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I was taking a look at a Beamer theme code in: /usr/local/texlive/2017basic/texmf-dist/tex/latex/beamer/themes/theme/beamerthemeRochester.sty

It contains code like this:

\useoutertheme[width=0pt]{sidebar}
\useinnertheme{rectangles}
\usecolortheme{whale}
\usecolortheme{orchid}

Why are there two consecutive \usecolortheme statements here? Wouldn't the second statement override the first statement anyway?

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    Both define a different subset of things. While whale is about vegetable colors, orchid is about crayon colours. Have a look at /usr/local/texlive/2017/texmf-dist/tex/latex/beamer/beamercolorthemeorchid.sty and /usr/local/texlive/2017/texmf-dist/tex/latex/beamer/beamercolorthemewhale.sty – Johannes_B Aug 26 '18 at 5:36
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    Or look at the documentation, whale is an outer colour theme, changing the appearance of palette colours. orchid is an inner colour theme, most notably changing the color of blocks. – Johannes_B Aug 26 '18 at 5:38
  • @Johannes_B Would you like to convert you comments into an answer? I think they summarise it pretty good! – user36296 Aug 26 '18 at 10:19
  • @samcarter You are more of a beamer expert. – Johannes_B Aug 26 '18 at 10:31
  • @Johannes_B I've nothing to add to your good explanation, please write an answer i.stack.imgur.com/LXiwF.png – user36296 Aug 26 '18 at 10:38
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Both orchid and whale are loaded using the same mechanism of \usecolortheme, but they define colors for different instances of a beamer slide. Maybe the order of the lines could have been a bit different:

\useoutertheme[width=0pt]{sidebar}
\usecolortheme{whale}
\useinnertheme{rectangles}
\usecolortheme{orchid}

whale is an outer color theme, changing the appearance of palette colours. orchid on the other hand, is an inner color theme, most notably changing the color of blocks. The beamer documentation explains this in a little more detail.

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