Accessibility feature request (tiny tweak)

Hi there

I’ve finally got the radios together to build a portable Amsat station - after many years with just an FT-817, I got an IC-705 so duplex is at last possible on the linear sats. Gpredict looks perfect to handle pass predictions and Doppler with a portable Pi…

However, I’m visually impaired. I can read screens and text fairly well if I get the colour/contrast right, and I have some screen modifying tools to do this if I can’t do it in the app I’m using. With gpredict, they don’t work too well - if I get the text in the main lower screen legible, the map is no good and vice versa.

Is there any chance for an option to have white text on a black background? I think that would literally be the only thing needed to make Gpredict usable.

(Dark modes are often a matter of taste, but for some of us they’re actually the only thing that lets us in! And there are quite a few of us…)

Many thanks for entertaining this idea.



Hello @rupert-gm6hvy,

As someone who (luckily) does not have a visual impairment I use dark mode on all my machines. As a result I’m able to see white text on a black background in GPredict. I use POP_OS which is based on Ubuntu and it has a dark mode by default. (You can find all the information about POP_OS on their website)

I’ve put a screenshot here of this (


I hope this image helps. I can upload a larger resolution image if you need.

What operating system are you using? Would it make GPredict accessible if you could enable dark mode throughout your system, not just GPredict?

Just a thought.


I’m using Ubuntu 18.04 with 20.04 in a VM but haven’t done the move yet.

Yes, a good dark mode in the OS would be great for all sorts of things. But I don’t want to move OS - I’m already running three on a regular basis for work reasons, and experience is that when I move, things break, especially all the accessibility stuff I use which tends to be very fragile, hence me being quite slow in moving across to 20.04. But I’ll run up Pop when I get the chance.


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100% understand. You can enable dark mode in Ubuntu 18.04 -

I wasn’t suggesting you switch, or even try Pop OS, just that dark mode might be useful.


Ah, OK! I had no idea dark mode was in 18.04 - I’ve enabled it, and it looks very useful. Thanks.

I now realise that I can’t see the path display to the left of the text in Gpredict- I guess only a proper dark mode will work, although I think it’s now usable enough for me to carry on trying to configure the station, at least experimentally.

I did run Pop! up in a VM last night, just out of curiosity. I like a lot of it and I can see how it would be a good fit for a lot of creatives. Lost points with me when I went to set large text and cursors - no accessibility menu? Huh? Turned out I had to text search for it in the setting tool, and then select the ‘Always show Accessibility menu’ slider. I do not understand why anyone would hide - of all things - the Accessibility menu! But this is not the place fo that :slight_smile:

Thanks very much for the dark mode help, and once I’ve found my FT-817 data lead I’m going to carry on Gpredicting.


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Hi Rupert,

I’m glad you got to the point where it is usable for you. Accessibility and usability are of great importance to me when designing software, although I am definitely no expert in the area. The look and feel in Gpredict will follow the desktop settings, except the graphical views such as the polar plot. I will fix that later, until then you can customize the colors under settings.



Thanks! One of the problems of visual accessibility is that so many different kinds of visual impairment exist, so there’s no one fix. And because so few apps follow the destop theme - and desktop themes are themselves haphazard in how they cater for people’s needs - there’s a tendency to end up with various fixes and hacks that kinda work for some things and make others worse.

So - really good you follow the desktop mode, I wish more people would do that And just having some big, basic options in an easy-to-find place will unlock things for a lot of people. (My Samsung tablet has a key visibility switch buried four levels deep in settings, even assuming you can find the Accessibility menu in the first place. If only people would think ‘if you can’t see the menu, how can you set accessibility?’. There are answers to that, but who even asks… gah!)

Thanks again for your time and consideration. It will be appreciated by more people than you’d believe

Rupert GM6HVY