Transferring Styles between (identical) Themes

In the ‘old days’ (I’ve been a RW user since version 3) it was good practice to work on a copy of a Theme.

So I used to Duplicate a Theme in RW (not the Finder) before starting to make changes to its settings/values… I would typically prepend a space and indicate the Theme’s name with a meaningful prefix.

So, for instance, I’d make a duplicate of ‘Expose’ as ‘ BrightonCoffee_Expose’.

It all works/worked well.

The disadvantage, of course, is that I have two versions of the same Theme, and only the original gets updated when a new version is released… ‘Expose’ but not ‘ BrightonCoffee_Expose’.

So I’ve decided to stop working on duplicates and just use (RW) Styles to customize Themes instead.

How do I transfer the Styles in the Duplicate(s) which I made (back) into the original Themes?

I can easily save the (Duplicate Theme’s) Master Style using the cog…

But when I try get it back into the non-Duplicate Theme (so that it can be updated) using the dropdown in Settings > Master Style to find my Style file, it’s not there.

Changing what I take to be the Theme Name line in the XML in BBEdit to try and force the Style values to apply to the non-duplicate version of the Theme hasn’t so far worked, either.

Can it be done, please?


Hi Mark,

I’ve noticed with Themeflood themes i had to change the Style name, Theme Name and then also under Root > Colours > ‘yourthemename’ and then the styles would work successfully. Not sure if that is the case for other developer’s themes though. HTH.

I recently did the opposite and created a copy to experiment with CSS. I wanted to use a custom style I created once and searched the web for a how-to to get it recognised by the copy.
Found this:

The chapter Updating Saved Style Files gave me the information I was looking for.
Worked perfect.
It looks to me you’re close to a solution. Don’t forget to restart RW.

Hope this helps,


We had this topic recently and I described how it works. You were also in that thread.


Thanks for reminding me of that thread, to which I contributed. You are right then (and I was wrong, sorry!)

Do you think it really is only a question of changing the single line as indicated in Oscar’s (how is he, does anyone know?) post here?

I did try that, but the icon for the Style was that of BBEdit, and it didn’t work…

Thanks for your suggestions!


Thanks for that: I’ll try in those two places. It does happen to be a Theme Flood theme :slight_smile:

Yeah i noticed that changing the ‘Colors’ tag is not in Will’s guide or at least it wasn’t there when i last looked. Until i found that i couldn’t get them to work properly. Hope it works for you. Mine looks like this:

Thanks, Menno!

Particularly steps 10 and 11.

I think I shall try again :slight_smile:

David - may I ask, which XML parser was this, please?

It’s PlistEdit Pro - great for this task.

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Thanks. Yes. Will BBEdit (which I already have) not do it (properly)? A little expensive for a one-off…

PlistEdit Pro is the holy grail of plist editors. Just wonderful… they used to have a version where you could use it indefinitely without a license if you were prepared to wait 5 seconds or so for an annoying timer to expire first.

Latest version is a lot more strict though and forces you to buy in order to save changes. Well worth the money if plists are your thing.

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I used Textwrangler to modify the file. It’s the free verstond of BBEdit I believe, so you have the right tool already. Of course Plist Edit Pro is superior, but not necessary for this task.

Thanks, Stuart and Menno. If BBEdit will do the job, I may stick to that - provided it will preserver everything else that’s integral to the XML. It would be good to have Plist Edit Pro, though :slight_smile:

Using this page as a guide, I’ve made progress.

But the process still isn’t really working.

Should I be Saving from and reloading into:

  • the Styles in each page’s Style tab (Page Inspector), as that page of Jonathan’s directs, or
  • into the Master Style in Settings (RW 7.0.2)

What role does ‘Theme Default’ play? In Flexture, for instance, clicking on ‘Theme Default’ in Settings > Master Style reverts all the Theme’s display parameters to those that ship with Flexture losing all my settings!

And, finally, what about ‘Use Master Style’?

I have successfully edited a Theme Style using BBEdit, although it loses the correct icon; and although the Style’s name seems to need changing in more than that one place in the file’s last six lines.

I can certainly see what’s meant to happen:

  • save all the theme’s parameters from one Project (or is it from one Theme?)
  • edit them only inasmuch as you make the Style available to another Theme by changing the appropriate string for that in the XML
  • load the parameters back into the other Theme/Project

But Where: each Page or the Master Style?

And what of the effect that Master Style has?

TIA to anyone who’s really made this work for any guidance you can offer!

I’ve come across a further bug in this customizing of themes issue.

I can no longer change the theme styles for ThemeFlood’s Black Theme. The changes - e.g. to Background don’t stick.

The every helpful Will can’t reproduce it and tentatively attributes it to a (known?) preview bug in RW 7 (I have 7.0.2). And that different Themes may handle the creation and management of (custom) styles differently.

RM tech support - also doing a sterling job at what must be an unimaginably busy time for them - suggest that Themes can’t have their styles changed at all, and that it’s necessary to recreate them in circumstances such as the ones I’m hoping for some help with in this thread.

Does anyone else agree that, if we’re to work elegantly with Themes’ Styles, this really does need to be cleared up once and for all.

RapidWeaver 7 introduced some complexities to this task, but we hope to make this much easier to perform in the next versions of RW7. Stay tuned!

Aaron - that’s really helpful. Thanks.

Is that going to be 7.0.3?

If so, I’ll hold off transferring Styles back to my original versions (see my first post here, please).

Or - is there anything I can do now?

As you saw, it seems impossible to change some Themes’ Styles at all.

Your help much appreciated!

In the end, I decided on the ‘analogue’ (!) solution - and it worked perfectly, though may be more time consuming.

Instead of risking editing Themes’ and their Styles’ parameters in the file(s), I simply took a series of screen grabs of the settings from the source Theme and eyedropped the colours, reproduced exactly all other settings in the Target Theme.