Is there a way to switch, on the fly, between colour and monochrome graphics. Even nicer would be to have a preview for how the screen would look to a colour blind user as well. That however is a side-issue, I'm interested in quickly checking how figures I'm working on will look printed B+W.

I've seen this compiz-based solution, but as I understand it, that's for unity only, not xfce, so is there a method.

(technically, the primary machine I'm interested in doing this on is Ubuntu 12.04LTS+XFCE, and not Xubuntu)

  • Compiz can be made to work with Xfce. There are quite a few internet hits for compiz+xfce. Examples: askubuntu.com/q/114613/25656 and webupd8.org/2012/11/…. Since you have Ubuntu 12.04 + Xfce, you're halfway there already. – user25656 Dec 5 '13 at 10:40
  • @vasa1, thanks to your help I got compiz working. Unfortunately it's compiz, and the effect on things like Alt-tab, title bars etc. is rather horrible. Still, I can switch it on as required so it's not all bad. If you'd care for an accept, feel free to post your comment as an answer, even though my primary method for checking my images in greyscale/monochrome will be within their applications (inkscape and the gimp both make this quite easy, others (e.g. evince) less so, hence my question in the first place) – Chris H Dec 5 '13 at 13:38
  • Chris, just go ahead and post an answer yourself and perhaps put in a couple of images showing how things look. – user25656 Dec 5 '13 at 14:57

Please specify what you mean by monochrome...

Monochrome monitor

You can employ xrandr scripts clickable on a panel. I'm using for example following script xrandr --output VGA-0 --auto --right-of LVDS-0 to enable VGA output on the right from my notebook. Please specify what you mean by monochrome... by xrandr you can simply switch graphics mode of any graphics output, so it could be on one clik in the menu panel. Read xrandr --help on how to switch it to different monitors/modes

Colors off

You can use xrandr to tune colors... can suit your needs. watch for brightness and gamma settings

Update: you can use xrandr to change saturation as well by the set attribute, example: xrandr --output TV --set Saturation 0-100. But the device and the driver should support it... otherwise you will get BadName error. I can imagine, that you will change it trough the color profile of your display. Solution very much depends on what you have.

Monochrome icon/colour theme

You can switch monochrome theme on the fly in System settings - windows manager by choosing a monochrome theme. you can run settings from command line by xfwm4-settings see the man page for details: http://swoolley.org/man.cgi/1/xfwm how to switch it from the command line. Again you can make it part of panel, so it could be made on one click.

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  • Thanks Dee, a monochrome theme is neither here nor there, as it's the files I'm working on that I want in mono, but with xrandr I might get somewhere. – Chris H Dec 5 '13 at 11:47
  • The only problem with this is that you can change brightness and gamma, but not saturation. I also use xrandr for enabling my 2nd monitor, it hadn't occurred to me to look there. – Chris H Dec 5 '13 at 12:19

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