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As you probably know, when you open System > Preferences > Appearance, the only way to preview the themes you have installed is to click on them, thereby applying the selected theme. While that’s not such a big deal, it does take a few seconds to redraw everything on the screen, and on less powerful machines this can be quite a drag.

But there are a couple of small apps around that can show you a preview within a single window. They are tiny downloads and easily installed, so if you plan on playing around with themes a fair bit, you should give them a go.

GTK+ Change Theme

To install via Terminal: sudo apt-get install gtk-chtheme

How to Run: Applications > System Tools > Gtk-ChTheme

Official blurb: ‘Gtk Theme Switch’ based utility that aims to make themes previews and selections as slick as possible. Themes installed on the system are presented for selection and previewed on the fly.

As you can see, everything you need is in the one small window. Simply click on a theme name to see everything in that window change. When you find one you’d like to change to, click Apply.

GTK Theme Switch

To install via Terminal: sudo apt-get install gtk-theme-switch

How to Run: gtk-theme-switch2 in the terminal

Official blurb: Utilities to easily switch GTK+ themes that can be run from the console, and has an optional GUI dock and theme preview. It can install themes downloaded from gtk.themes.org as well straight from the tarball.

Just select a theme and click Preview to see a small sample of it open in its own window; you will need to close each preview manually, as it does not reuse the current window. When you find one you’d like to change to, click Apply.

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When Google Chrome first came out for Windows, people were hacking .dll files to change the theme. Now, with theme support, many still find they can’t reliably switch between installed themes, but have to install them again from the download page. This is certainly true of the Linux version (at least in Ubuntu), as the Extensions page tells you none are installed.

I’ve seen talk from Windows users of finding all the installed themes in an extensions folder, but currently in the Linux version you will not only find that there is no .crx file (the extension of the themes) belonging to this program to be found anywhere, but no file at all with the name/prefix of the installed theme.

When you choose to install a theme, it gets downloaded as usual, but then disappears from your ~/Downloads folder once it is installed.

So the way around this is not to click any Install buttons, but to right-click them and choose Save Link As. Then just save each desired theme where you can easily find them all, like a new folder called ~/Downloads/Google Chrome Themes. Note that if you’re at a gallery page with previews of lots of themes, you’ll need to go to each theme’s page and right-click the Install button there (otherwise you’ll be downloading .html web pages, not a .crx themes).

Once you’ve downloaded some, all you need to do is drag one and drop it anywhere on Google Chrome. You will see a confirmation appear at the bottom left, so click the Continue button to proceed with changing the theme.

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Read also:

Make Google Chrome Look Like the Rest of Ubuntu

Google Chrome Themes for Ubuntu Users

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Did this information make your day? Did it rescue you from hours of headache? Then please consider making a donation via PayPal, to buy me a donut, beer, or some fish’n’chips for my time and effort! Many thanks!

Buy Ubuntu Genius a Beer to say Thanks!

Read Full Post »