Creating WSS Templates
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by Ameet Phadnis
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Themes in WSS Site

The basic way to change the look and feel on the WSS Site is by using Themes. The designer can use the following steps to change the theme in the WSS Site.

·         Click on Site Settings.

·         Under Customization, Click on Apply Theme to Site.

Figure 1

·         Click on the appropriate Theme from the list.

Figure 2

·         You will see the image of the theme just above Preview.

·         Click Apply.

So, how does WSS pick up the theme information?  Again, as explained in my SharePoint Templates article, most of it is taken from the file system.  The SharePoint files are stored under C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions\60.

Under this folder there is a folder called TEMPLATE and underneath this folder there is a folder called Themes.

If you look at the folder structure for Themes, you will notice that all the Themes have individual folders under the Themes folder (Figure 2).

For this example, I am going to create my own theme from an existing theme named Afternoon.  You can use Paintshop or another graphic tool to do all your graphics.

Steps to create your own theme:

·         Copy the Afternoon folder and paste it to the Themes folder.

·         Rename Copy of AFTRNOON folder to AMEETTHEME.

·         Double click on the AMEETTHEME folder.

·         Rename all the file names that reference Afternoon in the name to Ameettheme.

·         Open the AMEETTHEME.INF file and change the title from Afternoon to AmeetTheme.

·         We need some way of informing WSS that a new theme has been added.  As you might have noticed in my previous article, SharePoint uses a lot of XML files to keep track of templates and lists.  In this scenario it is the same.  We need to modify the SPTHEMES.XML file.  Here is the twist on the location of this file.  When I started researching WSS templates, I thought the file would be somewhere in the Themes folder, but I found it under C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions\60\TEMPLATE\LAYOUTS\1033.

·         In the SPTHEMES.XML file, copy the Afternoon section and create a new XML section as follows.

<Templates>
  <TemplateID>ameettheme</TemplateID>
  <DisplayName>Ameet Theme</DisplayName>
  <Description>Description</Description>
  <Thumbnail>../images/thanoon.png</Thumbnail>
  <Preview>../images/thanoon.gif</Preview>
</Templates>

·         After the above steps are done, you have to do an IISRESET.

·         Run the WSS Site in your browser and then go to Apply Themes to Web Site page.  You should now be able to see the new Theme you created.  In my scenario I have Ameet Theme listed.

Figure 3

In the above section I explained the simplest way of changing the look and feel for your website.  In the next section I will explain how you can completely modify the main page with new graphics.


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User Comments

Title: lates Sioftware   
Name: Abdul Ahad
Date: 2008-10-11 3:45:45 AM
Comment:
Nice Informaton
Title: Themes in wss site   
Name: Lebo
Date: 2008-07-18 8:48:48 AM
Comment:
You article is so informative, Thanx. But I have only one problem, I have created my own theme but it doesent change the colour, how do I change the colour?(Worked on existing one and just changed the referencing) Hope you understand what I am trying to say.

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