Since I seem to be on the ‘gnome customisation’ band-wagon at the moment, I thought I would look into trying to make my own GTK+ 2.0 themes, along the lines of some of the excellent ones I’ve found at places like this.
For those of you eagerly anticipating a nice clear ‘How-To’ on the subject, I’m afraid I was defeated. If you are interested in making your own theme, then the Gnome Wiki has a tutorial here, which is probably best combined with simply going into the directory of a nice simple theme you like and having a look at the gtkrc file.
I decided that this degree of customisation was a little too difficult still at this point in my Linux education, so I started looking for alternatives. I found some fantastic examples of the sort of things I could do here but sadly very little explanation on how to do them myself.
Just as I was about to give up, I was thrown a lifeline of hope by another IRC friend.
Gnome-Color-Chooser is a GTK theming application, available for download off the Ubuntu Repositories. It doesn’t modify your existing theme at all, but simply super-imposes it’s own theme on top through a ‘tick box’ system. Simply untick the boxes, and you have your original theme back as good as new. Only tick some of the boxes, and you end up with a combination of your existing theme and Gnome-Color-Chooser’s additions.
It’s very easy to lose a lot of time to playing with this app, so to help you along, I found a couple of other tools which are quite useful.
- ‘The Widget Factory’ can be installed from the Ubuntu Repositories. It is, quite simply, an application that creates a window full of widgets, so that you can see exactly what your new theme will look like. It can show your current theme, or any of the themes that you have currently installed, without you having to set them in Appearance properties.
- This website provides a very good color picker, which is very handy with all those color options to choose from in Gnome-Color-Chooser!
I’m still looking into ways to create a proper GTK+ 2.0 theme, and any pointers are appreciated. For the moment though, this will leave me enough to be going on with, I think. I hope it helps you as well!