Photoshop CS3 UI Color Scheme


Hi there guys,

I downloaded the trial version of Ps CS3 Ex last night to try out the new features and basically evaulate if the upgrade would be worth it for me.

When I launched the app, the very first thing I wanted to customize was the, terrible, UI color scheme.

Basically, in Premiere or After FX you can simply swich from bright to dark color scheme. So, as long as I can use the dark one, I’m pretty much happy and fine with it.

However, I was unable to find any kind of UI Color switcher or configurator to play with and quite frankly, it renders PS CS3 completely useless for me since I just can’t stand bright UIs!

Is there ANY way to change the, ridiculously bright, default UI color scheme at all? ANY WAY?! :banghead:

Thanks a lot in advance, cheers…


You can use the paintbucket, if you shift-click it on the background it will change it to whatever colour is set as your foreground colour.


Nope, you don’t understand. I don’t need the surrounds of a canvas to be changed (I know of this feature) I need the actual GUI color scheme to be much darker!

See this pic:


I don’t think that is possible. I couldn’t find that feature in CS3 :frowning:


Neither could I :cry:

You see, such a “minor” thing (by Adobe) actually decided for me whether to upgrade to CS3 or not.

This time, it’s a big NO for me as I really cannot work in such a bright envrionment.

I hope Adobe will release a patch soon that will add at least another optional, dark, UI color scheme as we have in Premiere and/or After FX.

If not, I don’t have any reasons to upgrade to CS3 at all. :banghead: I’ll ask Adobe about that at Siggraph.


Does PS CS3 not adopt the colour scheme of Windows UI?
In previous Adobe versions under Windows Xp or 2K if I have a dark UI with light text, the Adobe menus & dialogues will adjust accordingly.
That is before AE and PP inluded the brightnes slider.


No, it does not. I wouldn’t be complaining about it if I had that standard UI feature from previous PS versions. Have no idea why Adobe changed it this way?! Possibly because of the Mac support? Don’t know…

Ah well… Adobe probably thinks that you may never want to use a dark UI when tweaking and fine tuning colors on your textures/photos/renders, well, at least not in a piece of software worth $999 USD (in the US) or $1,754.65 (in the EU) :banghead: :rolleyes:


this is sooo dumb!
How come they implement these features in some apps and ommit them in others- especially when they sell the uniformity of their ui and integration between adobe apps. as a feature?..

could u at least use the vga driver software option to keep menus and palettes semi transparent for PS cs3 so they are not smack white, and distract less?


Is it possible to change GUI color in CS2, me wonders?



Alternatively you can just tab the GUI out of the way, if it’s really that distracting.

  • Well, I’m not sure if you can actually tweak it this way in Windows without disturbing the actual canvas display :frowning:

Is it possible to change GUI color in CS2, me wonders?

  • Well, pre-10.0 versions of Photoshop preserve Windows GUI colors, which means, that while you can use XP skin or any other skins you like (i.e. windows blinds etc…), whatever color you setup in the advanced color palette in Windows will be the color of Photoshop’s GUI. Which is absolutely perfect, since I use a very dark, Win98 style, gui in win XP. But this has no effect on CS3 :banghead:

Alternatively you can just tab the GUI out of the way, if it’s really that distracting.

  • I’m afraid that’s not really a solution here, unfortunately :frowning:


Oks, here’s a comparison of my Photoshop CS2 and Photoshop CS3 GUI configuration.

CS2 preserves Window’s color theme settings, CS3 ignores it!


Some fools decided to design Bridge (worst software Adobe ever made, uses even more memory than Photoshop) and Lightroom in a dark gray color scheme, but left Photoshop CS3 with the old light gray…

Let’s face it… Adobe often doesn’t make any sense.

Take for example Illustrator CS3; after all these years you still can’t cycle through its blending modes with cursor up/down and shift - or + like you can in Photoshop.

I should write a book about these inconsistencies and send a copy to Adobe. :deal:


They won’t listen, just as they don’t when people complain about their pricing policy! :banghead:

They don’t care, they have a monopoly and that’s it.

Take a look at how “fast” they’re progressing with “revolutionary” features such as the non-destructive filters, adjustment layers etc… It took 9 versions of PS to finally get here!

Besides, the layer stack is also quite outdated, a brand new, fresh and non-linear node-based flow system (like Digital Fusion has, for example) would be much more powerful and flexible.

Ahh, well… no upgrade to CS3 for me. I won’t even use the Extended features even thou I’m a 3d dude most of the time, since I don’t know if you can actually paint on the surface of the model, like in Body Paint for example, to make texture painting much easier.

For this price, the GUI and the added features, there isn’t anything that’d make me upgrade.


That is a good point since there is only one person that programs all the Adobe products and not product teams that have nothing to do with each other.


I wouldn’t be so sure about that, since all the programs are so unbelieveably inconsistent with each other.

Like PS and Illustrator. You can open files in PS by double clicking the empty work area, while in Illustrator, nothing happens… It’s really strange! :rolleyes:


That skin/theme looks exactly what I’ve been looking! I’ve spend the whole afternoon trying different dark skins but they were all too fancy and not very workable in Photoshop, could you tell me the name of that theme you’re using?


Theme? :smiley: It’s standard Win98 customized dark grey :wink:

Will post a .theme tomorrow here for you, gotta go to sleep now… :wink:


The only downside of all current & old PS, Illy etc Adobe apps UI is that if one has a dark scheme with bright text, their various palette+menus text do not become bright, but remain black on a dark bg, making it hard to read.
Only AE+PP with their UI brightness slider sort of fixed that recently…


The 3D stuff in Photoshop Extended isn’t that useful - you most certainly can’t paint directly on the model, you can however edit the textures in 2D.