Microsoft Excel 2007 - Document Themes

Style Your Whole Document

Give your whole worksheet a consistent look and feel with a document theme.

Document Themes

Document themes enable you to specify colours, fonts and a variety of graphic effects in a document. They affect the look and feel of the whole workbook. Excel 2007 comes with a large collection of pre-built themes that can be applied in a snap.

Themes provide a unified look amongst all the named styles, graphical effects and other components used in a workbook. The Accent1 style, for example, looks different in the Office theme and the Apex theme.

Changing The Document Theme

Changing Themes

That's the theory, but how do we change a workbook's theme? Click Page Layout > Themes. A gallery of thumbnails representing available themes is presented for you to choose from. As with ready made styles, a live preview is available, allowing you to see what the theme would look like if applied.

If you can't find a theme you like in the gallery, there are more to choose from on Microsoft Office Online (The option is towards the bottom of the window).

Often, you will apply a document theme and then amend it to precisely how you want it. Because you like it so much you might want to save it so that you can apply it to other workbooks in the future. You can do this by clicking on the Save Current Theme option in the Themes window. You will need to name the theme and specify a location on your computer to save the theme. Themes have the .thmx extension. Next time you open the Themes window, you will see your newly created theme in the custom category at the top.

As themes apply to entire workbooks, it's not possible to give the different worksheets within a work book different themes.

The Themes Group

Also in the Theme group on the Page Layout tab are options to change the colours, fonts and effects used in the current theme. When you click on the Colours button a selection of theme aware colour schemes is presented. Changing the colour scheme to one presented here keeps the colours linked to the theme. This means that if you subsequently change the theme, the colours change with it. If however, you change the colour (background or foreground) of a cell using the Font group on the Home tab, and you select a colour that is not theme aware, the link between colour and theme is severed. Even if you change the theme after doing this, the colour remains.

The same principle of theme awareness also applies to the fonts and effects within a document theme.

Anatomy Of A Theme

Each theme uses two fonts: one for the headers and one for the body. If you don't like the fonts used for a particular theme, you can create your own theme fonts by clicking Page Layout > Themes > Fonts > Create New Theme Fonts.

Create New Theme Fonts

Give a name to your new theme fonts and then assign the fonts for headers and body.

Similarly, each theme uses a specific colour for different elements such as text background light, text background dark etc. New theme colour schemes can be created by clicking Page Layout > Themes > Colours > Create New Theme Colors. The Create New Theme Colours window allows you to specify colours for all the different elements contained in a theme.

Create New Theme Colours

You know the drill: name the theme colour scheme and assign the colours. Once new theme fonts and theme colour schemes have been created, they will appear at the top in the custom category when you click the Colors or Fonts button in the Themes group.