#3147 ✓fixcommitted
Tariq Magdon-Ismail

Message list : Text color not inverting when selecting an item

Reported by Tariq Magdon-Ismail | October 31st, 2022 @ 07:13 PM

When colors other than the "Accent Color" settings are used in the message list, selecting/highlighting an item causes the selected item text color to not "invert". For example, by default, my message list items are black. Selecting an item will cause the text to turn to white with the background being the purple highlight color — which is the desired behavior. However, if I set the "Custom..." color to black, the text continues to be rendered in black even when selected. This makes it challenging to use custom colors that don't contrast with the highlight color.


Comments and changes to this ticket

  • benny

    benny November 2nd, 2022 @ 01:03 PM

    • State changed from “new” to “accepted”

    The message list is going to need a complete rewrite. I'm unlikely to change much until that happens, but I'll add a note on keeping this ticket in mind.

  • benny

    benny November 2nd, 2022 @ 03:42 PM

    • State changed from “accepted” to “fixcommitted”

    I've resurrected some old code which colors the background color instead of the text color. I'm not 100% sure this works all the time (I forgot the details of the implementation), but it might be better for you for now. It's enabled like this:

    defaults write com.freron.MailMate MmMessageListColorInversionEnabled -bool YES

    It'll work in the next update.

    My main issue with this solution is that I think it looks horrible when selecting multiple messages. It's also tricky to implement (error-prone and/or hard to maintain with macOS updates) and I'm not guaranteeing it'll work in a future re-implementation of the message list or even macOS updates. A new message list will also have to be better at handling anything which might have multiple colors and/or possibly include any configured custom mailbox symbol. I'll naturally, as always, try to make it as flexible as possible.

  • Pierre Igot

    Pierre Igot November 2nd, 2022 @ 05:12 PM

    Thanks for adding this "hidden" setting in the next update. Until you get to the revamp of your message list code, this will do nicely.

    Personally, I don't find the look when selecting multiple messages “horrible”. If I select multiple messages, it's usually messages of the same kind, which tend to have the same colour in my setup.

    One alternative, of course, would be to switch to white text over selection background colour when selected for ALL messages, including messages that have a colour other than black when not selected. It wouldn't be ideal either, since the colour information would be lost when selected, but it would solve the readability issue. Maybe there is another way to preserve the message's text colour somewhere even when selected. I don't know. It's something to think about. (The Finder avoids the issue in its file tags by only displaying a dot with the colour next to the file name, instead of colouring the entire line in the file list, but I've never liked that solution much myself.)

  • John Cooper

    John Cooper November 2nd, 2022 @ 08:43 PM

    I use MailMate in dark mode. Custom coloring is minimal except for one mailbox whose messages are set to gray. The changed color functionality in build 5925 is a readability improvement for me.

  • Tariq Magdon-Ismail

    Tariq Magdon-Ismail November 3rd, 2022 @ 04:45 AM

    Thanks for (re)enabling this workaround so quickly. As Pierre, I'd take the readability improvement and can live with the "multiple colors on selection" look. I'd also vote for falling back on the default color scheme when selecting an item in the message list if that makes it easier to implement and maintain.

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