What Does Theme Mean?

In computing, a theme is a visual pattern or collection of patterns that determines the look and feel of a graphic interface. Themes are applied to just about any computer program that relies heavily on graphic elements, such as a browser, software program or operating system. Themes incorporate both practical and stylistic considerations.


Techopedia Explains Theme

Themes have been part of digital computing since the earliest graphic interfaces. The SAGE (Semi-Automatic Ground Environment) Project is said to have developed one of the original multi-panel window systems in their real-time graphic environments, which was important to the gradual development of the thematic visual interface.

Decades later, Apple Computers became notable for their early desktop themes within their personal computer operating systems – a trend that has persevered in personal computing for decades. This established many file organization visual metaphors (such as folders) that have become very familiar to users over the years.


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Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…