Customizing Themes

Each KendoReact theme package includes the source files of the theme. You can modify the source files and rebuild the theme as part of your build process. For example, you can change the theme colors, remove the CSS of unused components, or use specific theme colors to style your application. The theme source files are located in the scss folder of the theme package.

For a list of variables that you can modify in a theme, refer to the customization article about each theme:

To build a custom theme by using the theme variables, apply either of the following approaches:

For a visual preview of the theme, use the ThemeBuilder application. It has a user-friendly interface where you can preview all components and experiment with the versatile color swatches.

Using the Build Process of the Application

Create React App does not support the compilation of SCSS files out of the box. For more information, refer to the Adding a Sass Stylesheet article.

  • To use Node Sass (which uses LibSass), run the npm install node-sass --save command.
  • To use Dart Sass, run the npm install sass --save command.
// App.scss
@import "~@progress/kendo-theme-default/dist/all.scss";

With this setup, you can customize theme variables directly in your application. For example, you can change the default primary color from orange to pink with the following lines:

$primary: #ff69b4;

@import "~@progress/kendo-theme-default/dist/all.scss";

The dist/all file adds the styles for all components that are available in the theme. To trim down the size of the generated CSS, import only the source for the components that you use in your application. You can find each of them in the scss/ folder.

// Import only the PanelBar and Grid styles using Node Sass
@import "~@progress/kendo-theme-default/scss/panelbar/_index.scss";
@import "~@progress/kendo-theme-default/scss/grid/_index.scss";

// or using Dart Sass
@import "~@progress/kendo-theme-default/scss/panelbar/";
@import "~@progress/kendo-theme-default/scss/grid/";

Using the Build Process of the Themes

While each KendoReact theme has a dedicated NPM package (for example, @progress/kendo-theme-default), the source code for all themes is located in the kendo-themes repository. The repository contains a build task that compiles the theme sources to CSS. To customize a theme, modify the source code of the theme, and use the build task to produce a CSS file for your application. This approach avoids the need to set up a build configuration when you compile SCSS but may be harder to maintain as the process has to be repeated each time a theme is updated.

To improve the development process, the previous independent GitHub repositories of each theme were merged in the single kendo-themes repository and the individual repositories were archived.

Customizing Themes with Swatches

A swatch is a set of variables that customize the appearance of the theme.

  • Each swatch is placed in a separate file. A theme may contain multiple swatches.
  • Swatches are useful for creating multiple, persistent theme variations.
  • The .css output file can be shared across projects and requires no further processing.

To create a swatch:

  1. Clone the kendo-themes GitHub repository.
  2. Install the node-gyp.
  3. Install the dependencies for all themes with npm install && npx lerna bootstrap.
  4. Switch the working directory to packages<THEME_NAME>.
  5. Create a SWATCH_NAME.scss swatch file in the scss/swatches folder.
  6. To build the swatches for the theme, type npm run sass:swatches or npm run dart:swatches.
  7. Include the compiled CSS swatch file in your project. You can find it under dist/SWATCH_NAME.css.

For example, in the Material theme create a blue-pink-dark swatch with the following lines:

// Variables.
$primary-palette-name: blue;
$secondary-palette-name: pink;
$theme-type: dark;

// Import the theme file for the components you use.
@import "../panelbar/_index.scss";
@import "../grid/_index.scss";

// Alternatively, include all components.
@import "../all.scss";

For the Default and Bootstrap themes, the swatch should look like:

// Variables.
$primary: blue;
$secondary: pink;

// Import the theme file for the components you use.
@import "../panelbar/_index.scss";
@import "../grid/_index.scss";

// Alternatively, include all components.
@import "../all.scss";

Customizing the Source Code

To create a custom theme by modifying the themes source code:

  1. Clone the kendo-themes GitHub repository.
  2. Install the dependencies for all themes with npm install && npx lerna bootstrap.
  3. Customize the theme variables in the packages/THEME_NAME/scss/_variables.scss files.
  4. Build the themes with the npm run sass or npm run dart command to create the customized version of the themes in the packages/THEME_NAME/dist/all.css file.
  5. After the build completes, use the compiled CSS.

Creating Custom Components Bundle

You might want to omit the styles for some components in the CSS output. To include only the styles that you need:

  1. Clone the kendo-themes GitHub repository.

  2. Install the dependencies for all themes with npm install && npx lerna bootstrap.

  3. Switch the working directory to packages<THEME_NAME>.

  4. Create a CUSTOM_THEME.scss file in the scss folder. For example, create custom.scss file with the following lines:

    // Import the theme file for the components you use.
    @import "../panelbar/_index.scss";
    @import "../grid/_index.scss";
  5. To build the file, navigate to the theme folder and run gulp sass --file "scss/CUSTOM_THEME.scss".

  6. Include the compiled CSS file in your project. You can find it under dist/CUSTOM_THEME.css.