Change the Theme of Your SharePoint 2010 Site

A theme in SharePoint 2010 is a color scheme. In SharePoint 2010, the theme can include font choices as well. SharePoint comes with several predefined themes, and your organization may have added others as well to coordinate the look and feel of other sites.

The site owner or designer can customize a theme through the browser, which in the past could be done only by hand-coding CSS or using a product like SharePoint Designer.

Themes don’t change the sizing or placement of elements on the page, although this can be done with CSS.

To change the theme of your site, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to the Site Settings page, Look and Feel section and then click the Site Theme link.

    The Site Theme Settings page appears, with the following property sections:

    • Inherit Theme: If you’re in a subsite, you can decide to inherit the same theme as the parent site, or define a theme for this site and any sites under it.

    • Select a Theme: View the default and see other predefined themes.

    • Customize a Theme: Choose a predefined theme and then select individual color aspects, as well as choose a font for the headings and body text.

    • Preview Theme: View what one of the predefined themes or your custom theme would look like on your site.

    • Apply theme: Apply your new theme choices.

  2. Try the different predefined themes by clicking one of the predefined themes to view the color and font assignments. Click the Preview Theme button to open a new window and see the theme applied to your site.

  3. To customize a theme based on one of the predefined themes, select either the default or one of the predefined themes.

    The colors of that theme display in the Customize Theme area. You have multiple selections for light and dark text backgrounds, accent colors, and choices for hyperlink and followed hyperlinks.

  4. Change colors by clicking the Select a Color link next to each color.

    A dialog box with a color chart appears. The current color is shown in the upper right, and as you choose a new color, it’s shown in the lower right with its hexadecimal number.

    In this Customize Theme section, you can also select a font for the heading and body text. The choices are contained in a drop-down list, and many should be familiar to you from other Microsoft Office applications.

    Some great websites can help you select colors and provide the hexadecimal code for that color. Some websites even provide you with a color palette based on a photo you upload!

  5. Preview your theme by clicking the Preview button.

    No matter how confident you are in your choices, previewing your selections, especially if you’ve changed multiple colors, is always a good idea.

  6. Choose where you want to apply the theme be selecting Apply to This Site Only or This Site and Reset Subsites to Inherit.

    If you chose the Apply the Selected Theme to This Site and Reset All Subsites to Inherit This Setting option, all subsites under the current site inherit your new choices.

    These options are available only in publishing sites.

    Depending on the depth of your site collection, this could be an issue if you have multiple owners in subsites that took care in selecting their own theme that you just overwrote.

    When you create a custom theme, Custom Theme appears in the list box with the default and predefined options.

  7. Click the Apply button to commit your changes.

    Your site (and subsites depending on your selections) reflects your new choices.

    If you want an easier, more intuitive way to create a custom theme, consider selecting a palette in PowerPoint to upload as a custom theme.

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