Update 2014.08.15:

Everything described in this post is now handled by Graphene’s theme options, making this post obsolete. But I am retaining it both for historical interest and if others creating a WordPress theme may find it useful.

I see a lot of requests on the Graphene support forum regarding changing the width of various elements of the theme.

One of the nice things about the Graphene theme is that it has so many options. You can use one, two, or no sidebars, you can use “homepage panes” (which allow you to combine the functionality of a static home page with that of a blog; it’s cool, so I use it on the home page of this blog), you can easily change the colors of various elements, etc. One of the problems with that versatility, of course, is that it can become pretty difficult to change those elements that aren’t necessarily meant to be customized. The result is that doing so often breaks the appearance of a blog.

As a great man once said,

The more they overthink the plumbing, the easier it is to stop up the drain.

“Scotty” (Capt. Montgomery Scott, ret.)

Yep, changing the width is possible, but it is not easy, and is fraught with dangers for noobs and hackers alike.

Since I saw so many requests about changing the width, I decided to take a long weekend to figure it out, and then write a tutorial about how to do it. As it turns out, that weekend never happened, although the idea of the tutorial stayed in my mind for the longest time. I actually found myself driving to and from work thinking about various aspects of the style sheet where I needed to pay extra attention to width issues. Since so many people had requested information about this, I figured it would get lots of views.

Like I said, I never got around to figuring this out, but then Syahir announced that he was working on this feature for the next major upgrade (1.6) of Graphene. You can view his tweet (and a screenshot) here.

Needless to say, a lot of people are looking forward to this. From what I can tell so far, you will be able to choose any width for the main container between 960px and 1300px, in 5px increments. I can’t imagine the coding that will make this possible; doing so makes my head spin.

Anyway, for those of you looking to alter the width of Graphene, rest assured that issue will be addressed in the next major upgrade. I don’t know when that will be, but keep an eye out on your upgrade panel, as well as the support forum. Needless to say, there may be a number of issues to iron out initially; please file these under “Support” rather than “Bug Report.” We’ll get it all sorted out so you can all have fun.