Dupicate Themes should duplicate custom styles as well


lets start again as the nice feature requests from the old forum are lost.

I often Duplicate themes to modify them for my needs and I find it annoying that custom styles are lost if I do so.
I have to manually hack the custom styles to work with the duplicated themes and I think this job should be done by RW for me. It´s not rocket science and would save a lot of time.



The trick is to save the custom style in one Theme and load it into the duplicate.

How can you load it into the duplicate? The only way I found was to duplicate the custom style and edit the xml file to modify the name to the name of the duplicate.

Like this:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd">
<plist version="1.0">
    <key>Display Name</key>
        <string>Header Highlight.Show</string>
        <string>Menu Font Size (Tabs).14px</string>
        <string>Width.840px (8 Menu Tabs)</string>
        <string>Breadcrumbs.Show (Default)</string>
        <string>Logo Placement.Left (Default)</string>
        <string>Banner Highlight.Show (Default)</string>
        <string>Font Size (Global).13px</string>
        <string>Font Family.Lucida Family</string>
        <string>Title &amp; Slogan.Show title and slogan (Default)</string>
        <string>Page Banner.None</string>
    <key>Style Name</key>
    <key>Theme Name</key>
    <string>Silk Rene</string>

However RW should just do this. If I duplicate a theme it should automatically duplicate and adapt the custom styles. Anything else is reverse engineering by customers and I doubt there are many people that know how to do this. There are a lot of stupid things like that in RW that are not improved and people have to find workarounds.
This is wrong.

Go to

Settings > Master Style

Then at top right the Theme Styles > Theme Default is a dropdown from which you can select previously saved theme styles.

Did you try what you say? If I duplicate a theme the styles are only selectable in the original Theme, but not in the duplicate. It´s impossible as the reference is coming from the Theme Name inside of the xml.

Maybe some screenshots help to understand.

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Presumably you can edit that XML.

I understand what you are saying; but there must be a good reason why duplicate Themes don’t duplicate custom styles.

In a recent podcast Ben and Dan also explained that the need to duplicate Themes to work on them has largely disappeared - precisely because of this ability to alter them using Styles.

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I think… and I could be wrong… is that custom styles for themes are per project and not associated to the Theme per-se.


I don´t think there is a good reason. The fact that it works witout any issue for me when I edit the xml shows that clearly.

There are still several reasons to duplicate themes. I do it if I modify the code of the original theme.

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What happens in the rare case that a Theme is updated by the developer after you’ve modified it?

They are associated by the following line in the xml and thats the only reason they don´t work with the duplicate, as the name of the duplicate is different.

<key>Theme Name</key>

If I duplicate the theme to “Photographos Copy”, make a copy of the custom style and modify that line it shows up in the selection for the duplicated theme and it works without any problem.

I just want RW to do this job for me.

But if duplicating Themes is deprecated, even RW 7 - which has a lot of new functionality, it seems - is unlikely to do so.

have you written to RM and asked for their comments/advice?

Personally folks…

As I can see the need for some people to be able to customize a Theme, if it becomes the norm, then the support issues would be tremendous even compared to modifying themes via css… I don’t think that is somewhere Realmac wants to go.

I would prefer they disable duplicate theme all together from a support perspective and IMHO. If you have the knowledge to duplicate and modify then you could read up on making your own theme and using that instead.

Just saying’ :wink:



Never touch a running system. I don´t care. I could also easily use diffmerge and take over the corrections if there is something really interesting updated for me.

Sure I did. No reply so far.

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I agree only if RW would be more felxible and allow more modifications. There are still a lot of things you simply cannot do unless you modify the theme.

And I don´t think this would be a support issue as themes are not supported by Realmac and they could easily see that there is a problem coming from a hacked theme. I would actually also not expect or demand any help from RMS.


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I agree with Turtle. All recent discussions I have had with developers and those podcasts I mentioned - suggest that duplicating a Theme is deprecated; or definitely heading that way.

I’ll be honest, I’ve always done it, so that I have a copy if anything goes wrong. I also rename it to reflect the Project in question.

But there are many good reasons to make changes in other ways - again much more favored by RM - such as custom CSS. That is the way to go, I’m now sure.


Haven’t been around for awhile huh… everything is RMS’ fault don’t you know lol Just check the forums… WOW!


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I disagree. Not everything can be solved with custom CSS and RW is kind of limited for some things you might have to do especially if you integrate own php code.

As long as there is the functionality to Duplicate a theme they should also duplicate and adapt the custom styles. And as I wrote this is safe.

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There has to be a balance. Going the Apple way and limit the flexibility of tools is also not a good way and leads to unsatisfied customers.


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