal icon in the Address bar too, maybe)

  • Use Gtk CSS if possible, to render the icon only by it’s luminosity, this would produce a greyscale version, then to take that luminosity and multiply it by whatever is in the background. So the icon won’t necessarily match the text (black) luminosity and for yellow icons the icon will appear quite faintly, but at least they will be distinct from whatever (non-black) background.

    I can’t remember whether GTK 3.0 has the ability to layer filters in this way however or even use filters like luminosity and multiply in the first instance. So feel free to chime in if you can spare me the trail and error.

Note: Edited the above to include folder-drag-accept.svg

I’ve not forgotten about the above, @stargazer, maybe you know whether the above “filters” can be used in GTK CSS?