REAPER has provided the ability for users to tweak, customize and hack together their own themes. With Version 4 came WALTER (Window Arrangement Logic Template Engine for REAPER) which gives the themer even more control.
Theming isn’t something you can just start poking around with and learn in an afternoon. There is a lot of reading, coding, graphics editing, trial and error, and patience involved. This post will collect some of the available resources for theming REAPER. If we missed something, please leave a note in the comments section below.
Keep in mind that WALTER is next-level theming and pre-version 4 themes still work in REAPER and the older theme editing concepts still apply. WALTER is just for those that need to go in deep.
Q: Are the sticky posts in the “themes” forum still relevant under v4-walter?
A: Yes, and this is an important concept worth reiterating: WALTER changes nothing and replaces nothing. Everything is as it has always been, pre-V4 themes still work, but there is a new entirely optional level of supplementary control available through WALTER. Knowing how non-WALTER related theming works is as important as it has always been.
Classic theming resources
Don’t be put off by the date of these posts (2007, 2008), these are the fundamentals of building REAPER themes.
WALTER theming resources
WALTER is a system to define the visual layout and appearance of objects within REAPER — currently, it can be used to customize the layout and appearance of the REAPER track panels, mixer panels, envelope panels, transport, and so on.
White Tie is the man in charge of the REAPER GUI, he built WALTER and the V4 default theme, plus a few others (White Tie Bespoke) (White Tie Imperial). White Tie has written a guide to WALTER in a PDF.
There is more information available on the WALTER Developer SDK page.
Feb 2012 Sound On Sound’s REAPER Notes column by Mike Senior. The “tourist’s guide” to tweaking themes.
Color Themes and Icon Sets subforum
If you need help with your theme or want to check out what people are building, this subforum is the place to go.
All the cursors in REAPER can be customized too, and there are 63 of them.
Knobman is a freeware program by g200kg for designing 3D rotary controls for themes and plugins
White Tie recommends Inkscape for designing buttons.
Download Inkscape (free, open souce, cross-platform)