Creating colour themes for SharePoint 2013, both on-premise and online is very simple, first download the following tool from Microsoft:

SharePoint Colour Palette Tool

Note: Applying the theme in the final step will require you to have at least Design permissions on your SharePoint site.

Once you have it installed, open it up and you should see the following

This tool provided by Microsoft is very simple to use. You’ll first be given the theme colours ordered by colour buckets which can be a little confusing as to what exactly it is you’re changing the colour of for your SharePoint site. If you change the grouping to UI Groups you’ll have a nice grouping of the various sections of your site.

Once you’ve had a good play around with the tool, or have your corporate branding ready, simply hit File then Save in the top left of the tool. This will give you an spcolor file, keep this safe for the next step.On your site, click the Site Actions cog in the top right hand corner, then click Site settings.

Then under the Web Designer Galleries there should be a link to Themes.

Go in to the 15 folder, then click the upload button at the top and upload your spcolor file with a meaningful name. Once it is uploaded, click the ellipses next to your spcolor file and copy the URL in to notepad for the next step.

Then, under the Web Designer Galleries, there should be a link to Composed looks.

In here you will find all the composed looks that SharePoint comes with. First thing you’ll want to do is fine the item in this list called Current. Current will have a Master Page URL such as /_catalogs/masterpage/seattle.master. Copy this link in your notepad file for the next part as we just want to use the same master page for now.

In this library, click the New item button at the top.

On this next page, you’ll be asked for the Title, Name, Master Page URL, Theme URL, Image URL, Font Scheme URL and Display Order. We only need to fill in 4 of these fields to get the theme up and running, and 2 of them we have on your notepad!

So give your theme a name and title, copy the Master Page URL that we took from composed looks in to the Master Page URL box, then copy the spcolor file URL in to the Theme URL field. Your form should now look a little like this.

Once you’re happy, click Save.

Click the Site Actions cog again in the top right corner, but this time go to Change the look.

On this page you should see your theme name, in my case it’s called My Branding.

Click on your theme, then click Try It Out and then Yes, Keep It on the next page if you’re happy. Once you’ve done this, you should be taken back to the Site Settings page, where you’ll see your custom branding applied.

Visit our Evoke IT blog for more hints and tips using SharePoint, Office 365 and other Microsoft products.


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