Chapter 11. Using Preference Tools

Customizing Themes

A theme is a group of coordinated settings that specifies the visual appearance of a part of the GNOME Desktop. You can choose themes to change the appearance of the GNOME Desktop. Use the Theme preference tool to select a theme. You can choose from a list of available themes. The list of available themes includes several themes for users with accessibility requirements.

A theme contains settings that affect different parts of the GNOME Desktop, as follows:

Controls

The controls setting for a theme determines the visual appearance of windows, panels, and applets. The controls setting also determines the visual appearance of the GNOME-compliant interface items that appear on windows, panels, and applets, such as menus, icons, and buttons. Some of the controls setting options that are available are designed for special accessibility needs. You can choose an option for the controls setting from the Controls tabbed section in the Theme Details.

Window frame

The window frame setting for a theme determines the appearance of the frames around windows only. You can choose an option for the window frame setting from the Window Border tabbed section in the Theme Details.

Icon

The icon setting for a theme determines the appearance of the icons on panels and the desktop background. You can choose an option for the icon setting from the Icons tabbed section in the Theme Details.

To Create a Custom Theme

The themes that are listed in the Theme preferences tool are different combinations of controls options, window frame options, and icon options. You can create a custom theme that uses different combinations of controls options, window frame options, and icon options.

To create a custom theme, perform the following steps:

  1. Start the Theme preference tool.

  2. Select a theme in the list of themes.

  3. Click on the Theme Details button. A Theme Details dialog is displayed.

  4. Select the controls option that you want to use in the custom theme from the list in the Controls tabbed section. The list of available controls options includes several options for users with accessibility requirements.

  5. Click on the Window Border tab to display the Window Border tabbed section. Select the window frame option that you want to use in the custom theme from the list of available options. The list of available window frame options includes several options for users with accessibility requirements.

  6. Click on the Icons tab to display the Icons tabbed section. Select the icons option that you want to use in the custom theme from the list of available options. The list of available icons options includes several options for users with accessibility requirements.

  7. Click Close to close the Theme Details dialog.

  8. On the Theme preferences tool, click on the Save theme button. A Save theme to disk dialog is displayed.

  9. Type a name and a short description for the custom theme in the dialog, then click Save. The custom theme now appears in your list of available themes.

To Install a New Theme

You can add a theme to the list of available themes. The new theme must be an archive file that is tarred and zipped. That is, the new theme must be a .tar.gz file.

To install a new theme, perform the following steps:

  1. Start the Theme preference tool.

  2. Click on the Install Theme button. A Theme Installation dialog is displayed.

  3. Enter the location of the theme archive file in the drop-down combination box. Alternatively, to browse for the file, click on the Browse button. When you have selected the file, click OK.

  4. Click on the Install button to install the new theme.

To Install a New Theme Option

You can install new controls options, window frame options, or icons options. You can find many controls options on the Internet.

To install a new controls option, window frame option, or icons option, perform the following steps:

  1. Start the Theme preference tool.

  2. Click on the Theme Details button. An Theme Details dialog is displayed.

  3. Click on the tab for the type of theme that you want to install. For example, to install an icons option, click on the Icons tab.

  4. Click on the Install Theme button. A Theme Installation dialog is displayed.

  5. Enter the location of the option archive file in the drop-down combination box. Alternatively, to browse for the file, click on the Browse button. When you have selected the file, click OK.

  6. Click on the Install button to install the new option.

To Delete a Theme Option

You can delete controls options, window frame options, or icons options.

To delete a controls option, window frame option, or icons option, perform the following steps:

  1. Start the Theme preference tool.

  2. Click on the Theme Details button. A Theme Details dialog is displayed.

  3. Click on the tab for the type of option that you want to delete.

  4. Click on the Go To Theme Folder button. A file manager window opens on the default option folder.

  5. Use the file manager window to delete the option.

Previewing Themes

You can use the file manager to preview and change themes. To change themes, perform the following steps:

  1. Use the file manager to access the themes:/// URI. The themes are displayed as icons.

  2. Double-click on a theme to change the theme.