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Hi Christoph,

it is a gut feeling to say 20 colors per palette are enough but also based on the fact that company 
branding usually goes with far less colors. Your LibreColor set is an 'expert palette' and would be 
the basis for such a restricted 'user palette'. However, Mike supports your position and wants 
rather more freedom than limitation. So I might be wrong.

The recent changes to palette modifications are based on the idea of consistency and simplicity for 
the ordinary user. In the past (actually still in the current version) you can modify predefined 
palettes and change factory settings. Of course that would be possible in future too but only when 
you 'hack' the soc file. We introduced a new custom palette for user-defined colors and made it 
more convenient to use. So only one palette is available for modification in the GUI.

More about the changes (not only palette handling was challenged)

The design team has a welcome page at where I updated 
the new meeting time right now: It is every Thursday at 10am UTC (11:00 CET). We meet on Google 
Hangouts but may move to Jitsi. You can contact the team at IRC, #libreoffice-design.

Kind regards,

On 11/17/2016 08:11 AM, "Christoph Schäfer" wrote:
Hello Heiko,

Thank you very much for your quick reply.

First of all we need to make clear we are using the same terminology. Where I come from (graphics 
and publishing), a "palette" means a collection of colours stored in a file.

As to your statement "The ordinary user likely wants to have only one palette with ~20 brand 
colors", I'd be interested how you determined this. Did you have a survey? Please note that I'm 
not denying your assumption. I'm rather interested in the empirical base of it. I'm also curious 
about your definition of "brand colour". What does that mean? It can't be something like HKS or 
Pantone, since these are named colours with a unique colour value. In ODF, however, colours are 
only stored with a hex value, not as named colours, so the "branding" disappears once you save 
the file.

It's fine with me if most LibreOffice users only want to use a limited set of colours. We 
actually removed most colour palettes (i.e., colour collections) from the development version of 
Scribus and switched to offering the rest (c. 400 palettes) for download via our new "Resource 
Manager". We kept CIE-HLC and CIE-LAB, though, simply because we support freieFarbe / freeColour 
and because we encourage our users to save money by using the inexpensive, yet extremely useful 
"LibreColour" fans.

My position on the number of colour palettes? Offer a reasonable small selection (of palettes, 
not colours per palette), including CIE-HLC, with the default installation of LO, and offer the 
rest as download option, either from within LO or via a plug-in. As for the number of colours per 
palette, I don't think it's a safe bet to make any assumptions. User requirements are likely to 
be varied. IMHO, LibreOffice would place itself as the Office suite of choice in cross-media 
workflows by including the CIE-HLC palette. If you don't know what "cross-media workflow" means, 
I suggest you watch an introductory video by my Swiss colleague Peter Jäger under
 I'm assuming you're a native speaker of German, based on your name, so I'm quite sure you'll be 
able to understand it. LibreOffice's position is unique here, because it actually allows changing 
the default palette and hence adjust to different workflow requirements, something no other 
Office suite I know of, and certainly not MS Office, can.

As to the "weekly hangout", I must admit I'm totally new to this list. What does it mean and 
where in the virtual world does it happen?

Kind regards,

Gesendet: Mittwoch, 16. November 2016 um 09:24 Uhr
Von: "Heiko Tietze" <>
An: "Christoph Schäfer" <>
Cc: "LibreOffice Design" <>
Betreff: Re: [libreoffice-design] "LibreColour" palettes for LibreOffice

Hi Christoph,

great to see more creative people here. Me as an usability expert and
the other regular team members are rather UX driven and do not focus
too much on visual aspects, so having you at the list (at least, maybe
also at our weekly hangout on Thursday) is very appreciated.

About the colors we actually have a todo item at (look for
Palette) that references the ticket with my
comments regarding the whole topic in comment 29.
The ordinary user likely wants to have only one palette with ~20 brand
colors (e.g. LibreOffice). Now it's easy to imagine that people do not
work for just LibreOffice but also Gnome (Tango), KDE (Breeze), Web
(HTML) etc. and need additional palettes. But it's hard to imagine how
to deal with the 545 (luckily named) colors from the Scribus palette.
So my proposal was/is to strip down what is not needed by the majority
of users and provide easy means to add own

What is your position about the default set of palettes? Should we
limit the number of palettes, have also a manageable size in terms of
<50 colors (this is a very arbitrary number), postulate elaborated
color names?


2016-11-16 8:35 GMT+01:00 "Christoph Schäfer" <>:
Hi LibreOffice Design Team,

I've joined this list after some back and forth with Mike Saunders.

First of all, let me introduce myself. I'm a member of the Scribus Team and also a supporter of 
the German non-profit organisation freieFarbe e.V. (; English: Apart from contributing to both projects, I'm also promoting Scribus and 
other LibreGraphics projects in talks, discussions an hands-on demonstrations in Austria, 
Germany and the German-speaking parts of Switzerland. My latest talks were held during the 
"swiss publish days 2016" in Berne (CH). One was a general overview about LibreGraphics tools 
for graphics professionals (which is the major audience of this conference), the other one was 
about LibreOffice as a file converter, as well as tool to create office graphics that can 
actually be printed at high resolutions or being further enhanced using a professional vector 
graphics software like Illustrator or CorelDraw. This is one way to sell LibreOffice to 
graphics professionals who most likely prefer MacOffice, since these are features that MS 
Office doesn't provide. Moreover, MacOffice doesn't include MS Publisher or MS Visio, so 
MacOffice customers still need LibreOffice to convert output from these programmes.

Another selling point for LibreOffice arose out of a new development at freieFarbe / 
freeColour. fF / fC will release version 2.0 of the "OpenColour Systems Collection" (OCSC). 
This is a collection of colour palettes, mostly from commercial vendors. The collection isn't 
based on the original colour values provided by these vendors, but on colorimetric measuring of 
their physical colour references. The colour values themselves are stored as CIE L*a*b. OCSC v. 
1.0 only comprised SBZ palettes, a format that apart from SwatchBooker only the development 
version of Scribus can read. In v. 2.0, however, we'll also include ASE files for Adobe 
programmes, as well as plain text files. In addition we'll provide RGB versions in the formats 
GPL (GIMP, Inkscape, Calligra Office, MyPaint), XML (Scribus 1.4.x) AND ... drumroll: SOC 
(LibreOffice, OpenOffice), which means that more than 350 colour systems will be available to 
LibreOffice users under a CC licence 
( In other words, LibreOffice users 
will be enabled to use real-world colour references (within the confines of the sRGB colour 
space) like graphics professionals do. This is impossible with MS Office!

And there's even more: fF / fC has produced "LibreColour" fans, i.e., fans based on the CIE 
L*a*b colour model, which is an international free standard. There are two versions of the fan, 
one using the original CIE L*a*b model. This one can be ignored by LibreOffice users, because 
LO doesn't support L*a*b and doesn't have to. The purpose of this fan is to check screen 
colours in L*a*b against a real word reference by using the "L" value as the guide, which isn't 
exactly intuitive. More interesting is the CIE HLC fan, which provides 1032 colours using the 
HLC model. Using this fan it's easy to find a real word colour via the "Hue" value and choose 
its equivalent in a software like LibreOffice, even if it only supports the sRGB colour space. 
The physical fans provide colour values in CIE L*a*b, CIE HLC, sRGB, CMYK (FOGRA39, coated 
paper), and HEX. Currently the usage instructions included in the fans and the "shop" site 
( are only available in German, but I'll translate them 
into English soon. Please note that the fans' production was expensive. The retail price only 
covers the costs.

A Swiss colleague of mine, who is an expert in the field of cross-media publishing, thinks 
using LibreOffice with the default colour palette set to CIE-HLC and the CIE HLC colour fan is 
the most efficient way to work in a cross-media workflow that includes a sophisticated office 
suite, even if the main office suite is still MS Office.

Hence my request to consider replacing the current default colour palette with CIE-HLC.soc or 
at least to add it to the palettes shipped with LibreOffice. Since an English version of the 
colour fans isn't available yet, I suggest you consider my request to be a mid- to long-term 
suggestion. There's no need to hurry, and if LibreOffice can be made the perfect office suite 
in cross-media workflows only in version 6, so be it.

Thanks for your patience; any feedback will be welcome.

Kind regards,

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Dr. Heiko Tietze
UX Designer
Tel. +49 (0)179/1268509

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