A Colorset is a collection of colors: foreground (fg), background (bg), hilight (hi), and shade (sh). The foreground is the color of the text, background is the color behind the text, and the hilight and shade are used to give a 3D beveled effect around the border. This causes a raised or sunk look, like a button. Besides just setting the color, Colorsets can use pixmaps, gradients, shape masks and be pseudo-transparent.

Basic Syntax

Colorsets are identified by a number zero or greater. You can use a very large number of Colorsets but should keep the numbers small – FVWM will use memory for all Colorsets up to the maximum number used.

For example, define Colorset 2 with a white foreground (fg) and black background (bg) as follows:

Colorset 2 fg #ffffff, bg #000000

In the case no hilight (hi) and shade (sh) are set, fvwm will generate them when they are being used for the 3D raise/sunk looks. You can set the hi and sh color if you want more control of the beveled look. If you set them to be the same color, this will give a solid border.

The color in this example are defined using the hex syntax for colors in the form #rrggbb where rr, bb, gg are the values for red, green and blue between 00 and ff (in hexadecimal).

In addition to this format you can also use rgb:rr/gg/bb or color names such as

Colorset 2 fg white, bg black
Colorset 3 fg rgb:ff/ff/ff, bg rgb:00/00/00

Color names are used using rgb.txt from X (/etc/X11/rgb.txt).

When changing Colorsets inside a running instance of Fvwm (such as switching themes), you may have to deal with any previous definitions used. One way is to use CleanupColorsets to reset all the colorsets.

Another is to include additional options to force the defaults. For example

Colorset 2 fg #ffffff, bg #000000, hi, sh, fgsh, Plain, NoShape, Tint, Alpha

This will do almost the exact same thing as the first example without these additional options. The difference is this example removed any previous definitions of the colorsets including pixmaps, shape masks, tint and alpha settings.

Unless you are regularly changing your Colorsets there is no need for the additional options. So if you see a Colorset example with these additional options, they are just there to ensure the default behavior.

Number Convention

One can use any numbering convention for the Colorsets that fits your configs deisgn. If you don’t want to create one of your own, here is the one used in the default config.

# 3: Colorsets
#   0 - Default
#   1 - Inactive Windows
#   2 - Active Window
#   3 - Inactive Windows Borders
#   4 - Active Windows Borders
#   5 - Menu - Inactive Item
#   6 - Menu - Active Item
#   7 - Menu - Grayed Item
#   8 - Menu - Title
#  10+ Modules
Colorset 0  fg #ffffff, bg #003c3c
Colorset 1  fg #000000, bg #8f9f8f
Colorset 2  fg #ffffff, bg #003c3c
Colorset 3  fg black, bg #4d4d4d, hi #676767, sh #303030
Colorset 4  fg black, bg #2d2d2d, hi #474747, sh #101010
Colorset 5  fg #000000, bg #ffffff
Colorset 6  fg #ffffff, bg #2d2d2d
Colorset 7  fg grey30, bg #ffffff
Colorset 8  fg #ffffff, bg #003c3c

Color Themes

Here are two Colorset collections taken from fvwm-themes. These Colorset definitions all use the above convention and define Colorsets 0 through 8.

These two collections contain a lot of files Name.fvwm2rc which is just a list of the Colorset definitions 0 though 8. You can copy the Colorset definitions into your config or create a menu which lets you switch between the color themes.

To do this extract each of the above collections into $FVWM_USERDIR ($HOME/.fvwm). Then to build a menu for CdeColors/* use the following

DestroyMenu CdeColorMenu
AddToMenu CdeColorMenu "Cde Colors" Title
PipeRead 'for i in $[FVWM_USERDIR]/CdeColors/*.fvwm2rc; do \
  echo "AddToMenu CdeColorMenu $(basename -s .fvwm2rc $i) Read $i"; done'

This menu will Read the file that contains the Colorset definitions when selected and give you a way to switch between the color themes.

Once CdeColorMenu is built you can open it with Menu CdeColorMenu or add it to your current menus as a submenu with Popup. See /Config/Menus.

Using these Colorsets themes works best with a decor setup that relies on Colorsets over images such as /Decor/CDE.

Additional Options

Besides just Colors, Colorsets have settings for the background image created in Menus, TitleBars and Modules. Instead of just using straight colors, pixmaps, graidents, and even tinting, blending and pseudo-transparent effects are available.

All the details about these options can be found in the manpage.