calibre look and feel

calibre allows you to customize its Graphical User Interface (GUI) in many different ways so that you can have a GUI that suits your particular needs and tastes. In this blog post I will point out some useful tweaks that can be easily implemented and focus mainly on column coloring which is a useful way to identify certain books in your collection.

To adjust the look and feel of the calibre GUI click on Preferences in the main tool bar. In the new window that opens click on the Look and Feel icon in the first row under Interface. The following window appears.

Main Interface: The first tab in the above window is Main Interface. Here you can choose the user interface layout. By default this is set to Wide, in which case book details along with the cover appears in the rightmost column and the cover browser is above the list of books in the main calibre window. However this can be set to Narrow as shown in the figure above and then the book details with cover appear at the bottom and the cover browser on the right as shown in the figure below. You can click the little brown book icon at the bottom right corner of the screen to make the book details disappear altogther and then click the brown book icon again to make them reappear.

You can click the little curved arrow icon at the bottom right corner to mahe the cover browser disappear or reappear. The main interface tab also allows you to choose the icon sizes; small, medium or large as well as off (no icons, only the text under the icons is visible and can be clicked on).

Book Details:
 The next tab is book details. As shown in the figure below here you can choose what details are to be displayed in the book details section of the main window.

calibre’s tag browser has been discussed in some detail in an earlier blog post.

Cover Browser: The fourth tab is the cover browser. This allows you to choose if you would like to have the cover browser displayed within the main calibre interface or in a separate window as shown in the figure below. You can also choose to have this window appear in full screen mode and toggle the full screen mode using the F11 key.

Column Coloring:
 As shown in the figure below the last tab under Look and Feel is column coloring. Here you can set up conditions to have certain entries in certain columns appear a certain color.

When you click on the Add Rule button the following window appears which allows you to set the entries in a column to be a particular color provided the entries of some other column satisfy some condition by taking certain values.

For example, when we add the following rule (make title blue when genre is news)

we see

but even if we hide the genre column we can still tell which titles belong to the news genre because they are in blue as shown below.

Consider another example where all the titles are made maroon when the genre is not specified as shown in the figure below. This kind of rule would be useful for you to identify books where metadata is incomplete when you are managing your library.

Hope you found these tips useful. See you again in about a week.

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