custom color scheme layout (setup walkthrough)

    Dec 04 2014 | 4:09 pm
    Hi all I was trying to setup a default color scheme since Max7 came out. I would manage to do so but the custom colors would always get lost.
    Finally got it to work with the help of Ben one the C74 support techs.
    Here is a walk-through of the setup steps:
    1. in a default patcher, make a bunch of objects and then in the Format Palette,change them to whatever colors you want
    2. select all the objects in the patcher
    3. in the Format palette, make a new style – this style will be for multiple objects
    4. select the patcher to activate it in the Format palette
    5. In the Style menu (located in the patcher inspector window), select the style you just made, applying it to the patcher level
    6. delete all of the objects in the patcher
    7. save a new template (in dropdown file menu "create template") and make it your default
    Hope this helps
    happy patching

    • Dec 04 2014 | 8:45 pm
      Slight update about small glitch that c74 are aware of
      There is still little glitches in the styles but in general it works.
      What is a must for it to work.
      Step 1. is important.
      -you must start from a blank "Default Patcher Template" and choose "Default Max7" -you cannot copy/paste objects that you had already done your custom colors. You will have to start from scratch. one by one
      -In the inspector window, make sure the "Appearance style" has nothing selected in it’s umenu
      then all the steps mentioned in the previous thread.
      The Glitch/bug:
      -Gradients objects do not work. For example, [message and umenu] would not keep my custom colors. Workaround, once you have started a new patch, reselect you’re "custom_style" in the inspector Appearance and now it should work. (so yes, for now, as we start a new patch we will we have to make it a habit to always select our "custom_style" in the inspector window’s appearance style.)
      -Also, when you open you’re older Max6 patches and/or the help patch and want to apply your new custom style template, make sure that in the "Format" dropdown menu you have selected the "cope style to library".
      Once you’ve done this, you will be able to apply you’re custom style to older/help patchers and resave them with your custom look. To do so, you open Inpector’s Appearance again, and select your "custom_style" that will be in the Library style.
      — The gradient bug is really a bug that c74′s Ben was able to reproduce and will be investigating further. I really , really hope they give us a borderline option in Future Max7 increments.
      Good luck
    • Dec 06 2014 | 5:24 am
      thanks. :) i had the gradient thing happen a few times had also had weirdness copying and pasting then then gave up. :)
      so i didn't play with the gradients anymore, but you can hack the gradients into giving you a pretty hard edge along the top and it looks like a nice fake 3d, like an old bath tub...kinda. maybe a battery... the flattened gradient is pretty wonky to move around to place and sometimes zooming out in the patcher makes it flip out literally and invert the colors and it doesn't like re-sizing the message box much either, but still. it's a good look. lol
    • Dec 07 2014 | 6:08 pm
      Super helpful, thanks phiol. Took me a couple tries but now I'm back to boring old black on white on grey :)
    • Dec 07 2014 | 6:12 pm
      My Pleasure Gumi :-)
      @Jonah, would you have a screen shot of your bath tub objects. I'm curious
    • Dec 08 2014 | 9:25 pm
      Hi Phiol and thanks for the guide.. So there is no way to apply a favourite style for already existing patchers (eg helpfiles)? We must customize every single one patcher with our favourite style? That s so wierd! It is difficult for Cycling74 team to give us an option to change the default style inside "object defaults" menu?
    • Dec 08 2014 | 11:13 pm
      Yep that's what I've been doing. Everytime open a Help file , I (cmd+shift+i) apply "mycustomstyle" from my libraries.
      Sucks Moose but... shoulda stayed with the Max6 look or simply give us a "legacy look" option.
    • Dec 09 2014 | 1:49 am
      Hmm, having trouble getting my custom templates to stick. Seems when I restart Max they disappear from the Style menu. Not a question–I'll figure it out or just learn to accept it–but I did want to say/ask: I'm not thrilled that all of my old patches open with the default Max 7 theme. Am I missing something? If so please let me know. If not, please read on...
      I'm guessing many of us have spent a lot of time carefully designing the UI of our patches–especially patches we use in performance–for legibility and usability. The transition from Max 4 to 5 to 6 was pretty seamless in regards to the UI. But I opened some old patches last night and they fall apart in Max 7. Well, not fall apart so much as squish together. Not only is the default Max 7 theme applied (I can live with manually changing all that), but the objects *appear* to be closer together; they touch one another and overlap to the point that it's hard to distinguish at a glance where one object ends and another begins (I guess this gets into the missing border complaint, which I didn't understand until now). Moreover, many of my outlets/inlets are overlapping in edit mode, which makes grabbing the right patch cable difficult without moving objects around.
      I have to work quickly during my performances. One of the primary ways I achieve rapidity is through a carefully designed UI. It's going to take a lot of time to redesign my patches for Max 7.
      In the end, I can deal with the extra work. So far Max 7 is completely worth it and I'm not going to let UI challenges stop me from doing what's important: making weird stuff in Max. And I must say it is a sleek design; I can see the appeal to new users but it leaves us older users holding the bag of extra UI work when we'd rather be making weird stuff with sounds and images.
      I'd like to ask C74 to refrain from a complete UI overhaul in future versions, or, if there is an overhaul, to ensure that our old patches won't need a corresponding visual overhaul. Or, to the extent possible, a "legacy look" option as suggested by phiol would be cool too.
      Now, on for an evening of making weird stuff in Max...
    • Sep 02 2015 | 9:12 am
      very helpful! thanks a ton!
    • Sep 19 2015 | 2:52 pm
      sick! it does work! :D
    • Oct 24 2015 | 8:05 pm
      I can't get this to work. My custom style appears on the menu, but if I go out and try to select it in some other patch of mine it always has completely generic colors and, out of nowhere, size 12 font. Oh well. It doesn't look like this would be all that helpful anyway. Unless I'm mistaken, I'd still have to make this change subpatcher by subpatcher in every Max patch/device I have. It would be nice if you could apply the style just once in the topmost patcher and it would carry to all of its children subpatches.
    • Oct 24 2015 | 9:31 pm
      The sad part is that C74 made Max look like ...... well unusable. Anyways, I've put together a wishlist for the next UI design which I hope they'll consider.
      Been doing 40 hour weeks in touch designer for the past 2 months and let me tell you that the workflow is tenfold in speed.
      Where c74 totally wins is, -encapsulate !! absolute magic -presentation mode.
      now imagine if you got rid of message object and attrui all together and had all the (right-click left inlet) params neatly editable in the right menu. Not the cmd+i we have now.
      All that would be left is a neat patcher with uniquely objects. no attrui/ no messages.
      And for the love of god , make the patcher presets cmd+s savable. When you re-open your patch, all is there in the state you last saved it.
      Also, it's a cool thing that C74 made it possible to just drag and drop a sound/videoclip in the patcher and voilà , you have a player module. But how about a quick export for Jitter videos. Yes I do know of all the ways to do so but it's not efficient. The creative workflow is lost.
    • Feb 27 2016 | 10:18 am
      Hey phiol,
      What happens if you… - make a default colour scheme as described at the start of this topic - but don't include all the different types of objects - then some time later start using an object type you've never used before?
      Do you have to start again? Or can you just add the new object type? Or do I obviously not understand the process?
      Cheers, Bill
    • Feb 27 2016 | 11:51 am
      it seems that you always have to start from an emtpy patcher next time and can _not modify an existing style.
      all very weird if you ask me, but nobody asked me, so never mind.
    • Feb 27 2016 | 12:08 pm
      Oh, ok… thanks Roman. Yet another moose-sucking nuisance. Think I'll keep a list of the objects I've used so I can simply add to it when I have to do it again instead of having to figure it all out again.
      BTW, do you think it's all very weird? ;-)
    • Feb 27 2016 | 1:29 pm
      Yup , you have to start from an empty patcher. It sucks , It suck huge moose cock The colors always change randomly after you save a patch and reopen it again. This behaviour is true for mac and pc. Max7 's UI is simply terrible design.
    • Feb 27 2016 | 7:24 pm
      I concur. Can't keep patch cord color consistent. Or background color. Or font size, grid size, Snap to Grid, etc. etc. Sometimes it's right with new patchers, sometimes not. Seems like it's 50-50 and I can't figure out exactly why.
    • Feb 27 2016 | 9:49 pm
      Thanks guys. Hmmm, maybe I should stick to v6 after all. Maybe I should stick with it forever and never pay C74 another cent. So far, v7 was a complete waste of money for me.
      The part that I find most "very weird" is that C74 seem to be intent on sticking with a UI that so many hate so much.
    • Feb 28 2016 | 5:03 pm
      @bill: for "per object" you could use prototypes. or copy and paste. or scripting.
    • Feb 29 2016 | 12:45 am
      Thanks again Roman. I'll keep all this in my notes ready for when necessity eventually forces me to make the big leap from v6. Hopefully, that won't be till after finishing my current several-years-long big project.
    • Aug 14 2016 | 6:30 pm
      Just updated to the newest version 7.2.4. I have been waiting for migrating to 7, I bought it long ago, yet still hesitate to move in. I don't hate the new UI, but they are indeed very different especially when dealing with complicated patches in Max 6. It takes time to get used to it. That's why I have been wondering why c74 still hasn't released a color scheme which feels like max 6, so that more people like me would have more confident to dive into the new pool. The other thing is that, I still prefer the max 6 "border" then this "neo-max4 bar". If this nostalgic feature could also be an option in max 7, I would start the migration right away. As a graphic design person, though 7 does increase the fps significantly, I still have to stick to the slower max 6. On the other hand, even if it turns out that this neo max4 style is eventually superior in production, there is no harm to leave some options to the slow-minded nostalgic person like me, just like in many other design software, so that all the brilliant hardworks in max 7 could be enjoyed to more population.
    • Nov 09 2017 | 6:41 am
      Sorry to flog a dead horse, but I STILL can't get this working! I'm still trying to move from Max 6 to 7, first by making a colour scheme my eyesight can live with. But the latest attempt is being sabotaged at this step:
      “5. In the Style menu (located in the patcher inspector window), select the style you just made, applying it to the patcher level”
      There simply is no Style menu in the Appearance section of the patcher Inspector in my Max 7.3.4 (Mac 10.11.5). "Style" is there, but no menu, no nuthin'. I can't even choose one of the factory styles, although I'm pretty sure I could during previous attempts.
      Does anyone have any solutions or suggestions for this one? (Apart from RTFM more thoroughly, which I thought I already had.) I've reinstalled the app but no change. Or should I just wait a few months for v.8 to see if there's any relief?
    • Nov 09 2017 | 3:45 pm
      i had a similar issue last week and solved it by (re)finding the /options/object defaults/patcher window.
      it gives you access to at least half the things you need.
      you can later still include that into styles or templates, but IMO the most important layer is really when you open an new emtpy document. i only wish you could turn font smoothing off right in the application (and not the macOS)
    • Nov 09 2017 | 4:02 pm
      p.s. patcher inspector in max 7 / appearance / style / is the topmost item in the inspector, but only visible under "all" tab.
    • Nov 14 2017 | 5:00 pm
      I must say, although it took a little figuring out how to get styles / templates to be a way I liked, I've grown to appreciate the styling/theming options a lot. (I never much cared for the default theme of Max 7, either). Here's the flow I use for this.
      1. Make and save a style_definition_template patch, with no style settings, and all of the objects you're interested in styling in your theme. I attached mine below. 2. Starting from your style_definition_template 1. With no objects selected, show the styles/formatting bar (along the top of the window) by clicking the paint bucket. 2. Set the background color. (It won't be persisted as part of your style, but it's easier to make a nice style around a background color you like) 3. Customize the colors (Object Accent Color, Object Background Color, etc.) in a way you find satisfying. This is the fun part. 4. In the style menu, select "Define New Style" and name it ("myCoolTheme") 5. Save this patch separately (e.g. "style_definition-myCoolTheme") so you don't overwrite your original style_definition_template. (This isn't strictly necessary, just useful for preserving your work). 6. In the style menu select "Copy to Library" 3. Make a new patch. 1. Configure your patcher attributes to your liking (such as the background color, uncheck "Show Toolbars on Open" etc. if you don't like the Max 7 window borders) 2. Set the style for the patch to be "myCoolTheme" 3. Save as template 4. Close this patch. 4. File > New from template > "myCoolTheme" or whatever you named your template 1. In the patcher inspector, set the "Subpatcher Template" attribute to be "myCoolTheme" (or some different template if you wish). 2. Save as template (overwriting the one you just made).
    • Nov 17 2017 | 6:11 am
      Thanks guys! Sorry I've taken a while to respond - haven't had computer access for nearly a week. Will get back to you soon.
    • Jan 29 2018 | 4:12 am
      This isn't "soon" but still...
      After a few more bashes at this I'm still confused about precisely how patcher-level formatting, per-object formatting, style colours, etc. interrelate. None of the suggestions that I've tried enable me to simply open a new empty patcher and make objects with the correct colours, fonts, sizes. Patcher-level formatting seems to overwrite per-object formatting, some objects can't be properly formatted at the per-object level, etc. etc. so rather than waste more time I give up!
      Thanks for your help, and I'm glad for those of you who've got it all happening. But I'll just keep my fingers crossed that v.8 has less of what Phiol aptly referred to as moose sucking.
    • Jan 29 2018 | 5:56 am
      Max styles do not work for live.* UII objects. You have to make a prototype instead. Don't ask me where it is in the documentation, it is buried very deep in there.
    • Apr 21 2018 | 9:37 am
      @Tyler Mazaika: I've downloaded your patch, but there is an abstraction missing: M4L.api.colorsFromThemeForObject . This looks interesting. Can you post it? I'm reworking your patch and, when finished, I'll post it here. TIA
    • Apr 25 2018 | 4:53 pm
      Hi Arthur, thanks for the interest.
      I've made that (and related) patcher(s) available on GitHub since it has some dependencies of its own and made a forum topic on it:
      Cheers, Tyler
    • Jan 29 2019 | 12:28 am
      Now that a Max 8 user might have chosen one of four color themes (default, light, max7, and solarized) can you get the setting from within a patch using a "; max" type message? This would help set Max back to the user's choice after changing it to another setting (like light) when a patch opens using the "; max colortheme light" message.
    • Jul 17 2019 | 3:11 am
      Hi, my problem is not the Style or the color of a object that should to be in Max7 or Max8 style, but the line of the waveform object, that existed in max6 and it was changeable. Now the line exist but is grey as default. I think this color can be changed using a JS painter File, but I don't know how to change one of the examples, that are referred only to bordercolors...anyone can help? thanx.