Tinderbox Forum

Trouble with colors

I’m now almost always in dark mode on the OS (Big Sur) and like the Modern color scheme.

In Outline View the titles are too "washed out
for me even with Darker colors. So I select Black Titles:

That works well until I go to Attribute Browser and get this (essentially unreadable):

In AB Browser I’d prefer dark text on light background just as in Outline View but can’t find a way to do that. Is it possible, say, via a tweak to the .TBC file, and if so, what changes would I make? As an alternative is there a way to lighten up the titles in AB while still keeping them dark enough in Outline View?

Good point! The underlying issue is that you’re using a light theme — Modern — in a dark environment.

Life might be better if you set up a Dark Modern scheme with dark background colors and light view colors.

Something like Dark Coral doesn’t work well for my eyes. Too much dark, even in the writing spaces.

I’ve read what I could about colors here and in aTbRef. That’s convinced me I am not up to the task of designing a whole new color scheme. I can’t figure out what controls what in the display.

No way for me to tweak Modern to have AB match the other views (dark text on light background)?

Or lighten the titles in AB against its current dark background, without affecting Outline View?

  1. Try making a copy of your document, just for experimentation.

  2. In the experimental copy, open the Maps pane of Document Settings

  3. Change the Main Color of the map background to (let’s say) black.

  4. Switch to the Outlines pane.

  5. Check “White titles”

See if that’s helpful. It might not be. Or it might help in attribute browser but now elsewhere. Perhaps this will be better.

There will likely be other issues down the road: bring them here and we can address them.

If you find some settings you like:

  1. Open the Inspector
  2. Switch to the Colors pane of the Document Inspector.
  3. Click on the action button (gear icon) and choose Save Color Scheme…

This will create a color scheme file that you can drag into other Tinderbox documents to reuse this color scheme.

Changing colors in Document Settings merely changes the default values of some attributes, so it’s really familiar ground.

Thanks! That’s helped. I’ve done a bit of fiddling.

Per your suggestions:

  • Document Settings > Colors > Modern > Apply
  • Document Settings > Maps > Main Color —> Black
  • Document Settings > Outlines > White Titles

That gave me better results for my dark environment.

But the map background was too dark to see links.

So I right-clicked Map View > Edit Background… and chose a lighter color than black so I could see links.

I got lucky one time and the background behind the titles in the Outline View still stayed black when I lightened up the map. (See attached).

I saved the .tbc color scheme from the document and tried it on a new document.

That results in a lighter background for the Map but also a lighter background behind the titles in Outline View.

When I right-click and edit the background of Outline View to black, the Map also turns black.

How can I control those two backgrounds separately? (As the attached shows I stumbled on that once, but can’t figure out what I did.)

(One small seemingly unrelated oddity in the attached: when clicking Outline then going to AB, the AB displays as expected. But when clicking Map then going to AB the titles in AB aren’t visible before one clicks among them.)

v. 8.9.2 on macOS 11.2.3 in Dark mode

Test colors 2.tbx (106.5 KB)

Outline and map view, by design, have the same colors.

Instead of lightening the background of map view, consider lightening the colors of links! You can adjust these in Links pane of Document Inspector

Not sure I follow. I already somehow have them as different colors in one document (per attached above). How do I replicate that?

I’ll try the link colors (thanks for that tip). The problem is that a map with large expanses of dark on a large display doesn’t look so great in my environment though maybe I can get used to it. By contrast, dark background behind titles in Outline View looks fine, similar to other apps running under Dark mode, probably because it’s a smaller area and thus doesn’t overwhelm.

Wouldn’t it make good design sense to allow setting the backgrounds differently, as I somehow managed to do by accident?

@eastgate Outline and map view, by design, have the same colors.

I finally think I see now how to get a different map background from outline. I think this would be a more complete statement.

Outline and map view, by design, have the same color for a given container.

Map View seems to inherit its background color from the Main color in Document Settings > Maps. Outline View also inherits that background color. Change the Main color in Document Settings and the background of both views changes. Puzzling at first, right-clicking and choosing Edit Background... in one view changes the background of the other view too. Edit Background... at the root level is seemingly equivalent to changing the Main color in Document Settings.

But one can right-click and Edit Background... of a map of the contents of a container (or change that container’s MapBackgroundColor attribute) without affecting the background color of an Outline View whose focus is still at the root level. So it seems one could even have many different maps in the same document with different background colors, while keeping the Outline View background unchanged (as long as it is focused on a different level). Which means I can venture into the dark side and still stay in the light where I need it. Which is very nice.

Does this sound about right?

1 Like

Yes! The background color is based on $MapBackgroundColor of the parent note.