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I'm using Ubuntu 12.04.1 with Gnome Classic. I added some launchers on the top panel, but they are placed too tightly (also take a look at separators, they aren't really separate anything):

My Gnome Panel image

Can I increase the spacing between the launchers?

AFAIK this can be done by the editing of ~/.config/gtk-3.0/gtk.css. I've managed to toggle bold font setting for the panel this way. But I haven't found which parameter have an influence on the launcher and applet spacing.

Also the size of icons seems too big for me - they occupy all place from the top to the bottom of the panel, without any border. They were smaller when I was using 10.04. Is there any way to reduce their size also?

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exact duplicate: How to customize the gnome classic panel – ThiagoPonte Jan 8 '13 at 20:15
Nope. I've read mentioned thread thoroughly. Its advices may be good for Oneiric, but not for Precise. In 12.04 spacing in Indicator Applet is already fixed, and icons are spread pretty wide. But all other icons besides this applet are placed too tightly. Fix with gtk-icon-sizes changes the size of icons in the menu, but the size of launcher icons remains the same. – whtyger Jan 18 '13 at 18:51
up vote 5 down vote accepted

I've finally managed to resolve spacing problem and ready to share my solution. Add to ~/.config/gtk-3.0/gtk.css following lines:

.gnome-panel-menu-bar.menubar .menuitem,
PanelWidget .button {
    padding: 0px 4px;

First line affects spacing of the menu headers (Applications and Places), second one affects launchers spacing. Here is the result:

Fixed panel

You can increase spacing even more, changing second padding parameter (6 pixel will make it even with the spacing of the Indicator Applet icons in the top right corner), but I'm pretty happy with 4 pixel. Remember that increasing of padding will also make task buttons on the bottom panel wider, as they are also Panel Widgets. Or you can set spacing separately for the menu headers and launchers - it's up to you:

.gnome-panel-menu-bar.menubar .menuitem {
    padding: 0px 4px;

PanelWidget .button {
    padding: 0px 3px;

Update: Finally found the way to increase panel separators padding. Add to ~/.config/gtk-3.0/gtk.css several more lines:

PanelSeparator {
    padding: 4px 8px;

First padding parameter will reduce the length of separators, second one will make the spacing on both sides of the separator. Here is the final result:

Fixed panel

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