A little geekiness

If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you know that occasionally it changes appearance. That’s because I change WordPress “themes,” the templates that determine how everything displays. Many themes don’t allow full-size photos. In my last change, I found one that did. So I was thrilled…

…OK, stop right there. Today I notice that this theme has decided to replace my changing Uruguay header pictures with a black and white photo of mountains with snow, of which Uruguay has neither. How the hell did that happen? Actually, I kind of like the irony. I think I’ll leave it for a while.*

But this theme had something I didn’t like: when I wanted to make something italic, the theme displayed it as bold italic.

So for weeks my daily to-do list has had a reminder to fix it.

But how? I went to the theme developer’s site to find a helpful forum, only to find that the theme hasn’t been updated in two years. Bad news. Kind of on my own.

I downloaded the theme’s stylesheet. Nothing amiss there: the <em> and <i> tags were probably mapped to italic. So what next? I looked at the source code of a blog entry, downloaded the header.php file, and there it was!

html code

OK, not exactly in-your-face obvious. But in line 36, the theme is calling for Google web fonts, and font Open Sans italic is only specified as 700 weight, which as you know — because doesn’t everyone work with Google web fonts every day? — is bold. So I got the correct “call” code from Google fonts, created a “child” theme in WordPress, and inserted the “correct” code in the header.php file there, which overrules the original (without the risk of your changes being wiped out with a theme update, even though that seems unlikely after two years).

And it works!

I still have no idea how header.php was invoked by my blog posts, but perhaps that’s because…well, I did look into PHP programming at one point and essentially decided life is too short.

I’ll leave it at that.


* No doubt it has to do with my messing around with code I don’t understand.