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I am relatively new to emacs and am liking it... so much so that I'd like to customize the look and feel.

I'm aware the Custom Theme is the new way and is different from Color Theme.

The one thing that gives me pause is that Custom Theme cannot be undone. That freaks me out.

As I understand it, this means that if/when I uninstall Custom Theme 1 and install a new Custom Theme 2, the first one might leave remnants behind that still linger when I use Theme 2. Some of those remnants could conflict and give strange appearances (strange meaning different what Theme 2 intended).

How pervasive is this problem of Custom Themes leaving remnants behind? In practice, are there "good-behaving" Custom Themes that clean up after themselves when uninstalled? If things go bad, is the only option to go nuclear (i.e., re-install emacs, saving my init file)?

  • See Drew's answer here. – minibuffer Oct 5 at 22:36
  • The question is too broad/unclear: "should I be worried", "how pervasive", "are their 'good-behaving'",... Q&A here should preferably be specific: specific how-to (including how-to understand XYZ) questions. – Drew Oct 6 at 1:05
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You're confused:

  • Re-installing Emacs will not help fix any problem due to installing a theme (just like redoing the road won't fix your car).
  • The undesirable effects that might linger after disabling a theme only apply to the currently running Emacs session.
  • Those undesirable effects should be considered as bugs and reported to the theme's author. They should be rare.

So, the problem is really minor in practice. In the worst case, you just need to restart Emacs.

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