enter image description here

So basically i am using the Arc light theme but i would like to be able to change the color of the selected tab in this bar (above) to something a bit darker because it is a bit distracting when you have a light theme.

so that it doesn't look like this enter image description here

I mean it looks great but i would just think the light-blue colors on the taskbar for the window selected and the workspace are light and therefore distracting when you are trying to study smth.

I looked in the properties of the taskbar, but there (as far as i know) wasn't an option to change highlight color for the selected window.

please let me know if there is a way to change this color, even if it is somewhere in the .css files of Arc theme, or some setting in some place.

  • @DKBose it is ubuntu 18.04. i don't think xubuntu has a version. i've just modified the look a bit by moving the panel to the bottom. or is there a way how i can look it up? – Andi Hamolli Jan 10 '20 at 9:51
  • No I just downloaded and installed xubuntu from their website – Andi Hamolli Jan 10 '20 at 9:57
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    @DKBose the first one printed XDG_CURRENT_DESKTOP=XFCE and the second one xubuntu – Andi Hamolli Jan 10 '20 at 9:58
  • This is controlled by the theme, so would require editing the code of the theme's style sheets, see for example askubuntu.com/questions/694504/… – vanadium Jan 10 '20 at 10:23
  • I updated my answer. Please check. – DK Bose Jan 10 '20 at 11:44

I couldn't find "Arc light" in the repositories but plain Arc has the same issue you describe.

The file you need to edit is /usr/share/themes/Arc/gtk-2.0/panel.rc. Change all instances of @selected_bg_color in this file to "#2A4286", a slightly darker shade of blue, or any other distinctive color of your choice.

Note that you'll need to use sudo -H mousepad /usr/share/themes/Arc/gtk-2.0/panel.rc because you're editing a file you don't own. As a precaution, backup the file before editing.

Darker blue in XFCE panel

To respond to the issue of the theme being overwritten as a result of a future update:

  1. Yes, it will be overwritten but probably the theme will not be updated since 18.04 is a long term support version. Only critical security updates are provided.

  2. An option I prefer is to copy over the entire theme to the folder ~/.themes without using sudo. If ~/.themes doesn't exist, create it. Rename Arc to myArc and also edit the index.theme file inside ~/.themes/myArc to change Arc to myArc. This theme will obviously not be updated since it's in your home folder. The other advantage is that you don't need to use sudo since you own the folder and files.

  • It's okay, I also meant Arc, so the standard one. I also found another solution tho. I'm going to try this one you made. – Andi Hamolli Jan 10 '20 at 10:31
  • But this will be overwritten as soon as the theme was updated won't it? – Andi Hamolli Jan 10 '20 at 10:39
  • hey, i really hate to bother you again, but can you help me do this again. I changed to xubuntu 19.10 and the settings have been restored and it doesn't use gtk2 but gtk3, and it seems like this is a huge .css file, and i can't figure out which parts to change and how to change them. – Andi Hamolli Feb 21 '20 at 23:53
  • @AndiHamolli I'll take a look but some new gtk3 themes are not easily modifiable. – DK Bose Feb 22 '20 at 1:43
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    Run cd /usr/share/themes/Arc/gtk-2.0. The file panel.rc is still there. Please edit it as described in the answer. (There have been quite a few incorrect statements about Xubuntu having already moved completely to gtk3. That may happen eventually but 19.10 still has totally functional and necessary gtk2 components.) – DK Bose Feb 22 '20 at 3:39

so basically you can do sudo gedit /usr/share/themes/Arc/gtk-2.0/gtkrc and just change the color you want.

enter image description here

this will change the task bar:

enter image description here

Unfortunately it also has other effects like this one:

enter image description here

So there is a weird Arc problem that shows for some reason shows a dark sidebar which is just stupid, but now the selection color here changes as well to purple

another question is will the changes be overwritten as soon as the theme is updated

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    Editing only the file I suggested is specific to the panel. Other aspects are not affected (and were not part of the original question). Also, running sudo gedit is not recommended. – DK Bose Jan 10 '20 at 11:49
  • @DKBose but isn't mousepad graphical as well? – Andi Hamolli Jan 11 '20 at 9:17
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    Yes, but the point is not to use plain sudo with any graphical application but to use sudo -H or other alternatives. – DK Bose Jan 11 '20 at 9:18
  • @DKBose I understand, this is very good to know and to avoid then. – Andi Hamolli Jan 11 '20 at 9:20

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