: Use Microsoft’s to create your own custom colour theme quickly and easily.

It’s a new year and that means people looking for a little change. Tired of SharePoint’s default blue colour scheme? Want a wider section of colours to choose from? Use the SharePoint Color Palette Tool to create your own custom SharePoint 2013 colour theme. It is easier to change than you might think. Here’s how:

  1. To begin, download Microsoft’s free SharePoint Color Palette Tool for SharePoint 2013. This application is very easy to use and does not require any knowledge of coding or Cascading Style Sheets (CSS).
  2. Install the application and then open the SharePoint Color Palette Tool from your start menu or screen.
  3. Once the application opens, a screen should appear like the image below:
  4. Now it is time to create your custom theme. The image below will explain how the application works. You want to update the colours for your theme on the left side of the application.
  5. Once you have completed all of your changes, you will want to save your theme to your computer. Click on the File menu and then click the Save menu item or press the control button and S (Ctrl + S) on your keyboard to save. A save dialog window will appear. You will want to name your theme with a meaningful name, choose a file location to save the file to, and press the Save button when you are finished. The themes will be displayed in SharePoint in alphabetical order, so you may wish to pick a file name that begins with a letter high than the letter P so you can find your theme easily.
  6. Now it is time to upload your theme to SharePoint. Whether you are using SharePoint Server or Online 2013 the procedure is the same. Go to the site that you wish to use your custom theme on. Next, click on the gear to get the Site Actions menu. Select the Site Settings menu item.
  7. Once on the Site Setting screen, under Web Designer Galleries click on the Themes link.
  8. The Theme Gallery screen should appear. Click on the 15 folder. You should see all the default files. Click new document to upload your custom theme file or drag and drop your custom theme file on the library. Your custom SharePoint theme should have a file extension of “spcolor”.
  9. Once your theme file has been uploaded to the Theme Gallery, you should see your file in the file listing. It will still need to be applied to your site.
  10. To apply your custom theme to your site, click on the gear at the top right side of the screen and select the Change the look menu item.
  11. Next on Change the look screen, you will see a selection out-of-the-box SharePoint themes. Select any theme or the Current theme that is applied to your site in the first box.
  12. Now on the Change the look configuration screen, click on the Colors drop-down list and select your custom colour theme. The preview image should change to reflect your new theme colours. You can also change you site fonts and background image on this screen. Once your theme is selected, click on the Try it out link at the top right of the page.
  13. On the preview page, you will see your new custom theme applied to the site. The theme will not be applied for everyone to see until you click the Yes, keep it link. Press the Yes, keep it link to apply the changes.
  14. Now you are back on your site with your new colourful theme applied.

I hope this tip helped you. Check back next Tuesday for another SharePoint tip! You can follow me by RSS feed, Twitter, or Facebook. Have a good SharePoint Color Palette Tool tip? Share it below in the comments.

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About Author

Christine Weaver has been the technical lead on projects designing, developing, deploying, supporting, and delivering solutions for SharePoint since 2003. Christine’s knowledge and experience leans heavily on her 10+ years as a software consultant and from being a Microsoft certified professional. Christine has been a regular presenter at TechDays Canada and runs the Halifax SharePoint User Group.

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