Colour Scheme and customisation

Discussion in 'Windows Live Mail' started by Furry Atlas, Apr 10, 2009.

  1. Furry Atlas

    Furry Atlas Guest


    just updated to latest version of Windows Live Mail. I hope I can get some

    1. Message lists are far, far, far too light to be useable. I mean even the
    darkest lonely bolded sender is just a light grey! Everything else that's
    unbolded is virtually white in comparison!

    I gather microsoft thought it was ok and have made it impossible to
    customise other than working around it by setting up a whole lot of rules
    etc. Is this correct?
    (I notice in all the screenshots on all the official and promotional pages
    the message lists are shown to be a little darker than they actually are on
    users screens. How did this happen?)

    I really can't use the current display - it literally gives me a headache!
    Does microsoft intend to fix this at all? And if so, when?

    If it's not going to be fixed, I am prepared to just move on.

    2. Pastel colour schemes are also far too light or garish.
    Ditto as above - vista colour schemes are fine - WLM schemes are not fine -
    is there an intention to align the WLM with the Vista schemes?

    3. Why don't Microsoft listen and respond to people?
    If it's not one obviously annoying unpopular but very basic thing, it's
    another. Impossibly light colour schemes (WLM), inability to show image
    attachments inline (outlook), folder views forgotten and no customisation
    of folder toolbar buttons (vista), list goes on and on.

    I'm sorry - I don't understand why Microsoft deliberately stuff up simple
    and fundamental things and leave them unfixed. It just makes my user
    experience one of frustration and resentment rather than ease. Hence my


    Furry Atlas, Apr 10, 2009
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  2. Furry Atlas

    Brian Murphy Guest

    You seem to be assuming that everyone else's screens are just like yours.
    I agree that there should be more options to customize this sort of thing,
    but everything looks fine on my notebook and desktop.
    Brian Murphy, Apr 11, 2009
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  3. Furry Atlas

    Furry Atlas Guest

    No, you're wrong Brian. It looks terrible for many more people than just me.
    There's quite a bit of comment out there about how unusable it is. I am more
    than happy to provide pages (and pages, and pages) of links to others who
    are talking about this problem, (or just google it). There are no links to
    any solutions other than the message rule option or system wide contrast
    setting option (offered by those helpful and tireless people who work
    together to provide solutions, in spite of deafening silence from the people
    who design the problems in the first place).

    Brian: what version are you using? Are you absolutely sure that the
    unchangeable light gray, white and washed out colour scheme for WLM desktop
    14.0.8064.2026 looks fine on your notebook and desktop?

    If so - I'd be very interested in comparing screen captures - because it
    sure isn't fine here! It's like looking at a puddle of milk on a piece of
    paper this end.
    Furry Atlas, Apr 11, 2009
  4. Furry Atlas

    Furry Atlas Guest

    Actually here's an interesting thread complaining about the very same
    problem I have ...

    My screenshots just the same as Jorge's. Microsoft knew this was a problem
    late last year - and still ... !

    Similar issues, avoidance etc:!B7DD1FF3F141F9A1!8641.entry#comment

    Crazy I tell you!
    Furry Atlas, Apr 11, 2009
  5. Use the Help->Send Feedback option.
    I do prefer the prior version color scheme over this one.

    Also the color picker tool is broken.

    Martin Riddle, Apr 11, 2009
  6. Furry Atlas

    Brian Murphy Guest

    Sounds like a user preference / monitor issue to me. Again, I agree there
    should be more options to customize the look and colors. In answer to your
    question, yes I am using the latest version of WL Mail and I have have not
    experienced any issues with reading or seeing that you are having.
    Brian Murphy, Apr 11, 2009
  7. Furry Atlas

    Furry Atlas Guest

    Thanks Martin - done.

    Furry Atlas, Apr 11, 2009
  8. Furry Atlas

    Ritter 197 Guest

    So do I. This color is terrible to read and see.

    Ritter 197, Apr 13, 2009

  9. That's what I see, too. When I go in and adjust the colors to intensely
    garish in the color selector, it automatically slides the color intensity of
    whatever color I select back down to pastel when I click OK and out. I open
    it back up again, and the intensity selector has been moved to the halfway
    mark (if there was one).
    LuDean Marvin, Apr 14, 2009

  10. Winston,

    He's talking about using the Colorizer and its More Colors... button.
    I don't think the More Colors... button works. All it seems to do is
    let you find one of the pastels which is closest to whatever color
    you create using the More Colors button.

    So, for example, use the More Colors button to pick that solid bright
    green (0, 255,0) (80,240,120). Ok out and it's pretty obvious that
    all I have been given is their greenest pastel (Lime). So if instead
    of solid bright green you chose solid bright yellow (which isn't as bright
    as the bright green IMO) you will probably be given the yellow pastel

    Robert Aldwinckle, Apr 14, 2009
  11. Furry Atlas

    ...winston Guest

    Thanks for making it much clearer for the op(and me).

    I actually picked Teal from the Vista's Windows Color and Appearance. I can't recall the last time I clicked on that paint brush,
    if ever, thus the default was, well the 'default. Colors have never been a priority.

    The color picker does work when selecting some shades from the more color items...some, not all :)
    ...winston, Apr 14, 2009
  12. Furry Atlas

    rajm Guest

    Today, 22nd August 2009, I upgraded from v.12 to v.14 only to my complete
    disappointment with the color scheme. Then I read through this entire chain
    of communication and figured out that it is a goof up from MS. My WLM version
    now shows as 14.0.8089.0726, but I realize that the older version (v.12
    something) was much better in terms of color scheme. I upgraded to the latest
    version to include the Calendar, but this one is far too light to be used.
    Also, I cannot see any 'icons' for any buttons on the toolbar. This is indeed
    very disappointing.
    rajm, Aug 22, 2009
  13. Furry Atlas

    MHL Guest

    Yes, this is the way it is. No buttons and the only way to change the look
    (as far as I can tell) is the Colorizer in the upper right of the main
    MHL, Aug 22, 2009
  14. Furry Atlas

    vmars956 Guest

    Another case of CAN'T GET THERE FROM HERE!
    and these 'ms-mvp mail' types haven't got a clue .

    vmars956, Oct 28, 2009
  15. Seems you like bashing the 'ms-mvp mail' types. MVPs are not paid by
    Microsoft, nor do they represent Microsoft. They're here to help. Now that
    you've been rude, getting help will be unlikely for you. Welcome to my

    Patrick P.

    Patrick Palczewski, Oct 28, 2009
  16. Huh? What do the MS-MVPs have to do with it?

    Gary VanderMolen, Microsoft MVP (Mail)

    Gary VanderMolen, Oct 29, 2009
  17. Furry Atlas

    Doug Guest

    Furry Atlas,

    Thank You for posting the tip from another user in group. It makes a nice
    visual difference, breaks up the white a bit more.

    The MS-MVPs. who answer our question in this group and other Microsoft
    newsgroups have nothing to do with Microsoft .The colors, schemes, and
    displays that are put and used in WLM are Microsoft's ideas.

    It is nice of all the MVP's in all windows and other Microsoft news Groups
    to dedicate their time and knowledge to answer our questions, also to help
    us with problems. As far as I know they do not get paid$$$$$.

    I would like to thank them on behalf of the Group.

    If You have a suggestion or a Beef with WLM,I would write to Microsoft.



    Doug, Oct 29, 2009
  18. Furry Atlas

    ...winston Guest

    Furry Atlas' post was in reference to the read mail/messages gray text, not the colorize which impacts Menu, Toolbar, account
    names in the folder pane, and shading in a message reply(but not the composition window).

    I.e.The colorizer does not impact the functionality that Furry referenced.

    Other persons, including Mvp's have suggested that same method for the gray text of read messages and additionally using a rule
    for pop3 accounts and newsgroup messages to change the color(e.g. For all Messages...Change color to Black or Default)

    Rather than bash MVP's who are not Microsoft might thank Furry for posting the issue on the read mail/message text
    and the original poster(s). If I recall the original poster providing a solution on the read mail gray text issue was Bob Lucas
    and/or Peter R. Both, like Mvp's, are not Msft employees, but users like yourself in this and other forums.

    ms-mvp mail

    ...winston, Oct 29, 2009
  19. I have been away from this newsgroup for several months, but I see the
    same issues with pastel colors and poor contrast are still being
    discussed. As Gary, Winston, and others have pointed out, Microsoft
    seems to be unwilling to make changes to their color scheme. I have done
    a little research into the topic, and I have both bad and good news to

    First some science:

    As we grow older (I am 61), the lens in our eyes yellow. It happens
    faster in some people, but it eventually happens to us all. When I look
    at a white screen, I see it through my right eye as a pale shade of
    yellow instead of white. But when looking through my left eye, which has
    had cataract surgery, I see a true white. The color scheme used in
    Windows Live Mail has enough contrast to be read by my left eye poorly,
    but cannot be discerned by my right eye at all. Upon showing the screens
    to my opthalmologist, he said that the contrast was poor to even a person
    of normal vison, but that to a typical older person, the screens would be
    very difficult to read.

    It is easy to demonstrate this effect with my yellow filter used in black
    & white photography. This filter darkens blue so it is most commonly
    used to photograph clouds. It also lightens yellow objects. Try reading
    the Windows Live screens with a yellow filter if you have one. You will
    see something similar to what an older person sees. I do not own a pair
    of "sun-blocker" glasses so I have not tried this demonstration with
    them, but I believe they will work too. I really believe that if the
    Microsoft programmers were forced to wear yellow glasses, they would
    quickly choose non-pastel colors for better contrast.

    Next the bad
    Microsoft has not seen fit to listen to complaints, and thus we are stuck
    with the lousy pastel colors and light grey text.

    But some good news to end my comments:

    Symantec has listened to customer complaints and changed the color
    schemes used with their Norton products. They still need to work on
    their website, however. I first complained to Symantec's technical
    support staff last January about poor contrast in many of their screens.
    At that time they said that the color scheme was "hard-wired" into their
    software and could not be changed. About two months ago, when speaking
    with the support staff (in India) about another issue, I was told that
    the contrast issue would be resolved in new software releases this fall.
    Nevertheless, the same contrast problems were found in the version of
    Norton 360 I installed after my subscription to Norton Internet Security
    ran out. After a few telephone calls, I reached Thom Jackson in
    Symantec's Executive Consumer Relations team. He said that the Beta
    version of Norton 360, Version 4, had just been released for internal
    testing, and that the contrast issues had been resolved with this
    release. He noted that the final (public) release would likely be in
    December or early January. Until that time, he set me up with the Beta
    release to try. I have used this Beta release for several days now, and
    it is immensely improved with respect to contrast issues. It is much
    easier to read with its attention to using high contrast color schemes.
    In talking with Thom, I noted that Microsoft was unwilling to alter the
    color scheme in Windows Live Mail. He just laughed. Then he said that
    listening to their customers was a low priority, it seems, with
    Microsoft. He further noted that with the arrival of new upper
    management several years ago at Symantec, listening to their customers
    became a major priority. He said that Symantec, from the top of the
    company on down, would try their best to resolve customer issues and
    maintain customer satisfaction. He laughed again as he said that
    eventually Microsoft would learn their lesson as they did with the
    release of Vista and the loss of market share.

    All I can say to those having difficulty with the poor visibility in
    Windows Live screens, is to keep complaining to Microsoft. Do not take
    it out on Gary and Winston and the others that volunteer their valuable
    time to help us. I am grateful for their help and I hope everyone else
    is too. Be loud in your complaints to Microsoft, and maybe they will

    Dr. Barry L. Ornitz
    Dr. Barry L. Ornitz, Oct 31, 2009
  20. Furry Atlas

    Furry Atlas Guest

    Furry Atlas here :)

    has this light font problem been fixed in the latest version?
    Build 14.0.8089.0726

    I'm using thunderbird happily now - however version 3 has it's own problems
    (like not shutting down a tab, or moving onto the next email message when you
    delete it - *sigh*). Still - it works if you just use the viewing pane and
    get the latest nightbuild of sunbird ... most of all I can read my email!

    also - I think many of you misquoted me or referred to me incorrectly about
    MVP bashing - you will find it was someone else who quoted me in their post.
    Easy to find if you read the thread carefully. Bit snipped below ...

    I don't bash MVPs.

    However - I admit to being extremely critical of Microsoft developers who
    don't give a damn about users and make sloppy errors and just ignore their
    mistakes and leave it to MVPs to sort out the mess rather than fixing
    problems themselves! I do admit to that :)

    Furry Atlas, Dec 28, 2009
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