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Whisker Menu and Panel customisation [Solved]

Posted: Tue Oct 06, 2015 4:01 am
by tascoast
I've found the basic MX desktop needs a few tweaks, the latest being to show application categories, then applications, upon first clicking the Whisker Menu button, 'Recently Used' being the default category that is expanded.

The following summarises most of the tweaks I use when setting up a desktop and which might help a user unfamiliar with the setting and options available.

Whisker menu and Panel customisation


The default MX-14 Whisker menu is located at the top of a vertical Panel on the left of the desktop.

The Whisker menu displays Favourites by default (first click). This can be changed to 'Recently used'. This might be convenient if you have a second Panel with 'favourites', for example.

You may prefer the Whisker menu to display application categories followed by individual applications by checking Whisker Menu-Properties-Behaviour-Position categories next to panel button.

For a more compact menu, uncheck Whisker Menu-Properties Appearance-Show application descriptions and resize whisker menu panel (at the corner handle).

Whisker Menu category and application icon size can also be adjusted independently.

If you prefer Whisker Menu opacity, this can also be adjusted.

Panel Preferences


Where two (or more) Panels are used, these settings change a Panel independently. The same is true for categories like 'Recently Used'.

If you have added application icons on a Panel, adding several Panel Spacers (transparent) between these and items in the notification area may help to avoid confusion (eg Iceweasel launcher and adjacent Iceweasel icon for open window).

Items may be moved/dragged between Panels.

Icons may be changed in most instances. The default generic Web Browser icon is one example that can be replaced by a specific browser application.

Panel preferences can be set to hide 'intelligently' or 'automatically' and opacity upon entering or leaving can be adjusted (see Panel Opacity).

You may wish to uncheck Notification Area-Appearance-Show Frame if using Panel Opacity (see Windows Manager Tweaks-Compositing-Enable display compositing.

Likewise if using a transparent Panel (Panel Preferences-Appearance-Style-Background image [eg. A small transparent *.gif will work]), or save the attached...

You can change Panel orientation to a deskbar or horizontal layout (by unlocking and dragging to the bottom of the desktop if preferred). This typically require some rearrangement of icons and launchers (right-click required icon-Move) by dragging to the required position.

For a second Panel you may want to uncheck 'Automatically increase the length' for a compact layout, set a specific length (% of screen) or reduce icon size Display-Measurements-Row Size (Pixels).

Adjust the clock to preferred display style and locale.

Other handy settings...

Thunar

View-As Detailed List
-Configure columns
-Automatically expand columns as needed
(uncheck to make multiple file selection easier in a windowed Thunar)

VLC
uncheck Tools-Preferences-Look and Feel-resize interface to video size (not always reliable I've found)

Notifications
Adjust Settings Manager-Notifications-Default Position if these overlay other information like Conky Wigets. Opacity can be set here for notifications (85% seems to roughly match 75% in Windows Manager Compositing). *Switching 'Themes' in settings provides an instant preview.

Re: Whisker Menu and Panel customisation

Posted: Tue Oct 06, 2015 4:44 am
by tascoast
Screenshot attached

Re: Whisker Menu and Panel customisation

Posted: Tue Oct 06, 2015 6:36 am
by eugen-b
Hey, taskoast! Do you know how to make the Wisker Menu use a dark background independently of windows background? Is it possible to decouple it's colour settings? I like how it looks with NOX theme, but I hate how all the applications windows look with such a theme.

Re: Whisker Menu and Panel customisation

Posted: Tue Oct 06, 2015 7:11 am
by tascoast
Do you know how to make the Wisker Menu use a dark background independently of windows background?
I think the default (non-opaque) Whisker Menu background follows the default theme being used? If so, I haven't seen a way to change this.

Re: Whisker Menu and Panel customisation

Posted: Tue Oct 06, 2015 7:15 am
by eugen-b
tascoast wrote:
Do you know how to make the Wisker Menu use a dark background independently of windows background?
I think the default (non-opaque) Whisker Menu background follows the default theme being used? If so, I haven't seen a way to change this.
Yeah, that's what I noticed, too.
The distro that tweaks the Whisker menu the most might be Chalet OS, but I didn't test it for more than half an hour.

Re: Whisker Menu and Panel customisation

Posted: Tue Oct 06, 2015 7:17 am
by richb
You can change the color with the Panel Preferences dialog>Appearance.

Re: Whisker Menu and Panel customisation

Posted: Tue Oct 06, 2015 7:23 am
by eugen-b
richb wrote:You can change the color with the Panel Preferences dialog>Appearance.
Yes, you can, but it will change the colour of the windows as well, afaik. I would like to change the Wisker menu colour without changing other colours.

Re: Whisker Menu and Panel customisation

Posted: Tue Oct 06, 2015 7:27 am
by richb
eugen-b wrote:
richb wrote:You can change the color with the Panel Preferences dialog>Appearance.
Yes, you can, but it will change the colour of the windows as well, afaik. I would like to change the Wisker menu colour without changing other colours.
Actually it does not. Right click on the panel, choose Panel then Panel preferences. Click the appearance tab and then the color block and pick a new color. Only the panel color will change.

Re: Whisker Menu and Panel customisation

Posted: Tue Oct 06, 2015 7:33 am
by tascoast
My suspicion is that the Whisker Menu background and theme are tied such that users don't select background-text combinations that are unreadable. Panel colour is a bit less critical, although clock display, for instance, limits options (eg white) for practical purposes.

Re: Whisker Menu and Panel customisation

Posted: Tue Oct 06, 2015 7:39 am
by Jerry3904