KDE Panel Icon Spacing

Despite overall satisfaction with KDE 5 there remain some paper cut issues. One such annoyance was panel icon spacing in the “quick launch” area.

The Oxygen icon collection seems to be intuitive and colorful with respect to disclosing functions, but in the panel the icons were spaced or padded too far apart and waste panel territory.

The Tango icon set was being used with the hope of getting the panel icons spaced tighter. Seems the Tango icons have less padding to keep the icons close together.

Except the Tango icon set has inheritance dependencies on the gnome and crystalsvg icon sets. The latter is from the Trinity Desktop Environment (TDE), which might or might not be available on any system. Several KDE related icons do not exist in the Tango collection and that triggers KDE into displaying those colorless flat icons.

Digging into the problem found a solution. In KDE System Settings-->Appearance-->Icons, select the Configure Icon Sizes button, change the size of the panel icons from the default 48 pixels to 32. The icons then are placed much tighter, similar to the Tango icon set.

Logging out and flushing cache files ensured a clean start.

One caveat is somewhere between KDE 5.22 and 5.27, the GUI option to change panel icon sizes was removed from the dialog. The size still can be modified in 5.27. In $HOME/.config/kdeglobals, add or ensure the following:


Hopefully this option remains in future KDE releases.

Posted: Category: Usability Tagged: KDE

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