New Look Light Theme

When Mitch did his UX review of Cantabile last year, he pointed out something that I’ve known for a while but have been too lazy to fix: the light theme is kinda crap.

So yesterday while easing my way back into Cantabile development I thought I’d have a go at fixing it. Together with some suggestions from Mitch, this is what we’ve come up with. There’s a ton of subtle changes (gradients removed, buttons flattened, borderlines lightened, colors normalized, better contrast between work area and side panels etc…). Overall it makes a big difference and I quite like this theme now.

This will be rolled out with some other new features I’m working on (probably a couple of weeks away).

Here’s the new look:

and for comparison here’s the old look:


Much easier on the eyes as far as the contrast IMO. Mellower and I especially like the keyboard … nice work Brad and Mitch!


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I can tell it is slightly more mellow. I am quite sure many others will like it…but with my cataracts, and glaucoma, I find a lighter shade on stage hard to use and the old eyes are sensitive to it. Just my condition. Very nice tho Brad and Mitch. Good to have you back. Nothing like a holiday to recharge the batteries. :grin:

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Is this something that could be applied to older builds?

I know that Brad wasn’t exactly asking for input, but…

I would not really be interested in this modified Light Theme (although I do think it is an improvement), but I WOULD be very interested in is a Theme similar to the Dark Theme, but with a slightly lighter gray for the background instead of straight black. Maybe something like RGB = #404040 (hex).

Not right now because I’ve cleaned up the theme file a little so there’s a few incompatibilities. In retrospect I should make it backwards compatible, then the new theme should work on old builds too. Leave it with me.

Possibly. I’ve been thinking about doing another theme along these lines but that laziness thing keeps kicking in :). In the meantime, you could have a crack at it yourself.

I thought I remembered seeing that this was possible, but I was also too lazy to spend any time on it - plus the fear (probably unfounded) that future updates would break a custom theme.

Here’s the new light theme that will work in the current builds. Just place it in the Cantabile installation folder.

Light.theme (1.6 MB)

Hey Roland,

How does this look? It’s based on #404040

here it is … :grinning:

DarkGrey.theme (2.5 KB)

Edit: Put smaller size theme up after using inherited directive in the json file.



I like it! And thanks for sharing! I might even tweak it slightly darker, like #303030, now that I see it. I will definitely be playing with it and probably make it my standard theme.

Nice Dave ! :smile: (my 20 characters required to post)

@Brad is there a reason why I would have a Topten Software folder in both Program Files AND Program Files (x86)? Dave’s new theme only got recognized when I put it into my Program Files folder.

The 32 bit version of Cantabile is installed in C:\Program Files (x86).
The 64 bit version is in C:\Program Files.

Thanks @Robb_Fesig. So if I’m only running the 64 bit version can I delete the other?

Just to be sure noting gets twisted, I would uninstall completely and re-install only the 64-bit version, You probably want to save your config files etc. in \Users[you]\AppData\Topten Software\Cantabile

I would say just let it go… It’s 20 megabytes, and Cantabile doesn’t run in the background or have any processes launching on startup.

Good to know - was wondering why there was a TopTen folder in (x86)

Here’s a smaller version of Dave’s DarkGrey theme.

DarkGrey.theme (808 Bytes)

Rather than include all the graphic assets directly it just inherits them from the Dark theme. This also means if the Dark theme is updated with new graphic assets, DarkGrey will get those new images automagically.

See here for more about theme inheritance, but basically I just added "baseTheme": "Dark" at the top of the JSON file and removed all the .png files.


(@dave_dore if you edited any of the png files, you can just add those modified ones to the new theme and they’ll override the images from the base theme).


OK, thanks @brad, I should have been less hasty and I would have read that Doh! Waaay smaller. I did have to edit about 6 to 8 .png files so I will take your kind offering and add them to it and repost it in it’s smaller form.



Posted the smaller DarkGrey Theme using the ‘inherit magic’ :mage: above in the original post.

Thanks again Brad :slight_smile: