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January 21, 2009

iGoogle Theme Creator

One week ago, Google Blog announced an official tool for building themes for iGoogle. "Now, you too can capture memories and images on your iGoogle homepage by building a custom theme. We've just released our new tool for creating iGoogle themes. It's an easy way for iGoogle users to spruce up their personalized homepage without needing to know how to use XML, etc. All you need is an image, and we'll provide the rest."

The idea is great as people will always like to see a personal photo on their homepage. As usually, iGoogle managed to make another mistake: the theme creator page has been down until today.

Now that it's finally available, you can see the tool is very basic and it only lets you upload an image, choose a header text color and a theme color. It's very difficult to crop a photo so that a certain region is visible, the color palette doesn't include too many options, you can't find the themes you've created to apply them to other pages and you need to accept a license agreement after creating a new theme.


If you need more control, try the two advanced editor previously mentioned or create your own XML files using iGoogle's API.

{ via Blogoscoped }

68 comments:

  1. Glad they finally did this. I found the photo cropping impossible and had to do random crops until on came out so-so.

    I wonder where they go after you save them. If you change the same page to another theme there is no way to get the older ones back until they finally make their way into the "catalog".

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  2. it doesn't work if your default browser language isn't English.

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  3. macbeach, what size did your final image wind up being? can't find dimensions anyplace...

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  4. I can't believe it took Google this long to come out with this. It seems logical that people would want an iGoogle page that is completely unique to them.

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  5. It's not working for me at all. The image doesn't appear on the preview window, nor are my changed to the color schemes applied.

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  6. It didn't work for me. I don't know if this is specific to using Chrome, but here is what happened for me:

    1) I uploaded an image and tried cropping it.

    2) It didn't quite come out the way I expected, so I clicked the link to adjust the image again.

    3) Still, it didn't come out the way I expected, so I clicked the link to adjust the image yet again. This time, however, the background just turned dark and the image adjuster did not appear. I had to refresh the page and start all over.

    4) Once I finally got it to work, I accepted the license agreement (but did NOT check the option to add it to the public gallery)... and whammo, I was back at my iGoogle home page. The theme was no applied.

    5) I tried again. Again, the theme was not applied.

    I'll come back in a few months and see if the kinks are ironed out.

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  7. i wasted about an hour on this.. after resizing the image a hundred times to finally get it right.. it gave me an error massage.. "there was something wrong with your theme input" .. Google alone knows what! help me guys..

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  8. My suggestion would be to edit the photo using an application like Paint, Paint.NET, IrfanView, Gimp and not to use the feature borrowed from Gmail. Here are the restrictions:

    Width: at least 640 px
    Height: 175 px fixed

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  9. wow, that's cool...i can't believe i missed this...thx

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  10. it didnt work...

    i did all the process and then it showed the igoogle page with the default theme... the all white bg and blue text

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  11. I've created & saved some themes.

    (I did check the "publish your theme to the directory so that it can be browsable by everyone" box.

    Where are the themes located?
    I would like family/friends to be able to access them and use them for their iGoogle page.

    Thank you.

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  12. I had all the same problems everyone else has been talking about. I think it's a good idea whose time has not yet come. Definitely not user friendly, especially for non-technical types like me.

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  13. I am also trying to see where the themes are stored because I would like to share them. If Google doesn't want to have them all searchable, it would be fine if it was put into a privates space based on your Google ID -- or even give us a download link -- so that we could share our themes with our friends.

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  14. This is becoming a real pain. Enticing end-users with a product that just not deliver. I tried uploading & cropping images a dozen times (the dimensions, someone said, must be greater than 640X170, I guess) but after I am done, my gmodules just get messed up and the uploaded image never shows. Not only that though I want to publish my theme its not available in the public library...even after weeks.

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  15. I found my previously created igoogle homepages in two separate places. 1)Go to My Account, then My Products-igoogle-settings. It will list all your gadgets and stuff and look at the Theme with drop down box. Voila!
    2) Go to My Account, then Picasa Web Album, your album will appear with any pictures you may have downloaded, played with but never used as homepage. PS I never did see any of mine go public, if any one knows how to allow other users use my themes let me know, thanks and good luck

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  16. How long does the Theme takes to be Publised. I submitted my Theme. But It does not say any thing about when it will be Published and displayed in the list of Google Themes?

    Anyone have any Idea about how long does it take for a theme to be published and where it will be listed?

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  17. it says CONGRADULATIONS YOU ARE ALMOST DONE... THEN IT SAYS THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG WITH YOUR THEME INPUT...EVERYTHING IS RIGHT SIZING AND ALL...SO WHAT THE CRAO CAN IT BE REFERING TO...I HAVE WORKED A LONG TIME RESIZING AND ALL AND I DONT KNOW WHAT TO DO AND DONT WANNA JUST CLICK OUT AND NOT CREATE AFTER ALL OF THE TIME I HAVE IN IT... WHATS UP SOMEONE HELP E OUT HERE...

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  18. same prob with "something being wrong with my input" I followed all the guidelines, something is broke or there needs to be a more descriptive error message

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  19. Well, I got a 'there was something wrong with your input' message, when I clicked to accept the google terms and conditions. I re-created once again, re-adjusted picture. No results. Any answer out there?????

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  20. sucks. i'm moderately tech savvy and keep getting stumped by the "there was something wrong with your input" message. very annoying and a time waster. i even edited my photo in paint like others have suggested.

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  21. I've been a graphic artist for 20 years I have sized and croped and resized and croped about a dozen times keep getting the same message "something wrong with your theme imput" do we have to guess!
    it would be cool but something is wrong with the program!

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  22. I myself got the same problem here.“something wrong with your theme input". Gosh what the hell is wrong with it?? why not give a further detail of the error so that I fix it. Now I'm just not able to create anything with this wrong message.

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  23. Google - please explain what's going on with the "there was something wrong with your theme input" message that so many poeple keep getting .

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  24. you guys it has nothing to do with your resizing. the bug has been launched since early january.
    Since you can't use igoogle's sandbox yet, if you haven't, save your gadget as an XML file. If you’re using Notepad, when you save, be sure to set the ‘Save as Type’ to ‘All Files’. If you’re using WordPad, set ‘Save as Type’ to ‘Unicode Text Document’. If you’re working with a sample file you’ve downloaded, you shouldn’t have to worry about saving as a certain type unless you ‘Save As’.

    Now if your still stumped on how to even create an XML file, there's a small Javascript bookmarklet you can save on your Bookmarks toolbar in Firefox and launch it when you open iGoogle. same goes for IE7&8. just right click on the "iGoogle Theme Editor" and add to favorites.
    You’ll see a small editor on top of the main page, with which you can actually change iGoogle’s logo, background image, colors and more. The script generates an XML file you have to upload to a server and link from your iGoogle’s page.
    so here are two different ways I gave you.
    hope it helps!

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  25. Any idea when google is going to fix this problem?

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  26. Still having this problem as of the night of the 22nd... same error pops up for me

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  27. It became a real headache to just simply upload my custom designed Image Banner for the theme with a very limited information too. Issues I faced were:

    1. Image Banner Preview - Gives a Perfect fit look but whenever I hit the submit button, error message flashed saying "There is something wrong with your Input" Doesn't specify anything of if the quality of the Image is poor or size of the banner is not fitting, no details what so ever.
    2. After juggling for over an hour alomst and getting frustrated changing the resolution of the banner and the size, I tried something else, Instead of giving the 'Theme Name' with the 'spaces' I wrote the name without any spaces, and here it goes! Uploaded! I was actually shocked to see that the simple Space in the Theme Name was causing all the trouble, gosh!

    Things need to be Improved:
    1. Mention exact resolution - 1200x175 (this is the size I uploaded and it works)
    2. More color options in the pallete - I like the way they work with the 'Adsense Color Selection'
    3. No Provision for 'Footer Image' Upload
    4. I cannot share my theme with my friends - A simple 'Send theme to friends' would work
    5. Theme Title not displayed
    6. Author Name not displayed

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  28. This is extremely frustrating. I've tried everything. EVERYTHING.

    I've tried the resolution mentioned above, I've tried using smaller files, I've done it all. This is ridiculous. Awesome job, Google. You finally managed to screw something up.

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  29. I almost got it to work. Back to the drawing board.

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  30. The theme creator is retarded--- the error that says "There is something wrong with your theme input" or something like that--- you can't put spaces in your title or your description!!!!! That's how to fix it--- not spaces in title or description... Search up my theme... its called SpammersTheme

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  31. I was just about to say the same thing. GUYS LISTEN TO THE POST ABOVE, IT WORKS!

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  32. Ok Folks problem solved. You can't have any spaces in either theme name, your name or description. I just did that and it worked.

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  33. i just tried the no spaces thing and it totally worked!! Thanks so much

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  34. Wow, thanks, the no-spaces work!

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  35. Thank you for the heads up about no spaces!

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  36. I tried the no spaces thing, but it's still not working. I'm still receiving the error "There is something wrong with your theme input." I've tried everything. Please help!

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  37. What are the dimensions of the theme banner so I can pre-design banners to include for public use?

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  38. I made my own. I did it in chrome and now it is on my page but how long does it take to get put in the gallery?

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  39. After working out and around all the kinks with the Theme Maker, now an error message tells me "The file you selected could not be uploaded. It may be too large or it was not a valid image file. Please select another file or click the upload button to try again" no matter what size file I select, even the ones I've successfully published already. Anyone having the same issue lately?

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  40. How do you edit your old theme? I have been involved w/computers since 1970's. This makes me feel like a novice. Shame on Google.

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  41. I don't like the flowers but I think there should be a funny one...

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  42. I LUF IT!!!!!!!

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  43. how do you edit themes that you have already published?

    how do you delete themes that you have created that are public?

    how do you create thems that you have created that are private?

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  44. 1275 W X 256 H seems to work for me. As far as published goes, forget it...

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  45. Hello, I have got a problem with uploading the theme. I completed everything and accepted the terms and conditions after that i was returned to the igoogle page where it said 'Your theme is being created. to see it, refresh the page in few minutes'.

    Please help

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  46. Try this setting 1026x175 i m making and it's
    working gr8 no problem it shows up in whole header
    window !
    just watch the ones i have created and use them:

    http://picasaweb.google.com/tiktam51/GoogleTHEMES?feat=directlink

    watch tutorial on:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvW-0lEGf_s
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbaOHLhzdAY
    http://www.youtube.com/user/tiktam51

    ReplyDelete
  47. I ended up hosting a 1680X256 image on http://imageshack.us and using the web address (URL) option when importing my image.

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  48. Igoogle theme maker limits the upload photo to 680 x 116 but that does not fill the space.

    Does anyone know why? or how to fill header space with your photo?

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  49. I cropped my photo to the dimensions it gave me - 1600x660 and uploaded it as is. it still gives me a window to edit my thumbnail. i used the entire picture in the thumbnail. in the dimensions it said would work. it doesnt work. i can see one small section of my photo not the entire long narrow predesigned picture.

    until google makes this work, there is no use wasting my time -especially after reading other comments on how long it took to get a 'sort of okay' image. they're missing a good thing here.

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  50. Okay, I think im having the same problem as everyone else...
    Maybe it would be easier on the creators of google themes to maybe make it HTMP code or simple PHP code.
    Because this user friendly utility is ultimate fail.. whats the point in having a fail application that downgrades google? Make sence please.

    My main problem was uploading a image to it's specifications to cover the whole background, meaning over regulations!

    get back to me if you are going to do anythin about it! man please... .

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  51. Get the provocative themes off of iGoogle - or at least off of the first five general theme pages. We are too complacent about sexual images on tv, the computer, etc. If you want to change the theme on your page you see the sexy, half-dressed women automatically, without even searching for it. This is not good for children, teens, nor the temptation men have and battle with daily against pornography. Does anyone else agree? Google should keep it clean!

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  52. Google is retarded. Notice there is no place for feedback and when you find a way to contact them, they don't respond. They took over YouTube and look what that site is doing. Same thing. No responses. Censorship. Taking down videos claiming copyright infringement in legitimate fair-use situations, when there has been no copyright infringement. I can go hit the "Flag" button on any video I want and an hour later that video has been removed. Back to Google, the Themes pages are flooded with these amateur-ish looking banners that look retarded because of the "extra space" on the outer edges that our pictures don't fill. Want one that looks professional? You have to get one made by Google... STUPID. F-U too, Google.

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  53. What I can't figure out is how to get the themes that I don't want off the theme drop-down menu in igoogle. I created them, but they are not published. I would like to delete the ones I don't ever use. Dumb question, huh!

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  54. Can someone tell me how to remove the Themes from the drop-down menu in iGoogle?

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  55. u freaking google i tkink this is the only screw up about google

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  56. i cant get to the create theme part of the page its cut off and ive tried refreshing but it still doesnt work

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  57. Won't save my color scheme as anything but the basic blue

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  58. Even if a theme has not been posted to the great google directory in the sky, you still have access to all of yours by going to your account settings, Dashboard/View data stored with this account, then go down to themes and you can see all of your stuff there.

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  59. well this app is use less does not work .I even tried using the exact same settings and image of one that worked fine and guess what It would not work and mean exact same settings which it accepted before with NO PROBLEM

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  60. it said file could not be uploaded be sure it is png jpg or gif

    my pic is a png, 3.5mb, 1920 x 1200 photo. what am i doing wrong?

    ps: it is named background

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  61. From a last decade I was searching such type of web site who gave ideas on Animated Intro Maker. Thanks for giving me a space in your blog. I refer this to my close friends who are already seeking for the same .Thanks again guys…

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