Lately I’ve been working on a lot of SharePoint branding – for MOSS and WSS. For a consistent user experience, we need to brand the application pages too (/_layouts/…), so we create a custom theme.
There are many other articles about creating custom themes:
- Create a custom theme for WSS v3 or MOSS 2007 (http://weblogs.asp.net/danlewis/archive/2008/06/12/create-a-custom-theme-for-wss-3-0-or-moss-2007.aspx)
- (MSDN) How To: Customise Themes (http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa979310.aspx)
One of the pain points with developing your own theme comes when it has been rolled out across many sites, and then a snag is spotted, or something needs to be changed. The theme has to be updated, and re-applied everywhere it was used (since applying a theme in a site takes a copy of the CSS and supporting files and stores it in each site). Imagine having to do that across 50+ sites – it is certainly something that can make you cry.
To get around this, and allow us to make global changes post-deployment, I use the following method.
- Copy an existing theme, and make the necessary changes to the files to make it your own and customise the CSS (the above articles cover this) – and there is a theme generator out on the web: (http://hermansberghem.googlepages.com/themegenerator.htm)
- Somewhere in the root of your SharePoint system, create a blank CSS page – “MyTheme.css”.
- Cut the CSS from your new theme on the server, and paste it into MyTheme.css.
- Go back to your CSS sheet on the server, remove all the text from it, and enter only the following line:
- Save + Reset IIS
Presto – now, all your custom theme does is look at a single parent style sheet in the root of your SharePoint system. This means that even after it’s been deployed across many sites, we can make a change to the parent style sheet and see it reflected everywhere.
Hope this helps…davros.