Join Simon Allardice for an in-depth discussion in this video Using built-in themes, part of SharePoint Designer 2010: Branding SharePoint Sites.
Perhaps the first visual issue that most people run into with SharePoint sites is you create a few of them, say team sites, and blank sites, and document workspaces, and they all kind of look the same. They have the same color scheme, they really feel like you're in the same place, even if you are in completely different sites. Now, in SharePoint 2007, the previous version, we had something called Themes. This was the ability to have different color and font schemes that could be applied to an existing SharePoint site. And in SharePoint 2007 themes were pretty bad and pretty ugly.
Now, the theme engine was completely rebuilt from the ground up for SharePoint 2010 and they are still pretty bad, although we can find some find use for them. A little later in this course we'll see how to make complete custom themes, but let's first explore what we already have built-in. Now I've already said that one of the most important links under your Site Actions menu is the View All Site Content to really understand the lists and libraries that you have on this site. But the other most important one is Site Settings, to change a lot of the underlying settings of this particular site.
And again, you have a different Site Settings page for every single site and every single site collection in your SharePoint Farm, and in the same way you have settings pages for every list and every library in every single site. Now I am in the Site Settings page for my Team Site here. Your Site Settings pages will almost certainly look a little different from mine because these options do change based on your SharePoint license and what kind of site you're in, but most of what we are interested in will be the same. You can do quite a bit of customization from this Look and Feel section-- everything from changing the Title and the description of this current site, giving it a custom logo.
Here's where we'd actually change the Quick launch and the Top link bar, so changing our links, our navigation. We'll see that a little later. And then we have this option here to change the Site theme. Clicking this will allow us to select from a group of predefined color and font schemes, some of which are pretty useable and some of which really aren't. We can flick through them and you'll actually see kind of a preview of the color scheme here. Some of them actually don't look too bad, but you can't always tell from looking at this preview.
I am going to select here Bittersweet. If I come down a little bit further instead of just applying this theme, I can click Preview to just get a snapshot of what this is going to look like. And yeah, I really don't know what they were thinking to offer this one as an option, so I am going to just close that window. I don't think I want Bittersweet. In fact, as you can see here, you can actually build up your own theme by selecting a color and, say, a heading font and body font. But this is not quite as straightforward as I would have liked it to have been.
You see what Microsoft are doing with the idea of a theme is they're using the same theme file across PowerPoint and Microsoft Word and all of the applications in Office, and unfortunately I don't think it really transfers to the world of SharePoint all that well. For example, we have this idea here that we have Text/Background - Dark 1, Light 1, Dark 2, Light 2, but it's not really that obvious what these colors represent. You know, which part of the page is actually represented by say Light 2, what color is a heading using? So you may have to do a bit of experimentation if you want to create your own color schemes.
So start off by looking at some of the pre-provided ones. Although they don't all look that good, there are a few that aren't too offensive. Let's, for example, I'll take Construct and Preview that one. It's not the best but it's actually not too bad. It would at least allow us to make a bit of a distinction between a regular SharePoint color scheme and this being a different site. And if, for example, you are lucky enough to have your corporate color scheme be close to this, you might use it as a starting point to make your own themes.
Now we'll look at creating these custom themes from scratch a little later on in the course. But for now you can see how you can at least apply a basic change, a basic color change, to your SharePoint sites to at least distinguish one from the other.
- Understanding the different kinds of SharePoint site customization
- Creating new sites and pages
- Customizing Wiki and web part pages
- Understanding necessary permissions
- Using the built-in themes
- Using SharePoint Designer 2010
- Using normal and advanced editing modes
- Creating inline and embedded CSS styles
- Working with master pages
- Customizing SharePoint sites using the Publishing feature
- Creating new pages based on page layouts
- Growing portal sites
- Creating custom themes
- Customizing site navigation