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Wrapping my head around map and name colors. (Read 2102 times)
Paul Atlan
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Wrapping my head around map and name colors.
Nov 06th, 2014, 9:46pm
 
Something about the way colors are set up is bugging me, and I wanted to share to see if I'm understanding it wrong. Otherwise, it may be a feature idea.

  • The attribute $Color sets both the background color for an item in a map and the text of an item in an outline.
  • The attribute $NameColor sets the attribute for the text of an item in a map

In general, I tend to prefer dark text on light backgrounds. This works well in outline view: I set $Color to something dark and my items are visible against an off-white background. I use hue differences to mark different types of items via prototypes.

But by doing this, map views forces me to show my item's shape in that same dark, contrasted color and write the text in them in a lighter color, which I find hard to read.
If I choose a lighter color for the shape with dark text, then the items become illegible in outline maps ....

I realise this is an artefact of my personal color preferences, but I do feel frustrated that ONE attribute ($Color) controls "foreground" in one view and "background" in another view.

Am I missing something obvious, or is it the case? If the latter, I'd like to float the idea for future versions of separating $Color into two attributes ..
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Mark Anderson
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Re: Wrapping my head around map and name colors.
Reply #1 - Nov 7th, 2014, 8:13am
 
[sorry the refs are to the v5 UI but the functions should be the same, even if preference layout have changed]

Another setting to check so you get the actual $Color is the 'darker colors' or 'back titles' settings.  In v6 see Edit -> document settings -. Outlines. In v5 is is here; the v5 settings are now split to separate Map and Outline tabs in the v6 settings.

To make sense of colour as designed, think Map-first:
  • $Color is the basic fill colour of note icons on a map. It is also used for the colour of that item's row in Outline and Chart views.
  • $Color2 is used for contrast in a map icon, e.g. the second colour for patterns or progress bar displays.
  • The title ($Name) text colour in the map is automatically set to black or white text so as to contrast with the note $Color, or $Pattern (drawn in $Color/$Color2). You can manually set a fixed colour for the map icon title via $NameColor.
  • The map subtitle (not used in other views) is set via $SubtitleColor.
  • The map caption (not used in other views) is set via $CaptionColor.
  • If the map icon is sized so as to show the note's $Text this works as per the title: it is automatically set to black or white unless a custom colour is set, in this case by $MapBodyTextColor.
  • The map background colour is set by $MapBackgroundColor, which inherits its default from a document setting. This colour, whatever it is set to, is used by all view type (e.g. map vs. outline vs chart) but it can be set per container (i.e. different maps can have different backgrounds. The full, root-level outline will likely use the default $MapBackgroundColor.
A confusion for new users is the assumption that map icons are where you view/write note text. You only need do the latter if you want to read the note's $Text in the map when that note is not selected. Otherwise the current (single note) selection's $Text is shown in the v6 text pane.

If you need to be able to set a pale background to the area on which $Text is being shown on a map icon, then I think that's effectively a feature request. In which case I suggest you write to Easgate and explain what you're after.

Edited:
Edited to reflect MB's advice in the next post.
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« Last Edit: Nov 7th, 2014, 1:35pm by Mark Anderson »  

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Mark Bernstein
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Re: Wrapping my head around map and name colors.
Reply #2 - Nov 7th, 2014, 10:25am
 
Two Preference settings will help you a lot,

DARK OUTLINE COLORS adds some black to $Color in outlines. If you use lighter colors in your map, this adds some needed contrast in outlines.

BLACK OUTLINE TEXT draws outline text in black, ignoring $Color.
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