New Features in SharePoint 2013 – Part 5 (Themes)


SharePoint 2013 has a new theming engine and better graphical user modification options. This theming engine has been completely re-worked from bottom to top. Everything is now based on HTML instead of proprietary format, which includes support for newer standards like HTML5 and CSS3. It also means that PowerPoint is no longer used to create custom themes for site collections.

However we will get much richer themes and common building blocks for customizing them, so for example we will have

  1. Theme Gallery: You will get a new theme gallery in SharePoint 2013, below is an example of different theme templates that come out of the box. If you click either one of those, you will be able to customize that theme with different mix and max below elements to make it look exactly like you want to.

  2. A background image: Typically we will start by selecting a background image for the theme. If we have Office 2013 client, then we can typically drag and drop the image from the local file system on to the page and have that image automatically uploaded and displayed as a background image. If we don’t have Office 2013 client, then we can change the back ground image by simply uploading the image and apply the new background image to the theme. We can also remove a background image from the existing theme.
  3. A colors palette: Below the background image, we will have a color wheel. The color wheel contains a predefined set of color combinations and those colors will be used in the themes in our site. We can choose a color schema from a list of available color schemas to be applied across your sites
  4. Layout Dropdown: Below the color wheel we can find a layout dropdown. We can click on Layout dropdown that comes in 2 different site layouts, the 1st is V15 (which includes a quick launch bar) and 2nd is Belltown (which doesn’t include a quick launch bar). We can also create multiple site layouts programmatically and make them available for use.

  5. Fonts: Below layout dropdown is a Fonts section. We can choose which fonts to use within the theme.

  6. Live Preview Frame: Once you have gone ahead and selected your choices for the above areas, live preview pane automatically updates to display a sample image for the chosen combination.

  7. Try it Out: After we are satisfied with the way live preview pane looks, we can go ahead and click “Try it out” link to see changes being applied to our site. We will see our site and our content with the new theme. If we like it we can select “Yes, keep it”, otherwise we can select “No, not quite there” to get back to the theme selection page and refine it further.


About Vamshideep

SharePoint Architect
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