4 Replies Latest reply on Apr 27, 2012 4:48 PM by Dillik

    Custom FMP12 themes possible

    Dillik

      Title

      Custom FMP12 themes possible

      Post

      I didn't see this mentioned anywhere yet, so I'll take a stab at the subject despite my relative ignorance.  It seems FMP 12.0v1 does accept custom themes.  Here's what I tried (sorry, this was done on OS X and I don't know how to translate the instructions for Windows):

      1) Go to the FMP12 application folder, select FileMaker Pro, right-click and show package contents, then go to Contents/Resources/Themes.  Copy one of those subfolders out of there and into somewhere handy (I copied "Beach" onto my desktop).

      2) Go to your FMP support folder and locate the "Themes" folder; I found mine at ~/Library/Application Support/FileMaker/Extensions/Themes.  Rename your folder from step 1 to something original (example: Beach2) and drop it into the Themes folder.

      3) In manifest.xml, change the <name> parameter to something unique for demonstration's sake; I changed mine to Beach2.  Also change the <id> to something unique (I went with com.filemaker.theme.beach2), or else it gets your custom theme confused with the original you duplicated (?).  Save.

      4) In FMP12, go to change a layout's theme, and you'll find your duplicated theme (Beach2 for me) in the list.  Success...?  (You'd of course want to customize the css and/or images for there to be any point in having your own custom theme.  This is just proof of concept.)

      I've been messing around a little bit to make sure that css customizations actually take, and they do.  I've also tried applying the theme and then removing my custom theme's folder to make sure the layout retains its theme without the local folder; it does, and you can even still use the "Apply theme styles" to revert objects back to their theme style at this point.  I tentatively take this to mean other users won't need a copy of your theme's folder to properly see (or even modify) a layout you created with it; it's apparently only needed when applying a theme.

      I really know just enough about this stuff to be dangerous, so I'd appreciate if someone could offer more information about how the manifest.xml's parameters should be structured and how/when the layout makes use of your custom folder.  Also instructions for Windows.  I'll continue to poke around.

      Update:

      • Here is the TechNet thread where the big boys and big girls are discussing the subject.
      • And here is FileMaker's official warning against using custom themes.

        • 1. Re: Custom FMP12 themes possible
          tokerud_1

          Thanks for your report here. I've duplicated your findings and am pretty comfortable with css. Any further findings would be of interest to me and I'm sure many others.

          • 2. Re: Custom FMP12 themes possible
            Dillik

            I've done some more experimentation with custom themes, and I have a rather big obstacle to report:

            When a database file applies a theme for the first time (whether it's a theme that was embedded in the app or an extra theme you placed in the Themes folder I described above), the database apparently records all of that theme's settings and never refreshes those settings again.  That means that although you can make a custom theme and share it with others without even sending them your theme folder, you can never (as far as I can tell) update what that file thinks that theme consists of.

            For example, I changed the default font for some of my themes (in the app itself) from Helvetica to Verdana and applied one such theme to one of my files.  Now, even if I change my mind about that change I made, that theme will forever be defined with Verdana in that one file.  That's... not very promising, unless anyone can figure out a way to wipe a file's record of what each theme means.

            • 3. Re: Custom FMP12 themes possible
              Jade

              Try holding down the cmd-alt-ctrl-shift keys when you reapply the theme.  (I forget the exact key combination but you can get more info on the TechNet along with a video describing your technique.  FileMaker does not sanction editing the CSS docs since they may change with future updates.)

              https://fmdev.filemaker.com/message/79912#79912

              • 4. Re: Custom FMP12 themes possible
                Dillik

                Hey, thanks!  Worked like a charm.  Funny, I tried different modifier keys to see if that would work, but I didn't try mashing quite that many.  Heh.

                Anyway, so noted that the internal css docs will surely be overwritten on updates, but the external Themes folder should be safe(r), I'd think.