SharePoint 2010 doesn’t directly apply a site theme but instead generates its own colors based upon the theme. Let me explain by example-

The default top navigation bar in SharePoint 2010 uses ‘Accent 1’ from the site theme to determine the background color for each one of the navigation items. However, SharePoint doesn’t directly use the user-provided hex code for this accent. Instead, there seems to be some sort of a ‘normalizing’ algorithm that generates a new hex code.

1) Let us set the Accent 1 color for our site theme to Red (#FF0000):

Accent 1 Select a Color Color Old Color #FF0000 New Color #FF0000 OK Cancel

2) Now inspect the global top navigation bar and what you’ll notice is that the background color is NOT what you would have expected. SharePoint interpreted the red accent and generated its own hex code: #FFA5A5

Home Global Navigation Background corev4-8A0ABD2F.css .s4-toplinks .s4-tn A.selected - background: url(selbg-1A8EB265.png?ctag) #ffa5a5 repeat-x left top

Conclusion
SharePoint doesn’t directly use ‘Site Themes’ but instead seems to generate its own interpretations based upon it. Therefore, designers looking for some discreet control over the branding of a SharePoint site need to still write custom CSS in 2010.

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One Response to SharePoint 2010 Site Themes are not exact

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