Important: iGoogle will be retired on November 1, 2013. We are no longer accepting new theme submissions.

This is the reference for the Themes API. Themes are implemented in XML files that contain key-value pairs for metadata and design elements.


  1. Metadata Attributes
  2. Design Attributes
  3. iGoogle Logos
  4. Gadget Title Bar Icons

Metadata Attributes

The top section of a themes specification lists the metadata attributes for the theme, such as the title and author:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
  <ConfigMap type="Skin">
    <Meta name="title">Android</Meta>
    <Meta name="description">&#160;</Meta>
    <Meta name="author">Google</Meta>
    <Meta name="author_email">igooglehdthemes+android@google.com</Meta>
    <Meta name="full_page_thumbnail.url">
  <ConfigMap type="Skin">
    <Attribute name="full_page.background_image.url">

A ConfigMap represents one fully-qualified skin. That is, it represents a skin with all attributes that apply to a single visual state. But the concept is actually more general than that. Each ConfigMap really just describes all Skin attributes that apply to an arbitrary set of Attributes. The "actual" skin is computed from all applicable ConfigMaps. A theme specification must minimally have two <ConfigMap> sections: one to wrap the metadata, and one to wrap the design attributes for at least one skin.

This table lists the attributes that can be included in the metadata section. You must include all metadata attributes in your theme to submit it to the iGoogle Themes directory, though you can test the theme without them. If you plan to submit a theme to the iGoogle Themes directory, it must be a polished, complete design that conforms to the guidelines in the program policy.

Within the metadata section, you can use the <Trait name="Language">xx</Trait> and <Trait name="Country">xx</Trait> elements to localize the title, description, thumbnail, and screenshot fields. For details, see Localizing a theme.

Attribute Description Type Values
title Title displayed in the Themes directory String 0-30 characters
description Description of the theme and what it does String 0-300 characters
author Author’s name shown in the Themes directory String 0-50 characters
author_email Author’s email address, used to so that Google and users can contact you. String 0-100 characters, must contain “@”
author_location The author's geographical location, such as "Mountain View , CA, USA ". String 0-100 characters
full_page_thumbnail.url Thumbnails are used in the themes directory to give users a preview of a theme. iGoogle fetches the images and hosts the images for you. In the themes directory, the image aspect ratio is 16:10, and the largest display size is 680x425. For best results, provide a 680x425 image as the thumbnail. Also, for dynamic themes, you can use a mosaic of the images to show the theme's content. URL to a JPG (preferred), PNG acceptable Well-formed URL, not relative. 680(w) x 425(h).

Design Attributes

The following table lists the attributes used to define the design details for a particular skin. Strictly speaking, none of these elements is required--there is no run-time checking, in other words. However, if you plan to submit a theme to the iGoogle Themes directory, it must be a polished, complete design that conforms to the guidelines in the program policy.

Within the attributes section, you can use the <Trait name="TimeOfDay">xx-xx</Trait> element to specify the time of day that a particular skin is displayed. For details, see Creating a dynamic theme.

Attribute Description Type Values
full_page.background_image.url Background image for full page theme. iGoogle fetches and hosts the background image for you. It is enlarged or shrunk as needed to fit the window, and is vertically top-aligned and horizontally center-aligned. URL to a JPG (preferred), PNG acceptable Well-formed absolute URL, not relative. Suggested resolution: 1920x1200. Minimum resolution: 1024x768
full_page.color_scheme By default, iGoogle analyzes the background image and chooses a CSS style that is suitable for it. However, you can override the default behavior and explicitly assign an attribute. The choices are DARK for dark images and LIGHT for light images. String DARK or LIGHT

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