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How To: Change the Color in the Sharepoint Online Modern Experience

April 14, 2017

You may have noticed that with the SharePoint Online modern experience, your lists and libraries are styled in all colors of the rainbow.

Example:

SharePoint Online Modern Experience: Document Library

SharePoint Online Modern Experience: Document Library

What if you want this modern experience to look cohesive with the rest of your SharePoint Intranet?

We’ve discovered that you can change the color in the SharePoint Online modern experience through the Change The Look functionality. It’s quick, simple, and requires no code knowledge.

How to Change the Color in the Sharepoint Online Modern Experience

First, download the SharePoint Color Palette Tool. Then, open it up.

SharePoint Color Palette Tool

 

See the Recolor button up at the top? Click on the swatch beside it, and place your company or client’s main colour there. Note that the tool uses RGB, so if you’re using a Hex code, you’ll need to convert it to get the RGB values. You can do that here.

I’m going to choose a nice orange colour that will stand out.

SharePoint Color Palette Tool: Color Picker

 

Click OK, then click that Recolor button. You should see a preview of what your new coloring will look like.

SharePoint Color Palette Tool

 

Go up to File, then Save your .spcolor file.

SharePoint SPCOLOR File

 

Now, head to your site collection and click on Site Settings up in the cog. Under Web Designer Galleries, choose Themes. Click on the folder labeled 15.

SharePoint Theme Gallery

 

Upload your .spcolor file there.

SharePoint Theme Gallery 15

 

Go back to Site Settings, and click on Composed Looks.

SharePoint Composed Looks

 

Click New Item, then enter the Title, Name, and Display Order (set it to 1) of your new Composed Look. I save the Composed Look with just those two things, then choose Quick Edit to copy the URLs from the other Composed Looks which makes life easier. You may have the paths memorized, which makes you cooler than me. This is just how I do it.

SharePoint New Composed Look

 

From there, copy the URL of the Masterpage (we use Seattle mostly) and another Theme URL, then replace the name in the Theme URL with the name of the .spcolor file. I left the Image URL and Font Scheme URL paths blank, because those are taken care of with our regular UX/branding.

Quick Edit SharePoint Composed Looks

 

You’re going to go back up to the cog menu, and choose Change the look. You should see your new theme up top if you had set the Display Order to 1. Click on your theme.

SharePoint Change The Look

 

Then, click Try it out, and Yes, keep it if everything looks good.
SharePoint Change The Look

The modern experience in your SharePoint Online site collection should now be styled with the colors that you chose.

SharePoint Online Modern Experience: Document Library

 

This isn’t a perfect solution, as it requires you to update each site collection with multiple instances of the .spcolor file (which means there are multiple places to keep track of if changes are made). I hope that in the future there will be a better way to choose your colour in the SharePoint Online modern experience, but for now, this is a way to get the job done.

Disclaimer: This may not play well with certain environments, depending on your UX setup. If this solution doesn’t work well with your setup, just revert your changes by switching the Theme back to Default. Also, the SharePoint environment may change in the future and nullify this information. Proceed at your own risk! 

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Karin Skapski

Bruce Smith

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