Tony Rockwell – Info

sharepoinTony@info – Cloud Computing adventures

Posts Tagged ‘Themes’

Notes on Creating Themes

Posted by sharepoinTony on October 16, 2009

Recently I had to create a couple of custom themes for an intranet, the requirements were not tough, but since I hadn’t created a theme in several months I felt rusty.  I forgot a few things and had to go back and clean up after deploying.  So, I thought a “cheat sheet” of sorts might be appropriate for my blog.  The purpose of this is to help me remember and possibly help someone else smooth out their own custom theme effort.


  • Use Themes to change colors, fonts, background images.
  • Use Master Pages to move elements around on the page.
  • If possible, apply an Out-Of-The-Box (OOTB) theme that is similar to the color scheme you want to your work site.
  • Copy that theme folder and rename it to your custom theme name.
    • C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions\12\TEMPLATE\THEMES
  • Don’t forget to modify the .INF file:
    • rename the file to your custom theme name
    • replace the original theme name with your custom theme name everywhere inside the file
    • change “codepage” to a unique number
  • If you “tweak” and view using the theme in a site, don’t forget to copy ALL of your changes into the theme.css that will go into your new theme folder.
  • I like to use SPD to edit the applied theme (“themename”1011-65001.css) so I can view my changes with just a Save.  Once I have it completed, then I copy the css out of that file into my custom theme.css file.
  • Use the developer tools in IE to find the styles that you are missing.  If a style is in the Core.css, copy the style from there and place it in your css prior to modifying it.  Your theme.css will override the core.css in most cases.
  • Don’t just remove or comment out an image file that you don’t want used…use “none” in the image attribute to make sure you are overriding the image usage elsewhere in a SharePoint style.
    • Ie: backgroun-image:none;
  • Edit the SPThemes xml, duplicate a <templates> section for your theme
    • C\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions\12\TEMPLATE\LAYOUTS\1033\SPTHEMES.XML

Sample section (copy section and change the bolded items in the copy to your theme name and images):

<Description>Lacquer has a gray background with gray control areas and orange highlights.</Description>

  • Place your thumbnail and preview images in the 12 hive (can be gif, jpg, or png)
    • C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions\12\TEMPLATE\IMAGES
  • When your work is done execute an IISRESET /NOFORCE to make the new theme available to your SharePoint sites

Posted in Custom Themes | Tagged: | Comments Off on Notes on Creating Themes