Color provides an intuitive way of communicating information to users in your app: it can be used to indicate interactivity, give feedback to user actions, and give your interface a sense of visual continuity.
Mar 29, 2019 Check the 'Invert Colors' box. It's at the top of the window. You should see your Mac's display colors invert at this point.
In Windows apps, colors are primarily determined by accent color and theme. In this article, we'll discuss how you can use color in your app, and how to use accent color and theme resources to make your Windows app usable in any theme context.
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Use color meaningfully.When color is used sparingly to highlight important elements, it can help create a user interface that is fluid and intuitive.
Use color to indicate interactivity.It's a good idea to choose one color to indicate elements of your application that are interactive. For example, many web pages use blue text to denote a hyperlink.
Color is personal.In Windows, users can choose an accent color and a light or dark theme, which are reflected throughout their experience. You can choose how to incorporate the user's accent color and theme into your application, personalizing their experience.
Color is cultural.Consider how the colors you use will be interpreted by people from different cultures. For example, in some cultures the color blue is associated with virtue and protection, while in others it represents mourning.
Windows apps can use a light or dark application theme. The theme affects the colors of the app's background, text, icons, and common controls.
By default, your Windows app's theme is the user’s theme preference from Windows Settings or the device's default theme (i.e., dark on Xbox). However, you can set the theme for your Windows app.
Changing the theme
You can change themes by changing the RequestedTheme property in your
Removing the RequestedTheme property means that your application will use the user’s system settings.
Users can also select the high contrast theme, which uses a small palette of contrasting colors that makes the interface easier to see. In that case, the system will override your RequestedTheme.
If you don't request a theme for your app, make sure to test your app in both light and dark themes to ensure that your app will be legible in all conditions.
Note: In Visual Studio, the default RequestedTheme is light, so you'll need to change the RequestedTheme to test both.
Common controls automatically use theme brushes to adjust contrast for light and dark themes.
For example, here's an illustration of how the AutoSuggestBox uses theme brushes:
The theme brushes are used for the following purposes:
- Base is for text.
- Alt is the inverse of Base.
- Chrome is for top-level elements, such as navigation panes or command bars.
- List is for list controls.
Low/Medium/High refer to the intensity of the color.
Using theme brushes
When creating templates for custom controls, use theme brushes rather than hard code color values. This way, your app can easily adapt to any theme.
For example, these item templates for ListView demonstrate how to use theme brushes in a custom template.
For more information about how to use theme brushes in your app, see Theme Resources.
Common controls use an accent color to convey state information. By default, the accent color is the
SystemAccentColor that users select in their Settings. However, you can also customize your app's accent color to reflect your brand.
Overriding the accent color
To change your app's accent color, place the following code in
Choosing an accent color
If you select a custom accent color for your app, please make sure that text and backgrounds that use the accent color have sufficient contrast for optimal readability. To test contrast, you can use the color picker tool in Windows Settings, or you can use these online contrast tools.
Accent color palette
An accent color algorithm in the Windows shell generates light and dark shades of the accent color.
These shades can be accessed as theme resources:
You can also access the accent color palette programmatically with the UISettings.GetColorValue method and UIColorType enum.
You can use the accent color palette for color theming in your app. Below is an example of how you can use the accent color palette on a button.
When using colored text on a colored background, make sure there is enough contrast between text and background. By default, hyperlink or hypertext will use the accent color. If you apply variations of the accent color to the background, you should use a variation of the original accent color to optimize the contrast of colored text on a colored background.
The chart below illustrates an example of the various light/dark shades of accent color, and how colored type can be applied on a colored surface.
For more information about styling controls, see XAML styles.
There are several APIs that can be used to add color to your application. First, the Colors class, which implements a large list of predefined colors. These can be accessed automatically with XAML properties. In the example below, we create a button and set the background and foreground color properties to members of the Colors class.
You can create your own colors from RGB or hex values using the Color struct in XAML.
You can also create the same color in code by using the FromArgb method.
The letters 'Argb' stands for Alpha (opacity), Red, Green, and Blue, which are the four components of a color. Each argument can range from 0 to 255. You can choose to omit the first value, which will give you a default opacity of 255, or 100% opaque.
If you're using C++, you must create colors by using the ColorHelper class.
The most common use for a Color is as an argument for a SolidColorBrush, which can be used to paint UI elements a single solid color. These brushes are generally defined in a ResourceDictionary, so they can be reused for multiple elements.
For more information on how to use brushes, see XAML brushes.
Scoping system colors
In addition to defining your own colors in your app, you can also scope our systematized colors to desired regions throughout your app by using the ColorPaletteResources tag. This API allows you to not only colorize and theme large groups of controls at once by setting a few properties, but also gives you many other system benefits that you wouldn't normally get with defining your own custom colors manually:
- Any color set using ColorPaletteResources will not effect High Contrast
- Meaning your app will be accessible to more people without any additional design or dev cost
- Can easily set colors to Light, Dark or pervasive across both themes by setting one property on the API
- Colors set on ColorPaletteResources will cascade down to all similar controls that also use that system color
- This ensures that you will have a consistent color story across your app while maintaining the look of your brand
- Effects all visual states, animations and opacity variations without needing to re-template
How to use ColorPaletteResources
ColorPaletteResources is an API that tells the system what resources are being scoped where. ColorPaletteResources must take an x:Key, that can be one of three choices:
- Will show your color changes in both Light and Dark theme
- Will show your color changes only in Light theme
- Will show your color changes only in Dark theme
Setting that x:Key will ensure that your colors change appropriately to the system or app theme, should you want a different custom appearance when in either theme.
How to apply scoped colors
Scoping resources through the ColorPaletteResources API in XAML allows you to take any system color or brush that's in our theme resources library and redefine them within the scope of a page or container.
For example, if you defined two system colors - BaseLow and BaseMediumLow inside a grid, and then placed two buttons on your page: one inside that grid, and one outside:
You would get Button_A with the applied new colors, and Button_B would remain looking like our system default button:
However, since all our system colors cascade down to other controls too, setting BaseLow and BaseMediumLow will affect more than just buttons. In this case, controls like ToggleButton, RadioButton and Slider will also be effected by these system color changes, should those controls be put in above example grid's scope.If you wish to scope a system color change to a single controls only you can do so by defining ColorPaletteResources within that control's resources:
You essentially have the exact same thing as before, but now any other controls added to the grid will not pick up the color changes. This is because those system colors are scoped to Button_A only.
Nesting scoped resources
Nesting system colors is also possible, and is done so by placing ColorPaletteResources in the nested elements' resources within the markup of your app layout:
In this example, Button_A is inheriting colors define in Grid_A's resources, and Nested Button is inheriting colors from Grid_B's resources. By extension, this means that any other controls placed within Grid_B will check or apply Grid_B's resources first, before checking or applying Grid_A's resources, and finally applying our default colors if nothing is defined at the page or app level.
This works for any number of nested elements whose resources have color definitions.
Scoping with a ResourceDictionary
You are not limited to a container or page’s resources, and can also define these system colors in a ResourceDictionary that can then be merged at any scope the way you normally would merge a dictionary.
First, you would create a ResourceDictionary. Then place the ColorPaletteResources within the ThemeDictionaries and override the desired system colors:
On the page containing your layout, simply merge that dictionary in at the scope you want:
Now, all resources, theming, and custom colors can be placed in a single MyCustomTheme resource dictionary and scoped where needed without having to worry about extra clutter in your layout markup.
Other ways to define color resources
ColorPaletteResources also allows for system colors to be placed and defining directly within it as a wrapper, rather than in line:
Make sure that elements and images have sufficient contrast to differentiate between them, regardless of the accent color or theme.
When considering what colors to use in your application, accessibility should be a primary concern. Use the guidance below to make sure your application is accessible to as many users as possible.
Be aware that variation in ambient lighting can affect the usability of your app. For example, a page with a black background might unreadable outside due to screen glare, while a page with a white background might be painful to look at in a dark room.
Be aware of how colorblindness could affect the usability of your application. For example, a user with red-green colorblindness will have difficulty distinguishing red and green elements from each other. About 8 percent of men and 0.5 percent of women are red-green colorblind, so avoid using these color combinations as the sole differentiator between application elements.
The rainbow-colored circle is a painful sight to see for Mac users. If you’re lucky it disappears in a few seconds, but more often it remains for minutes, leaving you helplessly locked out of the app or your whole Mac. Since it’s not always clear how to deal with with the wheeling cursor or what caused it in the first place, let’s break it all down. In this article we’ll take a look at what is the spinning beach ball, why and when it shows up, and what you can do about it.
What is a spinning color wheel?
Initially, it’s a system indicator. It’s official name is the Spinning Wait Cursor, not so official — the Spinning Beach Ball of Death or SBBOD. The ball signifies that your Mac cannot handle all the tasks given to it at this moment.
Every app on your Mac has a so-called window server. When an app receives more events than it can process, the window server automatically shows you the spinning ball. It usually takes about 4 seconds for the app to decide that it’s non-responsive.
Why does the Mac spinning wheel of death appear?
Well, the reasons are countless. First, it can be a stand-alone issue with a certain app. Second, it could be faulty hardware or insufficient RAM. We’ll go over each possible issue and see how it can be fixed, depending on the cause. Sometimes, the only way out it getting a new Mac, but most of the cases can be fixed with the right software or system commands.
How to stop the spinning ball on Mac?
In case you just need unlock one frozen application, that’s a job for Force Quit.
To fix an application stuck with a spinning cursor right now:
- Click the Apple icon in the top left corner.
- Choose Force Quit (or press cmd+alt+esc).
- Select the app that won’t respond.
- Click Force Quit.
Simply shutting down the process is a brutal way of problem solving and it doesn’t address the issue that caused the freezing. It could have been an accidental glitch in the program, but if it keeps freezing or spreads further to other software and services, you need to look deeper.
What if the application keeps freezing when you open it again?
Reset or reinstall the freezing application. Macs don’t have a proper uninstaller and moving applications to the Trash bin leaves plenty of app leftovers. Some of them could be the reason why the spinning wheel showed up, so if you leave them the issue will stay.
How to reset a Mac app to its default settings or uninstall it
There are two ways to reset apps: one would be to use application’s own preferences or settings and look for reset options there. But in case the app won’t let you do that (because it keeps freezing), you can turn to third-party solutions, like CleanMyMac X for instance. It’s a handy app for Mac maintenance and cleaning with plenty of useful tools, including reset and uninstallation.
- Download CleanMyMac X, an app for Mac maintenance.
- Open it and click on the Uninstaller.
- Select the app you need to reset from the list.
- Click on the small arrow next to the application icon
- Click Applications Reset.
If the beach ball keeps rolling when you use the app again, reinstall it completely by pressing Uninstall instead or Reset. Remember, simply moving the app to the Trash doesn’t do the trick, since its leftover files remain on your hard drive.
Important: if you have a licence for the paid app, makes sure to save the number somewhere.
What if your whole Mac becomes unresponsive?
Possible issue: Overworked processor
One of the reasons for the wheel to show up could be that your Mac is getting old. You can figure out if that’s the case by checking the CPU usage. To check the CPU usage, turn to Activity monitor. Find it in the Applications/Utilities folder or run a Spotlight search. Or, if you have CleanMyMac X, use it’s Menu in the top bar.
Hue Sync For Mac
The bottom table shows System load in percentage. If it’s way above 50% and remains there for long, especially without any specific reason like games or heavy rendering programs, this might be the signal your processor is the bottleneck.
Colors For Hue Mac App Not Loading Data
Fix: If your processor is overworking regularly, only buying a new Mac will fix the problem entirely. Sorry.
Hue Mac App
Possible issue: Low disk space
You don’t even need to have a full startup disk to see the nasty ball. Just a heavily loaded hard drive, with lots of large files can already cause troubles with loading.
Fix: Hard drive cleanup. Thankfully, that’s an easy task. You can get CleanMyMac X and in free up tons of space in a few minutes. With CleanMyMac you don’t need to dig into folders and look for files you don’t need, the app will find and sort them, plus all the system junk your Mac has been accumulating for months.
Possible issue: Insufficient RAM
Another possible hardware issue is insufficient Random Access Memory. To figure out if you need more RAM, open the Activity Monitor again. It’s in the Applications/Utilities folder. In the Memory tab, you can see Memory pressure table with a graph. If the graph is red and your memory is constantly strained under all the running apps, you’ve found the problem.
Fix: You can upgrade RAM by buying and installing more of it. It’s usually enough to have 8 GB for most tasks and applications, apart from heavy video rendering and the likes. Here’s a detailed guide on how to upgrade RAM on Mac.
That’s about it concerning the spinning beach ball and how to deal with it. We hope this guide has been of help and you’ll stop the spinning wheel of death on your Mac once and for all.