Creating my own SP color scheme

Office 365 / SharePoint Blog

You may wonder why such an advanced post about creating your own color scheme is so early in the game, but it just happened to be part of a project I am working on. We are in the process of creating public versions of sites for the division so that links from the home page actually go somewhere. Our college has its own color scheme of course, and so we wanted to get away from the standard blue scheme. I am not at the stage yet where we will be creating actual custom looks for the site, but the additional color scheme is at least a good start.

The easiest way to accomplish the creation of a color scheme file is to download the SharePoint Palette Tool from Microsoft. When you open the file, it starts off blue. Put in the color that you want to base your scheme from (in our case #660000), and then hit recolor.

From there, you can customize some of the “sub colors” within each block, and I spent a bit of time on the last block of colors, changing all the accent colors individually. Also, we like to have a splash of #FF6600 on our site, so I made the background of the item selection orange, as well as the selector button.

To save, just go to File, Save. It’s a little odd, since we normally have a Save As… function, but File, Save, is really a Save As, and you can choose where to save the file, and then name it whatever you want.

Deploying the Color Scheme

You deploy the color scheme at the site collection level. I have yet to find where to load it at the site level, so if you know, please reply in the comments below.
It lives at /sites/****/_catalogs/themes/15 with **** being your site collection level site name and you can just drag your newly named file directly to that location.

Then, for each site to which you want to deploy this scheme, go to Site Settings, then under Web Site Galleries choose composed looks. From there, choose “new item” – don’t try to do a quick edit, because a required field is missing from the list view.

For this initial deployment, I just copied the basic settings from an existing item profile, just changing out the name of the color scheme, and set the “order” to 5, so it would show up at the top of the list. It took a couple of tries, but I am glad to report, that it was pretty easy going overall.

There are plenty of tutorials out there by Microsoft and other SP users, who do a much better job of laying the steps out with accompanying images, that I suggest you search for a step by step tutorial on this if my instructions were somewhat vague.


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