Introducing the ThemeRoller Firefox Developer Bookmarklet
Posted by Scott on 02/12/2009
We've been hinting at it for a while... and it's finally ready: the ThemeRoller Firefox Developer Bookmarklet! The bookmarklet lets you pull ThemeRoller into any page on the web and roll a custom theme for any markup that uses the jQuery UI CSS Framework.
So how does it work?
Just go to the ThemeRoller Firefox Developer Bookmarklet page and drag the bookmarklet link into your Firefox toolbar. Then you can open the bookmarklet on any page you'd like and style away! The entire feature set of ThemeRoller is included, meaning you can view and download themes from the gallery or design your own, and download the Theme once you're done.
A number of features were built into this bookmarklet to make it behave like a desktop application panel.
The bookmarklet uses fixed positioning within your window, so it will actually stick to your browser chrome rather than a location on your page. This is particularly useful when working with long scrolling pages and allows the tool to feel a lot like a native panel in a design application like Photoshop.
Dragging and Resizing
Just like a panel within a desktop application, the bookmarklet allows for dragging and resizing to your needs. It will retain its positioning information when you close it as well.
Full History Support Built-in!
Just like the full ThemeRoller application, the bookmarklet tracks all of your design changes in your browser history, letting you use your back and forward buttons to undo and redo design edits as you work! If you back up to a change and decide you'd like to continue editing from there, simply refresh the page and relaunch the bookmarklet - it will load the design into the ThemeRoller and you can continue designing.
Download Themes Instantly
Unlike ThemeRoller, the bookmarklet's download button will direct you straight to a zip file containing your theme. We did this assuming that if you're using the bookmarklet, you're probably already styling existing markup and likely just need a theme.
Note Due to security restrictions in Firefox, the bookmarklet will not work on local "file://" URLs. Your files will need to direct your browser to a page on a webserver in order for it to work. If you're on a mac and trying to work locally, we'd highly recommend using MAMP to set up a quick web server, it's free and easy.
Try it out!
The best way to demo this bookmarklet is to open it on a page that uses the jQuery UI CSS Framework. Here are a couple of pages to try:
jQuery Finder (fantastic use of the framework by Nicolas Rudas):
We've been working hard to make ThemeRoller and the jQuery UI CSS Framework a useful tool for all. We'd love to hear what you think!