Old 12-01-2010, 05:56 PM   #1
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Default >> WALTER : A themer's guide

Here is what I've got so far for the themer's guide to WALTER. Its very much an early work in progress, both in terms of what's there not being finished or proofed, and what's not there being ...well, not there

DOWNLOAD

It assumes a working knowledge(ish) of Reaper theming and absolutely no knowledge or experience whatsoever of code. For the pixel pushers out there...

It is intended for themers but should also be useful to users looking to do some theme tweaking. Your feedback is requested, both on the clarity and correctness of what is there, and what else you might find useful.
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Old 12-22-2010, 02:53 PM   #2
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Rock and Roll

Thank WT
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Old 12-28-2010, 02:27 PM   #3
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Default 21 pixels difference in mcp height?

Hi, been Waltering a bit more and I noticed that when setting the mcp_min_height in the header of the rtconfig, the actual minimum mcp height is 21 pixels more than the given minimum.

Thought that this was just in the (Octave) theme I was working on, but I tested with another theme (WT static height theme) and also there this seems to be the case.

Am wondering if there is a logical reason for this... Is there perhaps an element of 21 px high for which this space is reserved that I don't know about? Or is it something else?

EDIT: in alfa_v19 and 20 the actual mcp height is 52 pixels more than given ( both WT static height and octave)

Last edited by blueskies; 12-29-2010 at 12:09 AM.
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Old 02-15-2011, 05:58 AM   #4
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Updated (see link in post #1) with:
  • Other comparison operators ( >=, <=, ==, !=, !, ?, AND) expanding on what is in the sdk a bit.
  • 'Always' Comparisons (does 1=1?, etc...)
  • Predefined Variables appendix
  • default_layouts.txt appendix
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Old 02-15-2011, 07:37 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by White Tie View Post
Updated (see link in post #1) with:
  • Other comparison operators ( >=, <=, ==, !=, !, ?, AND) expanding on what is in the sdk a bit.
  • 'Always' Comparisons (does 1=1?, etc...)
  • Predefined Variables appendix
  • default_layouts.txt appendix
A big thanks for the update, that's a lot of work ! Very useful.
In the Predefined Variables appendix, shouldn't mcp_panflip be removed since it's not available as a user option anymore?
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Old 02-15-2011, 07:50 AM   #6
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bah... of course it should. Thanks!
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Old 02-16-2011, 02:29 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by White Tie View Post
Updated (see link in post #1) with:
  • Other comparison operators ( >=, <=, ==, !=, !, ?, AND) expanding on what is in the sdk a bit.
  • 'Always' Comparisons (does 1=1?, etc...)
  • Predefined Variables appendix
  • default_layouts.txt appendix
Great update WT. Your work is very much appreciated. Many more things in WALTER make sense to me now.

One thing I just read which I hope the devs change is this...
Quote:
You can’t change VU meters.
You can change any image in the subfolders that has a corresponding WALTER entry - panel
backgrounds, buttons, faders but not the VU images The VU images you use for your
defaults will always be used, if VUs are visible, in all layouts VUs are special because they have
special drawing behaviour, not least because of the settings you can make in REAPER’s Options
> Preferences > VU meters
That bites!!! The VU meters are one of the main reasons I wanted to use this WALTER function. I'm working on the V4 version of my Neve, Calrec, Bob Katz theme and it has four variations (K12, K14, K20 and uncalibrated) which specifically use different VU meter png's!! I was hoping to use the folder feature to make having four different complete themes and folders redundant (they are basically the same theme with four differently calibrated RMS VU meter settings) but alas, this is not yet possible. *sigh*
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Old 02-16-2011, 04:38 AM   #8
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The Appendix 2 - Predefined Variables table is very well laid out and easy to glean quick info from.

A big-arse version of this table, with every WALTER variable currently available, set out in titled sections like it is, would be the proverbial DUCKS GUTS.
Maybe add a third column, showing a "common" example of the variable.

(I do realise that it would take an aeon to slap together a tome like that )
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Old 06-27-2012, 06:38 AM   #9
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Default Modified Theme

How amazing is Reaper? Mind Boggling for sure. I am also in awe of those who can use Walter. It's way beyond my comprehension but I know what I want.
I use track mute and solo all the time when laying tracks, but pan really only when finalising a mix. I would prefer mute and solo buttons to be be much bigger and located where the pan control is. The pan control could be much smaller and located almost anywhere else on the panel. Has anyone seen a mod like this????
Also, like everyone else on the planet, I would like the track volume meter to display and hold the max level that has occured.
Has anyone seen modified themes that do either of these things??
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Old 07-14-2012, 10:27 AM   #10
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Updated
  • Polish Notation
  • \Backslash to split lines
  • Knob stacks
  • .font
  • other stuff
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Old 07-14-2012, 10:39 AM   #11
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Cool I don't understand the quoted sentence (bottom of the first column in page 6). "Polish Notation" seems stuck in there oddly; maybe it's a typo?

"I recommend this because so many people who have struggled with learning WALTER, and given up, Polish Notation have started this way "
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Old 07-14-2012, 11:00 AM   #12
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That would be (technical term) 'a cockup' ...thanks
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Old 07-15-2012, 03:26 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by White Tie View Post
Updated
Thanks for all your hard work on this guide. The new info in the update is just what I was looking for!

Shane
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Old 09-20-2013, 03:21 AM   #14
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I would like to thank White Tie (and of course all the other people who have contributed), that he has made ​​such detailed themer's guide. This helps me a lot! Greeting

Last edited by mawi; 09-20-2013 at 09:55 AM.
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Old 10-09-2013, 12:35 PM   #15
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Default Where is your "default_layouts.txt" file?

Where is your "default_layouts.txt" file? In my case it’s in the “Plugins” folder (???) in REAPER’s installation directory! This doesn’t seem to be the right place, because in the WALTER Themers Guide other locations are specified: quote page 6 “Windows : C:\ProgramFiles\REAPER4\InstallData\Data\default_l ayouts.txt” (no default_layouts.txt file available) and quote page 46 “In Documents and Settings/<name>/Application Data/REAPER/Data you will find default_layouts.txt”(this directory doesn’t exist).I’m using Windows 7 x64.
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Old 09-02-2015, 05:10 PM   #16
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Default Problem editing rtconfig file?

Hi. I have been reading tons of forums and have been studying WALTER: A themer's guide. I am trying to create/edit a theme and every time I change something in the rtconfig file and try to load my new version of the theme I get an ugly weird looking theme? I am a noob but I have messed with the basics of editing themes via theme editor in Preferences. Any help would be appreciated
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Old 09-02-2015, 05:34 PM   #17
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In that ugly theme, how do i get those meters back. i only see them to the right hand side which is small and skinny and gives no values, or when changing Track Panel Layout-> Big Full Meters
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Old 09-02-2015, 06:50 PM   #18
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If you change the name of the folder your images are in, you have to open the .reapertheme file and change a line down at the bottom to match it. Otherwise, Reaper will say "hey, I can't find images for this theme!" and use the Reaper v1 images instead.
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Old 09-03-2015, 09:17 AM   #19
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Default Modifying Transport centering

Hi All,

I have a theme I am really happy with. I would like to center transport controls and interested in what kind of work is involved to do this. Could a relative newb achieve this with some effort?
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Old 09-03-2015, 10:17 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lokasenna View Post
If you change the name of the folder your images are in, you have to open the .reapertheme file and change a line down at the bottom to match it. Otherwise, Reaper will say "hey, I can't find images for this theme!" and use the Reaper v1 images instead.
Thanks Lokasenna! It is working good now
So I just noticed something weird. I updated to Reaper 5 in osx and "theme editor" is no longer in preferences?
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Old 09-03-2015, 02:47 PM   #21
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Thanks Lokasenna! It is working good now
So I just noticed something weird. I updated to Reaper 5 in osx and "theme editor" is no longer in preferences?
Yep, its now under "show action list" >> search "theme" and theme editor will surface in the list
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Old 10-09-2015, 07:34 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lokasenna View Post
If you change the name of the folder your images are in, you have to open the .reapertheme file and change a line down at the bottom to match it. Otherwise, Reaper will say "hey, I can't find images for this theme!" and use the Reaper v1 images instead.
I am having the problem as though reaper can't find the images, but the line ui_img=Default_5.0_unpacked exists in the Reapertheme file and that seems correct.

does it need a path or some other tweaking?

all I did was unzip the default theme and now it instantly can't find its images...
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Old 10-09-2015, 08:13 AM   #23
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aah, you have to put the .reapertheme file and the unpacked folder at the top level of colorthemes folder, NOT leave it in the Default_5.0.ReaperTheme folder it unpacks to.

might be worth mentioning that somewhere in the guides
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Old 08-01-2019, 08:55 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by White Tie View Post
Here is what I've got so far for the themer's guide to WALTER. Its very much an early work in progress, both in terms of what's there not being finished or proofed, and what's not there being ...well, not there

DOWNLOAD

It assumes a working knowledge(ish) of Reaper theming and absolutely no knowledge or experience whatsoever of code. For the pixel pushers out there...

It is intended for themers but should also be useful to users looking to do some theme tweaking. Your feedback is requested, both on the clarity and correctness of what is there, and what else you might find useful.

My feedback is that this is not so easy to get into and is written from a very experienced coding perspective:
Some of my observations are...

I've read as much as I can on the forums, also the Walter themer's guide pdf.
I cannot figure out how to either find a theme without Walter or create a new one where I attend to the basics like "First Steps". This is pretty unclear as to what I'm trying to achieve, start from scratch or alter an existing theme?
If I read on (the themer's guide page 6) from there it looks like I'm actually supposed to create a copy of default 5 and then comment that out?? Bit confused, am I starting from scratch with a blank rtconfig.txt file and do I replicate the look of a default theme that I've unzipped to get that to work? Or do I comment out a copy of a default theme?
These are conflicting tasks that make it harder for tweaker novice's like me to understand the process of getting into Walter.
I do have some coding experience, albeit pretty basic stuff, I can also work around the theme development action window in Reaper but I'm not getting past the basics of Walter.
Apologies if I sound harsh, I'm just frustrated by this immediate hurdle.

I think a step by step description of one or both ways of getting Walter running would help hacks like me. For example, a clear list of actions to create a new theme, including creating the folder ready for images and the rtconfig.txt file itself. Also, an idea of the minimum that has to be in this to make a theme work.
Alternatively, a step by step process for altering an existing theme, including any actions to duplicate a theme (after unzipping, etc). A real "how to... " guide.
Something along the lines of the video to unzip an existing theme (but now I can't remember where on the forum I accessed that), that was a good starting point; I followed the instructions and got the expected result.

At the moment I'm all over trying to piece together information to make a theme of my own. Unfortunately, I have no fixed reference point to trouble shoot the inevitable gaffs I'm making.
Although one idea in the guide is to do some basic Walter work first, I cannot seem to work out how to get that running. Then the guide gives a huge list of instructions that maybe I'm supposed to use but I can't be sure??!!??

Sorry, repeating myself now.

Right now I've created a folder, named it and dropped a new rtconfig.txt file in there that has "clear tcp.*" in it.
Reaper cannot see my folder so I tried forcing Reaper to open it and I get an error that 12 EDL header items are missing.
I added a tcp.size line but still the same error message. I could add more commented out lines but the outcome is going to be the same because they will be comments.
Something along these lines is implied by "First Steps", just a line of code and your off to a start, but there isn't enough information to get up and running.
I need a "hello world" instructional, I think.
Again, apologies if I sound overly harsh. I intend to be critical, I suppose, but not offensive.
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Old 08-01-2019, 03:44 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dyl View Post
Again, apologies if I sound overly harsh. I intend to be critical, I suppose, but not offensive.
You have nothing to apologise for, your feedback is useful and your tone is measured. Thank you!

There are several things at play here, firstly that you've come to this thread, rather than one of the stickies about how theming works. Which is understandable; I have now un-stickied this thread, which I should have done a long time ago.

WALTER is not theming, its just an optional part of it that should only be approached once the rudiments are understood. Work your way through the stickies How to use a REAPER theme then Common tweaks to a REAPER theme, before finally making your way to Making a REAPER theme, reading the documentation linked in each.

Reaper theming is an accretion over the years of somewhat disjointed functionality. Its all much easier than it looks from a technical point of view, but there's quite a lot of of non-obvious things to learn when starting from scratch. I hope you stick with it
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Old 08-01-2019, 04:03 PM   #26
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WALTER is not theming, its just an optional part of it that should only be approached once the rudiments are understood.
Some clarification might be useful here, especially since the linked documentation is rather sparse on the topic of pre-WALTER theming.

As I understand it:
- A WALTERless theme is limited to replacing the fonts, colors, and images of... what? The v2 layout?

- WALTER is effectively anything themes do that can't be done from the theme tweaker - that is, everything in the rtconfig.txt aside from the basic parameters at the top.

Assuming the above is correct, it would seem somewhat inaccurate to say that "WALTER is not theming", as WALTER is required for all but the most basic of cosmetic changes and certainly pretty much anything people ask for in a theme these days. It would be more reasonable, IMO, to make a distinction between "theming" and "changing colors in the tweaker".
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Old 08-02-2019, 03:26 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lokasenna View Post
As I understand it:
- A WALTERless theme is limited to replacing the fonts, colors, and images of... what? The v2 layout?

- WALTER is effectively anything themes do that can't be done from the theme tweaker - that is, everything in the rtconfig.txt aside from the basic parameters at the top.
I'm not sure why you want to get into a semantic discussion about this, what I said is 100% objectively true. We themed for years before WALTER came along. People make themes by reusing existing WALTER. WALTER only applies to the MCP, TCP, EnvCP and Transport. An understanding of WALTER is near worthless without an understanding of the underlying theming.

The document is called WALTER : A themer's guide. It is to explain to a themer about WALTER.

People get tripped up all the time by posts incorrectly using 'theming' and 'WALTER' interchangeably. Please do not contribute to this utterly unnecessary misunderstanding, theming is confusing enough as it is.
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Old 08-02-2019, 06:45 AM   #28
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I'm not sure why you want to get into a semantic discussion about this, what I said is 100% objectively true.
While technically true, I have to disagree as to its accuracy. When's the last time you saw a new theme that didn't use WALTER? At this point, it seems clear to me that pretty much everyone on here uses "WALTER" to mean "the language you write a theme in".

Quote:
...theming is confusing enough as it is.
Quote:
...because most people ignore the rudimentary stuff and dive straight into trying to hack existing themes without a foundational understanding.
WALTER is a programming language. Hacking existing software has always been one of the most common ways for people to learn how to program. It's expected, and it's generally considered not only reasonable but laudable to do so.

In lieu of a ground-up tutorial for Reaper theming, which I agree seems like a questionable use of one's time, skimming through the SDK to learn some syntax and then hacking an existing theme is going to get someone a useful result much faster.
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Old 08-02-2019, 12:35 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by White Tie View Post
You have nothing to apologise for, your feedback is useful and your tone is measured. Thank you!

There are several things at play here, firstly that you've come to this thread, rather than one of the stickies about how theming works. Which is understandable; I have now un-stickied this thread, which I should have done a long time ago.

WALTER is not theming, its just an optional part of it that should only be approached once the rudiments are understood. Work your way through the stickies How to use a REAPER theme then Common tweaks to a REAPER theme, before finally making your way to Making a REAPER theme, reading the documentation linked in each.

Reaper theming is an accretion over the years of somewhat disjointed functionality. Its all much easier than it looks from a technical point of view, but there's quite a lot of of non-obvious things to learn when starting from scratch. I hope you stick with it
Thanks for that. I actually felt quite bad after I posted. I had been through the other links about themes you mentioned but I couldn't find the TCP shaping possibilities I wanted so I moved to Walter. I know you are right, got to get the basics in and I'm definitelty trying to do that.
I made a breakthrough after several more hours rereading the guide pdf and actually got some basic Walter working. I mean fixed positions elements with single lines of code like "set tcp.solo [ "numbers" ]" I think I could write something of a step by step guide but I wouldn't know where best to post it/how useful it would be.
What would you suggest?
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Old 08-02-2019, 03:37 AM   #30
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Quote:
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I couldn't find the TCP shaping possibilities I wanted so I moved to Walter.
Yes, and as you've discovered you do indeed need WALTER for that. Just need to have a working theme first

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dyl View Post
I actually felt quite bad after I posted.
Don't!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dyl View Post
I made a breakthrough after several more hours rereading the guide pdf and actually got some basic Walter working. I mean fixed positions elements with single lines of code like "set tcp.solo [ "numbers" ]" I think I could write something of a step by step guide but I wouldn't know where best to post it/how useful it would be.
What would you suggest?
Yes, that sounds like you're starting exactly the right way. This will give you a foundational understanding that will serve you very well once you start doing more complicated stuff, or even reusing bits of WALTER from other themes.

Any amount of documentation is always welcome, and as a beginner your perspective is invaluable and hard to replicate. I once started on a 'zero-to-hero' basic empty theme with associated tutorial, but decided it wasn't an efficient use of my time, because most people ignore the rudimentary stuff and dive straight into trying to hack existing themes without a foundational understanding. None the less, please, post here anything you have. Anyone in the future who is doing it the right way, like you, might find it enormously helpful.
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Old 12-01-2010, 06:16 PM   #31
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Awesome stuff WT. This is exactly what I was hoping for with this new (WALTER) system. This looks like a HUGE step above V3 theme capabilities.
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Old 12-01-2010, 06:19 PM   #32
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Are there any other themes out there to look at yet? From WT I mean...
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Old 12-01-2010, 06:26 PM   #33
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From the Walter guide v1.......it seems possible to remove and reposition elements of the TCP.

That is bleeding brilliant!!!
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Old 12-01-2010, 06:49 PM   #34
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WT, forgive me if this has been covered in your guide, the Walter SDK, or earlier theming material, but I cannot find it, maybe I'm too excited; and sorry also if I am jumping the gun and you intend to get to this later.

My problem is that I am using the classic theme, simply trying to erase some elements such as phase and the volume and pan labels, and so I have just entered a list of "clear *" in my RT config (I was using an RTconfig to enable pngs so I just used that instead of default_rules.txt). But while the elements have been removed, gaps have been left in their place. How can I get rid of the gaps? do I just need to manually reorder the leftover icons using the 8 number values? Do you recommend that I just start with with a blank tcp as you do in the tutorial and build from there?

Edit. Also I noticed that as soon as I added some Walter code to my rtconfig, I lost all the layouts that came with the pre-release. How come and can I get them back?

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Old 12-01-2010, 07:02 PM   #35
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Since Cockos is all about acronyms, what does WALTER stand for?
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Old 12-01-2010, 07:05 PM   #36
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Quote:
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My problem is that I am using the classic theme, simply trying to erase some elements such as phase and the volume and pan labels, and so I have just entered a list of "clear *" in my RT config (I was using an RTconfig to enable pngs so I just used that instead of default_rules.txt). But while the elements have been removed, gaps have been left in their place. How can I get rid of the gaps? do I just need to manually reorder the leftover icons using the 8 number values? Do you recommend that I just start with with a blank tcp as you do in the tutorial and build from there?
Yes, you need to edit the numbers. You've made the space, so its for you to tell Reaper what to put there instead. If that means scooting everything up to fill in, you should just need to change the location coordinates.

Starting from a blank layout would probably not be too helpful if you're just doing an edit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by run, megalodon View Post
Also I noticed that as soon as I added some Walter code to my rtconfig, I lost all the layouts that came with the pre-release. How come and can I get them back?
You need to copy the full default V3 Walter settings into your rtconfig, and edit from there.
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