Using Microthemer on an exisiting child theme of twenty twelve

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Notice: this information was written when Microthemer version 2 was current. On Dec 26th, 2014 version 3 was released with a completely new interface. Some of the information may be redundant, but as much of the functionality remains the same in version 3 we haven't deleted this post.


I purchased a developer’s license for Microthemer and am anxious to get started but want to do it right.

I am building a site for a client. I’ve developed a child theme of Twenty Twelve ( ) to which I have added many customizations to style.css with the use of Firebug, tutorials, and with the kindness of a programmer friend when all else fails

I don’t want to lose all the customizations I’ve made thus far when I use Microthemer to make future customizations.

1) Do I need to install a blank twenty twelve theme pack
1b) and if so, do I select merge (sorry if that is for plug ins and not for theme packs, I’ve watched the tutorials but haven’t used the product yet).

2) will Microthemer create a new css fie or will it modify the existing style.css file in my child theme? (I have my child theme files backed up just in case I run into trouble – I copy and paste the current style.css into a Textmate file and save that. then I make the modifications that Firebug helped me figure out, save that file in Textmate, copy and paste, and hold my breath as I update. ).

If new, what will the CSS file be called (and is it created upon export?)

Here’s a good example: I want to change the appearance of the search widget so that I have an icon instead of the search button containing the word “search.” I hope to use Microthemer to help me accomplish this. Assuming I am successful, will the change be written to the style.css file or to another css file within the child theme directory?

(I’m a longtime designer, moving from Dreamweaver to WordPress, and know just enough about CSS and HTML to be dangerous and enough about php to know that I should do nothing to php files unless absolutely necessary and then only by following directions very carefully).

Going forward, I own developer’s licenses for Genesis (with all the themes from StudioPress) and Catalyst with Dynamik. I am taking courses in wordpress theme development as time permits, but I have an awful backlog of work (sites to build) – that is why I bought microthemer, in hopes of speeding up the technical stuff so I can concentrate on the design and content.

Any advice on best practices with Microthemer – including using it with these frameworks or others you prefer – would be appreciated.

I also own and use developer’s licenses for these plug-ins: WP eStore, Formidable Pro, Soliloquy, media grid, maxbuttonspro and slidetabs – I’ve had to tweak the CSS for WP eStore, Soliloquy and sidetabss – any advise on using Microthemer with these plug-ings would also be very much appreciated.

I have watched the videos and read through the support forum. In retrospect, I should have asked these questions before purchase rather than after. But, I know I have the 30 day guarantee – your answers will help me ensure I use the remaining time in my 30 days wisely.

Thank you in advance,


Hi Lisa,

I’m always happy to answer any questions you may have. And apologies for the delay in responding, I’ve been in the countryside this weekend without internet.

1. Installing the Blank Twenty Twelve Theme Pack will be a good idea as it will save you time (by having all the selectors in place already). The merge/overwrite import method just relates to merging or overwriting your settings within Microthemer. It doesn’t refer to merging anything with themes. It’s useful to choose the merge method if you’ve already done some work in Microthemer but you want to load a Theme pack or Plugin Pack into the Microthemer UI without losing your current sections and selectors. So when you first start, you will probably want to use the overwrite method – as you won’t need the default empty sections once you’ve imported the Blank Twenty Twelve Theme Pack.

2. Microthemer creates an additional stylesheet called active-styles.css. It never modifies your style.css or any other stylesheet. So you won’t lose any of the customisations you made with your child theme.

# Microthemer best practice
– Go to the preferences page and set the visual view to load by default. The visual view is all you need to concern yourself with when designing with Microthemer.
– You should be able to use Microthemer to restyle any content created by any theme or plugin. There isn’t currently a (recent) Theme Pack available for Genesis or a Plugin pack available for WP eStore but you should find the double-click to edit feature useful for those – and any other theme/plugin not supported with a settings pack.
– You should be able to restyle your search button with Microthemer by using a background-image for the icon (upload BG images via Microthemer’s Manage Themes Page). Tip: you will probably want to set the text-indent property to -9999px too to hide the text.

I hope that’s of some use. Please let me know if you have any further questions.




Thank you very much for this clear response! No worries about the delay. Most of us – especially we self-employed persons – do not take nearly enough time away from the Internet.

Your email has given me clarity and more confidence on how to proceed. I know I can use Dreamweaver for some of this purpose but – and I say this as a person who has owned and used daily every component of the suite now known as “Adobe Creative Cloud,” since that application’s first release – Adobe has not done all that it could do to make its tools work efficiently and seamlessly with WordPress. Even the newest Dreamweaver CC, with its CSS editor and WordPress specific code hints is clunky and awkward in comparison to your Microthemer.

Again, I am grateful for your detailed and gracious response.

When at last I am caught up on my to-do list of back logged client projects, I will return to my own neglected site and when I put my affiliate links and product recommendations sections back up, I shall endorse your product and sing your praises. Far too few businesses understand the importance of excellent customer service – especially when the service involves providing technical support to non- technical people like me. I can write almost anything for almost anyone (I am a ghost writer, tech writer, business writer and grant writer) and design in many different platforms, but I am a one-person shop and have been for 32 years.

The area in which I must either subcontract or receive training / hand holding is the tech side. I do train / take courses continually to keep up with the ever changing developments in our industry and I will spare no expense to ensure I have the best tools with which to provide my clients the best service.

I spent (literally) thousands of dollars with a company on their extensions for DreamWeaver and on personal one-on-one tech support with the company’s owner, a man who I came to think of as “Mean (name),” because, while I was paying him $100 per hour for instruction on how to use a $400 product (that he sold to me with the assurance that it was all I would need to create the e-commerce site my client wanted) but it had insufficient documentation, he would (literally) yell at me, interrupt me if I asked a question or tell me I needed to learn php when the whole reason I bought his suite was that he had promised I, as a designer who is not a programmer, could use it without knowing any code at all.

Hours and thousands of dollars and still not able to produce what the client needed and he had said would be “a piece of cake!”

After three painful and expensive months, I switched to WordPress and a plugin that cost less than $100 and accomplished everything I needed to do for that site in about one day. 🙁

I am grateful to you, therefore, not only for your excellent product, but for your kindness and fine support.

Yours gratefully,


Hi Lisa,

Thanks for your kind words. And for explaining your technical level and past experiences. It’s always beneficial to get feedback on who finds Microthemer useful and for what reasons.

Support is a top priority for me. I’m glad you’re happy with it so far!

Sebastian 🙂


Why dont you see for help



I use the Divi theme from Elegant themes. The new update has been incredible as they rebuilt their internal page builder. The new update though, did cause issues with the header / logo area which Microthemer easily solved for me. The point here though is what you find in the forums – there are gold nuggets to be found. For example -: How to create a child theme? Proverbial wisdom suggests using @import in the style.css .. but much better (faster) is to enqueue in the functions.php file. Footer credits? Functions.php as well.

Also, I have been exploring the X theme from Themeco is another great resource …

Good luck on your contracts – reach out if you need additional help.

P.S. I totally value Sebastian’s / Monika’s excellent service. As well as the expert help from the forum community like Abland.

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