FreeCAD Beta 19 CSS Skin Tweaks

All of my CAD design work is done with FreeCAD which I run on my Linux workstations. I don’t use the stable version and instead install the 19 series beta as often as a new appimage is getting released.
If you are on Linux and for some reason can’t install the latest builds, then try the FreeCAD Development builds for the 0.19 development cycle

How to make the CSS theme selection load after restarting the software

FreeCAD comes with some preset CSS themes which can be selected in the software preferences section. My theme is Darker Blue and this blog post documents what I do to make the theme selection the new default.

To get started, we need to open (from the main menu) Tools > Edit Parameters > Preferences > Main Window. The right portion of the pop-up shows you the current style sheet. Double-click that line right underneath where it says “Value” to open up the “Change Value” pop-up window. The link to your chosen style sheet will be highlighted.
IMPORTANT! Leave the pop-up window open while you do the next steps.

Unfortunately, there seems to be a little bug in the new code and here is how to fix it.

  • Copy that whole line (file path) and open your file browser.
    Depending on which file browser you use, paste it into the address bar to go to that directory.
  • When there, copy the Darker Blue (or which ever one you like) style sheet and navigate to you home directory.
  • In your home directory, press “Control + H” to show hidden files.
  • Open the .FreeCAD directory and paste the Darker Blue style sheet into it.
  • IMPORTANT! Now copy the path to the new style sheet you just pasted and go back to FreeCAD and paste the new path to replace the existing one

To be clear, the new path needs to be pasted into the “Change Value” pop-up window which has only one field. After you have over written the original path with the one which points to your home directory .FreeCAD folder, you press OK and then SAVE TO DISK.

After that, you can close the preferences window. From this point on, you will always get that style you have specified and not the light theme which is the default.

Just for the record. I run Arch Linux and install FreeCAD from the AUR. Your Linux distro should also give you the choice of selecting testing packages so make sure to search for the Beta 19-xxxxx branch of FreeCAD. This way, you will get the latest features and improvements.

All the above steps seem tedious but take less than five minutes to complete. Thanks for reading and enjoy FreeCAD which I know you will if you have a 3D printer. FreeCAD paired with the amazing Cura slicer is a dream to work with.

If you need high quality renders of you CAD work then I recommend Blender 3D. Companies spend tens of thousands of dollars per seat to get that tool chain for their designers. Don’t you love Linux?

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