For the first 6 months after seeing CRM 2013, the new navigation and style was very impressive. Soon after, I found myself wondering how hard it was to make a change. Dynamics CRM 2016 and CRM 2015 (after the Spring 15 update) both have the ability to quickly change the logo, header color, and Alt Text (text shown during a mouse hover) rather quickly. In the past version of CRM, this change was very complicated.
After click the Themes option, you will be shown a list of themes. For a new install or upgrade of CRM, this will likely only have the CRM Default Theme (which you cannot edit and you can always reference if you mess something up).
In order to make edits, you will need to make a new theme. This is done by clicking the New button (the hard way) or by selecting the default theme and clicking the Clone button (the easy way). If you start a new theme, you will have to pick every single color in the style. All of the link, font and background colors will be blank. It is much safer and more productive to work from a starting point.
After giving your new theme a name, you can start editing colors and upload a logo. The Logo Tooltip is the label that appears when you hover over the logo. The default Microsoft Dynamics CRM logo is sized 231px wide by 50px tall. Logos don’t need to conform to these dimensions, but something close will look better than for example a vertical logo. Although a complete understanding for all the different settings in the style will need its own article, the first color is the Navigation Bar Color which should likely be changed to a primary or secondary color of the organization. Darker colors work better if don’t intend to make significant changes to the theme.
Clicking the Logo item will give you the option to choose a logo image. The default options are confusing until you understand where the software is pulling the list. You will need to upload your logo as a Web Resource in order to find it in the list. The options shown in this list are other images already in the Web Resources list.
To add a resource, click the Add button at the bottom of the lookup resource window. You are presented with another dialog box that will allow you to upload the new logo. Although not required, it is recommended to give the Web resource a name, otherwise it will be hard to remember what you did when you are looking later at your Web Resources list.
After adding the Web Resource, you are ready to try out your new theme. You can click Preview to see the changes without pushing them out. If you are ready to see the changes go live, you click the Publish button. At the end of this short process, you will have a nice new look to your Dynamics CRM. Not really very painful for something that used to be almost impossible!
Because of my experience with Wordpress and Joomla CMS applications, I was looking for a "Set as Default" button for the theme. Unlike these other applications, where you can apply a different theme to certain areas of content, publishing the theme makes it active (and all others inactive). Don't click this button until you are ready. Users don't normally respond well to theme whiplash where there are frequent changes to look and feel.
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