Aims and Prerequisites

The aim of this manual is to give you an overview of the theory, tools, and techniques involved in customizing Plone's look and feel or creating your own theme.


Don't read this manual from beginning to end. Think of it as a guide or phrase book to help you get your bearings in the rather complicated world of Plone themes.

We'll introduce you to the theory, but there's no substitute for practice; so we'll point you to the many excellent tutorials, books, and resources on this site and elsewhere, which will walk you through various aspects of themes for Plone 3. We aim to complement those resources by filling in gaps, providing brief overviews of theory, setting things in context, and giving you a quick reference for bits you find confusing or can't remember clearly from the last time you tried them out.


This manual is written for integrators and customizers, and we're not assuming any development experience. We do however imagine that you are experienced with XHTML and CSS, know a little about XML, and have some knowledge of scripting languages. We're working from the premise that you are entirely new to Plone, though if you are familiar with Plone 2, you'll find one or two new things.

It will help if you have installed Plone and have looked briefly at the directories that ended up on your file system when you did this. It is also useful to have investigated the Site Setup link on your Plone website and to have clicked through to the Zope Management Interface for a brief look behind the scenes.