Use theming components

An frequent ask when creating canvas apps apps is theming and specifically the ability to create apps that match the organization brand. The assets in this solution will help you create, manage and share themes. More information: Set up theming components

The theming components allow you to create and manage themes for canvas apps. A theme contains a collection of styles that defines multiple design properties for controls and components such as colors, fonts, borders etc. These styles are then applied automatically when makers use the provided themed template app to create a new app, and controls and components are automatically themed.

The theming components ensure makers can focus on what matters - the business logic and problem they're trying to solve - and end users will have a consistent experience when using apps.

Here's a breakdown of the assets that form the Theming Components solution:



Represents a custom theme created with the Theme Editor.


Represents the style properties corresponding to a theme created with the Theme Editor. Colors, borders, fonts are stored in this entity.


Theme Editor

The Theme editor app allows designers to create and manage themes. A theme contains a collection of styles that defines design properties for controls and components such as colors, fonts, borders etc.

Permission: Share the Theme Editor with your designers creating themes.

Prerequisite: This app uses Common Data Service; a Premium license is therefore required for every app user.


If you have recently enabled the use of code components in the environment, you might have to edit and re-publish the Theme Editor in order for them to display the components correctly.

The theme editor provides an overview of existing themes, users can create or edit a theme.

Theme Editor

Select Edit to edit a theme or Create new theme to create a new theme.

Use the styles (color picker, font picker) to create the style and see a real time preview of the theme as you are editing various colors, fonts and sizes.

Theme Editor - Create Theme

Once done authoring the theme, select Publish Theme. Here, theme designers will need to update the AppTemplatePhone.msapp & AppTemplateTablet.msapp files and upload them. This step ensures that the app template is ready to be used by makers.

Theme Editor - Publish Theme

Update .msapp files

  1. Copy the formula Set(ThemeName, "Your Theme Name") to your clipboard or notepad.
  2. Go to and go to your CoE environment where the Theming solution is installed.
  3. Select Solutions on the left navigation bar.
  4. Select the Center of Excellence - Theming solution.
  5. Edit the AppTemplatePhone canvas app. Theme Editor - Edit App Template
  6. Select App > OnStart and replace the first line in the formula with the new formula you've copied from the Theme Editor app. Make sure you don't replace any other formulas in the OnStart function and that the line finishes with a semicolon. Theme Editor - Insert OnStart formula
  7. Select File > Save as > This Computer to save the file locally. Theme Editor - Save Template
  8. Download the file. Theme Editor - Download Template

Complete the same steps for the AppTemplateTablet canvas app.

Navigate back to the Theme Gallery app and upload the template files you have just downloaded.

Theme Editor - Publish App Theme

Select Complete to publish the theme to the theme gallery app.

The Theme gallery app can be used by app makers to browse existing themes and download a corresponding template app either in Phone (AppTemplatePhone.msapp) or Tablet (AppTemplateTablet.msapp) layout.

Permission: Share the Theme Gallery with makers in your organization.

Prerequisite: This app uses Common Data Service; a Premium license is therefore required for every app user.

Makers can get an overview and browse available themes

Theme Gallery - View Themes

The detail view of the theme provides a preview with all styles applied to native controls and components.

Theme Gallery - Detail View

App makers can download the template corresponding to the chosen layout.

Theme Gallery - Download

Use the template

Create a new app based on the template.

  1. Navigate to
  2. Select New > Canvas App.
  3. Select Open > Browse Files and choose the template file downloaded from the Theme Gallery. Create app based on theme
  4. Once opened, the theme will automatically applied to controls or components added to the screen. New app with theme


Shared Component Library

Component libraries provides a centralized and managed repository of components for reusability. Component libraries are the recommended way of sharing components across apps.

The Shared Component Library part of the Theming components contains a Header, TabControl and PreLoader component. The Shared Component Library is not editable. Make a copy of the library before expanding it.

Permission: Share the Shared Component Library with makers in your organization. Makers are using the same components to create their apps will ensure consistent look and feel across various apps.

For a component to also use the theme, makers will need to update the Style property and set it to ComponentStyles. ComponentStylesis a collection of styles specially formatted for components and is initialized as part of the app start code.

Update component styles property