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Turn on your theme

April 29, 2010 by Steve

The next step is to switch from the default theme to something a little more stylish.

Before I started looking at themes, I sketched out what I wanted the page to look like. Then I went to the themes section at to look over what was available. I also surfed through the Theme Garden for a while to see if there was any good stuff hiding in there. I ended up downloading 20 or so themes that I liked the looks of before finally settling on Newswire. (Makers of Marinelli, Analytic, Addari, and especially Nitobe, you do some nice work. I tried to use Nitobe as my Admin theme for a while, because I liked it so much, but it was too disruptive to be switching back and forth all the time. And I'll be using Sonbol for my wife's genealogy site when she's ready to go live.)

In the Site Building > Themes > List page you can enable themes and select the default. If you want to have users be able to log in and choose their own themes you can, but I'm not planning on that right now. I only have Newswire enabled, and I disabled the default core theme that we started with. Save that change.

Now under Site Building > Themes > Configure > Newswire, I can go in and change the default settings for the theme. Newswire has a "known feature" (not a bug, but something you need to know about) that you cannot show a site logo and a site name at the same time. At this point, I've got the following settings in the Toggle Display box:

  • Logo - off
  • Site Name - on
  • Site Slogan - on
  • Mission Statement - off
  • User pictures in posts - disabled
  • User pictures in comments - disabled
  • Search box - disabled (requires the Search module, we'll come back for this)
  • Shortcut icon - on
  • Primary links - on
  • Secondary links - off

I'm not using a logo, so I made no changes in the Logo image settings.

The Shortcut icon settings control the use of the "favicon". The favicon is the tiny picture that shows up in your favorites list, the tabs, and the URL bar in most browsers these days. The default is the Drupal icon. You can upload one for your site here, or just uncheck the "Use default shortcut icon" box to use nothing.

Newswire allows you to change between several color schemes. The default is Tan pages and Ruby Red highlights. I changed mine to Gray and Emerald Green.

Save this configuration, and we're done with the theme setup for now.


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