Problem Saving Theme

When I try to save my current screen as a theme (“Save Theme Options to File”), Scrivener 3 for Windows wants to save a preferences file (*.pref) instead of a theme file. I get the same box as when I am trying to save preferences (“Save Options to File”). I don’t understand why it’s doing this.

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Never mind. I see from the manual that this menu option is not finished.

Actually, @MrBillKnows, you can save Themes to a file.

File > Options > Manage > Save theme to file


Window > Themes > Save theme to file

I change custom themes constantly and the file saved by this command works well for that. Change custom themes by using Load theme from file.

Side notes:

Save Options to file saves all your File > Options settings to a .prefs file. This is really good to do periodically as a backup, in case you have an unplanned uninstall/reinstall Scrivener situation.

Save theme to file saves all config aspects of a theme, including those that are not available from File > Options. This is what you want to use to save the settings for your customized themes and/or to share customized themes with others (as was done in this thread).

Save Theme Options to file ??? I assume it’s meant to save a subset of File > Options settings, but I really have no clue why or how it would be useful. It seems superfluous and redundant to the other two commands, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they do away with it.


Hi @JimRac, in my case the option “Save Theme to File” is always grayed out, even if I make changes to the current theme. I’m curious to see how you managed to have this option being usable…
Capture d’écran 2022-01-13 194856

Hi there @urobepi -

You cannot save changes made to the predefined Default theme. So probably you are using the Default theme and that is why the option is greyed out.

The workaround is to load this theme called White, which was generously shared by another user. It is identical to the Default theme, but is a custom theme so it can be saved.

Unfortunately, when you load White you’ll lose the changes you’ve made to Default, so you might want to make note of them somewhere first, so you can recreate them later with White.


Hi @JimRac,

Thanks Jim. Thanks for this quick response. You were right. After loading the “white” theme, I was able to make some changes and save it back. Great.

By the way, as you mention the white theme is identical to default, I would like to have your opinion on a slight difference between those two themes. See below:

(color change for binder background on default theme)

(color change for binder background on “white” theme)

As you can see, there are white stripes on left hand when color change is applied to binder background in white theme. Not sure how to set it correctly so that the background would reflect the default theme behavior.

I know this might seems a very minor issue, so dont give it to much attention if you dont have a solution at your fingertips. :slight_smile:

Thanks again,


Sorry Pierre, but no, I don’t have a solution. I’ve never actually used White as I’m quite content with Dark Mode. :grinning: I just happened to remember that White was uploaded to these forums a while back.


Hi! I have a solution for you. :slight_smile:

I was having trouble with customizing themes myself and eventually managed to find a way how to customize almost every aspect of the UI. However, it might be quite time consuming, especially if you have no idea how CSS works. It took me hours to figure out what to do.

  1. Save your theme to a file.
  2. Change .scrtheme extension to .zip or .rar.
  3. Open the archive — there will be four files: .pal, .prefs, .qss and .xml.
  4. In the .pal and .qss files, you can change colors of any part of the UI you wish. All you need is to know a code of a RGB color you want to use. Mind you, it might be a process of trial and error since it’s quite confusing to understand what line of text do what to the UI.
  5. After you’re finished, change the extension from .rar/.zip back to .scrtheme and you’re done. :slight_smile:

As for the background color of binder you have troubles with…

Go to the .qss file, find these lines and insert the right RGB color:

QTreeView::branch:selected:!active {

background: rgba(0,0,0,255);



Hi @BearRaven ,

Yesssss! I tried your solution and it worked perfectly. You just opened a whole new world for me to explore. :slight_smile: Thank you so much for your detailed answer.


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You’re welcome, @urobepi! I’m glad I was able to help. :slight_smile:

Thank you! An addendum: It seems that if you instead change it to background: palette(background) then it will match whatever you have as your binder colour even if you change it :slight_smile:


Hi! I’m really interested in learning more about customizing the entire UI, could you tell me more about how you did it?

If you want to save the Default Theme, use the White Theme.

I’m starting the Reddit r/ScrivenerThemeBuilder with answers to these questions. Check it out…

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