Last Modified 2013-11-13 by Michael Slusarz

Themes HowTo

This information is valid for Horde 5 and later only. See Doc/Dev/ThemesH3 for Horde 3 or Doc/Dev/ThemesH4 for Horde 4.

Default Theme

Each application defines a 'default' theme. This default theme is used as the base of all other themes. The default theme is not accessible to end users, and should not be altered when developing a new theme.

User Preference Theme

The default theme is then extended by the theme defined in the user's 'theme' preference entry.

Theme names MUST NOT contain an underscore.

Theme Inheritance

Theme elements are inherited in the following order:

  1. application/themes/theme
  2. horde/themes/theme
  3. application/themes/default
  4. horde/themes/default

(The application entries listed above will be skipped if horde is the current application.)

For images & sounds, the first matching item is used working down the inheritance tree.

For CSS, the inheritance order determines the order the stylesheets are output. CSS files located at the top of the inheritance tree will be loaded LAST, horde default stylesheets will be loaded FIRST (to allow application definitions to trump Horde-wide defaults). Additionally, stylesheets added via the 'cssfiles' hook will be loaded LAST, after the application stylesheets.

Theme Layout

Themes are located in the themes/[themename] directory.


View Subdirectories

View specific subdirectories will be used if they exist in a theme.

Directory View
basic Basic (traditional)
dynamic Dynamic
minimal Minimal
smartmobile Smartmobile

Reserved Subdirectories

The following subdirectories are reserved for special Horde use:

Directory Description
block CSS to use for an application's portal block


CSS files should normally go into the base theme directory. There are several filenames that have special meaning in Horde:

Filename Description
embed.css Used for embedded display
rtl.css Styles to use if the current language is a Right-to-Left language
screen.css The default CSS definition

Additionally, the following CSS files will be automatically added based on the current browser:

Filename Browser
ie8.css Internet Explorer 8
opera.css Opera
mozilla.css Mozilla-based browser (i.e. Firefox)
webkit.css Webkit-based browser (i.e. Google Chrome, Safari)

URLs contained in CSS should be relative URLs.


Graphics live in the graphics/ folder. Prior to Horde_Core v2.4.0, the graphics folder could only live in the base theme directory. After Horde_Core v2.4.0, any view-specific directory can contain a graphics folder which will override the default graphics.

It is highly recommended that images are delivered in PNG format.


Sounds live in the sounds/ folder. Prior to Horde_Core v2.4.0, the sounds folder could only live in the base theme directory. After Horde_Core v2.4.0, any view-specific directory can contain a sounds folder which will override the default sounds.

Sounds must be in WAV format (with a .wav file suffix).

Information File

This file is only needed in the horde theme directory. It is not needed in an applications' theme directory

The info.php contains information regarding the theme. It must be a file that can be parsed by PHP. It should contain the following variables:

Variable Name Description
$theme_name This is the theme name as it will appear in the theme list in the users' display options.

An example for info.php:

 * This is my personal theme.
 * It is based on the colors of my bike when I was five.
 * @author John Doe <john@example.com>
$theme_name = _("My Theme Name");

Adding Non-Theme CSS files

It may be useful/necessary to add a CSS file to the output and not include it with the theme output. For example, there may be CSS code shared between the Traditional and Smartmobile views (using themed CSS, these views never have shared CSS). To explicitly add a file that lives in the base of the theme directory (example file: example.css), this code can be used:

$css = new Horde_Themes_Element('example.css');
$GLOBALS['page_output']->addStylesheet($css->fs, $css->uri);