Bug 81248 - Distinctive application icons
Summary: Distinctive application icons
Alias: None
Product: LibreOffice
Classification: Unclassified
Component: UI (show other bugs)
(earliest affected)
3.3.0 release
Hardware: Other Linux (All)
: low enhancement
Assignee: Not Assigned
Whiteboard: BSA
Depends on:
Reported: 2014-07-11 18:15 UTC by Mike McCulley
Modified: 2021-01-07 15:38 UTC (History)
5 users (show)

See Also:
Crash report or crash signature:


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Description Mike McCulley 2014-07-11 18:15:32 UTC
LO icons are not intuitive and it's difficult to know what the icon will do by looking at it. On the Mate desktop panel, icons display in 24 pixels. At this size it's difficult to distinguish one LO icon from another. It would help if a single letter was on the existing icons, C for calc, W for writer, etc.

Operating System: Linux (Other)
Version: release
Comment 1 tommy27 2014-07-12 05:14:01 UTC
I set NEW status to your enhancement request but I think this has a low priority

moreover my file manager in Windows is set to show small icons 16x16 and I've never ha troubles recognizing them

icons are color-coded (blue for Writer, green for Calc etc. etc.) and it's a matter of time to get used to them.
Comment 2 Urmas 2014-07-12 11:33:53 UTC
'Difficult?' They have different colors.
Comment 3 Adolfo Jayme 2014-07-12 15:54:02 UTC
Remember that some people can have a difficult time distinguishing things by color alone (color blindness).
We can certainly improve the icons, although not necessarily by adding letters to them.
Comment 4 Mike McCulley 2014-07-13 22:24:27 UTC
I concur with making this a low priority, it enhances marketability and not function.

The limitation of color codes is that the color has no intuitive connection to the purpose of the icon. There's nothing about blue that says 'Writer'. What I've gotten used to is not the color but the position on the panel. Calc is to the left and Writer is to the right. However, even though I have a perfect memory it's really short, and I have to think about it every time before I click on the icon.

A limitation of these particular colors is they are not distinctive. There's not much difference between pastel blue and pastel green. It's not like Candy Apple Red against Day-glow Orange against Electric Blue.

The reason I suggested letters is I can't think of a graphic that says 'Writer' better than 'WP' says 'wordprocessing', or 'SS' says 'spreadsheet'. I recognize that this says a lot about my limited artistic ability and creativity.

The larger issue is making the program think and work like the user, rather than making the user think and work like the program. Looking at other icons on the panel, there's a cluster of cherries for 'Cherry Tree', a musical note for 'Quod Libet', and an alarm clock for 'Alarm Clock'. A user doesn't have to do a whole lot of extra thinking to select the correct program.
Comment 5 V Stuart Foote 2016-01-23 00:38:39 UTC
The default mimetype/ODF icons used are quite distinct and convey readable symbology at their full 256px resolution. They are used in the LO StartCenter--at 128px and 32px. At reasonable screen resolution, the 32px icons are quite readable, even at 16px--which is frankly not the best to associate with desktop launcher--the symbology is still readable.

bug 96835 addresses need for redesign of the branding/primary icon for LibreOffice suite which is very muted through current 5.1.0 releases.

Icon redesign for the suite is overdue. But, resolving this as invalid as the icons at all resolutions *are* distinct.