Working with Microsofts’ Theme Builder Beta
In my search for easy ways to create a theme for SharePoint 2010, I came across this post on TechnoSpot regarding Microsofts Theme Builder (Beta) written by Ashish Mohta. You can go check it out and download it from here: http://connect.microsoft.com/themebuilder . The site describes Theme Builder as
“The Theme Builder tool enables the creation of document themes for Microsoft Office 2007. Document themes provide a quick and easy way to apply a consistent look across all your Microsoft Office documents. You can apply the same theme to PowerPoint presentations, Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, and even Outlook emails.”
It is very easy to use, and I was quite impressed.
Once you have installed it, open up Theme Builder, and you are presented with this screen: (it opens up on the Colors & Fonts tab)
Enter a theme name, and then move to the text/Background Colors section. If you want to change these colours, you need to untick ‘Use System Colors”
Click on Light 1 and pick a colour. there is alot of freedom with colours, and it might be a good idea to use Adobe Kuler to get a good colour scheme going, because choosing random colours, can some times make you feel like you can’t see the wood for the trees. For fun I chose this scheme: Cake cutting is not a piece of cake.
So I used the light colours for my Light 1 and Light 2, and I made a darker version of the dark shades for Dark 1 and Dark 2:
Now we move onto the Accent Colors section. You will see the “preview pane” on the right hand side, so you can get a good idea of how your colours are mixing. I used various variations of the colour scheme to produce the 6 required colours, so I landed up with this:
In Line Styles tab, you can define line style in the theme and define point size and choose a style whether the line to be solid or doted from the drop down menu. In the color tab you can choose whether the color of the line be same as theme color or can specify custom color value. You can really play with different styles like how you want your endcaps and your alignment.
In the Fill Styles tab, you can select fill styles as solid, gradient or image. You get alot of options to work with here, like what kind of gradient you want: radial, linear or retangle, and you can work with the gradient stops (left to right, and how much)
In the Effects Style tab, you can add effects from the drop down menu and you can also enable 3-D and Scene properties, and this will open up the 3-D properties (when unticked this section is greyed out). This section is very important if you like to use theme in PowerPoint presentations, but not so much with SharePoint 2010. Background, transition and other effects can be changed by changes in this section.
In the Background Styles tab, you can change the style of background you want – like solid fill, gradient fill and image fill. You can set your colours.
Once you are happy you can go to Micrsoft PowerPoint for a quick preview of your theme. You do this by clicking the PowerPoint icon at the top.
And you can see the full effect of your theme by clicking on the “Format” tab and checking out the different formats your theme has created.
It takes some getting used to and most of the people I have spoken to about Theme Builder prefer to use PowerPoint instead. But it is always nice to have options