If you’ve ever deployed a custom theme to multiple sites you must of experienced the pain of trying update the theme after the fact. This is because even though themes are stored on the file system SharePoint makes a copy of theme and stores it in the content database for each site that the theme is applied too.
Inorder to apply the changes to existing sites you must either: manually surf to each site the theme is applied to and reapply the theme; or write some custom code to crawl the site structure and reapply the theme. Both of these options are a bit of a pain.
To get around this, we need to change our custom theme definition to the absolute minimal:
- The INF definition file and
- a CSS file that points to the actual implementation stored on the file system.
This is an awesome trick that I picked up from Heather Solomon’s blog
I use it on every project I’ve been on since picking it up.
In the next step I’ll detail the process of deploying both the minimal theme definition and the actual custom theme files via a solution.