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I am currently messing around with Ambiance, trying to give Nautilus a dark sidebar (because I think it looks much better that way, especially with the current look having the dark-colored breadcrumbs clashing horribly with the light-colored sidebar). I have zero experience and knowledge of how to create GTK+ themes, and I couldn't find any documentation online, so I just made a copy of the folder for Ambiance under /usr/share/themes, renamed it "Ambiance Dark Sidebar" and just started messing with color values.

As shown below, I found the value in nautilus.css needed to be tweaked to create the dark sidebar, but there is still one part that stubbornly stays light gray. This is the pane separator, and I want to change it so it matches the rest better (marked in red).

Screenshot of modified Ambiance with one part left to be finished

Does anyone know what I need to do to change the color of this part so it matches the rest of the sidebar better? I already know from seeing themes like Adwaita Dark that this should be possible, but even after poking around in that I didn't find anything that seemed to help.

Here are the contents of the files I modified in the theme folder Ambiance Dark Sidebar, stored alongside Ambiance in /usr/share/themes:

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is it possible that area is a 'scrollbar' ? –  doug Nov 13 '11 at 19:58
    
If you make the nautilus window smaller that's where the scrollbar does go. I can change that area with bg_color (nbg_color), but that's too broad a brush. Hope you get figured out, like the idea you have. –  doug Nov 13 '11 at 22:57
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No more comments from here - you're right, not a scrollbar. Part of it is "pane separator" - starting line 1131 in gtk-widgets.css. There's still a small light border though –  doug Nov 13 '11 at 23:22
    
Hmm, the text in the sidebar now disappears (matches the sidebar color?) unless I select it. I did not make any changes either, which is weird. If there's a way to force the sidebar text to stay white, let me know. In the meantime, I'll look into your pane separator suggestion. –  WarriorIng64 Nov 13 '11 at 23:32
    
This is getting to be a bit back-and-forth...I've opened a chat room here for further discussion: chat.stackexchange.com/rooms/1783/… –  WarriorIng64 Nov 13 '11 at 23:47
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up vote 0 down vote accepted

With doug's help, I figured it out. The part outlined in the screenshot above is referred to as a "pane separator" in the theme files.

Using the same index.theme posted above, make these changes:

  • Use this modified nautilus.css to properly theme the pane separator for the sidebar.
  • Also, change the section for the pane separator (starting at line 1130) in gtk-widgets.css to this to use the same theming for the pane separator seen when using an extra pane, for example.

You may need to reboot your system to see these changes take effect. After the reboot, I also saw all the text along the sidebar disappear except for the selected item, but I have posted a separate question for that (see How can I force the Nautilus sidebar text color to stay white in my Ambiance modification?); this one is solved.

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