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Is there a way to populate the custom field dropdown box when you install a theme? I want to make it easier for users and avoid having them add the terms manually when they first set it up.

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the better way would be to create your own meta box nd to add one to your new/edit page screen you can use add_meta_box() function (look at the example at the bottom for the examples), you can also use this class which is nicely documented and does most of the job for you.

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You could use the Custom Field Template plugin to create a nice interface for your users.

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