Understanding Themes

jmorgie's Avatar


16 Jan, 2019 04:46 PM

Wishlist for themes:
* How to specify Font, and also Bold and Italic. I know there is one control for sizes of all text. Would still like more control
* Need a guide between your cryptic names for window elements and where they actually show up! How about a single graphic that shows what each named element occurs on the window

  1. 1 Posted by Dan Hanger on 21 Jan, 2019 05:09 PM

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    This is a biggie for me, especially some kind of guide as to what screen element is controlled by which item in the themes list box. It is incredibly difficult to interpret some of these things, and what's worse is that in some cases (in the theme list box) the background color is the same or nearly the same as the text color so it's not even readable. A couple of screenshots with arrows pointing out each element for which control, and human readable descriptions would be welcome.

  2. 2 Posted by jeff_l on 21 Jan, 2019 05:41 PM

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    Whilst generally I agree with both of you.

    You might want to keep in mind that as far as I am aware, MD is the only piece of software that allows you to tinker with such things. It has only been available in MD since the 2017 version.

    So although the clues are a bit cryptic, in general you can work out or guess what each do. I would suggest you make a copy of your config.dict & custom_theme.properties so if things get out of control you can restore normality by copying these files back.

    Jeff – fellow user

  3. 3 Posted by derekkent23 on 21 Jan, 2019 05:49 PM

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    I am not support staff, just a user.

    I agree with Jeff, you can sort most thing out with trial and error. I made copies of the custom_theme.properties at regular intervals in case things when wrong before I got to the theme I wanted. Sean clearly spent a lot of time on this, but then spoilt it by not having it documented so that most, not just a few, could use this feature.

  4. 4 Posted by jmorgie on 21 Jan, 2019 06:21 PM

    jmorgie's Avatar

    Guys -- this level of lack of documentation is simply indefensible. I have managed software dev for > 40 years -- this sort of stuff was never allowed. What level of effort would it take to be customer centric and not developer centric? change the names in the theme list to terms that are user understandable -- 4 - 8 hrs. make a figure with a screenshot and call out the different elements and make a pdf. 2-4 hrs. This is about attitude not effort. I have used quicken for > 20 years; am disgusted because of zero customer support. If MD is also giving zero customer support then MD is not my solution. I have posted > 5 topics and in the last 5 days have zero response from MD. Does not even approach the level of being half-assed. Dont defend the indefensible.

  5. 5 Posted by dwg on 21 Jan, 2019 07:49 PM

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    The lack of documentation since the 2015 release have been raised many times, it seems that TIK are not listening which they do at their own peril, in the past I have made the point that the Knowledge Base is insufficient IMO.

    The support that TIK used to provide was good however in the last couple of years I have noted a marked decline and it appears that TIK are largely leaving support to the users to provide for themselves.

    I think long term users have given up bringing up these problems because it appears to be a waste of time.

    Quite frankly I only see two solutions, complain to the top of the company long and hard or look for another solution.

  6. 6 Posted by jmorgie on 21 Jan, 2019 09:05 PM

    jmorgie's Avatar

    dwg ... concur with much of what you say. I tried GnuCash but could not get the import to execute ... either Quicken bugs in 2017 and/or GnuCash. but no energy to figure it out. do you have contact info for top of TIK ?

  7. 7 Posted by dwg on 21 Jan, 2019 09:12 PM

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    Sean Reilly and his email is

    sreilly (at) infinitekind (dot) com

  8. 8 Posted by dwg on 21 Jan, 2019 09:21 PM

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    FWIW I have a table of about 75% of the theme items worked out, it is attached.

    Feel free to post details of any that are still blank or any mistakes, it is very rough.

  9. Support Staff 9 Posted by Sean Reilly on 21 Jan, 2019 11:12 PM

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    Hi guys,

    As the developer of Moneydance, I have to be honest and admit that documenting the colour themes aren't my top priority, so I'm thankful for dwg's documentation above.

    My plan is to replace the user un-friendly "code names" in the current colour editing window with descriptions just like the ones dwg included.

    Fonts are similar in that they're not as simple as it may seem. Fonts differ not only in where in the app they are used but also based on the platform on which you're running Moneydance. That's why we're not likely to expand the font customisation in the near future.


    Sean Reilly
    Developer, The Infinite Kind

  10. 10 Posted by dwg on 22 Jan, 2019 02:33 AM

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    Hi Sean,

    Delegate the documentation creation to the support folks, that is a good fit. For web based support good written skills are required as well as being able to explain the software operation in an understandable way, the same basic skills are needed in Documentation writing. For a large project specialist skills in the use of certain products in the documentation area can be required but for a product of the nature of Moneydance a good word processor can handle it these days, they include TOC and Index creation. Given your staff work across a range of Operating systems I'd suggest LibreOffice as it runs on all the same platforms as Moneydance and the work can be easily spread.

  11. 11 Posted by jmorgie on 23 Jan, 2019 04:25 AM

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    Sean -- speaking as a mgr of software development for 35+ years: Good software does not need user documentation -- it should be intuitively obvious how to work things. If it not obvious then the interface is not well designed. If anything, tutorials working through various use cases [ how to report a class of expenses or how to use an invoice account] are useful. it shouldnt need a lot of stepping through menus or explaining how to open a file. dwg sounds like a software pro -- you ought to compensate him for the work he has gifted you with.

  12. System closed this discussion on 24 Apr, 2019 04:30 AM.

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