• 05 Jul 2023
  • 1 minute to read


Article summary

A theme sets the appearance (colours, fonts, heading styles, block shapes, icons etc.) for your Totara site via HTML, CSS and JavaScript. A theme can be applied to sites, users, courses, or category levels and (where responsive) can be used on different web-enabled devices.

The theme_roots and theme_basis plugins have both been deprecated in Totara 13.

A custom theme can not only change the appearance of your Totara significantly, it can be branded and styled to look similar to your organisation's website or other systems you use internally. You can read more guidance on developing themes for Totara in the developer documentation.

Totara also has a number of in-built themes which can be enabled and (depending on your selected theme) customised by a Site Administrator. We recommend using the Ventura theme, which is our most up-to-date theme. 

Element library

The Element library contains a set of sample elements that are used on your Totara site, which can help you to check that everything has been correctly themed. You can reach the element library by going to Quick-access menu > Appearance > Themes > Element Library.

There are options for a number of theme areas, including toolbars, icons, and a pattern library. There is more information for SVG icons in our developer documentation.

Customising HTML email

You can read more about how to do this in our developer documentation

Tui front end

To enhance the user experience we introduced a new frontend in Totara 13 called Tui. You can learn more about how this works and how you can use it to customise your site in our developer documentation

The Totara Academy has a whole course dedicated to using Dashboards and basic theming in Totara. Here you can learn more on how to customise your site's appearance, see best practice, and give it a go yourself.

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