For the past few months, I have been using iGoogle more but part of me has wished that I could easily make my own iGoogle theme without the need to know lots of programming. Well it seems that Google has read my mind once again because they have now rolled out ThemeMaker where you can make my iGoogle theme and upload it by simply by “pointing and clicking”.
For those of you who have been living in space for the past few years and who don’t know what iGoogle is, this is the big G’s attempts to get you to personalise your Google start page with what you want to have on the page. This could be gadgets that Google offers you or gadgets that you have made yourself. You can also have various themes to decorate your page.
But as I said, you can now create your own iGoogle themes and even have them automatically uploaded to the Google Directory so that other people can use them and enjoy them too. Here’s how to do it :
- First, go to ThemeMaker and click on “Upload An Image”.
- The upload box that appears is identical to the one that pops up in Gmail when you are uploading your picture in the settings. As you can see from the screenshot, you can choose an image from your computer, Picasa Web Albums or an URL,The image in question needs to be a minimum 680 pixels in width and needs to be in either JPG, PNG or GIF format. I decided to go with an image of the Marienburg Fortress in Würzburg, Germany.
- When the image has uploaded, now comes the VERY tricky part and it took me ages to get this right. You may have to re-upload the image and crop the image over and over again until you get it right. Using your mouse, you have to crop the image to specify what you want to show in the header. But depending on the image, it may not work the first time around. Or the second time. Or the third, or the fourth…or the fifth… When you think you’ve finally got it right, press “apply changes”.
- Next, you’ll be asked for some “theme info”. So give your theme a name, give your own name and describe your theme. Then press “create theme”.
- Nope, you’re still not finished yet. But don’t despair because you’re almost there. Now you have to specify to Google if you want to keep your theme private or if you want to share your creation with the world. You also have to accept Google’s Terms Of Service. If everything looks good, just click “accept” and you’re done.
- You’ll then be taken to your iGoogle page where you’ll see your newly installed theme!
You can make a nice collection of imaginative and creative iGoogle themes in this way and offer them to other people. I will post the link to the Marienburg Fortress theme here when Google puts it in the themes directory.
Have you used ThemeMaker to make your own iGoogle theme? If so, what theme did you make?