Defining a community theme

The Hikari theme is the default theme for communities in Connections 5.5 and later. Use the information in this topic to define a custom Hikari-based theme. Using non-Hikari based themes, like themes from Connections 4.x, is not supported. To define a custom theme for Communities, you typically start by copying an existing theme. The style sheets for Communities are compartmentalized so that the color information is stored separately from the overall structure of the page. This separation makes it easy to change the page's color without disrupting the layout.

Before you begin

To test your style changes, you might find it helpful to use the development tools in browsers like Chrome which allow you to modify colors and styles dynamically on the page. You can then preview what the page looks like when your new style is applied to it.


To define a community theme complete the following steps.
  1. Create a copy of the existing default theme.
    1. Copy stamp.jar from application_server\installedApps\cell_name\Common.ear\connections.web.resources.war\WEB-INF\eclipse\plugins\ to a temporary location.

      Here is an example of the path where you might find the JAR file: /opt/IBM/WebSphere/AppServer/profiles/AppSrv01/installedApps/cell01/Common.ear/connections.web.resources.war/WEB-INF/eclipse/plugins

      Note: You must copy the JAR file to access the defaultTheme folder. Do not copy the folder from the nav/common/styles directory because this directory contains older themes.
    2. Extract the JAR file and locate the resources folder.
    3. Copy theme.css and themeRTL.css from the resources folder to the customizationDir/themes/corporateTheme directory, where customizationDir is the base directory where you store your customizations.
    4. Create the themes and corporateTheme sub-directories as necessary.
    5. Rename the .css files to corporateTheme.css and corporateThemeRTL.css respectively.
      Note: The customizationDir directory is located in the shared content store directory that is defined during installation, when it is saved as an IBM® WebSphere® Application Server variable named CONNECTIONS_CUSTOMIZATION_PATH. For more information about how to locate your base customization directory, see Determining where to save your customizations.
    6. Copy the css and sprite directories from the resources folder to the customizationDir/themes/corporateTheme directory.
  2. Update corporateTheme.css and other CSS files in the customizationDir/themes/corporateTheme directory as needed.
  3. Save your changes.
  4. To associate a thumbnail image with your custom theme, upload a theme.jpg file to the following directory:


    This image will be displayed in the Theme Palette.

What to do next

After defining a new theme, you need to add it to the Communities configuration file, communities-config.xml. For more information, see Adding a theme to the Communities configuration file.