Ubuntu 20.04 Dark Theme

Hi, yesterday I got a bit frustrated how Audacity looks on Ubuntu and was thinking, surely I can improve that.

Just throwing a work-in-progress theme here to see if there is any interest. It turns out to be much more work than just a few hours.

All colors that look totally out-of-place means I simply haven’t changed them yet, not that I think it looks good.
That means dark icons on dark background is simply not fixed yet.
And when you see some light colors (blue/gray), those will also change of course.

I kept the original icons mostly, so that they look familiar to Audacity users. I.e using crisper icons can be a separate theme on top of this.

Looks nice. What Desktop are you using, with what Desktop Theme?

Hey. I’m using the default gnome theme that comes pre-installed with Ubuntu 20.04 when changing Settings->Appearance->Window colors to “Dark”

Alrighty. Spent way too much time on it, but here is pretty usable version of it.


Replaced some icons with new ones from https://feathericons.com/, but their selection is small.

For documentations’ sake:

Colors that can’t be changed via theme:

  • the left border next to “play/pin” icon toggle (white)
  • the upper border for ruler (white)
  • the monitor level (green)

And a few transparency issues which required workarounds:

  • toolbar button backgrounds can’t have transparent background, or it will be filled with white
  • button background image can’t be transparent where icon will come on top of it, or the background will be white

    Attached is also (slightly messy) .xcf file for gimp if anybody wants to try out some improvements.
    audacityxcfgimp.zip (71.1 KB)

Minor update to integrate more into the OS look.

This is very much improved and much needed! Well done.

Have you seen this theme, it’s pretty nice though not made for Ubuntu. https://www.deviantart.com/podel1/art/Audacity-Clean-Dark-Theme-by-Podel-715604676

Another minor update unifying some icons (play/record while holding ctrl or shift) and fixing background color of the About dialog .

Screenshot from 2020-10-10 22-41-47.png

That’s very nice madis.

One small criticism is that there is very little colour difference when audio is selected. The audio selection is an extremely important feature in Audacity as virtually all edits and effects are applied to the audio selection.

This is a screenshot of your “Ubuntu 20.04 Dark Theme” on Xubuntu with the “Arc-Dark” Desktop theme:

Full Window000.png

Another small critique

The “L” and “R” in the meter toolbars seem to have become more cramped than in your earlier versions.

In fact the meter numbers look larger than you had before - and certainly the look overlarge compared to othe numbers you have elsewhere in the Vertical Scale.

We LOVE the round Transport toolbar buttons.


That isn’t the fault of the theme, and cannot be configured in the theme. It is a bug in Audacity (Bug 2361)

We do :smiley:

Thanks for feedback, totally agree. Here is a stronger highlight (not the best color selection, but whatever, I’m not a design guy either :slight_smile: )

I agree that it’s not the best color selection, but I disagree about you not being a design guy because the overall design of your theme looks terrific :wink:

I’ve shown this theme to the Audacity developers and it received very positive comments.

Would it be OK for us to use this theme as the basis for a new theme option in Audacity? It probably wouldn’t be the next release as we are getting towards the final testing stage, but if you agree then there’s a good chance that it could be included in the next release plus one. If we do that, I’d like you to be credited, either in the code or the manual or both, so I would need to know what name to use in the credit.

Thanks for the kind words.

Totally fine if you use it as basis for a new embedded theme - that’s the perfect outcome having something bundled with the release.

All the icons are from https://feathericons.com/ (or some rough modifications of originals) - they are MIT so should be pretty easy to use.

No need for the credit, but if you do (up to you if you want to include the website as well, it’s kind of a competing product, in a very narrow field, in future :stuck_out_tongue:, if I ever do it) that is:
Madis Liias - https://record.audio/