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SharePoint 2013 Custom Theme Creation – Step-by-Step Process Explained

Most SharePoint users would be aware about the highly improved theme engine in SharePoint 2013. Creating and applying a custom theme in SharePoint is one of the most effective ways of personalizing the manner in which your SharePoint site appears.

Custom theme creation in SharePoint can be fairly simply provided you apply the correct method for the same that involves following –

  • Creating new Color palettes & Font Schemes
  • Uploading palettes and schemes to Themes Gallery

In this blog post, we will understand the process of creating a custom theme in SharePoint 2013.

Let’s Know the Basics First…

As we have already discussed the significance of color palettes and font schemes, we will take a deeper look into both of these. In SharePoint 2013, Color Palettes and Font Schemes are makeup themes.

SharePoint Custom Theme

Typically, two XML files define the themes in SharePoint 2013 and these include following –

SPColor.xml – It defines the color palette having semantic names in slots.

SPFont.xml – It defines the font scheme and supports following –

  • Multiple languages
  • Web-safe fonts
  • Web fonts

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Theme Gallery and Composed Look…

Having explained the concept of font schemes and color palettes, let’s move now to learn about Theme Gallery. Following two questions typically arise in regard to Theme Gallery –

  1. What does Theme Gallery include?
    It essentially includes a list of Color Palettes and Font Schemes
  2. How can Themes Gallery be accessed?
    It can be accessed by going to Site Settings > under Web Designer Galleries > Themes

Theme’s Structure and Components are defined in a list known as Composed Look.

Unlike the Theme Gallery that comprises the core files (SPColor.xml, SPFont.xml) making a theme; Composed Look includes well-structured links to these core files.

Creating a Custom Theme…

Let’s understand the steps you need to take in order to create a custom theme in SharePoint 2013 –

1. In Composed look List; go to an existing Composed Theme.

2. From the chosen theme, select the spcolor file’s name.

3. Go to “Themes Gallery” and Download a Copy of the SPColor file ‘palette032.spcolor

Theme Gallery : SharePoint 2013

4. Open ‘palette032.spcolor’ in Notepad and change the colors/values for Site Name Properties

5. Now rename the file and then upload the same in “Themes” folder

rename the file

6. Go to Composed Looks and click “New Item” to register a new theme

click "New Item" to register a new theme : SharePoint 2013

7. Add following details in the Composed Look Page –

  • Name: Type your composed look name
  • Master page URL: Type URL of the master page you want to use
  • Theme URL: Type your color palette URL
  • Image URL: Type your background image’s URL
  • Font Scheme URL: Type your font scheme’s URL
  • Display Order: Enter a number to arrange your Composed Looks ordering

8. Go to “Change a Look” at Site Settings > under Look and Feel > Change a Look.

9. Finally, select the new custom theme.

This was the step by step process to create a custom theme in SharePoint 2013, for more tips and advice, bookmark our blog and subscribe to our blog posts.


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