Theme with smaller font and image sizes

Martin Sourada martin.sourada at
Thu Mar 13 22:39:19 UTC 2008

On Thu, 2008-03-13 at 17:23 -0400, Stewart Adam wrote:
> Hi,
> One thing that's always bothered me about GTK is how large GTK widgets
> are - especially the Combobox. I played around with my fonts sizes and
> while the height of the Combobox is still pretty high when you compare
> the hight of the text it holds, smaller font sizes did help. I came
> across a fairly old page on the web (forgot the link, sorry) that
> explained how Linux traditionally used 10pt font sizes, 75 dpi. Windows
> used font size of 8pt and 96dpi. However now that Linux uses 96dpi (and
> has for a while), the fonts appear to be much larger. Do you think we
> should provide a theme that reduces the stock image sizes by a bit and
> uses 8pt fonts? 
It's not a matter of DPI... pt is absolute unit so it will have the same
size both with 75 and 96 dpi, as long as the dpi is set correctly, only
with higher dpi you'll get nicer and more detailed shapes...

> I'm not a great theme designer, but I created a basic gtkrc file similar
> to the "wimp" gtk theme on Windows. This helped considerably with
> "screen real estate", as almost every widget got smaller. I'm not
> suggesting this because Mac has their OS's themed this way, but rather
> because I find in the default theme there's a lot of potential screen
> real estate that goes to waste. Since the font size does affect spacing
> but makes the widgets smaller it made all programs much easier to
> navigate through!
Would you mind sharing the gtkrc? It would help to see what you intend
to do :)

> So, what are you thoughts/opinions? I'd be happy to create and package a
> theme that does what I've mentioned above providing somebody could help
> me out a little along the way for gtkrc and maybe the theme engine a
> bit. This is just an idea, feedback, flames, criticisms are all welcome.
> Stewart
I don't think we need a separate theme for it (though it wouldn't hurt
to have one; if you base it on Nodoka, I'd be willing to add it to the
extra themes we ship with the engine, probably as Nodoka Small). Just
change the default font settings, I don't know in what package this is
set, though.

And now what I think about changing the default... Well, I suppose many
people actually use the 10 pt setting and some even bigger and some
smaller, I use 8 pt. Yes, themes tend to look better with smaller font
sizes, but you must be aware that 8 pt is too small for many people. I
think we could discuss changing from 10 pt to 9 pt, but certainly not to
8 pt. 

Anyway, font sizes are something that can be easily changed through
appearance caplet, so I'd suggest to rather keep the 10 pt which vast
majority of people can read easily and the ones who want smaller can
easily change it.

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