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Creating a new theme in PowerPoint

From: SharePoint 2010 New Features

Video: Creating a new theme in PowerPoint

While SharePoint 2010 comes with 20 different themes provided out of the box, you can define your own by creating what's called an Office Theme file. You can do this by using PowerPoint 2010. This may seem like a strange choice to use for designing something that's going to be used in SharePoint, but really it's about the idea that SharePoint is trying to use Office themes. So we need to use an Office product to create them. And I'm not trying to create an actual slide deck here. I don't want to make a PowerPoint presentation.

Creating a new theme in PowerPoint

While SharePoint 2010 comes with 20 different themes provided out of the box, you can define your own by creating what's called an Office Theme file. You can do this by using PowerPoint 2010. This may seem like a strange choice to use for designing something that's going to be used in SharePoint, but really it's about the idea that SharePoint is trying to use Office themes. So we need to use an Office product to create them. And I'm not trying to create an actual slide deck here. I don't want to make a PowerPoint presentation.

I want to choose from fonts and colors. As I'm kind of experimenting with these, if I shift to my Design Ribbon, you probably know that there's a variety of different options you can select from for background colors, font choices, and the like. Now if I want to actually experiment with some font choices and color schemes, one of the favorite design templates I use is this one called Clarity. Because when I select it, I can then select from the drop-down option of Colors. And as I mousing over them I can see different options for dark and light colors for my background and my font choices.

I can also then select from the different fonts. Fonts really break down into a primary heading font and a body font. Now do bear in mind that you're wanting these to be used on the web and not everybody is going to have all the different Office fonts that you might use. So pick some fairly straightforward font choices like Verdana or Arial. You can select the option to create a new theme font where you just tell it what's the heading font you want to use and what's the body font that you want to use.

So for this example I will select a Heading font of Arial and the Body font of Verdana and click Save. I could do the same thing with my Colors set. I can create new theme colors, which split between Dark and Light and different accents. I can use the drop-down boxes to select my own color schemes. Once I'm done with that I need to say okay, I want to save this as a theme. I'm not trying to save it as a PowerPoint deck.

So instead of just saving it I'll go to my File option and click Save As. I don't need to save it as a presentation. I'm going to select from the drop-down option and find Office Theme. I just need to save this somewhere I can find it so I'm going to save it out to my Desktop. I'm going to call it TwoTrees. Click Save. And I'm really done with PowerPoint. I can click back over into SharePoint. I'm going to go back to my Site Settings option and find my Themes Gallery, because this is where I want to upload my new theme from.

I'm going to select Add New Item it will open up a pop-up window that allows you to browse out to that and I can find that yes, my TwoTrees file is on my Desktop. Click Open. Click OK to upload it to the Theme Gallery. I can add a Description if I want. That's optional. What that now means is I can go back to my Site Settings, I can choose the Site theme option from Look and Feel. I can find TwoTrees, where it should select the different color schemes.

I have my Heading fonts of Arial, my Body font's Verdana. Though do remember on a typical collaboration site like a team site or document workspace, the font choices really aren't going to have much of an impact. Your color scheme will though. And I can click Preview to take a look. Let's say that was close to what I wanted. I could do a little bit more experimentation, but I could think, yes, that will do and then select Apply and change the theme of my site. This is how you can create an Office theme font that can be used not just in SharePoint, but across Word, and PowerPoint, and the other Office programs.

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SharePoint 2010 New Features

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Simon Allardice
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