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You are here: MacNN Forums > Software - Troubleshooting and Discussion > GUI Customization > Quick Tutorial on modding themes.

Quick Tutorial on modding themes.
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Mac Elite
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Mar 11, 2005, 07:53 PM
 
Disclaimer: This info in no way is the only way to mod edit themes. YMMV

Here's the down and dirty....

1. Apply the theme you want to modify. Log out/in.

2. Open Themepark and go to file/New guiKit....

3. Highlight "Themes" on the left and click "add". If the Theme you want to modify has menu enhancements you'll need to also hit "Options", enable more menu customizations.

4. Highlight the new "My Spiffy Theme" and rename it.

5. Now you have to highlight "Elements" and go theme/merge with installed elements. If your chosen theme to mod has apps skinned then you will need to go to elements/app skins and add the apps you want skinned and then go back and merge these with the installed elements again. (*) If you're merging elements in ThemePark, you should also make use of the Prune Aqua Elements menu command. Basically, this command will remove default Aqua stuff from what you've merged, reduce the size of the guiKit and as an added bonus, keep Apple off of your back.

5. Save this as a "your theme name" tpark file.

6. Now you have the pleasure of sifting through the 10,397 elements that make up just the GUI. Highlight these elements in the preview pane (right hand side) and hit "send to photoshop". Edit at will and then hit "receive from photoshop....and so on.

7. If you want to merge elements from another theme into this one here's a quickie.

a. Apply the theme that has the elements you want add to your tpark file.
b. Open the tpark file and browse to the emement or group of elements that you want to import and go to theme/discard modified elements, hit ok at the prompt. Return to theme/merge with installed elements and then save the tpark file (periodically).

General Notes:

Changing text colors will not show up in the preview functionof Themepark. You will need to export the tpark file as a guiKit and import the theme into Shapeshifter to see text changes in the preview function. Changing text colors also does not export to a dtla format theme.

Modding existing themes is fun and is a great way to discover what Themepark and Shapeshifter can do to the GUI. Please keep your mods for personal use only and do not redistribute these without prior permission from the original author.

Have fun!
( Last edited by digitaljames; Mar 12, 2005 at 07:49 AM. )
     
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Mar 11, 2005, 10:43 PM
 
may i add this to the GUI Customization for dummies (with the appropriates credits!) ?

Pierre
     
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Mar 11, 2005, 10:59 PM
 
It's a pretty rough draft but sure......I was going to systematically add some screencaps to augment it but since it's a WIP I'd say rock on and we'll just keep it updated....
     
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Mar 12, 2005, 01:26 AM
 
Nice writeup! You might consider polishing it up and submitting it to The Switchboard so it's got a permanent home that I could link to from ThemePark's Help menu. Or I could put a polished version on Geekspiff if you'd prefer that.

A few thoughts:
- You don't need to log out/in after you change the theme for modding purposes - it's perfectly adequate and safe to just relaunch ThemePark. I recommend a log out when changing themes only so that you have a consistently themed OS.

- If you're merging elements in ThemePark, you should also make use of the Prune Aqua Elements menu command. Basically, this command will remove default Aqua stuff from what you've merged. Use it by setting the theme to default Aqua with ShapeShifter and then relaunching ThemePark. Using this command is beneficial for two reasons - the default Aqua stuff will show up in ThemePark's unmodified font so you can see it instantly, and the generated guiKit file will be much smaller since it won't be including the Aqua resources. And you won't be distributing Apple's copyrighted graphics. Also very important. The prune command works just like the Merge command - it only affects the selected item in ThemePark and it's children. Don't skip switching to Aqua first!!!

- ShapeShifter's theme preview will show text colors properly, you don't actually need to apply the theme. But you do still need to export to a guiKit and load it into SS to see the text colors properly.
Geekspiff - generating spiffdiddlee software since before you began paying attention.
     
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Mar 12, 2005, 01:35 AM
 
I suggest mentioning what "enable more menu customization" does insted of just saying use it all the time...

I like my explination, here.
     
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Mar 12, 2005, 01:37 AM
 
- ShapeShifter's theme preview will show text colors properly, you don't actually need to apply the theme. But you do still need to export to a guiKit and load it into SS to see the text colors properly.
If SS preview can do it, then why can't TP preview do it?
     
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Mar 12, 2005, 12:59 PM
 
added in the last section to GUI Customization for Dummies. I've also put some pictures...
Thanks digitaljames!
     
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Mar 12, 2005, 01:24 PM
 
Originally posted by smeger:
- If you're merging elements in ThemePark, you should also make use of the Prune Aqua Elements menu command. Basically, this command will remove default Aqua stuff from what you've merged. Use it by setting the theme to default Aqua with ShapeShifter and then relaunching ThemePark. Using this command is beneficial for two reasons - the default Aqua stuff will show up in ThemePark's unmodified font so you can see it instantly, and the generated guiKit file will be much smaller since it won't be including the Aqua resources. And you won't be distributing Apple's copyrighted graphics. Also very important. The prune command works just like the Merge command - it only affects the selected item in ThemePark and it's children. Don't skip switching to Aqua first!!!
To be honest, I'm afraid I don't understand this paragraph, but it sounds interesting enough IMHO. Merging does overwrite whatever was there before, doesn't it ? So why "prune", whatever the word means ? Hm, my dictionary fails on me…
Let me put it this way : if you'd "prune" at the highest TP level, will that make an empty guiKit ?

Would it be possible to have a step-by-step guide on this specific TP issue ?
     
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Mar 12, 2005, 02:02 PM
 
Originally posted by Gerrit Vanoppen:
To be honest, I'm afraid I don't understand this paragraph, but it sounds interesting enough IMHO. Merging does overwrite whatever was there before, doesn't it ? So why "prune", whatever the word means ? Hm, my dictionary fails on me…
Let me put it this way : if you'd "prune" at the highest TP level, will that make an empty guiKit ?

Would it be possible to have a step-by-step guide on this specific TP issue ?
i'm really not a themepark guru but here is what i understand:
when you "merge" the currently applied theme, you copy ALL the GUI elements to the guikit. But, a theme doesn't cover all the previously mentionned elements (for exemple the login screen image is included in the guikit). When you "prune" it removes all the elements that where not covered by the merged theme. BUT there is a catch: you have to switch to aqua before pruning because, otherwise, it will remove the themed elements. IMHO this is due to the fact that themepark must compare the opened guikit with the currrent interface (supposed aqua)
Correct me if i am wrong !

My 2 cents...
     
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Mar 12, 2005, 03:13 PM
 
I still think a step-by-step guide would be great. From reading smeger over and over again, I come up with this :
  • 1) apply a theme, no need to log out / log in, and open TP
    2) create new TP file and merge elements as desired
    3) save and quit TP
    4) apply Standard Aqua Theme, no need to log out / log in
    5) open TP file and find all non-themed resources (now showing in TP's unmodified font)
    6) prune them (and their children) >>> are these resources now empty ?
    7) fill in all the blanks with your resources
     
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Mar 12, 2005, 03:25 PM
 
Originally posted by Gerrit Vanoppen:
I still think a step-by-step guide would be great. From reading smeger over and over again, I come up with this :
  • 1) apply a theme, no need to log out / log in, and open TP
    2) create new TP file and merge elements as desired
    3) save and quit TP
    4) apply Standard Aqua Theme, no need to log out / log in
    5) open TP file and find all non-themed resources (now showing in TP's unmodified font)
    6) prune them (and their children) >>> are these resources now empty ?
    7) fill in all the blanks with your resources
mmmm, i'm ok with 1) 2) 3) and 4)
but not 5) !
I think the purpose of "prune" is to find non themed elements and to delete them. You don't have to do it by hand.
     
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Mar 12, 2005, 04:49 PM
 
Once you have finished your mod, save it as "your theme". Quit ThemePark. Revert to Aqua in SS. Re-open your tpark file and use the Prune Aqua Elements command. Basically it will remove any resource not themed, like most of the Obselete and Others, that sort of stuff. It removes all of Apples' stuff....... for copyright reasons.
They must be done individually and like smeger said, you'll spot them right away in their unmodified font.
     
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Mar 12, 2005, 05:49 PM
 
Sorry I wasn't clear.

"Prune" begins with the highlighted element in ThemePark and descends through all of its children. For each of these elements, it compares the graphic stored in the theme with the corresponding graphic in the operating system. If they're the same (i.e., the theme graphic is Aqua), it removes the graphic from the theme and marks the element as unchanged in ThemePark's interface.

The result is that if you navigate to Themes -> <your variant> -> Elements and choose the "Prune" command while the you have ShapeShifter set to Aqua, all of the Aqua elements will be removed from your theme, resulting in a smaller tpark file, a smaller guiKit file, and no Apple copyrighted stuff in your theme.

So, here's my suggestion on modding an existing theme (copying from digitaljames):

1. Apply the theme you want to modify. Launch ThemePark. ThemePark's windows and menubars will appear in your chosen theme.

2. Open Themepark and go to File -> New guiKit....

3. Highlight "Themes" on the left and click "Add". If the theme you want to modify has menu enhancements you'll need to also hit "Options", enable more menu customizations.

4. Highlight the new "My Spiffy Theme" and rename it.

5. Now you have to highlight "Elements" and go Theme -> Merge with Installed Elements. If your chosen theme to mod has apps skinned then you will need to go to Elements -> App Skins and add the apps you want skinned and then go back and merge these with the installed elements again.

5. Save this as a "your theme name" tpark file and quit ThemePark.

6. Use ShapeShifter to set the current theme to Aqua. Alternately, add ThemePark to ShapeShifter's Exclude list. Relaunch ThemePark. ThemePark's windows and menubars will appear as Aqua.

7. Open your tpark file in ThemePark and navigate to Themes -> <your variant> -> Elements and choose the "Prune Aqua Elements" command.

At this point, your tpark file contains only the graphics that the original themer modified.

Parenthetically, if you were to use the Prune command on, say, the Cathode tpark file while the Cathode theme was the applied theme, so that ThemePark itself was themed with Cathode, the result would be that every customized element in your tpark file would be discarded, leaving you with an empty theme file. This is why it is absolutely vital that you switch to Aqua before you use the Prune command.

MacMan4000, the reason that ThemePark's preview doesn't show the text colors properly is that I would need to build ShapeShifter into ThemePark in order to make TP's theme preview work properly. This is extremely non-trivial to do. So I'm holding it for a point further along on my roadmap where it'll magically become easier for me to implement. Currently, ThemePark's preview is equivalent to replacing the Extras.rsrc file, and nothing more - no ShapeShifter smart stuff.
Geekspiff - generating spiffdiddlee software since before you began paying attention.
     
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Mar 12, 2005, 11:39 PM
 
Originally posted by smeger:
MacMan4000, the reason that ThemePark's preview doesn't show the text colors properly is that I would need to build ShapeShifter into ThemePark in order to make TP's theme preview work properly. This is extremely non-trivial to do. So I'm holding it for a point further along on my roadmap where it'll magically become easier for me to implement. Currently, ThemePark's preview is equivalent to replacing the Extras.rsrc file, and nothing more - no ShapeShifter smart stuff.
Gotcha, that makes sense.

On a side-sote, I really don't see why "prune" seems so difficult to understand. It makes perfect sense to me... even before you explained it... twice.
     
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Mar 13, 2005, 01:23 AM
 
@ smeger.
Great, just what I needed : step-by-step. Thanks a lot !

@ MacMan4000
1) The word "prune" is unknown to me. I've tried several dictionaries, all they came up with is the fruit…
2) I'm constantly learning more about TP and haven't come to use the Prune command yet.
3) The importance of switching to Aqua half way sounded important enough in the first comment, so I wanted to make sure I got it right.
4) Step-by-step approach is straight and clear. And I know smeger has done it before on other issues, so I thought I could pop the question…
5) When something makes sense to you in the first place, and you yourself therefor don't see the difficulty - don't just assume anyone else is with you. Please try and imagine people who aren't and bear with them if they ask questions.
     
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Mar 13, 2005, 03:55 AM
 
From dictionary.com,
Prune: To remove or cut out as superfluous.

That's the definition that I'm using for this command. Glad everything is clear!
Geekspiff - generating spiffdiddlee software since before you began paying attention.
     
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Mar 13, 2005, 05:54 PM
 
Originally posted by Gerrit Vanoppen:
5) When something makes sense to you in the first place, and you yourself therefor don't see the difficulty - don't just assume anyone else is with you. Please try and imagine people who aren't and bear with them if they ask questions.
Sorry if I sounded harsh, or mean, or rude... I wasn't trying to be. Actually I wouldn't have known "prune" either, but it was a vocab word last month
     
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Mar 13, 2005, 06:54 PM
 
awesome walkthrough DJ.. when you guys have a final version I would glady post it
     
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Apr 6, 2005, 01:07 PM
 
This should be a sticky.

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Apr 7, 2005, 08:15 AM
 
oh great, thanks for that tut!

but i wanna know, how to chan the whole finder-sidebarcolor!
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Apr 7, 2005, 08:25 AM
 
Originally posted by _julius:
oh great, thanks for that tut!

but i wanna know, how to chan the whole finder-sidebarcolor!
<your theme> / Elements / Global Elements / Text Colors / Sidebar Background
<your theme> / Finder / Sidebar / Selection Blue & Selection Grey
     
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Jun 29, 2005, 11:19 AM
 
Is there a site/post that has a full screen shot with label names for all the elements in Theme Park? There's a ton in here and I'm loving modding these themes (thanks to EVERYONE here!) but sometimes I get lost trying to find a certain element to mod.

Like, which element (if I've enabled more menu elements or whatever) is the Selected Menu Choice? Not in the menu list but the toolbar menu (File, Edit, View, etc.,.)?
     
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Jun 29, 2005, 11:56 AM
 
Originally Posted by macgeekjay
Is there a site/post that has a full screen shot with label names for all the elements in Theme Park? There's a ton in here and I'm loving modding these themes (thanks to EVERYONE here!) but sometimes I get lost trying to find a certain element to mod.

Like, which element (if I've enabled more menu elements or whatever) is the Selected Menu Choice? Not in the menu list but the toolbar menu (File, Edit, View, etc.,.)?
theme/elements/global elements/menubars and menus/root menu caps and fill
     
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Jun 29, 2005, 11:57 AM
 
Originally Posted by macgeekjay
Is there a site/post that has a full screen shot with label names for all the elements in Theme Park?

http://vanillasoap.com/guiki/index.p...ource_Articles
     
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Jun 29, 2005, 12:26 PM
 
SWEEEET! Thanks everyone!
     
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Nov 12, 2005, 06:25 PM
 
     
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Nov 15, 2005, 10:26 AM
 
So if I wanted to change the Finder sidebar color in ThemePark would the resulting changes be in the new exported Extras.rsrc file or would I also have to use the new Finder.rsrc file?
     
   
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