@info – The practical side of SharePoint

Naming Custom Themes

Posted by sharepoinTony on September 8, 2009

Creating a custom theme in SharePoint isn’t very painful, especially if you are able to use most of an existing theme. I do this frequently enough that it isn’t a dreaded task. However, I was working on a custom theme today and l learned a new painful lesson.

It appears that your custom theme name cannot contain underscores ("_") or hyphens ("-").

Each time I attempted to implement a theme with either of those characters I ran into problems. Most common was a message that the theme "custom_theme 1011" already exists on the server, or is invalid. Sometimes it mentions the folder name or file. Regardless of the error message, the real culprit is your naming scheme if you are using the special characters mentioned above. I don’t have time to test now, but I suspect that most or all special characters will cause problems for custom theme names.

Renaming the ‘problem’ theme by removing the special characters (and modifying the associated XML and INF files) made the problem disappear. Previously, I had read blog posts saying that there was a character limit of 8 or 9 for the theme name. I have found this to be untrue. I have custom themes with 14 character names which work fine…as long as they don’t use special characters.


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