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Hard to read title bar text, ongoing issue since Windows 7 first came out. RRS feed

  • Question

  • My attempt to have readable title bar text is a slight improvement and I know I can use the bright fluro colours but they are incredibly distracting. Is there some other way to improve readability? Can I edit the white glow behind the text? Make it more prominent?

    Photobucket

     

    The default settings Windows 7 uses is incredibly tough to read in every way imaginable. Photobucket

     

    My desktop theme consists of me choosing "Landscapes" then a solid background colour, in this case black. Here is a link to download the theme I use http://www.mediafire.com/?s1eoqgd3efeylq4

    Friday, January 21, 2011 3:51 AM

Answers

  • I hear you.  Unfortunately I doubt we'll see a lot of focus on this.  I read from the engineers who created the themes and styling options (on their "Engineering Windows 7" blog at http://blogs.msdn.com/e7) that they designed intentionally around exactly one core style.  This is why the toolbars are locked in a pale-blue color, and that colors in the Start menu, Control Panel, etc are hard-coded.

    Of course, whether this was a smart choice is certainly debatable (I would like to be able to use my red theme without pale-blue toolbars, without paying for third-party skinning programs).

    I know this doesn't solve the issue or offer a very hopeful outlook for the next version of the OS, but I'd at least recommend putting in feedback about it on their form:

     

    http://mymfe.microsoft.com/Windows%207/Feedback.aspx?formID=195

     



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    • Marked as answer by Cloud_TS Tuesday, February 1, 2011 9:51 AM
    Tuesday, January 25, 2011 4:43 PM

All replies

  • Hi

    Try the following.

    Right click the Desktop and select Personalize.

    At the bottom of the window, select the Window Color Custom icon.

    Drag the Intensity clider to the right slightly. This should increase the contrast of the title bar and make the text more prominent.

    You can also use the Color Mixer to tweak the Hue of the color to get similar results.

    Regards,

     


    Ronnie Vernon MVP – Windows Desktop Experience
    Sunday, January 23, 2011 6:38 AM
  • Yeah I know about that but I prefer a black theme. Disabling Aero/transparency helps but it doesn't let me have solid black like I can get with Aero on.

     

    Oh also, maximizing Command Prompt and CMD results in the title bar text always appearing as black, it ignores the colour I set. The same applies to Firefox when maximized. Every other program I've tried thus far that I've payed attention to, honors the blue text setting change I've made while maximized. For Firefox I made a report on there bugzilla and at least 1 other person has already confirmed it and you can view it here https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=627615


    Core i7 920 @ 2.66GHZ | ASUS P6T Mother Board | 6 gig DDR3 1600 RAM | 2x 500g SATA2 HDD | Integrated sound | Gainward Geforce 250gts "Deep Green" 1024MB PCI-E (latest drivers) | Windows 7 Home Premium x64 | Thermaltake 750watt Toughpower Power Supply | Thermaltake Armor+ MX case.
    Sunday, January 23, 2011 12:49 PM
  • The "black text when maximized" is very likely a side-effect of window state change notification color settings from the Vista era, back when the glass color changed when a program was maximized.  Programs can probably be easily updated to no longer do this, simply by removing the window state change event.

    As for your color, I'm afraid it's not really possible to achieve what you're looking for "out of the box", but there are other solutions.  Of course I prefer the Windows style and would recommend trying a "white" theme (you'd be surprised how much less distracting and harsh the tones are) or even more transparency (so that the window frame is more like a heads-up-display and lets the program itself be the real presentation.

    If you don't subscribe to those theories, there are programs available such as "Window Blinds" by a company called StarDock.  This program lets you theme and skin the entire interface in incredibly detailed ways.  It can be quite elaborate, a total transformation, or it can be subtle customizations like what you are looking for.  What's great is that this company built many components of Windows on behalf of Microsoft, so you can trust their work.  I've used this program myself for years up until Vista, but it's better than ever now with recent advancements in graphics rendering.

     

     


    If this was helpful, please vote by clicking the green triangle. If it solves the issue, click Propose as Answer. Thanks!
    Sunday, January 23, 2011 4:47 PM
  • Window Blinds isn't cheap and transparency has no impact if your background is solid black :P
    Core i7 920 @ 2.66GHZ | ASUS P6T Mother Board | 6 gig DDR3 1600 RAM | 2x 500g SATA2 HDD | Integrated sound | Gainward Geforce 250gts "Deep Green" 1024MB PCI-E (latest drivers) | Windows 7 Home Premium x64 | Thermaltake 750watt Toughpower Power Supply | Thermaltake Armor+ MX case.
    Sunday, January 23, 2011 6:01 PM
  • I suppose it's relative. If $20 is worth having a stark black theme.

     

     


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    Tuesday, January 25, 2011 2:20 PM
  • the problem is not if windowblinds is good program, or if it is cheaper or not etc windowblinds is a good program, as also many others.

    but Here we speak about a REAL big problem, which in my opinion Microsoft 'left it' existing.[vista + 7]

    it's a problem that is a well known , that this kind of method for titlebar, and i mean the surrounding shadows around the text is not helping very much people reading Title texts .

    that gives 'space' for 3rd party applications for been made. i am not against any kind of application, or application maker.

    but in my opinion, this thing HAS to be solved from microsoft.

    i know , an answer could be as: make the background opaque and set to it a color that text could easily be read, but this solution, i mean 'desappearing the transparency for appearing the text is not a real solution but a necessity one.

    suggestion: so how microsoft could solve this? answer:

     i will give you an example : the kind of text style that we have in our desktop , white color with a slight black shadow , thiner at top, fatter at bottom, is the kind of text that solve the problem. its elegant and effective in readeress in any type of background.

    also if we could have control of the color of the text and the color of the shadow that would be a great option [as also the opacity of the shadow], that will help alot the users.

    i hope someone from microsoft team to be intersted.

    ============

     

     

    • Edited by ZEUSosX Tuesday, January 25, 2011 4:45 PM
    Tuesday, January 25, 2011 4:31 PM
  • I hear you.  Unfortunately I doubt we'll see a lot of focus on this.  I read from the engineers who created the themes and styling options (on their "Engineering Windows 7" blog at http://blogs.msdn.com/e7) that they designed intentionally around exactly one core style.  This is why the toolbars are locked in a pale-blue color, and that colors in the Start menu, Control Panel, etc are hard-coded.

    Of course, whether this was a smart choice is certainly debatable (I would like to be able to use my red theme without pale-blue toolbars, without paying for third-party skinning programs).

    I know this doesn't solve the issue or offer a very hopeful outlook for the next version of the OS, but I'd at least recommend putting in feedback about it on their form:

     

    http://mymfe.microsoft.com/Windows%207/Feedback.aspx?formID=195

     



    If this was helpful, please vote by clicking the green triangle. If it solves the issue, click Propose as Answer. Thanks!
    • Marked as answer by Cloud_TS Tuesday, February 1, 2011 9:51 AM
    Tuesday, January 25, 2011 4:43 PM
  • Well Black text fails because the white aura around the text isn't enough and isn't customizable and White text fails because of the white aura. Not to mention various Microsoft programs don't honor text colour when maximized.

    Core i7 920 @ 2.66GHZ | ASUS P6T Mother Board | 6 gig DDR3 1600 RAM | 2x 500g SATA2 HDD | Integrated sound | Gainward Geforce 250gts "Deep Green" 1024MB PCI-E (latest drivers) | Windows 7 Home Premium x64 | Thermaltake 750watt Toughpower Power Supply | Thermaltake Armor+ MX case.
    Tuesday, January 25, 2011 5:06 PM