Monday, February 23, 2015

APEX 5.0: the way to use Theme Roller

Once you have your new application created using the Universal Theme it's time to customise your theme with Theme Roller.

Run your application and click the Theme Roller link in the APEX Developer Toolbar:

Theme Roller will open. I won't go in every section, but want to highlight the most important sections in Theme Roller in this post:
  1. Style: there're two styles that come with APEX 5.0: Blue and Gray. You can start from one of those and see how your application changes color. It will set predefined colors for the different parts of the templates.

  2. Color Wheel: when you want to quickly change your colors, an easy way to see different options is by using the Color Wheel. You've two modes: monochroom (2 points) and dual color (3 points - see screenshot). By changing one point it will map the other point to a complementary color. Next you can move the third point to play more with those colors.

  3. Global Colors: if the Color Wheel is not specific enough for what you need, you can start by customising the Global Colors. Those are the main colors of the Universal Theme and used to drive the specific components. You can still customise the different components e.g. the header by clicking further down in the list (see next screenshot).

  4. Containers etc. will allow you to define the specific components. A check icon will say it's the standard color coming with the selected style. An "x" means the color was changed and an "!" means the contrast is probably not great.
Original with style After changing colors

This is just awesome... but what if you don't like the changes you did?

Luckily you can Reset either your entire style or you can refresh the specific section by clicking the refresh icon. There's also an undo and redo button. But that is not all... for power users when you hit "ALT" when hovering a color you can just reset that color! (only that color will get a refresh icon in it and clicking it will reset it)

Note that all changes you're making are locally stored on your computer in your browsers cache (HTML5 local storage), so you don't effect other users by playing with the different colors.

Finally when you are done editing your color scheme you can hit the Save As button to save all colors to a new Style. When you close Theme Roller the style will go back how it was.
The final step to apply the new style so everybody sees that version, is to go to User Interface Details (Shared Components) and set the style to the new one.

Note that this blog post is written based on APEX 5.0 EA3, in the final version of APEX 5.0 (or 5.1) you might apply the new style from Theme Roller directly.

Want to know more about Theme Roller and the Universal Theme - we're doing an APEX 5.0 UI Training May 12th in the Netherlands.


Juergen Schuster said...

Thanks for the post, still don't understand the 3 points in the Color Wheel though :-)

Tracy said...

Thank you for posting this information on Theme Roller with APEX Developer Toolbar. Can you please tell me how to get the Theme Roller link in the APEX Developer Toolbar?

Thank you

Contacto Orex said...

Hello Dimitri, I'm your follower, great Blog. I wonder if it's possible to customize a Template for role, or users group for the same App. I mean one sigle Apex App with more than one custom Theme. Greetings

Dimitri Gielis said...

@Tracy: in APEX 5.0 when using the Universal Theme, the Theme Roller link is automatically there.

@Contacto Orex: You can do that, but it requires a bit of work as it's not declarative included. You need to save the theme roller settings in different files and then call the different css depending the user. In a future version of APEX they might make this more easy to do, but for now you'll have to do it yourself.

Tracy said...

Thank you Dimitri.

Fight Club said...

I created a starter app, applied universal theme, and used theme roller to customize. Now how do I "apply" all those styles to other applications, that already exist? It appears subscribing to that template/theme works different now too.

Dimitri Gielis said...

top copy the settings see

Christopher Kopacko said...

I tried follow the steps listed in this article and everything works fine until I close the themeroller. Once that happens the page seems to lose all css attributes. Have you seen this before

Dimitri Gielis said...

Hi Christopher,

This is normal behaviour, you need to save the style and make it current.

Hope that helps,

Christopher Kopacko said...

Thanks for your response on this issue but I think I was unclear. I have saved this style and saved it as current and I always see this issue. If I log out and come back in and run any page I get the same results until I open the themeroller from the developer toolbar.

Christopher Kopacko said...

Some additional info. I see on my browser console that I am getting a Failed to load resource: the server responded with a status of 503 (Service Unavailable) - http://localhost/ords/ps/r/100/files/theme/42/v68/custom_themeroller_test.css

Darrin Parker said...

I have the same issue as Christopher, the themeroller css file is not found, but it works OK when the themeroller is open. This happened after exporting the App from one server/workspace and importing into another.

Darrin Parker said...

It's OK now - the issue was caused by server config (an apache rule) blocking access to the css file

Anonymous said...

Dear Darrin Parker
can you please explain how you resolve ... as theme roller files issue ???

an apache rule)???? can you please guide i am facing same issue .

Thanks for you time

Darrin Parker said...

Hi Wasim by default themeroller makes the css available at a path such as #THEME_DB_IMAGES#123456789.css where #THEME_DB_IMAGES# is an apex substitution variable for the path to the file. Apparently we had an apache rule in our web server fronting ORDS that blocked this path... we fixed the apache config and it worked