Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. It's 100% free.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

In Ubuntu 13.04, I often have multiple tabs open in gnome-terminal. The problem is that, while I can set the title of each tab, it is very hard to tell which tab is active -- the color and rendering distinction between the active tab and the inactive tab is so subtle that one must study the tab bar very carefully.

Is there a way to make this contrast more obvious?

share|improve this question
    
What is the name of the theme you are using? – user25656 Oct 8 '13 at 10:41
    
Colorized distinction should be a sane default IMHO. C'mon GNOME! – blong Sep 21 '15 at 19:21
    
This problem is even more significant in gedit. – nobar Dec 11 '15 at 20:49

I'm running Ubuntu 13.10 with the Ambience theme - had the same problem.

Solution: edit ~/.config/gtk-3.0/gtk.css (you might have to create it) and add:

TerminalWindow,
TerminalWindow.background {
        background-color: #6e6e6e;
        color: #000000;
}

TerminalWindow .notebook tab {
        padding: 2;
        background-color: #6e6e6e;
}

TerminalWindow .notebook tab:active {
        background-color: #d1d1d1;
}
share|improve this answer
1  
Thanks, I'll try that! – Stabledog Jan 17 '14 at 15:14
    
Ubuntu 14.04 has the same issue. Your solution solved it for me. – Nomæd Nov 11 '14 at 11:49
    
Tried the tab:active block alone, no effect. :\ It appears that the file does not get noticed/read by a newly opened gnome-terminal. Could it be in the wrong place, does it have to be referenced from somewhere? – Tomislav Nakic-Alfirevic Nov 14 '14 at 14:58
    
Forgot to add: I tried switching to another theme and back (as suggested here: askubuntu.com/a/221783/32201) and still no effect. – Tomislav Nakic-Alfirevic Nov 14 '14 at 15:05

Here is what worked for me in ubuntu 14.04, I tried to maintain similar overall look, and make the inactive tabs less bright.

edit the file ~/.config/gtk-3.0/gtk.css

to contain

TerminalWindow .notebook tab:active {
    background-color: #f5f4f3;
    foreground-color: #000000;
}

TerminalWindow .notebook tab {
    background-color: #d2d1d0;
    foreground-color: #2e2d2c;
}

close ALL terminal windows start and test

EDIT: After using that for a little while it became clear that a pronounced difference between active and inactive tab is not enough.

I think it is necessary to be able to tell an inactive tab at the first glance - without looking to its sides.

So here is the updated configuration (darker inactive tabs):

TerminalWindow .notebook tab:active {
    background-color: #f5f4f3;
    foreground-color: #000000;
}

TerminalWindow .notebook tab {
    background-color: #a2a1a0;
    foreground-color: #1e1d1c;
}
share|improve this answer
    
Thanks... this stretch of my life has passed by, but next time I get the problem I'll try that! – Stabledog Nov 30 '14 at 20:23
    
Awesome, Tjunkie, this works great on 15.04 – Jean Jordaan Jul 12 '15 at 15:28
    
It works in 15.10 too. – Marcb Nov 3 '15 at 9:08

I don't have any problem to distinguish active and inactive tabs in gnome-terminal using the default Ubuntu theme - Ambiance.

Looking on Launchpad, I found that this is a confirmed bug affecting many people: Difficult to distinguish which tab is selected.

If this is affecting you also, you can solve this by changing your Ubuntu theme: right click on the desktop, select Change Desktop Background and in the new opened window change your theme to High Contrast:

change ubuntu theme

Then you can distinguish without problems your active and inactive tabs in gnome-terminal:

terminal tabs

share|improve this answer
2  
Ok, that's an idea. I guess I was hoping for something less global and dramatic than changing the entire desktop theme -- but if that's the only way, I guess it's worth it. Thanks! – Stabledog Oct 8 '13 at 11:17
    
Any updates on this for 14.04? Changing the whole theme feels like overkill. And High Contrast in particular is very ugly. – becko Oct 15 '14 at 22:25
    
@becko The bug is being tracked here: bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/ubuntu-themes/+bug/762349 . However, renedv1 's solution is very simple and effective: askubuntu.com/a/406816/31592 – blong Sep 21 '15 at 19:26

If you wish to make the text of the active tab more obvious you can modify it's label like this,

edit the file ~/.config/gtk-3.0/gtk.css

TerminalTabLabel.active-page .label {
    color: cyan;
    font-weight: bold;
}

Tested in gnome-terminal 3.17.91

enter image description here

enter image description here

Here is what I'm using at work on Ubuntu 15.10 with gnome-terminal 3.16.2. The smaller tab size allows more screen area for the terminal to use and I've experimented with the contrast between active and inactive tabs. I think the tab label text looks better without the bold style applied.

/* gnome-terminal */
@define-color term-win-bg           #262626;
@define-color term-tab-inactive-bg  #333333;
@define-color term-tab-active-bg    #424242;
@define-color ubuntu-orange         #fb9267;

TerminalScreen {
    -TerminalScreen-background-darkness: 0.95;
    background-color: @term-win-bg;
}


TerminalWindow .notebook {
    border: 0;
    padding: 0;
}


TerminalWindow .notebook tab {
    border: 0;
    border-radius: 0px;
    border-image: -gtk-gradient (linear, left top, left bottom,
                                from (alpha (shade (@term-win-bg, 0.9), 0.0)),
                                to (shade (@term-win-bg, 0.9))) 1;
    border-image-width: 0 1px;
    border-color: transparent;
    border-width: 0;
    box-shadow: none;
    background-color: shade(@term-tab-inactive-bg, 1);
}


TerminalWindow .notebook tab:active {
    border: 0;
    border-radius: 0px;
    background-color: shade(@term-tab-active-bg, 1);
}


TerminalTabLabel.active-page .label {
    /*color: @bg_color;
    font-weight: bold
    color: @ubuntu-orange; */
    color: cyan;
}

enter image description here

share|improve this answer
    
Crazy color, but it works =) – A.B. Nov 12 '15 at 9:37
    
I must admit my text colour choice is nicer with dark tabs :) – Bruce Nov 12 '15 at 9:54
    
Feel free to remove my screenshot. ;) – A.B. Nov 12 '15 at 9:54
    
Nah it's all good. – Bruce Nov 12 '15 at 9:56

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.