You can look forward to more modern-looking ‘About’ dialogs in your favourite GNOME apps later this year.

A swathe of apps utilizing libadwaita, the advanced set of GTK4 widgets that follow GNOME Human Interface Guidelines (HIG), have had their traditional info boxes swapped out for newer ones using the ‘AdwAboutWindow‘ class.

Pretty much all of GNOME’s core apps gain these new-look modals, including the Files file manager, Calendar, Music, Fonts, and GNOME’s terrific new Text Editor tool.

The new about windows do not use a traditional header-bar (or something effected to look like one) but the top of the about pod is ‘draggable’. About pages are (at present) also resizable but default to a portrait box.

Rather than using tabs extra information, e.g., developer credits, is presented in a separate ‘sheet’ that slides into view. This has a backwards button for navigation. Links are restyled as buttons with iconography to indicate they’re links.

GNOME libadwaita about dialog comparison
Left: old about dialog; Right: new design

Another, potentially very useful, feature is that the version number of apps using the new dialog can be instantly copied to the clipboard for pasting elsewhere (like in a bug report).

There’s also scope for adding more information than is traditionally shown, such as release notes, and troubleshooting advice.

I don’t imagine most of us access ‘About’ dialogs frequently. But making them look is important from a design perspective as it helps ensure GNOME’s libadwaita design language envelopes as much of what users interact with as possible so that their experience looks and behaves consistently.

The new look dialogs you see in this post are not the end point, rather a snapshot of how things look currently. As user feedback to these new modals filters in it is possible (perhaps probable) that further refinement will take place.

Still, be on the look out for more apps adopting these cleaner, leaner looking info boxes as and when GNOME 43 is released this September.