I have been having this issue on multiple machines. I use Oomox to create custom themes in Ubuntu Linux running the XFCE desktop. While the colors look good most of the time, the text under the icons is fuzzy and black. Only the stock (boring) themes display clear text under the desktop icons. How do I fix this?

I have tried a few command-line ideas that people proposed for misaligned shadows in XFCE. But none of those seemed to resolve the issue. I couldn't find this exact problem reported anywhere, hence I posted this question.

It doesn't matter if I use custom icons created by Oomox or stock ones. If I use a Oomox-created theme, the text changes to this sloppy and hard to read format. Look at the screen capture (left side of desktop).

enter image description here

Now, with a stock theme applied:

enter image description here

See what I mean? Nice white letters with good shadows for the text beneath the icons. I am guessing one of the Oomox text settings changes the color to black, which combined with the shadows looks terrible. I cannot figure out which setting in Oomox that might be or why it isn't a separate and clearly labeled 'icon text' setting.

Finally, when I apply ANY theme, stock or custom, the bar at the top of my desktop inflates to a ridiculous thickness. I have to readjust it every time I experiment with a new theme. Why does XFCE do that? Note how much thicker it is in the second screen capture.

2 Answers 2


Ok. I figured it out with some tinkering. Evidently, the variable for "Selection text" in the GUI interface also determines the color of the text under any desktop icons. Note the screen-capture below:

I changed the selection text color and THAT changed the icon text color.

Of course, the question still remains as to why the Oomox developers didn't create two separate variables, one for the icon text and one for the selection text, as it doesn't make any sense to have that particular text color variable define both.

And it doesn't solve the problem as to why changing the theme changes the thickness of the panel bar at the top of the screen.

I did notice that changing the theme using the stock "Appearance" app in Ubuntu doesn't change the bar thickness whereas using the much nicer "Xfce-Theme-Manager" app does change that pannel thickness. The latter app gives you options on changing the Window borders and saving custom themes. I will probably raise this problem with the Xfce-Theme-Manager developers.

But as my original issue is now resolved, as I can now clearly read my icon labels, and can change their color in Oomox (using the 'Selection text' variable), we can close this question.


i myself not using xfce so can't test this, see which lines were changed in this commit:


try to adjust them and send a pull request on github

  • It isn't the icons themselves that are the issue, as the particular bits of code at that link highlighted. What I have an issue with is the black fuzzy letters for the NAMES of the icons. What I think is going on is that the black lettering combined with the normal shadows of those letters makes a fuzzy letter by basically killing the space between the letters and thus sacrificing the crisp nature thereof (when the titles are rendered in white with black shadows). What I will try to do tonight is compare a stock theme's code with an Oomox custom theme code and find the specific variable.
    – user28788
    Mar 26, 2018 at 3:38
  • i am saying what you need somehow to adjust those 4 values which are changed in that commit and propose a fix
    – actionless
    Mar 28, 2018 at 0:56

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