Hildon theme tools overview

This page provides a listing and a description of the tools available in the hildon-theme-tools package used to do theming for hildon and maemo platform. If you're looking for generic information on how to use those tools, please consider reading the theming howto.


This tool creates an outline image that shows the slicing guides. The outline image consists of translucent green and yellow rectangles that show the cutting areas. The image has the same dimensions as the original layout.

You can use this image in your graphics program/software to check if the drawings fit the proper areas. Typically you'd load your main graphic template and overlay the outline image on the top of it. The outline image already has some alpha so that you can see-through the outline for easy verification.


The tool will slice the input image into individual graphic pieces as specified by the layout. Optionally you can specify an output directory where to put the produced images. If the directory is not present it'll be created.

This tool is normally used by the automated build scripts and there is no need to call it manually.

Note: for each sliced-out image the slicer tool will try to save it first as RGB (if no alpha is used) and RGBA as a second choice. This can be overridden in the layout.txt configuration. The layout.txt can force certain images to be saved as RGBA. This is required by the theme engine/rc files that expect certain bits to always have alpha (even if they're not directly using it, the alpha keyword) or never have the alpha (the noalpha keyword).

The tool can save as JPEG or PNG, automatically detecting the filetype from extension used.


This is a reverse tool to hildon-theme-slicer. It can re-create the original accumulated template image from pre-sliced (individual) images. It can load images in PNG and JPEG format.

The tool can be used in situations where the original template image is no longer available but the need exists to modify the theme.


This is a utility to produce a Perl-compatible substitution array from a given layout and a template image. It extracts the colors (specified by the layout) from the template image. Colors are probed from the pallete usually available on the right side of the template.

This is normally used in automated build scripts and should not be utilized directly.


This tool will bundle an installed theme layout into a portable zip file. The zip file contains all the information about the theme layout and can be used by other external tools to build/pack themes.


A utility that 'flattens' a given gtkrc file. It works by pre-including all the gtkrc files referenced by the master file that would normally got merged at run time.

Using this tool you can maintain your gtkrc theming as individual files which are easier to handle. At build time the gtkrc files can be merged and eventually installed as one huge bundle.

This tool is used by the build scripts automatically.


Given a directory this tool recreates recursively all the caches for all the gtkrc files contained in the location. It'll skip bogus files (backup files, hidden files).

Cached gtkrc files speed-up the loading times significantly.


A wrapper script that will call the hildon-theme-cacher for all existing themes installed in the system -- effectively regenerating the cache files for them.


A master tool for doing substitutions in the gtkrc files (calls hildon-theme-colourizer). Given a layout and the image it'll:

  • Extract the correct colors
  • Parse the supplied gtkrc file
  • Save the substituted gtkrc file to another file

It allows to use symbolic color names in the gtkrc files which are later replaced by the 'real' colors from a concrete template image.


The most interesting tool from the theme-maker point of view. This script will interactively guide you through the process of bootstrapping (creating) a new theme package. After answering several questions a skeleton package structure will be produced. As a theme maker in most cases you'll only want to edit the template.png graphics and perhaps the wallpaper graphic. This is the image used for generating the actual theme bitmaps.

Note: The utility requires network https access since it uses subversion to obtain the latest theme skeleton.

Attic/Hildon/ThemeToolsOverview (last edited 2013-11-20 08:03:05 by WilliamJonMcCann)