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Change the theme

You might also be wondering: How do I change the colors so I can make my instance adopt my institution's theme?

The theme or branding comprises the colors used for the header, footer and accent. We are going to modify them. It's a good example of the workflow for when assets/ files change.


Step 1 - Edit the appropriate .variables or .overrides files.

The assets/less/site/globals/site.variables is where you can override site wide less variables. Edit it as you see fit:

/* Override @primaryColor to override the site-wide accents. */
@primaryColor: /* your brand color */;

/* Header */
/* Override @navbarBackgroundImage to override the header background. */
@navbarBackgroundImage: linear-gradient(12deg, /* your color */, /* your color */ 15%, rgba(251, 130, 115, 0.69));
/* It can also literally be an image. */
@navbarBackgroundImage: url("/static/images/your_image.png");
/* For a flat color use @navbarBackgroundColor instead. */
@navbarBackgroundColor: /* your color */;

/* Footer */
@footerLightColor: @brandColor;
@footerDarkColor: /* a shade of your brandColor */;

You can override any styling variable in your site.variables file. The available styling variables are typically found in the .variables files of the various Invenio modules installed (see note below).

List of variables that can be overridden

Full list of available Semantic UI variables.

Full list of Invenio App RDM variables.

To override InvenioRDM's or Semantic-UI's rules, do the same as above but for the selected .overrides file. For instance, you could edit the site.overrides to change the color of links:

/* Override a to override the color of links site-wide. */
a {
    color: /* link color */;

List of overrides

Full list of available Semantic UI overrides.

Full list of Invenio theme overrides.

To know more about the philosophy behind theming see the Theming section.

Step 2 - Run the invenio-cli assets build command.

Wait a minute! These files were symlinked. You may wonder why we need to run invenio-cli assets build. You will notice that any changes to the site.variables file are not picked up, unless invenio-cli assets build is run again each time. And this is the case even though we symlinked these files!

That's because .less files (and React files) always need to be transformed into their final form first (.css files). invenio-cli assets build does that in addition to placing the files/links in the right places. Thankfully, there is a way to get the same workflow as static/ files, without having to re-run invenio-cli assets build over and over.

Automatic re-build

That way is to run invenio-cli assets watch in a separate terminal. This command watches for changes to assets and rebuilds them automatically. It run indefinitely until you cancel it via <Ctrl+C>.

It needs to "know" the assets already however. This means you still need to run invenio-cli assets build if you have added a new file to assets/.

Custom assets files workflow

The workflow for assets/ files is then:

  • Start invenio-cli assets watch in a terminal (you will need a different terminal for the other commands).
  • If you add a new file, then run invenio-cli assets build.
  • If you modify a previously symlinked file, you now don't need to do anything.