CrackBerry's Do It Yourself Guide to Creating Themes for BlackBerry 7 Smartphones!

BlackBerry Theme Studio

Until last week we didn't even have so much of a glimpse as to what would become of themes on BlackBerry 7 devices. With the release of Deck The Halls however, we finally saw that it is indeed possible to create themes for these BlackBerry 7 phones. Some vigilant forums members have found a way (albeit a fairly hard way) to create themes for BlackBerry 7 devices. Dave of BB Themes has sent along this guide so you can get cracking if you're looking to create some themes on your own. Keep reading for the full walkthrough or hit the forums for more discussion.

How to create BlackBerry 7 themes

Step 1

You need to make a theme that your device deems compatible. For this you need to trick your way past the theme builder. To achieve this, you need to navigate to c:\program files\research in motion\blackberry theme studio 6.0\resources\theme\blackberry6_480x360.

Here you find a few .properties files, grab the file and copy it somewhere for safe keeping. Now you need to edit that file so its contents tell the theme studio to export for OS7. To do this you need to change a few lines of code in the file: line 10 is the theme.base which should = BlackBerry7_640x480_b and line 11 is theme.alternate which should = BlackBerry7_640x480_bs1. Next, alter line 25 to read 6.0,7.0 as the supported OS, line 26 to 7.0 as the default export option, then line 27 as 6.0,7.0 for the imported OS.

Now save and rename that file to and paste the 9780 file saved from earlier. This now means theme builder will export themes for OS7 (because we dont want to wait half a year for RIM).

Step 2

You now need to export an (preferrably blank to start off with) OTA theme from theme builder and catch it in the temp folder. To do this, forums user Deficitism made a cracking thread which covers it for a few variations of Windows, thanks to a few other posters too. The files should appear in c:/users/namehere/appdata/local/temp (but locations per version of windows may be slightly different) and are normally in a pz_ folder. There are also a few files in the root temp directory. From the temp main folder you need the file, and all of the files in the pz_ folder.

Once you've copied these to a safe place then change the permissions on the temp folder back, and close Theme Builder.

Step 3

You now have a minimum of 3 SVG files, plus some other files from the pz_ folder. Using the great guide in the CrackBerry forums I was able to find each element and move them to the correct place, as the svg exports as a 9700 file, so the screen size just simply doesnt fit. This is the bit that takes the longest for all 3 SVG files, however I intend to publish my SVG files for a 'stock' layout once I'm very happy with them.

Step 4

Once you've altered your svg files and any graphics you may wish to use, use the guide in the CrackBerry forums to compile the theme. This guide also has a lot of other info on items for within the theme too.

Once exported, load via OTA to device and test and it's pretty much trial and error from there forward. I've personally only done the 9900 as it's the only device I can test, however one other I know of is molson0 from the forums who is sorting a 9810 too.

This guide of course uses a lot of helpful info from a lot of helpful people on the forums, and credit should definitely go to (in no particular order) russnash, molson0, lucky45, deficitism and the many others that have posted in the linked threads.

For more help and discussion on this topic, check out this thread or our developer forums.