Themes and Skins in Visual Studio 2005 ASP.NET 2.0

Tuesday, January 30, 2007




ASP.NET 2.0 provides rich support for Themes which help in defining consistent look and feel across multiple pages in a web application. One of the file types that you could create within the definition of a theme is a “skin” file. After creating a theme folder in the web application, you can create a skin file by adding a new item and selecting the type as “Skin”. You can add definitions of commonly used server controls in the skin file. When the theme is attached to a web page, all controls declared within the page will inherit the formatting you specified in the skin file.

Look at the sample code snippet below. I have declared these “templates” within a skin file under my theme named “TestTheme” and I have specified this theme in the Page directive of each web page in the application.

---------------------- In the skin file --------------------------------------

<asp:Button runat="server" Font-Bold="true" />

<asp:TextBox runat="server" BackColor="Aquamarine"/>

---------------------- In the ASP.NET page --------------------------------------

<%@ Page Language="VB" AutoEventWireup="false" CodeFile="ThemeTester.aspx.vb" Inherits="ThemeTester" EnableTheming="true" Theme="TestTheme" EnableViewState="true" Trace="false" TraceMode="SortByTime"%>

At runtime, the definitions of ASP Button (with font-bold as true) would be applied to all ASP buttons in the page. This makes the ASPX coding lot simpler.

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