Multithemes’ RWmultitool


RWmultitool from long-time theme developer Multithemes is something of an oddity in the Rapidweaver world – an addon that’s neither a plug-in, nor a stack, nor a theme, but instead RWmultitool is a utility that lets you edit images (or at least some of the images) inside Rapidweaver themes; as such, it was extremely useful back when themes didn’t offer so many ways to change their look and feel.

Here’s how you might use it. Load up Rapidweaver, pick a theme to work with and duplicate it, then select that duplicated theme from the RWmultitool theme list. Select one of the theme’s  image from a second drop down list – say a header – and then add your company logo by dragging it off the desktop and onto the image. You can position the logo wherever you like on the image,  use one of the preset placements (centre, top, left right and so on) and make sure any additional images you might add line up neatly using the snap-to-grid feature. Anything added like this can be sized and rotated, you can control the transparency, add a border or drop shadow, as well as applying one of 30-plus image filter effects or 24 masks; make a mistake and you can delete a layer and start again. You can also add multiple single lines of text to the image using any font installed on your system.

Some rules of the road. First, although RWmultitool provides several safeguards, it is possible to overrwrite original theme images with new edited versions, so you should always work on a copy of the theme; second, if you’re as cautious as we are, use the Save Image command when you’re done – rather than Save in Theme – to ensure that all’s present and correct with the edited image before bringing it back into the theme to use in your designs. Third, because Rapidweaver 5 and 6 store themes in different places, it’s possible to get a bit tangled up and conclude – mistakenly – that RWmultitool can’t ‘see’ any of your themes. This page on the Multithemes website will help.

RWmultitool is available as a watermarked demo, and a Lite version which has more than enough features for you to get the feel of it; it also works well with Multithemes’ collections of stickers (€4 each) which offer a quick and easy way to pep up the stock imagery included in many Rapidweaver themes.

To be honest, we’d neglected our old copy of RWmultitool, establishing a workflow that used iDraw or Pixelmator to edit graphics before adding them to Rapidweaver, but in fact, using RWmultitool is an extremely efficient way to make quite sophisticated adjustments to built-in theme images and well worth trying out. Just remember to copy your themes first.

Rob Beattie

Rob Beattie is a freelance copywriter who designs sites using Rapidweaver. He's been reviewing computer hardware, software and web services since 1981. Yes...that long. And he's also the author of 101 Things to Do in a Shed , Fishing: A Very Peculiar History , and The Bluffer's Guide to Fishing