Dynamic Colors

Dynamic Colors

Dynamic Colors automatically follow the active Max color theme.

Using Fixed colors, a color is specified as four values, like 1.0 0.0 1.0 1.0 for purple. Fixed colors will not change when the color theme changes. However, a color can also be specified with a dynamic color name, like "Success Text", which represents a green color. When this color is changed in the overall theme, for example with the themecolor object, the chosen dynamic color will automatically be adjusted wherever it is in use.

Max for Live

By default, dynamic colors are disabled for most Max objects, but are enabled for most Max for Live objects. When used in Max for Live, the dynamic colors of the Live category follow the active Live color theme as chosen in Live's Preferences. The Live dynamic colors and their values are also listed in the live.colors object's help patch.

Selecting a Dynamic Color

  • To set a Dynamic color, open the Inspector for an object and find the color attribute you want to change. Click in the value column to open the Color palette. Select "Dynamic" from the top of the Color palette.

  • Click the drop-down menu above the color swatch. From here you can select a color based on its Dynamic color name. Tip: press Alt while clicking the dropdown to display the full range of available dynamic colors.

Setting a dynamic color with a message.

  • Dynamic colors can also be set with a message. Instead of a Fixed color, set with an attribute name and four values like bgcolor 1.0 0.0 1.0 1.0, a Dynamic color is set with an attribute name and a dynamic color name symbol, like bgcolor "Success Text". Note that a Dynamic color name can consist of multiple words, in which case it has to be contained in quotes. A full overview of all Dynamic colors and their names can be found in the "view all" tab of the themecolor object help patch.


Dynamic colors do not (yet) play nicely with styles: choosing a style to override a color will not shut off dynamic colors and dynamic colors can not yet reliably be part of a style.

See Also

Name Description
Color Palette Color Palette
themecolor Change and/or listen for changes in interface colors
live.colors Get the colors of the active Ableton Live Theme via a Max for Live device.