A theme is a collection of configuration information about the desktop. Selecting a new theme allows you to change many things about your desktop at the same time with a very small effort. Themes include information about many desktop configuration items including:
- Desktop background
- Icon style
- Font face and size for various window and desktop components
- Widget style – widgets are the window decorations that determine the look of buttons window title bars and so on
Figure 19: The KDE Control Center allows you to configure many aspects of your Linux KDE Desktop.
To select a theme you should open KMenu => Control Center. The control Center is where you can configure many aspects of your Linux system. We will start changing the look and feel of your desktop by selecting a new theme.
Figure 19 shows the KDE Control Center. To select a new theme click on the [+] icon next to Appearance and Themes to expand that category.
Selecting a Theme
Figure 20 shows the Theme Manager with several preconfigured themes including the KDE Classic theme. You can select any of these themes by clicking on its name in the Theme List. The preview pane shows you what the theme will look like when it is activated. The theme will not be applied to your desktop until you click the Apply button. After previewing all of the themes, select the one you like and then click on the Apply button to activate it.
Figure 20: The Theme Manager allows you to select from preconfigured themes or to create and save your own themes.
Modifying a Theme
You can modify any theme once you have selected it by using the row of icons near the bottom of the Theme Manager window. Just click on the button to change the desired properties. The next sections shows you how to do this.
Saving Your Theme
Remember that none of the changes you have made will be activated until you click on the Apply button on the main Theme Manager window. Note that existing themes cannot be modified and saved. You must save modifications to an existing theme as a new theme.
Existing themes can be deleted although it is not necessary. I strongly recommend not deleting any of the themes provided with KDE as part of the installation. You can certainly delete any that you have created yourself.
To save your modified theme, click on the “Create New Theme” button on the Theme Manager. Type a new name for your theme in the popup window and click on OK. Saving your theme in this manner saves all of the appearance aspects of your desktop, no matter how they were changed. You do not have to make modifications to the appearance of your desktop from within the Theme Manager in order to save them with it.
Changing Attributes Without Changing Your Theme
You can also modify any of the attributes I have discussed above without making any changes to your theme. Choose the appropriate attribute in the Index list on the left-hand side of the Control Center window. Make the desired changes and click the Apply button. You can then return to your original theme – or to any other theme – by going to the Theme Manager and choosing the desired theme. Note that whether you change the visual attributes of your desktop from within the Themes Manager or the Control Center, you are using the same programs to make the same changes.
Of course, if you like your changes really well, you can also save your altered KDE desktop as a new theme as described above.