Colorblind Filters: GNOME Extension to help Colorblind Users

2 min

A nice GNOME Extension – Colorblind Filters, brings many options for color-blind users.

Accessibility is a critical aspect of computing and operating systems. It includes well-managed settings for vision impairment, color blind and many other health symptoms. Popular Linux desktop environments such as GNOME and KDE Plasma feature accessibility settings to help all those scenarios.

Thanks to the GNOME Extensions ecosystem, a huge number of specialised extensions are available to aid those users. One of the extensions I came across is “Colorblind Filters”.

Colorblind Filters – GNOME Extension

As per Wikipedia, “Colour blindness usually involves the inability to distinguish between shades of red and green. There is no treatment for inherited colour blindness. If colour blindness is caused by another condition, treating the underlying cause can help.”.

So, it’s important that you have options to tweak settings on your Linux desktop.

Set up extensions and flatpak

First, make sure you have Flatpak and GNOME Extensions enabled. And the Extensions manager is installed. You may refer to this detailed guide on how to set up flatpak & enable GNOME extensions, Or run the following commands (for Ubuntu, Linux Mint, etc.) from the terminal.

sudo apt install flatpak
sudo apt install gnome-software-plugin-flatpak
flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub

Fedora users, use the below commands.

sudo dnf install flatpak
sudo dnf install gnome-software-plugin-flatpak
flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub

Once done, install the Extension Manager:

flatpak install com.mattjakeman.ExtensionManager

Install the Extension

Open the extension manager from the application menu. Search for “colorblind”. And install the extension (see the below image).

Install the extension
Install the extension

After installation, you can see a small eye icon on the system tray. You can click on it to enable the pre-defined color filters.

Colorblind Filters extension tray icon
Colorblind Filters extension tray icon

Right-click on the eye icon for more settings. This extension brings all the necessary customizations for colorblind collections, simulations and additional options. The following options are currently available:

  • Corrections & Simulations (with high contrast)
    • Protanopia
    • Deuteranopia
    • Tritanopia
  • Additional tweaks
    • Channel mixer for GBR and BRG
    • Lightness inversion
    • Color Inversion
Colorblind Filters - options
Colorblind Filters – options

Use the one that suits you best for your eye.

Wrapping Up

I think Apple’s macOS and iOS have implemented better accessibility than Windows or Linux. However, Linux Desktops are not far behind with these apps and extensions. Also, there are specialized Linux distributions such as “Accessible Coconut“, which has been built for specialized needs.

I hope Colorblind gnome extension helps you with your day-to-day usage of Linux and GNOME desktops.



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