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Theming Element
Themes are a very basic way of providing simple alternative look & feels to the
Element app via CSS & custom imagery.
They are *NOT* co be confused with 'skins', which describe apps which sit on top
of matrix-react-sdk - e.g. in theory Element itself is a react-sdk skin.
As of Jan 2017, skins are not fully supported; Element is the only available skin.
To define a theme for Element:
1. Pick a name, e.g. `teal`. at time of writing we have `light` and `dark`.
2. Fork `src/skins/vector/css/themes/dark.scss` to be `teal.scss`
3. Fork `src/skins/vector/css/themes/_base.scss` to be `_teal.scss`
4. Override variables in `_teal.scss` as desired. You may wish to delete ones
which don't differ from `_base.scss`, to make it clear which are being
overridden. If every single colour is being changed (as per `_dark.scss`)
then you might as well keep them all.
5. Add the theme to the list of entrypoints in webpack.config.js
6. Add the theme to the list of themes in matrix-react-sdk's UserSettings.js
7. Sit back and admire your handywork.
In future, the assets for a theme will probably be gathered together into a
single directory tree.
Custom Themes
Themes derived from the built in themes may also be defined in settings.
3 years ago
To avoid name collisions, the internal name of a theme is
`custom-${}`. So if you want to set the custom theme below as the
default theme, you would use `default_theme: "custom-Electric Blue"`.
eg. in config.json:
"settingDefaults": {
"custom_themes": [
"name": "Electric Blue",
"is_dark": false,
"fonts": {
"faces": [
"font-family": "Inter",
"src": [{"url": "/fonts/Inter.ttf", "format": "ttf"}]
"general": "Inter, sans",
"monospace": "'Courier New'"
"colors": {
"accent-color": "#3596fc",
"primary-color": "#368bd6",
"warning-color": "#ff4b55",
"sidebar-color": "#27303a",
"roomlist-background-color": "#f3f8fd",
"roomlist-text-color": "#2e2f32",
"roomlist-text-secondary-color": "#61708b",
"roomlist-highlights-color": "#ffffff",
"roomlist-separator-color": "#e3e8f0",
"timeline-background-color": "#ffffff",
"timeline-text-color": "#2e2f32",
"timeline-text-secondary-color": "#61708b",
"timeline-highlights-color": "#f3f8fd",
"username-colors": ["#ff0000", ...]
"avatar-background-colors": ["#cc0000", ...]
}, {
"name": "Deep Purple",
"is_dark": true,
"colors": {
"accent-color": "#6503b3",
"primary-color": "#368bd6",
"warning-color": "#b30356",
"sidebar-color": "#15171B",
"roomlist-background-color": "#22262E",
"roomlist-text-color": "#A1B2D1",
"roomlist-text-secondary-color": "#EDF3FF",
"roomlist-highlights-color": "#343A46",
"roomlist-separator-color": "#a1b2d1",
"timeline-background-color": "#181b21",
"timeline-text-color": "#EDF3FF",
"timeline-text-secondary-color": "#A1B2D1",
"timeline-highlights-color": "#22262E"
2 years ago
`username-colors` is expected to contain 8 colors. `avatar-background-colors` is expected to contain 3 colors. Both values are optional and have fallbacks from the built-in theme.
These are exposed as `--username-colors_0`, ... and `--avatar-background-colors_0`, ... respectively in CSS.
All properties in `fonts` are optional, and will default to the standard Riot fonts.