You guys seemed pretty stoked about creating your own custom Chrome themes using Google's new tool, so in the vein of our featured desktops, home screens, and workspaces, we're inviting you to share your custom Chrome theme with us. More »
Firefox users have two options when they want to change the default theme of the web browser. They can either install a full theme from the official theme repository, or use
Personas Background Themes which only change some aspects of the browser. Chrome users up until now had only the option to install regular themes in their browser. This has changed with the creation of the official My Chrome Theme extension by Google.
My Chrome Theme
Chrome users can use the app to create their own custom theme that is not that different from Firefox’s feature. It takes three configuration steps to create the theme. You select a photo or image from your computer, or use a connected webcam to create an image in the first step. Once you have uploaded the image you can adjust the image’s position if necessary, select to upload a new image, or continue to the next step.
The fit to screen, fill screen and tile image positioning options use the resolution of the monitor, and not of the Chrome window, when selected. Keep that in mind, especially so if you are not running the browser in full screen all the time. One option would be to resize the image as you see fit before you upload it in the browser.
The second step of the process lets you change the following four colors of the browser:
- The New Tab Color
- The Background Tab Color
- The Frame Color
- The Background color.
You need to name your theme in the last step, and can add an optional description as well. A new page opens afterwards with an install button to install the theme locally, and a share url in case you want to share the theme with other Chrome users. Pro tip: Upload a single color image if you only want to change your browser’s frame, tab and background colors.
Theme creation is really easy, and if you manage to get the right image or photo, it can look really nice. Remember that the background image is only shown on new tab pages, which is different from Firefox Personas which is shown in the header. Chrome users who want to give it a swirl can install the My Chrome Theme extension at the official Chrome Web Store. (via Caschy)
This is a guest post by Mark Subel.
It’s that time of year where the ghosts and goblins come out and we get ready for Halloween night. Kids are making last minute changes to their costume and parents haven’t yet figured out what they’re wearing to the Halloween party. Whatever the case, you won’t run out of options for dressing up your browser this Halloween season. Firefox, IE and Chrome users have a wealth of options for decorating their browsers this year with several amazing Halloween themes available online. Here are our favorite Halloween themes for your browser:
This creepy theme found in the Firefox personas gallery showcases a spooky haunted house with streaks of animated lightning bolts lighting up the sky. The imagery in this theme is just amazing with a dark sky and full moon to further accentuate the Halloween theme.
Another theme in the Firefox Personas gallery, this Halloween theme displays brilliant imagery of Halloween with black cats, haunted houses, bats, a full moon and cemetery. This theme is animated and you’ll see lights flickering on and off in the house, bats flying and a surprise from a spider right in your browser. We’ll let you try it out to see where the spider appears.
Not all Halloween themes have to be scary. This Hello Kitty theme features your favorite characters in a beautifully designed Halloween scene with happy pumpkins, a bright orange and yellow background, and your favorite Halloween characters like bats, spiders, and witches.
Firefox and Internet Explorer
This unique Halloween theme developed by Brand Thunder, features Jack-o-Lanterns dipped in a fiery orange molten substance, black and orange background and “Trick or Treat” imagery. Perfect for Halloween lovers. Taking it a step further, this theme is “interactive”, as it provides quick links to Halloween costume websites, Halloween safety tips and a video sidebar showing the spookiest Halloween related videos.
Please note: Brand Thunder themes come with a WebSearch+ toolbar.
Chrome users will enjoy this “Happy Halloween” theme made specifically for them. A beautifully designed pumpkin graphic with a dark black background and “Happy Halloween” saying displayed underneath. The tabs and bookmarks tab are tinted with light and dark orange to complete this slick theme.
Flickr user ers_21 apparently longs for a Parisian vacation, or to sit on the streets of Paris and eat pastries and sip espresso, and his desktop takes us there with him. It's clean, monochrome and minimal without being boring, and is still simple enough to not be distracting when it's time to get some work done. More »
If you prefer Firefox functionality but want Google Chrome look, then here is something for you.
FXChrome is a simple, Google Chrome like theme for Firefox 4.
There is not much left to say other than: click here and check it out.
Be sure to check the installation instructions.
Customizing our computers is a cool way to personalize the machine we work on. Working on a computer that we have personalized and are comfortable with increases our productivity. There are various methods in which you can customize your computer; one of these methods is to customize the look of your favorite web browser.
Personally, I prefer Google Chrome over all other web browsers. I like the quick response time and security it offers. The browser also offers a gallery of themes that can be used to customize its look. But instead of selecting something from a list, I like to create my own themes.
Below you will find the tools that I use to create my browser themes for Google Chrome. I hope they will help you personalize your Chrome experience as they helped me.
ChromeThemeMaker is the first entry in my list because it is the easiest one to use. The application is basically an online tool. It lets you modify numerous factors that contribute to the look of Google Chrome. You can edit the frame, toolbar, tab, and background of your Chrome window.
You can select from a list of available options for each modifiable control.
Alternatively you can upload your own options to give your theme a truly personal touch. The site provides some samples for inspiration.
When you are done editing your theme, you can either download it or directly apply it to your Chrome.
ChromeThemeMaker can be visited here.
2. CRX Theme Creator
CRX Theme Creator is a freeware application for Windows operating systems. The slight delay in response time experienced in ChromeThemeMaker is absent in CRX because it is a desktop application. The app comes as an EXE download sized at 256 KB. To run CRX you simply double-click its EXE file – no installation is required. This is what the programs looks like when running.
Through a single window you are able to control almost all aspects of Chrome’s look. To name a few, you can set colors for the toolbar, bookmark text, and the browser’s frame.
You can also set images for the tab background, frame, and toolbar.
After completing your modifications you can name your theme and create it to be loaded to Chrome or shared on ChromeTheme.net.
The “CRX Theme Creator” can be gotten from here.
3. Chromium Theme Builder
Chromium Theme Builder is another desktop application for creating Google Chrome themes. This one has comes as a ZIP archive sized at 816 KB. You have to decompress the archive and run the extracted EXE file to run the program. Just like CRX, Chromium Theme Builder does not require an installation. This is how the program looks like while running.
Usage of the application is very simple. A mini-view of Google Chrome is presented in the app’s interface. You click on the Chrome element that you wish to modify. Doing so will open the images folder of that element. All you have to do is edit the PNG images contained within this folder.
Repeating this step for all Chrome elements will give you a fully customized Google Chrome theme that you can later build and test using the application.
The Gmail team has just announced five new themes for Gmail:
- Basic Black: Shown above, it's a bare bones high-contrast theme; it's actually quite soothing.
- Basic White: It's the same as Basic Black, only in white.
- Android: This one seems like kind of a shameless marketing move (where's the "iPhone" theme?), but it's really a nice theme. You get a subtle circuit-board pattern up top, with a tiny Android hanging off of the Chat pane. It's very reminiscent of the Android theme for Google Chrome.
- Tree Tops: It's exactly what it sounds like. You get a bunch of foliage in the header, and the whole thing is very green. It's not particularly exciting.
- Marker: This theme takes a highlighter to Gmail. It basically makes it look as if the Chat window and various headers are just "markered in" by hand. This one is actually the coolest - I think I'll be keeping it.
The themes are already available for both Gmail and Google Apps users. Try them out, and if you can't decide you can always just click Random at the bottom right corner!
Google has introduced half a dozen new official Chrome themes, but you won't find them if you click the get themes link on your Personal Stuff menu. No, like the scores of user-created themes out there these new themes from Google have been dropped into the Extensions Gallery.
I'm sure the plan is to list everything in the Gallery at some point (possibly once it's re-branded as the Web Store?), but it really shouldn't be hard to give themes their own section on the existing Gallery. Or, you know, post them on the page Chrome takes you to when you click get themes.
The new themes are called Modern, Adaptive, Vibrant, Inventive, Fresh, and Orkut_Hudson. They're artist-created, and generally not for those of you who like Chrome's interface to be as unobtrusive as possible -- some are downright loud.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder of course -- tell us what you think of the new themes in the comments.
So, you want to change the look of Google Chrome, but you're not happy with the options available in the official Themes Gallery? Well, I've got good news for you: there are plenty of good themes available elsewhere.
In fact, there are loads of themes in the Google Chrome Extensions Gallery. Wait, what? Yes, I know -- a theme is not an extension. Sure, they're the same file type (.CRX), but that's pretty much where the similarities end. Still, the Extensions Gallery is the only official place that designers can upload themes right now; hopefully, Google will add a "user created" tab to the Themes Gallery someday.
There are other sites where you can find themes as well -- deviantART and ChromeThemes.org, for example. Take the jump and have a look at a few of the better ones I've found. Taste is subjective, of course, so feel free to link your own favorites in the comments!
(I've listed the themes and linked them below in case you have trouble finding the links inside the gallery)
Normally, a single theme doesn't warrant its own post, but Robot Theme was just too cool not to share. It remains one of the most popular Google Chrome themes in the Gallery.
Drawing inspiration from the Firefox 4 UI, Foxy is the perfect theme for those of you who love your Aero transparency. It's difficult to notice the effect on inactive tabs if you have your Chrome window maximized, though.
The Simpsons Theme
MMmmmm ... yellow. Yes, it's loud, and it might not be your favorite color, but you've got to love the disgruntled Homer in the corner of the new tab page.
The fan page at Bioshock2.org actually has two themes available for download, and they're both super-grungy and dark, which is pretty much exactly what you'd expect for a Bioshock theme. You can also find a couple more over at deviantART.
XP Royale Blue and Zune Themes
If you're still running XP, chances are good that you're using one of the nice Royale themes. StudioJanck's Zune (black) and Royale Blue themes are nicely done and match the updated, glossy XP look.
Yes, there are people out there who like wood themes, and Muku is a nice one for Chrome.
Chrome themes don't have to be complicated to be good; there's not really a heck of a lot to see, after all. Elegante imparts a nice, simple grayscale look.
Green Day: Warning
I'm not sure what it is about the green-on-stone gray look in this theme, but I like it. If you're not a Green Day fan but still like the look, just throw in a new tab extension like Incredible Start Page to replace the default. (note: if you're not a fan of SendSpace, download this theme from here.)
I'm not a RuneScape player, but I actually kinda like this theme. It's well done, and it's readable, which is one important characteristic that a lot of themes seem to forget about.
Bad: It's a perfect example of what is wrong with the Chrome Extensions Gallery.
The themes actually appeared late yesterday, though they looked like extension spam to me. There were no screenshots posted. They're not labeled as themes. Their titles, if you browse via the recent extensions link, only show the name of the country. The image you see below is the "detail" page for the England theme.
It really is time to give themes their own home. Chrome, after all, doesn't take you to the Extensions Gallery when you choose to get themes via the wrench menu's options page. No, it takes you to the themes site.
So how about it Google? Can we please add a "user created" section next to Themes by Artists and Themes by Google and get them out of the Extensions Gallery once and for all?
If you're running Google Chrome on Linux, switching to the "dev" channel seems like a smarter bet than ever. The newest release includes support for desktop notifications (as previously suggested), and better integrates with your GTK/GNOME theme by using its text and button selection colors. Plug-ins, too, can now be stashed in a location in your home folder for backup and maintenance.
[via Google Chrome Blog]
Earlier this week, I read an interesting article in the New York Times about shokunin kishitsu, or the 'craftsman's spirit.' The craftsman's spirit in Japanese culture basically appeals to all of us, regardless of vocation, to aspire to beauty in everything we do and create.