How to create your own Chrome theme

If you're not thrilled with the Chrome themes available in the Chrome Web store, we'll show you how to create your own.

One of the great things about the Chrome browser is the ability to customize its appearance with the use of themes. The Chrome Web Store has a decent selection of themes to choose from, but if you're not thrilled with the premade themes, you can create your own. Here's how:

If you're already familiar with JSON files, the Theme Creation Guide might be all you'll need to get started For the rest of us, there's a Web site called ChromeTheme.net that has a Web-based Chrome theme creator. We'll go over some of the basics of using the Chrome Theme Creator to create, save, and install your own Chrome theme.

Step 1: Go to the Chrome Theme Creator. The left side of the page contains the tools for creating the theme, and the right side displays a preview.

Chrome theme creator online
Screenshot by Ed Rhee

Step 2: If you just want to use your own wallpaper in the large white space of Chrome and be done with it, upload the wallpaper at the theme_ntp_background image element, then move on to Step 3. To create a full theme, however, click through each tab to customize the image, color, and tint elements. Hovering over each element will bring up a tip box for that element and the preview area will display your changes as you make them.

Theme image elements
Screenshot by Ed Rhee

Step 3: When you've finished creating your theme, go to the "Pack" tab and click the "Pack and install theme" button.

Pack and install theme
Screenshot by Ed Rhee

Step 4: At the Chrome prompt, click "Continue" to install the theme.

Continue installing theme
Screenshot by Ed Rhee

Step 5: If you don't like the way the theme turned out, go back and modify the elements and reinstall the theme until you get it just the way you like it.

Step 6: Once you've finished designing your theme, click on the "Pack and download theme" button. This will pack the theme into a CRX file, which you can then save for later use.

Tip: If you're having trouble figuring out what each element is, reference the Theme Creation Guide. It describes every theme element and also provides size suggestions for image elements.

That's it. Now you can create your own Chrome themes and give your Web browser a little personal flair!

CNET Chrome Theme
This unofficial CNET theme was created in about 20 minutes. Screenshot by Ed Rhee
About the author

Ed Rhee, a freelance writer based in the San Francisco Bay Area, is an IT veteran turned stay-at-home-dad of two girls. He focuses on Android devices and applications while maintaining a review blog at techdadreview.com.

 

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