Choose a Menu Theme in iDVD in iLife '11 - dummies

Choose a Menu Theme in iDVD in iLife ’11

By Tony Bove

In iDVD, a theme consists of a professionally designed combination of background elements and drop zones, a music clip, and a button style for arranging the main menu and submenus. A theme family is a collection of menu designs that work together to provide a unified appearance to submenus in your iLife DVD project. The designs include typefaces and images to match the theme, and the text selections are set to readable font sizes and placed in areas that attract attention.

You can use a theme as-is, replacing only the text for the menus and buttons to match the content you’re putting on your DVD. You can also change various elements of the theme to make it unique for your DVD and then save your variant as a favorite to use with other DVD projects.

To choose the theme, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Themes button at the bottom of the iDVD window to show the Theme Browser.

    Scroll down to see all themes. To see even more themes, click the 7.0 Themes pop-up menu and choose earlier versions of iDVD or All to see all of them.

  2. Click the triangle next to a theme to reveal all the submenu templates in the theme family.

    Select the Main theme for the DVD's main menu.
    Select the Main theme for the DVD’s main menu.
  3. Click the Main template to select the theme for your DVD’s main menu.

    If your project is set to the standard aspect ratio and you pick a widescreen theme (or if your project is set to widescreen and you pick a standard theme), iDVD displays a dialog so that you can choose whether to keep the project in its original format (click Keep) or switch to the theme’s format (click Change).

    The theme you select replaces whichever theme was last displayed in the Viewer. A cool feature is that if you already dragged videos or slideshows to create buttons for the menu, the new theme uses the same buttons. In all themes, buttons automatically appear where they should, in the proper font, button shape, and size.

Most themes provide an animated main menu that loops. To see the animation, click the Motion button. You can also drag the motion playhead along the motion timeline underneath the Viewer to see the animation.

After you modify a menu, you can save the modified theme as a custom theme by choosing File→Save Theme As Favorite. The customized theme appears in the Theme Browser. Choose Favorites from the Theme Browser’s pop-up menu to select the theme. You can use the custom theme for future projects in the same way as you use other themes.