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How To Create Your Own Personal Blackberry Themes

Saturday, January 30, 2010

How To Create Your Own Personal Blackberry Themes
Article by BrileyKenney (1,517 pts )

A step-by-step guide on how to use the Plasmic Blackberry Theme Builder to create your own custom Blackberry themes.

Getting The Necessary Tools

The first step to building or making anything is, of course, collecting the right tools to do so. In this case the brick and mortar is a little easier to get a hold of and quite a bit cheaper. In order to create your custom theme you will need several things which are listed below.
A Computer-obviously.
A Mini-USB data cable- to connect your Blackberry to the computer.
The Plazmic Theme Builder
Photo Editing Software- To edit and change the theme files for your device.
Blackberry Desktop Manager- To install and remove existing themes and applications on the device.

The very first step we must take is to download the Plazmic Theme builder and the additional Java and Blackberry data files that are needed so your computer can recognize the themes.

Step 1: Download the Plazmic Content Developers Kit for the Blackberry. (You will have to give your name and address and an existing e-mail address, this is simply to register the software)

Step 1.5: Download and install Java JDK version 1.5 or higher on your computer, the latest release at the time this article was edited was Java JDK version 1.6.

Step 2: Download Blackberry JDE (You will have to register for Blackberry's development program in order to download this but it does not cost anything)

Step 3: Download the Blackberry MDS/Email simulator.

Step 4: Download the Blackberry Device Simulator.

Step 5: Install all the programs in that same order before starting Plazmic. It seems like a long and worthless process but I assure you once the theme builder is up and running you will have tons of custom themes on your phone all made by you!
Welcome To Plazmic

Once everything has been downloaded and installed correctly it's time to boot up the Blackberry Plazmic Theme builder. The Plazmic install will install a folder in the programs menu (If you didn't change default settings during install) called "Plazmic CDK 4.5 for Blackberry". Inside the folder (as seen below) will be two applications, one labeled "composer" and the other is named "theme builder".

Select the Theme Builder application and you will be greeted with the Plazmic load screen. Upon booting up you will then be prompted with a new menu box; it will be asking for the name you wish to designate for your new theme as well as the size and type.

The name that is chosen will always remain up to you, in this case however we're just going to leave it as Untitled because it can always be changed later.

The size depends on your Blackberry model number, there are only two sizes and it's rather obvious which size your screen is; *320*240 is wider than it is tall, and the 240*260 screen is opposite. The Blackberry I will be working with is the 8830 World Edition, so 320*240 is the correct resolution size in my case.

The final choice is the type of theme layout and there is a corresponding thumbnail of the chosen type included in the box; the type is basically the overall layout of the home screen for the custom theme. Once you have chosen the theme type you like best click the create button and you will be brought to the main theme creation screen.
Plazmic's Layout

The theme creation screen appears complicated at first but it is actually rather simple. Here is a basic breakdown of the program's layout.

On the left is a skin of the Blackberry device you are creating the theme for; this can be changed to any corresponding Blackberry model as you wish. Navigate to the VIEW menu across the top, and then select the Change Plastics option. You will then be prompted with a pop up box listing different Blackberry models and their matching skins; once you have found the model you wish to display choose it and then click the APPLY button in the bottom right. The skin on the left should refresh; and then you may click the OK button to close the prompt box.

The right side is known as the Inspector menu, where you can change the different screens of the theme. The buttons on the left will let you change each aspect of the them and are listed as follows from top to bottom; banner, home Screen and application Menu, home Screen background and icons, dialog buttons with menus and title bars, message list, call screens, lock screen, and of course the navigation and cursor buttons. A quick browsing through each of the sections proves that this program will completely allow you to customize your theme to your liking. Different pictures can be chosen for the background, lock screen, and incoming call screens. The buttons and icons can also all be altered, and swapped for those you designed specifically for your theme.
More Advanced Tutorial

For the more advanced users, who can now continue on their own; you are free to do as you wish with the program and experiment with the different settings on your own. Once a theme has been built you can click on the EXPORT button under FILE and then Plazmic will then begin building the theme once you have chosen wether you want it in ALX or JAD formats. The Blackberry desktop manager allows ALX files to be installed onto the Blackberry through the Application Loader program therefore ALX would more than likely be the best choice for export.

For beginners who are still lost and would like to know how to advance further with the theme builder you may continue on to the more advanced tutorial.(

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