Configuring Your Theme

Selecting a Theme

First, read this safety tip. Did you follow it? If so, you're ready:

You can, with a couple of clicks, change the entire graphical appearance of your site! Here's how:

Navigation menu » Administer » Site building » Themes

Here you'll see a number of Themes. These are Themes which your Drupal installation is able to find on its server, and is offering here for your consideration.

Note these columns:


Some sites want to give users the ability to choose a Theme, rather than display the same Theme to all visitors. Only those Themes which you've enabled, via the check box, will be available to users as choices.

Most sites, though, aren't concerned with that choose-your-own-appearance functionality; chances are you want to display one and only one graphical appearance to all users. Just enable whichever Theme you intend to use.


Here you select the one Theme that your site will use (or, if you're offering multiple Themes to users, the Theme that your site will use until a user chooses another one).

For most site owners, you'll just need to check 'Enabled' and 'Default' for the single Theme you want to use.


Themes that are enabled will present a 'configure' option here. Here's how it works:

Configuring a Theme

You are able to configure default 'Global settings' that will be used for any Theme, as well as unique settings for any specific Theme (which will override the default Global settings).

In general, your interest will be in configuring your own Theme. The names of all enabled themes will appear under the 'Configure' tab; click your Theme's name to see its configuration form.

Here are the choices offered on the form:


Do you have a graphic logo you want to appear on the site? Here's where you direct the theme to display it (see instructions below on specifying the logo file).

Unfortunately, you're not able to specify the logo's exact position or size through these settings; the logo file needs to be "ready to go", and able to fit nicely into the space allotted for it by the Theme. Anything beyond that is a job for major editing of the Theme itself (see below).

How big should your logo be? It depends on the Theme you're using. Below are ideal logo sizes in pixels for a few common Themes you may have access to (per info at ):

Theme Width Height
Bluemarine 48 55
Chameleon 49 57
Garland 64 73
Minelli 64 73
Pushbutton 144 63
Fancy 80 80

If your Theme is not one of the above, you may require another ideal logo size.

Site name, Site slogan, Mission statement

If you've input these items into the Site information form, these are the settings that tell your site to display them.

User pictures in posts, User pictures in comments

If your site allows users to upload an identifying image, these settings instruct the Theme to display them.

Search box

If your site's Theme has a built-in search box functionality, this setting turns it on or off.

This search box, if supported by the Theme, will appear wherever the Theme directs it – in many cases, toward the page's upper right corner. This search box is separate from any other search box you may have have enabled in a block. (Chances are you'll want this built-in search box enabled, or a search box in a block enabled, but not both.)

Shortcut icon

This refers to the tiny icon that appears in front of the URL in a browser's address bar. Check this, and the site will display use whatever shortcut icon the Theme provides (if any), or one you provide (below). 

Shortcut Icon

Logo image settings, Shortcut icon settings

Here you can set the logo and the shortcut icon for the Theme to use, should you choose to use those. Each item has a handy 'Browse' button so you can locate and upload a file from your computer.

Display post information on

These settings only appears on the settings for Global configuration, not for specific Themes.

Do you want posts by users – including you, the site administrator – to display a message "Submitted by <user name> on <date>"? If so, check the boxes for the types of node on which you want such messages to appear.

On a typical site, you might want such a message to appear on Blog Entries and possibly on Stories, where the date and author are important. But you might not (to continue the example) want to have the message appear on Pages, which you may be using for static information like a company overview. It's all up to you.

Other items

Depending on your Theme, there may be many more configuration options. There's no way to cover all the possibilities here; experiment, or track down any documentation that came with your theme! 

Detailed editing and creation of Themes

Beyond the options offered above, editing a Theme is beyond what your Drupal site itself can do. A Theme consists of several PHP, CSS, and image files, all of which work together with Drupal to output an HTML document to site visitors' web browsers. Editing or creating a Theme requires knowledge of PHP and CSS, and probably creation of custom graphics.

If you need further customization of a Theme or have an idea for an entirely new one, talk to a designer about the work, or see the Theme Developer's Guide.

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