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Themes

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A Moodle theme is a pre-designed user "view" (interface) that can be changed by the site administrator, teacher, or student. While robust, it does not affect how Moodle functions, just how it looks. Moodle comes with a standard set of themes and there is a large free library available to download.

  • Themes in Moodle 2.0 will be built in a new manner and they will not be upgradeable from earlier version.

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Moodle themes

Moodle has a powerful themes system that allows for a variety of effects through the use of XHTML and CSS.

  • Themes may be selected at site level, course level and/or user level as long as the Moodle site has been configured to allow changes at these levels.
  • Each page is individually-addressable via CSS, allowing you to pinpoint exact items.
  • Our CSS class naming system uses simple English, is consistent and easily understood.
  • New modules can tell Moodle what styles they need and automatically include these in the stylesheet.
  • Themes can be based on the standard theme, which is very plain but functional. You simply override styles you want to change by adding to the stylesheet in your own theme. This means that if you upgrade Moodle later and new styles are needed, your custom theme will still work without any changes, because the new classes will be defined in the standard theme.
  • Themes can also be based on any other theme. This allows you to easily create families of themes, or variations on a theme. For example you might create a spectrum of pastel shades for use in different courses, but with the same basic layout and logos. You may also want to create a family of differently-coloured themes for accessibility purposes.

Creating your own theme

If you plan to work on your own theme please create a new one (with its own named subfolder) and use Moodle's theme system to base your theme on an existing theme such as standard. If you just modify one of the delivered themes it will be overwritten by the next Moodle update.

See Creating a custom theme and/or Make your own theme and/or Development:Themes 2.0 creating your first theme for some tutorials.

To distribute your theme, zip the theme folder and submit to the Moodle.org Themes database.

Theme Design Limitations: The overall 3 column layout can be customized to some degree, but it needs to maintain the uniformity of the standard Moodle layout.

Installing a theme

To install a theme:

  1. Unzip the .zip file to an empty local directory.
  2. Upload folder to your web server to the /moodle/theme/[Theme Name]. (Replace [Theme Name] with the name of the theme you have downloaded.) Ensure the new theme folder and its contents are readable by the webserver. Change Read and Write permissions (CHMOD) for the files and folder to 755 - Owner read/write/execute, Group read/execute, Everyone read/execute. Incorrect permissions may prevent display of the newly installed theme.
  3. Choose your new theme from within Moodle via Administration > Appearance > Themes > Theme selector (version 1.7+) or Administration > Configuration > Themes (older versions).

See Installing a new theme for more information.

Theme system changes

Themes have improved a great deal in recent versions of Moodle. If you are using your own theme and want to upgrade, please refer to one of the following:

Themes in standard install

Themes included in Moodle 1.9 are chameleon, cornflower, custom corners, formal white, metal, oceanblue, orangewhite, orangewhitepda, standard (default), standardblue, standardgreen, standardlogo, standardred, standardwhite, wood. See Standard themes for screen shots of each.

See also