Out of focus selection color, Can it be changed? RRS feed

  • Question

  • In this image, there is a tree view with a node selected, but the text box at the top has focus.  The tree view should (and does) give a different background color for the selected tree node.  My problem is that on my screens (Samsung LCD's about a year and a half old), I have a hard time at a glance finding the selected item.  The selected background color has a brightness of 240, on a background of 255.

    As you can see, I discovered this issue while playing with forms in .net.  I'm kind of curious to know if this is just an accidental interaction between Windows 7 and .net, only or just a really poor choice of default color scheme. 

    Here is the image of the same window in the Windows Classic look and feel with the same selection for comparison.

    (notice how easily you can pick out the selected node.)

    My main question is: Can this color be changed without going to clasic?  I have played with every relevant sounding color control in the advanced appearance settings, and found nothing.

    My other questions are:
    Is something wrong with my eyes or monitors, or is it equally hard for others to see the selection?

    Why is this the default?
    Friday, June 12, 2009 4:27 PM

All replies

  • The inactive highlight in Aero (based on your screenie) is hard to see... not to say your eyes aren't totally messed up. I can't say. :) I don't know if that is modifyable in any way... I'm stuck on XP for the next few days. :(

    And shouldn't Node5 be L1?
    Saturday, June 13, 2009 12:42 AM
  • For best results in Windows GUI, contrast and brightness must be adjusted carefully.
    For example, do you know that the right-click popup menu has section dividers?
    You never would if you have CONTRAST settings too high.
    Saturday, June 13, 2009 1:17 AM
  • Yes, I need this fixed also! I can't seem to change it from Window Color and Appearance

    Don't tell me I need to edit aero.msstyle or shellstyle.dll :D

    what is you talking aboot?
    Thursday, December 23, 2010 11:28 AM
  • Ok, so I've been fiddling with Ave's Windows Style Builder (works for win7 too) and I managed to change that color..

    First of, you have to have Themes services running even if DWM service (aero+transparency) if not running, and you may even have Adjust For Best Performance (aka all options off) in Visual Effects, and this color change will work. But if Themes service isn't running I wonder where does windows get all those default colors (anyone know?) and yes the set color isn't showing.

    Secondly, that color seems to be a stretched image, so you can even put a different image in place.

    The location (for both explorer's left pane and regedit's left tree) in Win7 Style Builder is:

    Explorer & Shell -> Explorer -> TreeView -> TreeItem -> SelectedNotFocus

    And I removed everything else in there, except these 4: (which some I had to add)

    NAME                                             VALUE

    BORDERCOLOR:COLOR                   (a selected color is here)

    FILLCOLOR:COLOR                         (a different selected color is here)

    TEXTCOLOR:COLOR                       (an even different selected color is here)

    BGTYPE:ENUM                                    BORDERFILL

    ok so here's the screenie that shows Vista Style Builder or Win7 Style Builder (whatever is really called) and also shows the not in focus item (on the left tree) in effect

    (if anyone knows how to show the image instead of the text link to it, lemme know :P)

    Anyway, the HotSelected below, seems to have an effect only in explorer's left pane tree, I replaced that image and in regedit's tree it won't show when hovering on the already selected item (even if the tree is focused) while in explorer's left pane even if the tree is unfocused, when hovering mouse over the selected item it will show the image. As I said, these were images initially that is why I guess they have that color gray and blueish and also transparent. As I say above it can be changed from image to color.


    I'm actually gonna show you how it will look with an image instead of a color (which is the default - with image) in this screenie:

    it is transparent but barely readable text unless you change that black color (that you see in screenie on TEXTCOLOR:COLOR) to white, by clicking on it


    so like yeah these babies are binary in the form of "variant" file inside "aero.msstyle" file and this program is changing those and applying the theme for me

    That HotSelected thingy seems to only affect explorer, I'm guessing due to it enabling some kind of visual styles and VSB and regedit not doing that, and I'm guessing it has lots to do with uxtheme.dll and BeginBufferedAnimation function. Yes , they seem impervious to mouse hover. I wonder if there's a program that can change another running program's visual style in real time, so I could give some to regedit's tree and take it away from explorer, so that I would understand some more.

    what is you talking aboot?
    • Proposed as answer by escirllel Friday, December 24, 2010 4:37 PM
    • Edited by escirllel Saturday, December 25, 2010 7:07 AM made images show
    Friday, December 24, 2010 4:08 AM
  • For anyone else stumbling upon this, I got the color changed using the registry (you need to logoff and login for it to take affect).

    The old Windows Server 2008 R2 background color was: 213 211 206
    The new Windows Server 2016 background color is: 240 240 240

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Colors
    Value name ButtonFace
    Value type REG_SZ
    Value data 213 211 206

    I used a GPO to set this and it worked great for my users.

    You can see the color difference here:
    Windows 2016 shot of partial calendar with July 2018, and the 24th is slightly highlighted

    Windows 2008R2 shot of partial calendar with July 2018, and the 24th is definately highlighted

    Monday, July 9, 2018 3:34 PM