visual interface unusable

Debian sid
Audacity 2.2.1, distribution’s release

Problem with the visual interface since the last couple months. Audacity used to follow my system’s dark GTK theme, but now it seems to be sort of mixed dark and light, kind of ugly but whatever. Looking at the history I’d say it’s been since the 2.2.* branch. I just haven’t really been bothered by it enough until now to ask for help.

Now when I tried to adjust the spectrogram settings, the dialog box is light grey text on white background making it unusable. Changing the theme in Preferences doesn’t make a difference, it’s the same with all of them. I’m including screenshots with the light theme and dark theme applied and the spectrogram settings dialog box up.

audacity screenshot with light theme applied, spectrogram settings box
audacity screenshot with dark theme applied, spectrogram settings box

I don’t have Sid installed so I can’t make specific suggestions, but you could try tweaking the Interface / Theme settings in Audacity to suit your Desktop theme settings:

@steve as I said, changing the theme in Preferences > Interface doesn’t make a difference, unless you meant something else. I don’t see any other relevant options in the Interface settings.

Update: also tried changing the system gtk theme to a few different ones, didn’t make a difference. Audacity’s menus conform to the theme, but the spectrogram settings box is still all white with light grey text.

Have you tried the “Blend system and Audacity theme” setting?

Yeah, it was already checked. Out of curiosity I unchecked it and restarted Audacity, didn’t make a difference.

Does Audacity use gtk2 or gtk3? My system seems to be using a hybrid of both. Maybe I don’t have the right gtk-related package installed.


That should be all sorted out for you by the person that packaged it.

Hi, using Solus 3 here. However, I’ve also tested this on Ubuntu 18.04, Mint 19, etc.

I’m using Audacity 2.2.2 from the Solus repositories/Ubuntu 18.04 repositories.

In both scenarios, I can confirm that this light text on a white background is a new problem (seems like it’s been a few months? wasn’t always like this, just noticed it) with dark themes with the latest GTK2, and while most menus (e.g. effects plugins) adopt the dark theme correctly, Audacity Preferences and other windows strangely ignore the Dark Theme setting on backgrounds, thus, if a global dark GTK3 theme is set in GNOME, some, but not all, of Audacity’s menus will ignore Audacity’s own theme settings and retain a light font on a light background. It should be applying a dark background color for its entire interface when the app’s own Dark Theme is set in Preferences. This is clearly a minor bug where no matter what theme is set internally, Audacity uses a light background color in some parts of its interface.