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Option to toggle "Dark mode" that changes everything into "visible" dark.

asked 2019-03-29 14:39:17 +0200

Pranav Bbhattarai gravatar image

updated 2020-07-09 18:54:07 +0200

Alex Kemp gravatar image

When do you think this is gonna happens? Right now, there is no such thing. We can change each component like Page background, font color, object boundaries, etc. And that's a huge calculation people have to do. Because some documents get overridden and the image gets distorted. Color doesn't blend in. (I wish thing were more comfortable like "MS Word". It's not bad to admit that they are good. One click and there u have a dark mode.) Right now I am really trying to blend in with LibreOffice. It's so hard to get used to some things. I can't ask each and every question here.

Please give users the option to Toogle dark theme. Its a really basic feature these days.

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What is your purpose? Writer is aimed at preparing documents supposed to b printed on sheets of paper, commonly white. I understand you're trying to set up some web site with Writer. Again, Writer aims at formatting primarily text document into HTML. In case you want to set everything up for some fancy highly pictured web pages, LO Writer may not be the best tool for that because it is flow-oriented, not page-oriented. Have a look on page composition applications, like FOSS Scribus (not tested if it outputs HTML) or other web site creation app.

ajlittoz gravatar imageajlittoz ( 2019-03-29 16:03:32 +0200 )edit

I just want software where I can write in the dark pages. It sounds simple but... LibreOffice still doesn't provide the option to toggle dark mode. If a user tries to make a few changes by setting (let's say) Page background into the dark and Text color into white, I will cause many problems later. Images won't be visible, etc. From powerpoint to word documents. This affects a lot. Everything in this app is for only "White mode". Bringing small changes will disturb other documents. Then why not provide, "Dark mode" option!

Pranav Bbhattarai gravatar imagePranav Bbhattarai ( 2019-03-29 18:35:47 +0200 )edit

Well, the principles in Writer are quite sound IMHO. You're supposed to deposit ink on some medium. You can use a dark background and a light char colour. BUT, page margins are a kind of no man's land where nothing can be printed. You may overwrite that with a dark rectangular picture anchored in the header or footer. After that, everything should be alright. I don't see any real difficulty (provided you anchor your dark picture to the proper place so that it is in the background, not in the foreground).

Another solution is to use the features in your printer driver. Some allow to print "negative" (beware when printing in colour, not intuitive). Of course, this is no solution for the screen.

ajlittoz gravatar imageajlittoz ( 2019-03-29 20:43:34 +0200 )edit

@ajlittoz Have u ever used MS word? If u enable Dark theme, it will make everything dark without changing the page property. LibreOffice is so behind. This is a sad thing.

Prabesh gravatar imagePrabesh ( 2019-09-18 18:25:31 +0200 )edit

@Prabesh I stopped using Word about 15 years ago. I must admit I don't know which additional features have been introduced since that time. However, I feel the question is not well defined. Either only a "cosmetic" result is sought while typing (and something in the UI should do the job) or it is structural, affecting all aspects of the document. In the latter case, a deep thought is needed on the styles to use. This impacts so many things that a simple "button" is not enough because every user needs are different from another's.

The correct solution lies probably is a carefully crafted set of styles. And, there, LO Writer outbeats M$ Word. But what is the precise definition of a "dark theme"?

ajlittoz gravatar imageajlittoz ( 2019-09-18 19:27:16 +0200 )edit

@ajlittoz Its like talking to a wall here. Denial is not part of the solution. I don't use MS word either, but when something is nice on their side, what's big deal to expect that here in LibreOffice too. Its called "Competition", providing nice service which is demanded and trending. For prolong day/night use of MS Word doesn't kill my eye but when it comes to LibreOffice, it sure does a lot. But I am so "used-to" of LibreOffice, I use MS Word. How hard it is to understand this? I think for once, just to test, run MS word and enable dark theme, and see the difference. Its very eye-friendly. It's not possible yet in LibreOffice.

Prabesh gravatar imagePrabesh ( 2019-09-19 05:35:57 +0200 )edit

Remember we aren't developers but users trying to help others. I can't run Word because I haven't it.

That said, you still don't answer on your purpose: is it only a matter of typing environment (with classic printing of black ink on white sheet) or a full color design with printing identical to screen display?

I understand the issue of eye-strain and there may be many solutions. Have you tried Tools>Options? LibreOffice>Personalization claims it can install Firefox themes but I could not succeed. LibreOffice>Appearance offers you the possibility to customise UI colours. Your settings can be saved under a new name for reuse. This could be the track to go.

ajlittoz gravatar imageajlittoz ( 2019-09-19 08:05:31 +0200 )edit

@ajlittoz Do u really think I haven't tried this "Tools>Options>Personalization" customized each color is a whole another part of the problem. I tried that several months ago. There will be a lot of issues. Especially when u share that document to others, it will look so different. Even table colors have to be customized, every little thing has to be customized. Only an extreme nerd who has a lot of time to spend on this can make customize the entire colors pattern. Talking from a terrible experience. This is not recommended to anyone.

I wish in a few years LibreOffice dev release what user want. I have seen this discussion in many forums. Sadly, people are left with "compromise". Meanwhile, MS Word user laughing at us of what they have accomplished, which really annoys me.

Prabesh gravatar imagePrabesh ( 2019-09-19 10:47:58 +0200 )edit

You didn't tell thoroughly what you've already done, thus the apparent redundancy.

Personalization is what it says: personal. It means it customises the UI. The UI is not part of the document and parameters are not saved in there. Another reader may prefer another theme and will request that his own theme be used.

To share your customisation, save it with a distinctive name. Find where it is stored from Tools>Options, LibreOffice>Paths and send this file with the document.

Now, if you want an external reader to see your document as you made it (with the chosen colours), it is no longer only a matter of UI but a formatting issue (background colour, font colour, etc.). You must then customise the applied styles (I hope you didn't direct format your whole document). With a clever hierarchical relationship between styles, very few styles need ...(more)

ajlittoz gravatar imageajlittoz ( 2019-09-19 12:18:16 +0200 )edit

@ajlittoz I would like to end this debate. You seem to be very loyal toward LO teams, but that isn't going bring a new concept. This is not even a "new" concept anymore. For e.g, if there is a feature in Chrome which is really cool, then I would love to have that feature in Firefox too. That's the way, a software product moves forward.


P.S: Please don't replay. I am getting really annoyed. It's not like I am not a fan of LO, but not this much loyalty makes go person blind.

Prabesh gravatar imagePrabesh ( 2019-09-19 13:17:36 +0200 )edit

3 Answers

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answered 2019-09-24 14:39:40 +0200

gzip gravatar image

I would also like this option to relive eye strain. If I'm up late writing the bright white screen is unnecessarily bight. All I care about are the words, which would be easier on the eyes in light text on a dark background. I don't want to change the print colors. I guess I'll download a coding editor and use that to write in, and paste the text into LO for formatting when I'm ready to print.

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That's really sad.

I hope LO teams could learn something from their opponent (MS word).

Pranav Bbhattarai gravatar imagePranav Bbhattarai ( 2019-09-25 12:00:02 +0200 )edit

Print preview should look like white paper. No reason to write whole day with bright white user interface - something better to understand sooner than later.

hmond gravatar imagehmond ( 2019-11-03 12:40:31 +0200 )edit

I would also like a dark mode, then a light, colour-accurate print preview. (or even just dark everything, except for the text page)

Darthagnon gravatar imageDarthagnon ( 2020-01-13 13:42:18 +0200 )edit

Yes, same for me, a dark mode really is needed! As many others complain about, LibreOffice should really look into this, even YEARS after dark modes became standard on many OS´s (Windows, macOS, ...). One even does not look to MS Word for comparison, on macOS NeoOffice is capeable of one click dark mode GUI (also a paid software), but might not get updates as often as LibreOffice ...

Timmtomm gravatar imageTimmtomm ( 2020-06-12 12:33:57 +0200 )edit

I would like to add my plea to the lobby for dark mode. For me, this is an accessibility issue; I have very bad floaters that obscure my vision and are particularly bad when I look at a white surface, such as the daytime sky or a white computer screen. It's not just an eyestrain issue, though that should be enough for someone to look up and say, "Yes, let's create a dark mode". I tried doing this myself in tools-->options-->application colors, but there are so many things to change and other things stop working. Such as in calc, where the automatic red color for a negative number is unreadable on a dark background. I could try changing it to pink, but there seems to be no option for this in app colors; I'm still looking for a way to change this in "direct formatting" but so ...(plus)

CynthiaCat gravatar imageCynthiaCat ( 2020-08-15 19:05:03 +0200 )edit

answered 2020-07-15 04:09:43 +0200

After looking into the API, I discovered that it is possible to create a macro to change LibreOffice's theme and document colour scheme, which you can then assign to a shortcut key for toggling between light and dark mode. It's also possible to run the macro from the command line to automate when a certain theme should activate with the help of the operating system's job scheduler.

The macro I wrote is in Basic so it does not require any additional dependencies besides the Java Runtime Environment (to assign keyboard shortcut keys).

See here for the code and instructions.

It appears to be completely usable according to my own tests. In dark mode, black font colours are inverted (if set as the default Automatic), image colours remain the same, and saving / sharing documents retains the black text on white page format. I have not tested printing to paper but printing to a file also uses black text on a white page.

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answered 2020-01-18 10:14:12 +0200

Everything else on my desktop is themed dark to help my old eyes except LO. If I wander through dozens of settings I can make a dark theme. So why can't I have a single button that does that for me? Surely whether it's one setting or dozens has nothing to do with whether the page preview looks white or not ... this is a matter of UX, not printed page.

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Asked: 2019-03-29 14:39:17 +0200

Seen: 11,781 times

Last updated: Jul 15