One of the many new features in SharePoint 2010 is a simplified solution for creating custom themes. Although this feature in one that I will rarely (if ever) use outside of a demo, it was a pretty cool feature.
The idea behind Office Themes is to allow a user to create a theme using an Office 2010 application and share that theme with the other Office applications – Even SharePoint.
I started by creating a new PowerPoint 2010 Presentation (by the way, even though I’ve used it very little, what I’ve seen so far from Office 2010 has been pretty sweet).
I then selected the Design tab and selected a theme.
If we wanted to stop here, we can save this and share it or you can play with the colors and customize the theme a little more.
The next step is to save it as an Office Theme. To do this, go to File > Save As. When the Save dialog box appears, select ‘Office Theme’ in the ‘Save as type’ drop down.
Now we have to upload the theme to SharePoint’s theme gallery. To do this, click on Site Actions > Site Settings and click on the Themes link under Galleries.
Next, click the ‘Add new item’ link at the bottom of the page and upload your theme.
Go back to the Site Settings page and under ‘Look and Feel’, click the Site theme link. In this page, you’ll see your new theme.
Not only can you apply your new theme, but you can also further customize it and preview your changes with the preview button found near the bottom of the page. Once you make your selection, click the ‘Apply’ button to set the theme.
Our end result isn’t the prettiest theme out there but as you can see, Office Themes can make the branding process much more simpler than before. Now you can take your company presentation templates and apply the standard colors to your site.
One last thing. Obviously, I’m still working on the beta, but this theming process isn’t perfect; however, I think it’s good enough. If you need to do any more than what I just showed, it’s probably best to create your own custom themes.