New site theming options for SharePoint sites in Office 365

Sometimes there’s nothing like a fresh coat of paint to make a room or a house look new, familiar and engaging! Well, get your paint brushes ready. The new site theming experience, previewed last may during the SharePoint Virtual Summit (showcased here), will begin rolling out to First Release customers on August 21st, 2017. This new capability provides site owners with six default themes that can be applied to all pages of the site - both within team sites and communication sites.


To get started, just click the upper-right site gear icon, and then select Change the look. You then can quickly click on each item and see the change in real-time. In no-time you’ll have the site looking spiffy and new.


Choose from six default site themes.Choose from six default site themes.

Learn more how to change the look of your SharePoint site.


Thanks, and happy painting,


Occasional Contributor

This is a great step in the right direction. Will we have the ability to create our own palettes soon?

Thanks @Mark Kashman for the update. What's the status for admins, on a tenant level, configure these themes?

Regular Visitor

Great to hear this @Mark Kashman. I like to see there's a limited number of options presented to the user and cleaner options at that (i.e. only 6 to choose from). Do we know if it's going to use the same core functionality as the Composed Looks like the same .spcolor files just without the options to set fonts, master pages, and bg images?

Regular Visitor

 And the next question from SharePoint devs will be - can we apply these programmatically?  I was just struggling with programatically applying theme changes that are inherited by subsites in the classic experience.  Will these even be inheritable? 

Great step in the right direction. Cannot wait to see this live in action. The only concern I have will this be then the new theming engine that replace the current one and what about the Office 365 tenant wide theming. Looking forward to see this feature advance to more advanced branding scenarios. :D Thank you @Mark Kashman for sharing this update.

Hi @Mark Kashman. Will it be released to First Release (whole tenant), or First Release (select group) on Aug 21? 

Looking forward to seeing this in action! I agree with the other comments. It won't satisfy everyone with just six colors but its a great start! 

Occasional Visitor

Another great feature would be the ability to (re)move the verticle navigation menu on the left-most part of Team Sites. The menu location used on the new Communication sites (along the top) is much better (in my opinion). 

Occasional Visitor

I add my voice to the need to apply our own brand colours rather than just a canned set of themes. Themes good. Custom themes, Excellent!


Hi @Oliver Bartholdson - we do plan to support custom site themes, where there would be a central store for the custom theme files, that then can be selectged from the Change the look panel. We will showcase this at Ignite (Sept.2017) and put out change comms to note it as additional capabilities for site theming.


Thx, Mark.


Hi @Wictor Wilen - the team decided to first ship our out of box themes, and is wrapping up final testing to support custom site themes. We'll have more to share/show at Ignite this year, with guidance to follow once available. It'll be a method in how to build custom themes, and then how to place them in a central location so users can then select them from the Change the look panel. Thx, Mark.


Hi @Jason Cribbet - it is based on newer tech, and much of what we do 1st party, and soon you can do custom, is based on the new modern capabilities - which in this space have moved away from master pages and such. More to come soon on how and where :-) -- Ignite 2017. Thx, Mark

Regular Visitor

Hey @Mark Kashman, let us know what session at Ignite. I'll be sure to be there. 



Hi @Mary F Harvey - yes, we are working on the capability to inherit themes and other from a parent site down to it's associated sites - not always subsites, rather separate site collections. More to come and be shared at Ignite 2017 in this space; there's a dedicagted design/theming session with @Melissa Torres :).


Thx, Mark


Hi @Stefan Bauer - we'll certainly work our way up the stack. At this time, the post reflect at the site level, and at Ignite 2017, our team will budge up a level higher and tackle cross-site consistency. Cheers until then, Mark.


Hi @Darrell Webster - I believe the team will begin with FR (Select), and then quickly out to FR (Entprise wide), and then 10%/50%/100% WW production soon after. Cheers, Mark.


Hi @Charles McPadden - Fair feedback. There is a lot of the same tech behind the scenes of each site type (list, libraries, news, etc), and possibly a communication site would suffice your scenario accordingly, along with it a preferred nav element. Main difference between the two is Office 365 Groups integration (which equals permissions management and additional group application availability). Thx, Mark.


@Jason Cribbet - this will be a key one for most info related to the above blog post: "What’s new and what's coming for branding and organizing your SharePoint sites ": https://myignite.microsoft.com/sessions/53858?source=sessions with @Melissa Torres & Denise Trabona. Cheers, Mark.

New Contributor

So quite another reason to stop people modifying Master Pages then, I guess. Looking forward to see it in action, also feeling this goes into the right direction. Thanks for sharing, @Mark Kashman!