ARGB Window Themes in deKorator

The KWin team works hard to add support for ARGB window decorations to KDE 4. While it is not yet clear if the feature will make it into KDE 4.3 as planned, deKorator in trunk is now prepared to support these.

ARGB means RGB with alpha transparency. This color model makes it possible to have smooth rounding at the edges, while also allowing for different transparency levels in different parts of the decorations. For example, you could have the background of the window title be transparent, while the text and the buttons are opaque.

Only two lines needed to be added to deKorator to support ARGB. It had already been possible to use transparent PNG files, but the background was always filled with the Window color, instead of leaving it transparent. In a future version of deKorator the amount of transparency will be configurable to support the old method.

If you want to try ARGB decorations, you need:

  • a recent KWin from trunk/KDE/workspace/kwin (r957718 or newer)
  • a recent deKorator from trunk/playground/artwork/deKorator (r961812 or newer)
  • a deKorator theme that has (partially) transparent PNG files

Of course the choice of themes that have transparent PNG files is rare (1, 2), so you are invited to create your own theme, and make it available on

KCalc with transparent window decoration