How to Go Horizontal on Tumblr

By Randall Blackburn

Apply a theme with a horizontal layout to your Tumblr blog.
i Jetta Productions/Photodisc/Getty Images

Tumblr displays your posts and the posts of those you follow in a vertical timeline in your dashboard by default. This dashboard feature cannot be changed. However, your blog’s main page also displays your posts vertically by default. You can go horizonal for the main page of your blog by applying a theme that uses a horizontal layout to display your posts. Use the Tumblr Theme Garden tool to preview themes before assigning one to your blog. You can select your own posts or sample posts for testing various themes.

Open the Tumblr dashboard, then click the gear icon in the top toolbar to open the Account Settings page.

Click the tab for the blog to modify in the right side panel. The blog’s settings page opens in the center panel.

Click the “Edit Themes” icon to open the theme in Edit mode with the Customize panel open in the left sidebar.

Click the “Advanced Options” tab in the Customize panel, then click the “Preview” tab. Click the drop-down box, then click “Sample Posts” to display samples in the Preview window when testing themes. Select “My Posts” to view your own posts in Preview mode. The setting is automatically saved.

Click the Back arrow to return to the Customize panel main menu.

Click “Browse Themes,” then click scroll through the list of available themes. You can also search for a specific characteristic or title by entering the search term in the Search box. Some themes that show posts in a horizontal display include free Organ and Astronaut themes, as well as the Antiquity theme, which is available for a nominal fee. You can also select a two-column layout, such as the free Cavalcade theme, to display your posts in a magazine format. Free themes are included at the bottom of the Theme Garden list under the paid themes.

Click the thumbnail of a theme with a horizontal layout to preview the theme applied to your blog’s main page. You can text the functionality, click-through links and animations in the Preview panel.

Click “Use’ to select and assign a theme to your blog, then click “Save” to save the changes.

Click “Exit” to close the Customize panel and return to the dashboard.


You can apply new themes to your blogs without reservation because you can always revert to a previous theme using the Tumblr Theme Recovery tool (see Resources). The Recovery tool keeps track of the previous 20 changes to your theme. Just select the blog to restore from the drop-down menu in the Recovery tool page, then click the “Revert” button next to the theme revision to restore. Your theme is immediately restored to the previous version.