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Customizing iDVD 3, Part 4

Working with button highlight shapes and colors By Dave Nagel
Last week I was working on a DVD project in Apple's iDVD 3. There was a pre-existing theme that suited my purpose well in this particular case, so I didn't have to worry about making any major tweaks to the overall design of the menus. But there were two things I didn't like about it: the shape and color of the highlights. Let's take a look at how you go about changing these parameters.

In modifying highlights, you'll need to make changes to pre-existing themes, though, of course, these can include any custom themes that you've built for yourself. The modifications aren't major ones, but it does take a little scouting around to figure out which files need to be modified. As always, make sure to back up your iDVD 3 application, as incorrect modifications can lead to some troubles. In particular, you should make a backup of the theme you'll be modifying today, as you might encounter problems with existing projects that are based on this theme.

For this project, you will need to have an image editor (such as Adobe Photoshop) available, as well as the Property List Editor application. Property List Editor is included with Mac OS X, but it may not be installed presently on your system. If it's not, you'll be able to install it by launching the Developer Tools package, which is located in your Applications folder (/Applications/Installers/Developer Tools/Developer.mpkg). Just launch it and follow the onscreen instructions.

Highlight color
Now, this seems like a fairly easy task--changing the color of the highlight in your project. And it is, if you know where to look. Most themes, you'll realize, use that awful default yellow highlight. Some, however, use custom colors. The process for changing the color differs slightly, depending on whether the theme you're using has a custom color or simply defaults to yellow.

In either case, begin by showing iDVD's package contents by Control-clicking (or right-clicking) on the application and then choosing "Show Package Contents from the contextual menu.

This will open up a new window showing you the contents of the iDVD package. From here, navigate to Contents/Resources/, and choose the theme you wish to modify.

Right-click on this theme, and then choose "Show Package Contents" from the contextual menu. Again, this will open up a new window. Navigate to Contents/Resources/English.lproj/Description.plist.

This file contains several parameters for your theme. Double-click on this file to open it up in the Property List Editor application. Expand the item called Root by clicking on the little triangle at the left to view the individual parameters. And then locate the item called "highlightColorRGBA."

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