Improve GTK Application Looks

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GTK1 Apps

If you sometimes use old GTK1 apps (like xmms), you probably know they don't look nice. This is because they use ugly default theme. To change it, you need to:

  1. download and install some nice theme
  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 'switch' command. That's all. Isn't it better looking now? :)

GTK2 Apps

For GTK2 apps (e.g. Pidgin), methods to change theme 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. So once you have made your mind do one of the following:

# pacman -S gtk-theme-switch2

# pacman -S gtk-chtheme

# pacman -S gtk2_prefs

# pacman -S lxappearance

You probably would like to install some themes too. The popular Clearlooks theme is included within the gtk-engines package:

# pacman -S gtk-engines

Further themes can be installed with:

# pacman -S gtk2-themes-collection

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

If you want to change the icon theme of GTK2 Applications, then you have to modify or add 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 apps.