Thursday, November 5, 2015

calibre icon themes

Over the years we have had some complaints about calibre's appearance. We have had just as many appreciative emails from people loving the look. While some people find large clear icons easy to use, other feel it makes the interface clunky.

The problem with choosing a particular look is that you can never make all of the people happy. We have also had people contribute icon designs over the years. But a change always leaves some people unhappy while making others happy.

The way we like to do it in calibre is to give as many options and as much power as possible to the user. So calibre now (since version 2.36) has multiple icon themes. You choose the icon theme that you like best and you don't have to compromise with other users.

To select an icon theme go to Preferences -> Look and Feel and you'll see:


Then click the second entry on the right 'Change icon theme'.

A window opens with 11 different options for icon themes: (these themes are all available in version 2.42 and some may be missing in earlier versions)



Select the one you are happy with and click 'OK'. Calibre then downloads the selected icon theme. Now click 'Apply' and then restart calibre. I switched from the default icon theme that looked like this:




to the one called 'Sphere':



And that is not the end of it. If you don't like any of the options and have some talent at creating icons you can create your own icon theme. To do so, go to Preferences->Miscellaneous-> Create icon theme, select the folder where you have put your icons (usually the resources/images folder in the calibre config directory). Then fill up the theme metadata and click OK. This will result in a zip file containing the theme icons. For more details click here.

Since calibre is open source you can share your icon theme with other calibre users, if you want to. To share an icon theme you have created,  upload it to the calibre forum at Mobileread and then Kovid will make your theme available via calibre’s builtin icon theme system. You will of course be credited for your contribution. For example the 'Sphere' icon theme was contributed by 'Potzblitz7' as everyone choosing that icon theme will see.



Enjoy playing around with the icons and creating your own! And a big thank you to all those who have contributed icon themes.