Create a Custom Theme (Course)

Table of content

What is a Custom Theme

When creating a new course, you are presented with the themes window where you can pick a theme template made by Absorb Create or create and build your own custom theme that you start from scratch.  Please note that it is also possible to pick an Absorb Create theme template and then modify it to reflect your organization's branding.  The only difference will be that you are not starting from scratch.  You are starting from a pre-made theme, modifying and building on it.  

In our case, we will start with a brand new theme by scrolling at the bottom of the themes page and selecting 'Start from scratch'


New Theme Menu

When clicking 'Start from scratch', you will be prompted with a menu that will enable you to set the initial parameters for your brand new theme.  These parameters can always be modified later on.  Here is a rundown of all of the parameters to initialize your theme.


# Parameter Description
1 Course Title Enter the title of your course here.
2 Slide Accent Colors Click on the dropdown menu to choose a preset for the slide accent colors.
3 Player Appearance You have a choice of 4 presets for the player appearance.  The player preview (#5) will change accordingly depending on which player you choose.
4 Auto-Hide Menu Toggling this to 'on' will make it so that clicking anywhere in the content area will automatically collapse the menu.
5 Player Preview This area will show you a preview of the theme, changing the player appearance setting will showcase a different player here.
6 Create Button After tweaking your settings accordingly, click on the 'Create' button to create your course with the settings applied.


Build and Customize your Theme

Once you have your parameters set on the menu to initialize your theme, click on 'Create' to create your course.  This will also create your own new theme at the same time.  You will be presented with the 'add page' menu to add your first page in your new course.  You can choose any page you want to add to your course, but we recommend choosing a template from a blank slide to give you visual indications of what the modifications to your theme will do.  

Once the page has been added, you will see the content of the page in the middle, and the side menu on the right displaying two sections:  'Slide Settings' and 'Player Appearance'.  Click on 'Player Appearance'


The 'Player Appearance' tab is the section where you will customize your theme.  Any modification that you make here will affect the theme itself and therefore the entire course that you are working in.  Additionally, by saving that theme, any subsequent course that you create with that theme will be bonded to this theme and any modifications that you make later on in that theme will be cascaded to every course associated with that theme.  The 'Player Appearance' tab has many parameters which we will go through right now.

Theme Parameters


# Parameter Description
1 'Save as a new theme' function Click here to name and save your theme.  After doing so, your theme will now appear in the 'Your Themes' section when creating a new course.
2 Themes Dropdown Menu You can choose a different theme for the course you are working on by choosing a theme in the dropdown menu.  Clicking on the 3 dots on the right of a theme, you can from there click to modify that theme or delete the theme.
3 Add Custom Font Click here to add any custom font that needs uploading into create.  The accepted format is .TTF.  We support Regular, Italic, Bold, and Bold Italic variants.  You can also rename or delete your font from here.
4 Font Dropdown Menu Choose the font for the theme from that menu.
5 Player Appearance Selection You can choose between 4 different types of players, each with a different layout: Light, Dark, Classic, and No Player.  More information in the section below.
6 Main Accent Color This accent color will change the font color for the page menu as well as the background color of the timeline in the player bar.
7 Navigation Buttons If this is set to 'off', pages created in your course will not have the player navigation buttons ('previous' and 'next' buttons).
8 Menu If this is set to 'off', the menu button will not be displayed.   The learner will not have access the menu.
9 Auto-Hide Menu If this is set to 'on', when the menu is opened, clicking anywhere else in the content area will automatically close the menu.
10 Logo Menu This will open the logo menu, where you can upload a logo from the image library as well as modify the margin of the logo and its position.
11 Slide Accent Colors Menu The Slide Accent Colors will enable you to specify all of the colors for the 'Text Background' as well as the 'Accent Colors' 1 through 6.  More information in the section below.
12 Slide Background Menu This section will allow you to set a 'Background color' or an image to the background of your slides.


Player Appearance Customization

When selecting between the 4 types of players, if you choose the 'Classic' player, a new tab will appear in the 'Player Appearance' section which is also called 'Player Appearance'. 


If you open that tab, it will give you further parameters to customize more profoundly your player area.  Information about all of the parameters that can be changed can be found here.

Slide Accent Colors

Setting and changing the slide accent colors have big ramifications in not only the theme but also the page templates as well as the models and many different things.  It is important to understand them properly and for that, an in-depth article can be viewed here detailing the slide accent colors and their functions.


Reusing your Custom Theme

After saving your custom theme, it will now appear in the theme menu of the 'Player Appearance' section.  From this menu, you can go back to any course and apply that new theme to the course by selecting it from the dropdown menu.  From that menu, you can also click on the 3 dots on the right of any theme to edit that theme or delete. 


 Clicking on 'Edit Theme' will open the theme editor for you to further modify that theme.  Once that theme has been saved, if you make any modifications in the 'Player Appearance' section, a popup will open and ask you if you want to apply the changes to this course only or edit the whole theme.   Choosing 'Apply to this theme only' will create a new custom theme that has not been saved yet.  Choosing 'Edit Theme' will open the theme editor for you to modify the current theme.


Theme Editor - Editing an Existing Theme

If you choose 'Edit Theme' in the options, you will be brought to the theme editor window to modify that existing theme.  The theme editor is very similar to the normal editor, but has the function of modifying the theme itself, not the content of a page.  There are a few differences in functions in that editor which we will go over to conclude this article.


# Parameter Description
1 Theme Template Menu Clicking on this menu will open the page menu.  This menu will be empty if you created a new theme, or will already be populated by page templates if you loaded an Absorb Create theme template.  Click on a page to display and modify its content.  Pages added here will appear in the 'Theme Templates' section of the 'Add Page  Menu' so that when associating a course to that theme, you quickly have access to all of the page templates of that theme.  You can delete the pages that you won't need from here.  The deleted pages will not appear in the 'Theme Template' section anymore.
2 Add New Template Click here to add theme templates in your theme.  This will open the 'Add Page Menu' where you can add pages from 'Shared Templates' or pages from existing courses or template categories.  The pages you add in here will be displayed in the 'Theme Template Menu'.  All of the pages in that menu are going to appear in the 'Theme Template' section when adding pages in the normal content editor window.
3 Rename Theme You can rename the theme here.
4 Choose Theme You can choose to edit a different theme from this dropdown menu.
5 Modify Theme The parameters in the 'Styles' section are the same as the 'Player Appearance' section and will modify the parameters of that theme.


Basically, from here you will modify the player appearance parameters, and add and modify new template pages to regroup your theme templates pages in the 'Add Page' menu.  When you are done modifying the theme, simply click on 'Back to Editor' and you will leave the 'Theme Editor'. 

Loading your theme in a new course

After all of this is set properly, when creating a new course, you will be able to pick your saved theme when choosing a theme from the 'Theme Menu' (right after creating the new course).  When browsing through the thumbnails of that theme, the theme will have all of the page templates that you have created in that theme for you to choose from right away. 


Remember:  Afterward, when you modify an existing theme, this will change all of the courses associated with that theme dynamically.  This will save tremendous effort when wanting to modify content in batch and retroactively!

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