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This chapter is from the book

Changing a Theme's Appearance

You can make changes in the default theme using options in the Appearance menu in the Customize area.

If you change to a different theme, all bets are off—that is, what you can change depends on how your new theme is set up. Each setting in the Appearance menu is turned on or off by each theme. If a theme has not turned on a setting, you won't be able to change that aspect of the theme's appearance using the Appearance menu.

The Appearance menu is great for "quick and dirty" changes to the default theme and other themes that allow it. You can learn whether a given theme allows specific changes via the Appearance menu by looking at the theme's HTML (HyperText Markup Language) with the guidance of the custom HTML Help page shown in Figure 5.4.

Follow these steps to customize the appearance of specific aspects of themes that support each kind of change—your changes show up in the example page as you work:

  1. In the Customize area, click the Appearance menu.

    The Appearance menu displays, as shown in Figure 5.2.

    Figure 5.2

    Figure 5.2 The Appearance menu is a big help with some themes.

  2. To change the background color, click the color swatch next to the word Background.

    A simple color picker displays, as shown in Figure 5.3.

    Figure 5.3

    Figure 5.3 The color picker gives you a lot of options.

  3. Choose a shade by moving the pointer next to the vertical bar up and down; choose a degree of saturation by moving the circular dot around in the field of colors.

    The color chosen is shown in the vertical bar to the right of the color picker.

  4. If you have a hexadecimal code you want to try, enter it in the upper part of the color picker. The other parts of the color picker adjust to show that color.

    A hexadecimal code is a way to specify a color in a concise, compact way. If you want to use hexadecimal codes, one good place to learn about and find them is the RGB Color Calculator at www.drpeterjones.com/colorcalc.

  5. When you have the shade you want, click the Close button to close the color picker.

    Your chosen color displays as the background of the example.

  6. Choose the title, body, and accent fonts from the pull-down menus.

    Experiment to see what looks good. Unusual fonts such as Copperlate Light and Impact are hard to balance with other fonts. Also, not all fonts are supported on all machines, with an especially big gulf between PCs and Macs. So your choices might not look the same on all users' machines.

  7. Click the Upload button to change the header image and background image.

    Changing the header and background image can change the look of your tumblog and make it more personal. If you do change either or both of these images, consider changing the other settings to complement them.

  8. Click the check box to change the settings for Show People I Follow, Show Tags, and Show Album Art on Audio Posts.

    Having these settings turned on increases the richness of your tumblog by adding information to it, so it's unusual to turn them off. If you're trying for a stark, uncluttered effect, that might be a reason to turn off some or all of them.

  9. Enter your Disqus shortname.

    If you use the Disqus commenting tool, which you can learn more about at www.disqus.com, you can enter a shortname for it here.

  10. Click the Appearance menu name to close the menu.
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