Improve GTK Application Looks

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GTK1 Apps

If you use old GTK1 apps (like xmms), you would know they don't look nice at first. This is because they use ugly themes by default. To change it, you need to:

  1. download and install some nice themes
  2. change the theme

Some nice themes are in [extra]. To install it:

# pacman -S gtk-smooth-engine

To change the theme you can use gtk-theme-switch:

# pacman -S gtk-theme-switch

then run it with the 'switch' command.

GTK2 Apps

For GTK2 apps (e.g. Pidgin), methods to change themes include: gtk-theme-switch2, gtk-chtheme or gtk2_prefs. There is also lxappearance, a DE independent configuration tool from the LXDE project. It doesn't require any other parts of LXDE. Once you have made your mind set, do one or more of the following:

# pacman -S gtk-theme-switch2

# pacman -S gtk-chtheme

# pacman -S gtk2_prefs

# pacman -S lxappearance

It is recommended to install some GTK2 themes too. The popular Clearlooks theme is included within the gtk-engines package:

# pacman -S gtk-engines

Further themes can be found in AUR e.g. by

# yaourt -Ss gtk-theme gtk2-theme

Now run either switch2 or gtk-chtheme or gtk2_prefs, depending on the method you choose and change the theme to your liking.

If you want to change the icon theme of GTK2 Applications, then add and/or modify in the file ~/.gtkrc-2.0 the following line (here the icon theme is set to Tango):

gtk-icon-theme-name = "Tango"
...more gtk2 settings...

GTK with QT

If you have GTK and QT(KDE) applications on you desktop then you know their looks don't blend well. If you wish to make your GTK styles match your QT styles please read Uniform Look for QT and GTK Applications.