Screenshot / Code Snippet

Screenshot of Minimalist


MinimalOverflow was written to deal with a request which Jeff Atwood put forward in the MSO Tavern on Friday, February 25, 2011. Someone on Physics.SE asked if it would be possible to get the theme changed to black on white, an inverse of the current white on black. Jeff decided it would be good to have a generic "destyled" theme for all Stack Exchange sites.

This script is my answer to Jeff's request. MinimalOverflow adds a link to the top navigation bar which allows users to toggle between any given Stack Exchange site's theme and a "clean" theme.


MinimalOverflow doesn't really have a license. Attribution is nice, but not required. (Jeff - I'll take you up on that t-shirt though. ;-D)


You can download the usertheme by installing the user script which injects the theme switcher into the page. The user script is available on my GitHub page: MinimalOverflow on GitHub. Please note that if you have installed a version prior to then you will need to manually uninstall the old one or they will conflict.


MinimalOverflow should run on any browser that supports user scripts and has JavaScript enabled. It was tested in Chrome and Firefox for Mac OS X.


This script was created by Moshe Berman. You can reach him at moshberm AT gmail. Special thanks goes to @YiJiang and @TimStone for helping with Firefox support.


The user script was written in plain old JavaScript. The stylesheet was written in CSS. The code is available on GitHub. Feel free to fork and request a pull.

  • I gave it a try and it works quite well. One small suggestion though: it would be nice if the script assumed that I wanted the default theme on each site instead of the minimal theme by default. I like the way the script keeps track of each site separately though :) Commented Feb 28, 2011 at 2:42
  • thanks, finally an answer to my feature-request :) Commented Feb 28, 2011 at 8:22
  • 1
    Is there anything that can be done not to load the default css prior to the minimal one (thereby avoiding the flash, which is especially painful when switching from black at physics.SE)? I understand that this might not be possible due to when the script is executed (i.e. after default css is loaded) but I'd like to make sure.
    – Marek
    Commented Mar 1, 2011 at 18:31
  • @Marek - Not yet. If SO hosts it, then it can integrate better with their site engine and handle the css swapping server-side. That may or may not happen, depending on how development progresses and how the script matures. (I don't work for SOIS and I do not represent them.) I'm working out the CSS bugs and then discussing some other features with @RebeccaChernoff. Once all that happens, I can talk to SOIS about merging it into SO.
    – Moshe
    Commented Mar 1, 2011 at 18:34
  • @Moshe: so at least in principle it's possible. That's actually better than what I hoped for. By the way, thanks for putting this together in the first place.
    – Marek
    Commented Mar 1, 2011 at 18:46
  • @Marek - Yes, in principle it should be possible. The delay is caused by the site loading the first stylesheet, then loading the clean one off of github. That is how userscripts work. If SE integrated it, then they can generate the HTML already containing a reference to the clean CSS.
    – Moshe
    Commented Mar 1, 2011 at 18:48


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