Ten Textpattern Tips, #10: Lose the Textpattern Yellow


Textpattern CMS has a fondness for yellow. By this I mean the colour, not a slang term for street narcotics or cowardly people. In recent times, the abundance of yellow has been gradually disappearing in favour or more neutral colours in the grey spectrum. At the present time, Textpattern version 4.5.5 is the most recent supported release. The default front end theme – Hive – designed by Phil Wareham has touches of yellow within it, but it’s looking very likely that the next release of Textpattern will adopt an entirely yellow-free design.

When I started using Textpattern, yellow was the colour of choice and with the often tribal mentality of open source projects it was almost like a team colour. Personally, I’m not a fan of yellow. Colour psychology says that yellow can be intellectually stimulating, full of energy and reminiscent of sunshine – and, unfortunately, sometimes a stimulator for emotional distress. Yikes.

The fondness for yellow is gradually disappearing, especially now that the core designer (Phil) is involved. Textpattern 4.5.5 has a bunch of yellow in it, and it’s looking likely that future versions will have a front end design with _less_ yellow in it. What I’m going show you now is a way to integrate a pre-release version of the new less-yellow front end theme into your Textpattern website.

Please note: this is a pre-release design. It is scheduled for release in Textpattern 4.6.0, and it’s inevitable that there will be changes to this version of the design when it reaches its release. That said, this is a competent and stable theme that will serve you well.

Start by downloading the theme from GitHub. At the time of writing, I’m using alpha1 – downloadable from here. You may find more recent compiled builds on the release page, especially as the 4.6.0 release date draws nearer.

Unzip the file and examine the contents. In alpha1, there are directories and a readme file:


Each directory contains forms, pages and styles respectively. For example, the forms directory comprises:

| |__article_listing.article.txp
| |__comment_form.comment.txp
| |__comments.comment.txp
| |__comments_display.comment.txp
| |__default.article.txp
| |__files.file.txp
| |__images.misc.txp
| |__plainlinks.link.txp
| |__popup_comments.comment.txp
| |__search_input.misc.txp
| |__search_results.article.txp|__pages

Each of these files is a text file and the file name corresponds to what the file should be used for. The file extension (.txp) indicates it’s a Textpattern file of sorts.

So, in the case of forms/article_listing.article.txp:

  • it’s a form
  • the form name called article_listing
  • the form type is article

If you’re already running with the Hive theme, all you need to do is open each text file, select all the text, copy and then paste the contents into the relevant form, page and style on your Textpattern site. Forms, pages and styles are handled from the Presentation tab in the administration area of Textpattern. In a default Textpattern installation, all of these forms, pages and styles already exist with the exception of the style called ie8; in this case go to Presentation -> Styles and create a new style called ie8, then copy and paste the contents of ie8.css into it.

Regardless of whether you’re a first time theme hacker or a seasoned professional, make backups before you start.

When each component of the theme has been applied to its respective form, page or style you will have a new look to your website:

Google ChromeScreenSnapz001

Disco! No more yellow!

Thanks for reading about how to switch your theme, I trust you found it useful. As always, if you have comments or questions please do leave me a comment.

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Author Spotlight

Pete Cooper

Pete Cooper has been using Textpattern since 2005. Textpattern is his preferred CMS weapon of choice. Its logical and flexible approach to content management makes Pete happy, as does its lightweight core and helpful user community. Pete's website - petecooper.org - runs on top of Textpattern and chronicles his day-to-day experiences from his home near the Atlantic in north Cornwall, United Kingdom.

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