If you have ever used transparent backgrounds for you Gnome panel you may have found it hard to see the clock at times. I have found several sites that outline how to make changes to a .gtkrc-2.0 file, but this is limited to the font color only. Sometimes you just need to have a solid background color for your clock.
To set a solid background color (or font color) for your gnome clock do the following…
- Lanuch gconf-editor (use Alt-F2 or a terminal)
- Navigate through the folders to /apps/panel/applets/clock_screenX/prefs (X is usually 0)
- Right-Click on “format” and select “Edit Key” and set to “custom” (no quotes all lower case)
- Right-Click on “custom_format” and select “Edit Key” and set your new format to have span with a bgcolor (see below)
- Log out and back in to see the changes or issue kill-all gnome-panel via a terminal
The custom_format takes an HTML style string that is passed to strftime (reference for strftime). A simple example where the background is black and the letters are white would be…
<span bgcolor="#000000" color="#FFFFFF">%c</span>
Which would render a time that looked something like “Thu Aug 23 14:55:02 2001.” A more extravagant example can be see at http://pijulius.blogspot.com/2006/05/gnome-panel-clock-applet-with-markup.html. There are obviously more options here than just setting background colors but that is beyond the scope of this post.