Being able to select category color in category parameters even if "category style = none"

When the general setting “category style” is set to ‘none’, then it is not possible anymore to change the category color in the category settings page. This looks like a very good idea for basic usage as it simplifies the settings.

But the category color is still displayed even though “category style = none”:

  • On the category page
  • If we use the Location plugin and want the map markers to follow the category color

Right now, changing the color there requires changing the general “category style” setting back and forth.

Would it be relevant to add a general boolean setting that shows up only when “category style = none”, re-establishing the ability to tweak category color on the category settings page ?


I add an other case where category color is visible even when global setting category style=none:
When you have a parent category displaying child category as box, then child category will appear with colored vertical highlight. This colored is fixed and can not be changed.

The only way to change the color is to set the global setting category style=bullet, refresh the page to update, change the category color, revert the global setting category style=none.

I ask again for the possibility to change the color even when none is selected, if not by default, then trough an optional global parameter “add_the_ability_to_change_color_in_category_settings” that would appear in the settings table only when none is selected.

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I just spent over an hour trying to find out why the tool to select a category (badge) color was missing in my admin dashboard. I thought a plugin might be at fault, and I tried rebuilding my site. Turns out this feature is hidden when the category style setting is set to “none”.

I don’t think this is the best UX. There are multiple components and plugins that use category colors, including the category icons component. I use the category icons component in place of badges, so I have the category style set to “none”. I also use the colors in custom headers.

I think we should have the category color selector always available, otherwise we have to turn badges back on, set the color, then turn them back off. I’m not sure why the color selector tool can’t be on all the time, maybe with explanatory text explaining how the colors will be used so it’s clear than with a badge style of none, they may have no effect.

Hope that makes sense and is something worth considering. I’m really liking Discourse, so I’d like to contribute in some small way with a few ideas.


There is merit on the request due to some support requests:


OK, so the UI request is to add text that says “you can’t select colors because you have a category style of none” to that area @eviltrout. We have passed the rule of 3 on this one…

I don’t think allowing people to select colors and then watching it have no effect will work, that will merely result in different support requests.

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Great. This should save time for others who went through a similar process to me.

Just to add my thoughts on the suggested solution before it is implemented…

Adding explainer text, as suggested, will certainly clear things up. But I still feel like having to change the category style temporarily is still not the ideal solution. If I am trying to change a color because I use it in, say, a custom category header or with category icons, it feels a bit strange to have to temporarily change a setting for something that is largely unrelated to what I am trying to achieve, particularly given that setting is in a totally different part of the admin GUI. Added to that, if I am working on a live forum (probably not the best idea) any online users will see badges come on and then go off again a few mins later.

I totally agree that explainer text is the way to avoid confusion and more support requests, but why not leave the color selector on all the time and use the explainer text to explain what it does and, therefore, why a user might not see any impact if they change it? For example, something like “these colors are used for category badges (enabled via Category Style in Basic Settings), and also may be used by custom components and plugins)”. You could even add the text “currently set to ‘none’” in the middle of that sentence to make it even more informative.

Finally, while I am not a professional UX designer, one UX tip that I was given and which I never forgot is to try to avoid UI elements disappearing. Yes, they can reduce clutter by removing them when not needed, but having the UI change can confuse users. Disabling items is often a better option because that tells the user something - ie. you are in the right place, but this feature is currently not relevant to you. Without this, users can jump to other conclusions - eg. I am looking in the wrong place? Did an update move this feature to a different screen? Did I break something? Is this a bug? etc). (Just to be clear, I’m not suggesting disabling this feature, just pointing out why I think turning it off totally, even with explainer text, maybe isn’t the best option).

(Sorry for the length. I just like to be clear).

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Done via: