Arc-DarK theme (Arc-Dark with DarK icons)

[EDIT: you can find the last version of this theme in this post (with updated licensing, too) and a full preview in this one]

Hi all,

I have ported the quite popular Arc-Dark theme to Audacity. Well, as close as I could get.

For many colors in the palette I can’t find any real usage by the program. Maybe they’ve been dropped, but if you notice something magenta, well, it’s one of those I could track… so please drop a line here for me to fix the theme by adding it.
Same goes if you have any suggestions on how to improve it.

Feel free to share. Licensing/authors info is included in the png.


Red waveform makes it go all 3D for me when selected :sunglasses:

Mmmh it doesn’t pop out on my screen, however I’ve tried to dim it, changing also the blue and muted waveform colors, because they didn’t like the darker shade.

It’s still a bit dull against the green waveform, but it’s difficult to find a shade that works both against red and green.
Maybe I should try a different approach altogether.

I have also improved the contrast of the selection in the ruler.

Oh and I’ve found one of those magenta spots and fixed it (line 2 col 6, fill color of seek/scrub arrows)

Thank you for the feedback and please let me know if this works better on your screen.

While it is pretty to show the level meters in the same blue color as selected buttons, I’m not sure if I like that. I find it a bit “visually confusing” that the same blue highlight color is used to represent two completely different things (selectedness of a control, and signal level).

(I do think it looks very nice, even though I’m not generally a fan of dark themes. Excellent work mischamajskij :slight_smile:)

Thank you Steve!

Well it is the same colors of the waveform actually… it’s meant to represent that the level in the wave/RMS is the same thing shown in the meter.

(Oh and now I’ve found out that I haven’t updated the meter color in the new version…)

So it changes if a different waveform color is selected?
(I assume not, unless you have also modified the C++ code)

Of course not… I’m assuming that one is the “default” and so it prevails over the other ones.
And green is the color of the third one, and red of the second one, so the original colors may have the same problem…
But I can switch to a different color without problems.
I thing that yet another shade of grey will do…

Maybe it’s my astigmatism. Red appears closer to me than blue,
even though they are in the same plane.

Yes, I know about that, that’s why I made the selection grey and not blue…
I can’t even think of different colors for the selection. A dark shade of blue could work for most people if it’s desaturated enough, but it will cause even more problems with astigmatism than grey does…
And, I can’t imagine a brown selection with this theme :laughing:

Is the new version better?
(I’m not quite satisfied with the green waveform though…)

Ok, so here’s a new version of the theme.


  • I’ve finally found a convincing (for me, at least) shade of grey for the selection in waveform (please check all colors on your screen)

  • Colors of the RMS meters are back to green and red (custom shades though)

  • Multi-tool icon reverted to the “original” asterisk shape (was too similar to the “move” tool)

  • Color of scrub/seek arrows fixed

  • Licensing info & tips updated

Comments/requests welcome

I happen to like dark themes, but I’d have to use a dark theme even if I didn’t, because of eye strain…
(this forum skin is killing me btw) :stuck_out_tongue:

Anyway, it would be great to have a light version of this theme (based on Arc)… I think it would make an excellent default theme.
I’ll be very busy from now on, so I don’t think I’ll manage to do that… (but, never say never)

However, I’m opening a new thread where I’ll share my own commented version of ImageCache.htm, containing all I know about the color palette, so that users can share their knowledge about that and make theming easier for everyone.

That’d be terrific.

One of the nicest Audacity themes I’ve seen.

Maybe this, ImageCache.htm, could be included in the Audacity folder containing the ImageCache.png file, so users can open this directly?

Thank you so much Steve! :blush:

So, this should be the last version.


  • Roundedness of all small buttons
  • Some colors in the Label track, which also improves contrast in midi voices buttons (buttons themselves are not themable)

I hope you don’t mind mischamajskij , I forwarded your screenshot for the Audacity developers to have a look at. It has received very positive comments.

Because themes inside Audacity exist as “code”, they are under the same license as the rest of the code, which is “GPL v2 (or later)”. I’m not an expert on licensing, so I’m not sure if “CC-by-SA 4.0” is completely compatible with GPL v2 - I don’t think it is. It’s my understanding that everything shipped in the Audacity code has to be compatible with GPL.
If the developers wanted to use your theme, would you be willing to extend the licensing terms to allow it to be used in GPL v2 software? (You retain the “copyright” on the theme regardless of the license terms).

So any chance of getting this as an official released Audacity theme as part of the app ?

I don’t normally like dark themes - but I do rather like this one :sunglasses:


:astonished: :astonished: :astonished: Well what to say, I’m so happy with this!

What was worrying me was that DarK icons are released under CC-BY-SA, which enforces me to release my derivative work under the same license.
However, I’ve done a little research and it turns out that CC-BY-SA 4.0 is one-way compatible with GPLv3 since 2015.
Please have a look at this page.
The key passage is the following IMO:

Put simply this means you now have permission to adapt another licensor’s work under CC BY-SA 4.0 and release your contributions to the adaptation under GPLv3 (while the adaptation relies on both licenses, a reuser of the combined and remixed work need only look to the conditions of GPLv3 to satisfy the attribution and ShareAlike conditions of BY-SA 4.0).

I think this means that if I put my own contributions under GPLv3, the ImageCache.png file “relies on both licenses”, but the Audacity team, as a “reuser of the combined and remixed work”, can release it under GPLv3.
I hope I’m right in assuming this, please verify carefully.

In any case, I’m glad to license my own contributions under GPLv3.
Here’s the file with updated license terms.

That looks very good news.

To be clear, I’m not saying that the theme “will” be used in Audacity. I’m just checking that there’s no obstacles to it being used (other than persuading a developer to convert it from the .png to a built-in theme). Personally I think it would be a very nice addition to Audacity :slight_smile:

Of course, I know that… fingers crossed!

TBH, I’m still a bit unsatisfied about the appearance if the “clock wallpaper” on sync-locked selection.
It’s a bit intrusive and I would have trouble working on the soundwave becaus it makes its boundary confused.
I think I can fix it by making it less contrasted and maybe introducing a bit of tint in the transparent part…

So, latest fixes:

  • “clock” wallpaper in sync-locked track less obtrusive
  • arrow of playing region in ruler made darker

Here it is…