Office 365 SharePoint Color Palette Tool!

Use the SharePoint Color Palette Tool in Office 365By Tim Haight

As an Office 365 administrator, have you ever wanted to change your SharePoint sites’ colors to something custom that is not included in the preset color choices? You can do this with SharePoint Designer, but that can require a lot of learning if you’re starting from scratch. Here’s a way to hack the color changes that doesn’t take too much work.

Microsoft has this nice app called the SharePoint Color Palette Tool, which you can download here. You can Google some good articles about how to use it. One of my favorites is on the Sharegate site. The problem is that these articles are mostly aimed at administrators of on-premises SharePoint sites.

You begin to encounter the issue after you’ve downloaded the tool, and you realize you have to open a file to modify. So how do you get the SharePoint theme into the tool? Looking ahead, how are you going to upload it back when you’ve made your changes?

Getting the Theme into the Color Palette Tool

The first thing to do is to find the theme you want to change. You get to it from the Site Settings page related to the site you want to change. In Site Settings, you look for Composed Looks in the Web Designer Galleries section. When you get to the Composed Looks page, you look for the item with the name “Current.” It may be at the bottom of the list. Then you note the file path in the Theme URL column. Write it down.

You then map a network drive on your computer to the folder in which the file is located. For those who haven’t done that for a while, you go to the Start button, then Computer, then right click to bring up a menu. On the menu, you click Add a Network Location. You follow the prompts, which will provide a box into which you type the Office 365 folder. In my case, it was cgnet.sharepoint.com/_catalogs/theme/15. Yours will follow the same form, I suspect. The file path is part of the name in the Theme URL column. You just leave off the final file name. Once you’ve got the drive mapped, you can open it and download the .spcolor file you want to change.

How to Get the RGB Values

Then you open the downloaded file in the Color Palette Tool and make the changes. This will take a little trial and error, but it’s pretty straightforward, particularly if you read those articles you Googled earlier. One thing is how to specify the color. If you want to be precise, you’ll want the Red, Green and Blue values for each color, which range from 0 to 255. The way I get them is using the eyedropper tool in Photoshop, but Paint has similar functionality. So, for example, if you want to make the SharePoint colors match your public Website, you just take a screen shot of the home page, open it in Photoshop or Paint, and eyedropper it (in Paint, you have to open Edit Colors to see the numbers after using the eyedropper.) To get to where you put the new values in, click on one of the Color Palette Tool’s color squares in the lefthand column.

Tim Haight
About the Author
I'm VP of Technology Services for CGNET. I love to travel and do IT strategic planning.

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