[Upstream] Wrong automatic text color "dark grey" with black background

Bug #734428 reported by Benjamin Drung on 2011-03-13
64
This bug affects 12 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
LibreOffice
Confirmed
Medium
libreoffice (Ubuntu)
Undecided
Unassigned

Bug Description

Binary package hint: libreoffice

In Libreoffice Impress the text with the color "automatic" is hard to read if the background color is set to black (example file attached). I have to change the color from "automatic" to white.

Please map the "automatic" color to white if the background color is set to black.

ProblemType: Bug
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 11.04
Package: libreoffice-impress 1:3.3.1-1ubuntu5
Uname: Linux 2.6.38-997-generic x86_64
Architecture: amd64
Date: Sun Mar 13 18:09:02 2011
InstallationMedia: Ubuntu 10.10 "Maverick Meerkat" - Alpha amd64 (20100921.1)
ProcEnviron:
 LANGUAGE=de_DE:en
 LANG=de_DE.UTF-8
 SHELL=/bin/bash
SourcePackage: libreoffice
UpgradeStatus: Upgraded to natty on 2011-03-11 (2 days ago)

Benjamin Drung (bdrung) wrote :

Created attachment 44517
text-on-black-background.odp

In Libreoffice Impress the text with the color "automatic" is hard to read if the background color is set to black (example file attached). I have to change the color from "automatic" to white.

Please map the "automatic" color to white if the background color is set to black.

I initially filed this bug in Ubuntu: https://launchpad.net/bugs/734428

Changed in df-libreoffice:
importance: Unknown → Medium
status: Unknown → Confirmed

I could not reproduce this problem in 3.3.1 SLED 11 sp1.

1. In attached sample, set the font color to automatic =>the text is normally white

2. Change page background as solid white => the text turns to be black as expected

3. Change page background as solid black back => the text turns to be white again.

NOT Reproducible with "LibreOffice 3.3.2RC1 – WIN7 Home Premium (64bit) German UI [OOO330m19 (Build:201 / tag 3.3.2.1)]". I opened sample document, all teext looks white, I modified character color of 1 word in the text from "Auto" to "white" and I did not see any difference to color of "auto" colored characters.

Transferred information from Ubuntu bug tracking system:

DistroRelease: Ubuntu 11.04
Package: libreoffice-impress 1:3.3.1-1ubuntu5
Uname: Linux 2.6.38-997-generic x86_64
Architecture: amd64
Date: Sun Mar 13 18:09:02 2011
InstallationMedia: Ubuntu 10.10 "Maverick Meerkat" - Alpha amd64 (20100921.1)
ProcEnviron:
 LANGUAGE=de_DE:en
 LANG=de_DE.UTF-8
 SHELL=/bin/bash
SourcePackage: libreoffice
UpgradeStatus: Upgraded to natty on 2011-03-11 (2 days ago)

Several information is missing!

@Benjamin Drung:
May be hints on <http://wiki.documentfoundation.org/BugReport> can be useuful for you?
Please:
- Attach screenshots with comments (you can add information using LibO DRAW
  and then attach your screenshot with comments as PDF)
- Contribute a step by step instruction containing every key press and every
  mouse click how to reproduce your problem
- add information
  -- what exactly is unexpected (what color do characters have)
  -- and why do you believe it's unexpected
  -- concerning your PC (especially: video card)
  -- concerning your LibO version and localization, It seems that that is a
     special Ubuntu LibO pack, not the vanilla LibO pack?
  –- Libo settings that might be related to your problems
    (video hardware acceleration ...)
  -- Whether the problem is limited to Presentation or also is visible in
     other LibO applications
  -- how you launch LibO
  -- everything else crossing your mind after you read a.m. URL
Can you please file Bug reports with status UNCONFIRMED if your are not absolutely sure that you contributed all required background information and that the problem will be reproducible with information you can provide? Thank you!

Created attachment 44565
automatic-text-on-black-background.png

I downloaded LibO_3.3.2rc1_Linux_x86-64_install-deb_en-US.tar.gz and installed it (with dpkg -i *.deb) on an up-to-date Ubuntu 11.04 (natty). Then I ran "/opt/libreoffice/program/simpress text-on-black-background.odp". The text "This text should be white!" has the color "automatic" and is gray (see screenshot), but I expect it to be white.

> Can you please file Bug reports with status UNCONFIRMED if your are not
> absolutely sure that you contributed all required background information and
> that the problem will be reproducible with information you can provide?

I will remember that for the next time. The status is hidden by default (-> Show Advanced Fields). I didn't change the status when I initial filed the bug (default was NEW).

@Benjamin Drung:
Do you see that problem only in Presentation or also in other applications?
If in WRITER, only for DRAWing text boxes or also for standard text?
We urgently need some more information.

The color I see in your screenshot seems to be not grey, but grey 70%. Can you please check and if necessary correct your report?

If you shut down LibO, rename your user profile (for WIN that's in "AppData", I do not know the folder name for Linux), relaunch LibO, do you still see that problem?

And yes, this default-status NEW is very worrying, but it seems that can not be changed with the current Bugzilla version.

Note, my personal opinionns:

I don't think we need to worry about this NEW vs. UNCONFIRMED thing, just ignore the difference. I doubt we want to use our resources on making sure the Bugzilla Process is perfect. We don't neeed to try to make it work exactly like OOo's bug workflow did; for instance, I don't necesarily see that much value in having a strict difference between CLOSED and RESOLVED. I much prefer just getting useful bug reports, and somebody asking for more information when necessary, i.e. just what you have been doing Rainer, thanks!

But others might disagree of course, maybe even some Document Foundation steering group wants to eventually decide something, or maybe they have?

OK, sure, if you *want* to do it, all is good then.

Created attachment 44578
black-background.odg

I see that problem in all applications. Example files and corresponding screenshots attached for Writer and Draw.

The color is some kind of gray (not the Gray from the color pallet). It's lighter than Gray 80% and darker than Gray 70% (see attached screenshots).

Removing the user profile (deleting ~/.libreoffice) has no effect.

BTW, I updated LibO to the latest 3.3.2 RC2 version as you can see in the screenshots.

Anything I forgot to provide or to test?

Created attachment 44579
black-background.odt

Created attachment 44580
draw-black-background.png

Created attachment 44581
writer-black-background.png

@Benjamin Drung:
Only one last question from Comment 4: problem only for DRAWing text boxes or also for standard text? (please delete keyword with your answer!).

Currently I do not have any more ideas what could be tested, and I'm afraid developers will not show interest before some more users will be affected. May be you can gamble with all settings referring to color, but I doubt that that will lead to anything useful.
May be you can publish your problem on an user mailing list, may be someone can contribute a good new idea.

> problem only for DRAWing text boxes or also for standard text?

As you can see in the black-background.odt, standard text is also affected.

I made a very interesting discovery: Debian unstable (which ship a very similar package of LibreOffice) is not affected. Then I discovered that the color depends on the GNOME theme. 'Automatic' translates to white on a black background for themes like Clearlocks and Skiki-Colors, but it translates to "dark grey" for Ambiance (the default theme for Ubuntu since 10.04) and Radiance.

summary: - text hard to read on black background
+ Wrong automatic text color "dark grey" with black background

This bug depends on the GNOME theme. 'Automatic' translates to white on a black background for themes like Clearlocks and Skiki-Colors, but it translates to "dark grey" for Ambiance (the default theme for Ubuntu since 10.04) and Radiance.

Benjamin Drung (bdrung) wrote :

Open the gtk theme (/usr/share/themes/Ambiance/gtk-2.0/gtkrc) and search for ntext_color. Replace the color (3C3C3C) with FF0000 (red) for example and you will see that Libreoffice maps the automatic color to red on all kinds (white and black) of backgrounds.

The "automatic" text color maps to the GTK text color instead of mapping to white or black.

Open your gtk theme (in /usr/share/themes/<name>/gtk-2.0/gtkrc on Ubuntu) and search for ntext_color. Replace the following color with FF0000 (red) for example and you will see that Libreoffice maps the automatic color to red on all kinds (white and black) of backgrounds.

Gabriel (gabriel-ggsalas) wrote :

Benjamin, your solution works, but change me all software colors. I need when select a black background in Impress that the font color set to white.

If I change the theme to clearlooks, Libre Office works well.

There are two issues here. The first is that LibreOffice doesn't correctly handle cases where the GTK theme's text color is something other than black or white. (See comment 14.) This is the case in Ambiance, Ubuntu's default theme. Thus, all Ubuntu users are potentially affected by this bug. This should be fixed to work correctly with all arbitrary colors.

Additionally, there's the issue of what behavior is correct here. In my opinion, LO should ignore the GTK theme entirely and default to black text on a white background. Here's a use case to illustrate: When I produce a document, the difference between the Ambiance default text color (#3C3C3C) and black isn't readily apparent on the screen unless the two colors are next to each other. (This probably explains why there haven't been too many bug reports about this issue.) However, when I print a document using auto colors on a black and white laser printer, the printer dithers the text to create a dark gray. That makes the text look messy.

Following the GTK theme is useful for situations where the content will blend in with other content on the screen. But for Writer, what counts is the paper and printer, not the on-screen appearance. And for Impress, presentations are shown without reference to the current theme. In fact, in general, a good GTK theme wouldn't make a good presentation theme, just as a good GTK theme wouldn't be good for a printed document.

At the very least, please set the auto text color for light backgrounds to black, without reference to the GTK theme.

Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

Status changed to 'Confirmed' because the bug affects multiple users.

Changed in libreoffice (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
David Kaplan (dmkaplan) wrote :

Is it me or does it seem crazy to connect the default colors in LibreOffice (i.e., the colors of documents you will produce that are presumably to be circulated to others and therefore seen on multiple computers) to the gnome theme (i.e., colors that are personal to you and your computer)? When I open my presentations on a different computer, the text comes out in a different color. Not good when you get up to make a presentation in front of an audience...

I have found two rather uncomfortable solutions to this problem:

1) Use styles setting the font color for each one, but this requires setting the font color for all styles as far as I can tell (for example, setting it for just level 1 numbering will not set it for level 2).
2) Change Tools->Options->Appearance->Font Color to a specific color, but this will also change the color of text documents, etc. This will also be specific to the computer at hand and, as I mentioned above, could be different on a different computer.

summary: - Wrong automatic text color "dark grey" with black background
+ [Upstream] Wrong automatic text color "dark grey" with black background

This is just a quick ping to note that this bug persists. I hope that someone with the requisite skills can take a look at it, now that the problem has been identified.

The proper solution here is to decouple the default text colors from the GTK theme. As pointed out earlier, an LibO document should look the same on any computer, provided the requisite fonts are installed.

Since this bug is getting ignored upstream, and since it's particularly apparent on Ubuntu due to the Ambiance theme, can we go ahead and fix it here? Upstream users who aren't on Ubuntu likely don't even notice this bug.

PS: I've given a more detailed explanation here: https://bugs.freedesktop.org/show_bug.cgi?id=35365#c15

W. Lunkenheimer (wlu) wrote :

I had the same problem for a long time and still on ubuntu 12 beta 2.
After reading this, I removed the packages libreoffice-gfx and libreoffice-gnome.
Now the text is white on black.

Testing shows that removal of only libreoffice-gnome is sufficient to fix the text color issue. However, removal of that package results in lost functionality in other areas.

Stefano Forli (ntropia) wrote :

I confirm the problem with the 3.4.4 version under KDE, and removing libreoffice-gnome and libreoffice-gfx (it wasn't even installed actually) doesn't solve the problem (but, again, I'm under KDE).

On my files, it happens with white backgrounds and invisible gray text color.

I understand that this is not a critical bug because it doesn't affect stability, but the implications are that Libreoffice files cannot be trusted when opened in two different systems, *even* when the versions are identical (I've head of another popular commercial software showing similar problems, but at least it was mostly because of versions mismatch).

Frustrating when it happens close to a deadline, but even more disrupting when it is found in front of the audience when running the presentation.

Someone commented in the downstream bug (https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/libreoffice/+bug/734428/comments/27) that this is independent of GTK. He reported this bug in KDE with the GTK packages uninstalled.

Is there anything holding up work on this bug?

Caleb (caleb-marcus) wrote :

I'd like to add that I'm still affected by this bug in a clean install of Ubuntu 12.04. I will attach a screenshot, to show that it can be reproduced, and to illustrate the effect, which is not always immediately noticeable with some true black text for contrast.

Elias K Gardner (zorkerz) wrote :

I just arrived here from Bug #886438 which I think has been incorrectly marked a duplicate.

Bug#886438 is about the default text color in libreoffice being grey instead of black

This Bug#734428 appears to be about the same gray text not changing to white when the background is black.

Have I missed something? How are these bugs duplicates?

Benjamin Drung (bdrung) wrote :

Elias, the fix for both issues are the same. The default text color should be black and not the gray from the GTK theme.

Created attachment 63403
0001-fdo-35365-Set-the-default-font-color-to-black-and-th.patch

Here's the patch that I proposed on the mailing list to fix this bug.

Comment on attachment 63403
0001-fdo-35365-Set-the-default-font-color-to-black-and-th.patch

Review of attachment 63403:
-----------------------------------------------------------------

Looks good to me.

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