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 Post subject: Icons with labels, with no background
PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 5:32 pm 
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Hi. I was hoping you could help find a solution. I'm looking for a way to use Winstep Xtreme to replace my desktop icons. My goal is to have the icons/folders on my desktop with their labels visible, without a background (resembling the traditional windows desktop) Using Shelf, I can make the background of the shelf transparent (ie. invisible) but then the labels also become invisible. Is there a way to do this?

(see screenshots for reference)


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File comment: When I make the shelf background fully transparent, the icons ALSO disappear...
background invisible.JPG
background invisible.JPG [ 188.87 KiB | Viewed 1878 times ]
File comment: I'm trying to get the shelf theme completely transparent/invisible
background visible.jpg
background visible.jpg [ 274.85 KiB | Viewed 1878 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Icons with labels, with no background
PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 5:47 pm 
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No, there currently isn't.

If I remember correctly, the reason has to do with the small label text size and how text anti-aliasing works in GDI+: anti-aliasing disregards the transparency values of the background, treating it as if it was fully solid. In practice this results in jagged and very hard to read text, unless the wallpaper (or whatever is behind the label) is almost the same color as the (transparent) Shelf background.

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Jorge Coelho
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 Post subject: Re: Icons with labels, with no background
PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 6:53 pm 
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Perhaps there is some way to run the shelf, without a theme? That way I wouldn't need to make the background transparent in order to hide it....In other words, does a shelf have to have a background by design?

*Is it possible -in theory- to have a theme without a background?


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 Post subject: Re: Icons with labels, with no background
PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 8:25 pm 
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You would have the same exact problem.

Every pixel has a RGB color and also an Alpha value which defines the level of transparency - if you make a completely transparent PNG image as the Shelf background, that PNG image *still* has a background color (e.g.; RGB (0,0,0) with an Alpha of 0 is simply fully transparent black), so that color will 'bleed' into the text when anti-aliasing.

Turning off anti-aliasing *might* work, but then you would have the problem of (e.g.) white text labels being completely unreadable on light sections of the wallpaper or whatever is behind them, etc...

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 Post subject: Re: Icons with labels, with no background
PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 3:44 am 
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Thanks for your response, though I'm sorry if I don't fully understand the technical side. As a user, I'd be happy to have at least the the option (of "turning off the anti-aliasing" of a text?). The issue of a white text on a light background (or dark text on dark background) is a common challenge when theming but usually there's a way to make it work. Don't Mac and Windows use white text for icon labels (with a kind of black "outline" effect)?


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 Post subject: Re: Icons with labels, with no background
PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 5:04 am 
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Jorge, is this the type of problem you're referring to that will happen with what the OP is trying to accomplish? This is a problem I have with a dark theme I have installed on my PC that happens when a dialog box is opened.

Attachment:
Winstep-RE Text Color-2.jpg
Winstep-RE Text Color-2.jpg [ 44.16 KiB | Viewed 1852 times ]


BTW, I've been hoping there is way to change the text color but so far I haven't found a way. The dev for the program never responded to my request. It appears it's because the program is years old and the dev is no longer replying to support questions.


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 Post subject: Re: Icons with labels, with no background
PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 6:44 am 
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jon.s.nelson wrote:
Don't Mac and Windows use white text for icon labels (with a kind of black "outline" effect)?


The Shelf was never really intended to be run with a completely transparent background.

Anyway, I have been experimenting with this and added a 'Icon labels remain opaque' setting to the Transparency dialog. As expected, results are mixed even when using an outline for the text - the outline effect may work satisfactory for text that is either black or white, but most themes use different colors.

Another issue that I noticed (and fixed) was that the Active tab always appeared fully opaque.

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 Post subject: Re: Icons with labels, with no background
PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2017 7:58 pm 
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There are other issues I noticed with the transparency options for the Shelf. However, after thinking about this, I am not going to tackle them in the next release - it will have to wait for the one after that.

This is because a lot of the related code for the Shelf is pretty old (part of it dating all the way back to July 2000) and it absolutely needs a good re-writing, especially to finally add the ability to have multiple Shelves and vertical Shelves, as well as improve Shelf scaling on high DPI systems. This will take thinking and time, and I do not want to delay the next official release any more than the strictly necessary.

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 Post subject: Re: Icons with labels, with no background
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 6:26 pm 
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just installed 18.8 and like the fact that there is a toggle to keep the icon text from becoming transparent, was wonder if there is an eta on when we can expect to have the tab text do the same? thanks


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 Post subject: Re: Icons with labels, with no background
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 7:35 pm 
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Good idea.

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 Post subject: Re: Icons with labels, with no background
PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 3:03 pm 
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MrGrim wrote:
just installed 18.8 and like the fact that there is a toggle to keep the icon text from becoming transparent, was wonder if there is an eta on when we can expect to have the tab text do the same? thanks


Done for next release. Added a new 'keep tabs opaque' setting, it will keep the tab text opaque *and also* the left and right mini-tab symbols and the scroll arrows.

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