Creating a theme for SharePoint 2010 using PowerPoint

Something that a “non web design savvy” administrator can do to “pretty” up their SharePoint 2010 site is to change the theme (the theme controls the fonts and colours of the site) and this is easily done with Microsoft PowerPoint.  It is very simple to do and it really helps when you cannot find one of the standard themes in SharePoint to fit your company / personal colours.

So Lets’ begin:

Step 1:
Open up MS PowerPoint and open up a blank presentation

Step 2:
In the ribbon: Click on the Design Tab

Step 3:
Next to the images of the preset themes you will see three menu items: Colours, Fonts and Effects. We are going to work on Colours first. So Click on the Colours menu item, and then choose “Create New Theme Colours..” at the bottom.

Step 4:
This will open up the Theme Colours window

Step 5:
Here you can play with the colours and get a preview of your theme.  For my theme, I decided on soft pastel colours. Once you are happy with your colours, type in a custom name for your theme. Make sure it is unique compared to the names of the standard SharePoint 2010 themes. Click Save once you are done.

Step 6:
Click on the Fonts Menu next. Click on “Create New Theme Fonts…” at the bottom

Step 7:
This will open up the Fonts Window

Step 8:
Choose the fonts you want. I would suggest going with standard ones like Calbri, Arial or Verdana. Using “obscure” fonts will make the site difficult to read, and the site will end up loosing favour with your users.  Choose a name for your Font set and click Save.

The following is a list of the standard fonts in SharePoint Server 2010: (taken from )

Comic Sans
Lucida Console
Palatino Linotype
Times New Roman
Trebuchet MS
Step 9:
You need to save your work as a .thmx file. So click the Office button, click save as, and then choose Office Theme (.thmx) as your file type. Also take note of where you save it – you will need it later.
Step 10:
To import your newly created theme into SharePoint 2010,  browse to the site collection and go to Site Settings Page. Click on the Themes menu item under the  Galleries section, this will open the Themes Gallery page
Step 11:
Click on Documents Tabs and select Upload Document.
Step 12:
On the Upload Document window, go and find where you saved your theme and select .thmx file.
Step 13:
Your theme should show up in the gallery now, and it is ready to use!
Step 14:
To apply your new theme to the site, browse to Site Settings page and select Site Theme menu item under Looks and Feel section.
Step 15:
On the Site Theme page, select your theme.
Step 16:
Click Apply and browse to the home page, and you will see your newly created theme applied to your site.
If the colours didn’t work out how you planned, then go back into PowerPoint and change it as you need. When you upload the theme again, make sure “Overwrite existing files” is ticked.
If you have any issues or problems, just let me know and I will do my best to help.

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