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Hidden Tricks in iDVD 4, Part 3

Assigning custom highlight colors to buttons By Dave Nagel
You've gone to the trouble of creating a graphically rich presentation in iDVD--custom buttons, custom highlight shapes, custom background--only to have the whole thing marred by that awful default yellow highlight color used in so many of iDVD's themes. But there is a way to assign your own custom highlight colors to your project. It's just another of the many hidden secrets of iDVD 4.

Before we get started, if you haven't done so already, you'd better go back and read the first two articles in this series on customizing iDVD 4. These cover the creation of custom buttons and highlight shapes, as well as methods for adding new buttons to the default selections in iDVD.

? Customizing iDVD 4, Part 1
? Customizing iDVD 4, Part 2

That said, there's little else to do in preparation for this tutorial. You will need to have Property List Editor installed on your system. (It's located on your hard drive at /Developer/Applications/Utilities. If it's not already there, the installer for this program and other developer tools is already on your hard drive at /Applications/Installers/Developer/Developer.mpkg.) You will also need to quit iDVD before you get started.

Locating highlight color settings
iDVD isn't designed to be a highly robust authoring tool. If it were, it wouldn't be free. So many of the things it can do are hidden from casual view or easy access. Yet it can do these things, as we've seen from previous installments in this series. And the same is true of using custom highlight colors. You just have to know where to look.

So, to begin, locate iDVD on your hard drive, and right-click or Control-click on its icon. In the menu that pops up, choose "Show Package Contents."

This will open up a new window in the Finder containing the various components that go into iDVD.

If you navigate to /Contents/Resources, you'll see a list of these components, including the themes available in iDVD. You need to choose one of these themes to use as the basis for your custom highlight color.


All projects in iDVD are based on themes, even if the project, in the end, bears no resemblance whatsoever to the theme upon which it's based. The themes contain all kinds of important information used by iDVD in the creation of your project, including the color of the highlight. For this example, I'll be modifying the old Brushes Metal theme, which is called "202_Brushed_Metal.theme." (There's no particular reason I chose this one; really any theme will do.)

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Related Keywords:idvd, custom highlight colors, change highlights, custom buttons, ilife

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