Mike McBride

Jost Schenck

Anne-Marie Mahfouf

Revision Plasma 5.11 (2017-11-07)



Plasma™ comes with a full set of icons in several sizes. These icons are being used all over Plasma™: the desktop, the panel, the Dolphin file manager, in every toolbar of every Plasma™ application, etc. The icons control module offers you very flexible ways of customizing the way Plasma™ handles icons.

Customizing Plasma™ icons

In this module you can:

  • install and choose icon themes

  • choose different icon sizes

  • assign effects to icons (for example make them semi-transparent or colorize them)

  • configure these settings for each of the different places icons will be used in: for example the desktop, toolbars etc.


Please note that some of these settings may depend on your selected icon theme. Plasma™ comes with several icon themes by default, Oxygen, Monochrome and Breeze.

There are two pages in this module: Theme and Advanced. Theme manages the icon themes while Advanced lets you configure how icons will be used in Plasma™.


At the top is a preview of the current theme icons. Most default installations will have only a few icon theme available, amongst them the Plasma™ default Breeze theme. You can also download more from the Internet from https://store.kde.org/.

Get New Themes...

You need to be connected to the Internet to use it. Clicking on this button will display a dialog where you can choose a new icon theme. Clicking on Install in the dialog will install the chosen icon theme and after you Close the installer your new theme is immediately available.

Get New Icon Themes

Install Theme File...

If you dowloaded new themes from the internet, you can use this to browse to the location of those newly downloaded themes. Clicking on this button will bring you a small dialog to point to the icon theme tarball you have on your disk.

Installing A New Icon Theme

Clicking OK in this dialog will install the theme you pointed to and make it available in the theme list.

Remove Theme

Clicking this button will remove all files for this theme from your system. A confirmation message is displayed and will ask you if you are really sure you want to remove all the files for this theme.

Removing A Theme

Clicking Delete will remove the theme files and clicking Cancel will not delete anything and will cancel the remove action.


Looking at this second page of the icons control module, you will see two areas:

  • An area labelled Use of Icon. Here you can choose which particular usage of icons you want to configure, for example Toolbar or Panel.

    Choosing the icons to configure

  • A preview area where you can see how icons of the selected kind will look using the current settings. Note that the state of this preview also depends on the icon state selected in the effects below (do not worry about that now, we will explain that below).

When you want to configure icons, first select the usage of icons you want to configure. Change the settings until you like the preview. You can then choose a different icon usage and configure that. At the end, if you are satisfied with your settings, click OK or Apply to take the changes in effect.

There are two further options to consider, Size and Effects.

Icon Size

Setting icons sizes

You can choose from a list of icon sizes. The largest icon sizes are especially useful for visually impaired people.

Which sizes will be offered by the icon size listbox depends on the icon theme you have selected in the icon themes control module. For example, the low color icon theme only offers the sizes 16 and 32 for desktop icons and 16, 22 and 32 for toolbar icons. The HiColor theme offers icon sizes 16, 32 and 48 as well as sizes from 64 to 128. However, as Plasma™ can not have all these icon sizes in store, icons using size 64 to 128 will be automatically generated which may result in a loss of quality.

You can also choose animated icons. Many of the icons have animations associated with them. Enable the checkbox labelled Enable icon animations, to enable this effect, but note that it may appear slow or jerky if your graphics card is old or you are low on memory.


Setting icons effects

Finally you can configure certain filters to be applied on icons which are in one of three states:


This is how the icon will look normally.


This is how the icon will look when the mouse cursor is over the icon.


This is how the icon will look if its corresponding action is disabled, i.e. clicking on it will not lead to any result.

Select one of these states, and press the Set Effect... button to configure a corresponding icon effect. Please note that this configuration will only affect icons of the currently selected Use of Icon category (see above): configuring an effect for active icons, while Toolbar icon usage is selected, will not affect active icons used in other places.

Below the list of icon states there are two options: you can configure an effect and you can select the Semi-transparent option, which will make the background shine through the icon. To the right of the effects list box there is a slider button to pass additional parameters to a filter for colours and Amount.

The following effects can be applied to icons:

No Effect:

Icons will be used without applying any effect.

To Gray:

This filter will apply a grayish look to the icon. Use the Amount slider to configure the intensity of this filter. Note that it is customary for most user interfaces to use this effect for disabled icons only.


Icons will be colorized using a custom color. For example, you may configure active icons (i.e. the icon the mouse cursor is over) to shine golden. Use the color buttons and the Amount slider to configure the used color and the intensity of the colorization.


A different gamma value will be applied to all icons. If you're no photographer and don't know what Gamma is: it's quite similar to what people call contrast. Just play around with the gamma settings by moving the Amount slider to get a feeling for this effect.


Icons will be drawn desaturated. This is quite similar to the Color setting on your television. Use the slider to configure the amount of desaturation.

To Monochrome:

Icons will be drawn using only the two colours selected.