Creating a Personalized SharePoint Theme

Historically, a user needed to manually edit the CSS style sheets or use SharePoint designer to create a custom SharePoint theme. Generally, the entire process, including deploying and packaging of the themes need an executive server access. However, all the detailed process a has now been wrapped up and one can easily create and deploy a SharePoint theme to the server and apply it entirely in your web browser without needing any CSS style. Using the Microsoft 2010, here is how you can create one.

Creating a SharePoint Theme

First off, you will open the software Microsoft PowerPoint 2010 then carry out the same procedure of creating an Office theme in a Powerpoint presentation. You will click the design tab and select whichever color or font that you desire by clicking on New, either color or font then select your desired font or color. After you have designed your desired theme, you will save it, which will have a .thmx extension.

Uploading the Theme

After you have designed and saved your theme file, you will be able to save it in the Theme Gallery on the SharePoint server. Once saved, the file is located in this directory C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Sever Extensions\14\Template\Global\Lists\Themes

When the file is saved, you will then open the web browser and move through the Theme Gallery on the SharePoint server. To upload the theme that you have customized, you need to:

  • Open the Sharepoint site and click on Site Actions, then Site Settings.
  • Click on Site theme in the Look and Feel part.
  • Click on Theme Gallery link that is at the top.
  • Click on Documents tab and Upload Document
  • On Browse, ┬áselect your created .thmx file, then click on OK.
  • Click on Save.

Applying the Theme

To apply your theme to your SharePoint site, You will first Click on Actions, then Settings, then on Site theme and then you will select the desired theme that you had upload earlier.

How it Works

Once you have applied the theme to your site, SharePoint opens the file and creates a number of images as well as CSS style sheets that are based on the defined color of your theme. After creating them, it creates a new subdirectory inside the Theme Gallery for storing the CSS style sheets and images. The name of the subdirectory is named 0 by default when you create a theme for the first time and it will count continuously as you create more.

For further modification of the theme, you can simply edit the images and CSS style sheet that is in the new subdirectory.


Creating a theme in SharePoint is no different from any other application, you will be at liberty to choose a desired font as well as color. The process however is important in order to successfully deploy it to the SharePoint site. The entire process has been simplified with the automatic creation of images, Css style sheets and subdirectories. Creating custom SharePoint theme is therefore easy and more exciting if you go for an appealing style.

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Marissa Hart is the Lead Author & Editor ShareMe. ShareMe is a blog focused on SharePoint Online. SharePoint Online delivers the powerful features of SharePoint without the associated overhead of managing the infrastructure.