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57.2.7 Customization Themes

Custom themes are collections of settings that can be enabled or disabled as a unit. You can use Custom themes to switch quickly and easily between various collections of settings, and to transfer such collections from one computer to another.

To define a Custom theme, use the command M-x customize-create-theme, which brings up a buffer named ‘*New Custom Theme*’. At the top of the buffer is an editable field where you can specify the name of the theme. To add a customization option to the theme, click on the ‘INS’ button to open up a field where you can insert the name of the option. The current value of that option is applied to the theme. After adding as many options as you like, click on ‘Done’ to save the Custom theme.

Saving a Custom theme named foo writes its definition into the file foo-theme.el, in the directory ~/.emacs.d/ (you can specify the directory by setting custom-theme-directory).

You can load the themes you've previously defined with the command load-theme. It prompts for a theme name in the minibuffer, and loads that theme from the theme file. It also enables the theme, which means putting its settings into effect. An enabled theme can be disabled with the command M-x disable-theme; this returns the options specified in the theme to their original values. To re-enable the theme, use the command M-x enable-theme.

To enable a Custom theme named foo whenever Emacs is started up, add the line (load-theme 'foo) to your .emacs file (see Init File).

Enabling a custom theme does not disable the themes already enabled; instead, they are all enabled together. If two enabled Custom themes specify different values for an option, the last theme to be enabled takes effect.

The options that you set in the ordinary customization buffer (see Easy Customization) are also considered part of a Custom theme, called ‘user’. The ‘user’ theme is always enabled, and always takes precedence over all other enabled Custom themes. Additionally, the ‘user’ theme is recorded in your .emacs file, rather than a user-theme.el file.

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