Productivity Tip 1: Uh, This Isn’t Productive

Following my discussion with Nathan of the Productive Linux Podcast, I’ve decided to start a category for productivity shortcuts and tips.

Today’s tip: how to change a GTK theme quickly without a switcher.

Now, this isn’t exactly my idea of productivity because this is about how things look, not how things get done. This is just about how to change it quickly without compiling or installing anything so you can get it over with and do something more useful and productive with your computer. Because this isn’t something that requires some fancy interface to accomplish.

Your gtk theme information is read from a configuration file located in your home directory — usually separate ones for gtk1 (such as .gtkrc) and gtk2 (such as.gtkrc-2.0). These files are often pointers to a system or local gtkrc via an include statement with a path to a gtk theme directory and its gtkrc, i.e.,

include “/home/username/themes/NameOfLocalTheme/gtkrc”

Suppose you just cannot survive using a gaudy default gtk theme and you download one that you find more, ummm, productive. You should install it in a directory called “themes” in your home directory. Then you can manually edit the .gtkrc(-2.0) path so it reads from the directory where your new theme is. So if you download a theme tarball called clearlooks-productive.tar.gz and decompress it in ~/themes, your gtkrc would only need to be edited like this:

include “/home/username/themes/clearlooks-productive/gtkrc”

Of course, that’s not going to allow you to waste hours switching between different themes and show you how your apps look in them — as if the screenshots at whatever site you download your themes from don’t lend you guidance about how they look. That’s not my problem, I’m just trying to help people be more productive. Besides, how many themes do you need to be productive? And if it’s a fairly small number and you have only one file to edit to point to the one you want to use, why do you need “switchers” anyway?

Coming soon: more tips about applications, utilities, and other things that will actually help you get more stuff done with less effort.

One Response to “Productivity Tip 1: Uh, This Isn’t Productive”

  1. distortedstar Says:

    Cool idea for a productivity category, especially since you’ve been low-end/command-line based lately. Looking forward to your posts!

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