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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Nokia N800 & N810: How to find and install themes

What are themes?

Themes are used by the internet tablets to determine what their interface looks like. If you change the tablet's theme, the appearance of the interface changes.

The tablets come with four built-in themes to choose from, which you can do from the desktop's "Home" menu at the top of the desktop screen. Please see our tutorial on customising your tablet's desktop to find out more about this topic.

If you're bored with the built-in themes though you can install extra themes, which is what this tutorial is about.


How to find and install extra themes

By far the easiest way to find and install themes is to use the maemo.org website, which is the official site for internet tablet software development.

1. On your tablet, click on the globe on the left, open a new browser window and go to the address maemo.org Don't worry if the site is a bit slow sometimes.

2. Click on the "Downloads" link at the top of the screen, and make sure you're in the "OS 2008" section.

3. Click on the search box in the top right hand corner, enter the word "theme" and click on the search button.

4. Scroll through the results, if you see a theme you like you can find out more about it by clicking on its title. If you want to install a theme, click on the large green arrow next to its name.

5. During the installation, say "yes" or "ok" to all the questions, and eventually the tablet should tell you that the theme has been installed successfully. You can now close the Application Manager and browser if you want to.

6. To activate the theme, click on the "Home" menu link at the top of the desktop screen, then "Set Theme", then select your new theme from the list. Click on "Apply" to activate it and "Close" to close the theme box. If you want to go back to a previous theme, simply repeat this process and choose the previous theme instead.

Note that the theme doesn't replace the wallpaper, that's a quite separate option in the "Home" menu called "Set Background Image".


How to uninstall themes

It is VERY IMPORTANT that you do NOT uninstall a theme you are currently using. If you uninstall a theme currently in use, this can cause your tablet to malfunction.

The way to avoid problems is to switch to a theme you want to keep before you uninstall a theme you want to remove.

To uninstall a theme:

1. Click on the Applications icon (the green squares on the left).

2. Click on "Settings", then "Applications Manager", then "Show Installed Applications".

3. Highlight the name of the theme you want to remove, and click on "Uninstall" at the bottom of the screen. The theme should now be removed from the tablet's memory.


Please read if you want to install the Star Trek LCARS PADD theme

One of the best themes on the tablets is called LCARS, but it's slightly more complicated to install it than normal themes because it does so much more than normal themes. We've done a special tutorial dedicated to the LCARS theme, click here to read it.