Tutorial: How to change the color of inactive selected items in Windows 7

Since I upgraded to a Windows 7 machine I had a problem seeing which element was selected in my Enterprise Architect project browser.

Not when it was selected and active (dark-blue), but when I went on to work on something in a diagram.

The standard “inactive selection color” of Windows 7 is just too faint.

To illustrate that, look at the picture on the left and try to figure out which element is actually selected.

Well, if you look really carefully you’ll notice that the background of “Primitive1” is actually just the slightest bit darker then the rest of the background.

When I first noticed this I tried to fix it by changing my monitor settings, but no amount of brightness, contrast  or color balance changes made the selection more visible without messing up everything else.

So then I started googling and I soon found the solution:

  • Select Start|Control Panel|Change the Theme
  • Once there choose Window Color
  • And Advanced appearance settings…
  • Then choose 3D objects as item and click on the dropdown for Color 1:  and click on Other…
  • Here you move the triangle on the right just a few nudges down
  • Now OK and Apply and wait until Windows has applied the settings.
  • Now check the inactive selection color again in EA. If all is well it should now look like this:
  • To be sure that you don’t loose this setting you can save your theme in the personalization window.

Published by

Geert Bellekens

Freelance UML and Enterprise Architect consultant

2 thoughts on “Tutorial: How to change the color of inactive selected items in Windows 7”

  1. Thanks Geert! I was thinking the issue was with the OpenText eDOCS DM client producing a very light shade but it turned out to be this Windows setting for 3D Objects.

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