I was given the task of deploying a custom theme for Office 2016 the other day. Not having done this before, I did what I always do: I searched Google for the answer. I was able to figure out where to place the theme file, so I went about my merry way packaging up the theme (along with a script to move it into place) and the fonts that were part of the them, and then I deployed it.
Today I started getting reports that the fonts were not working in the theme. It turns out that when you use custom fonts in a theme, you have to deploy a special XML file that describes those fonts. I headed back over to Google only to find out that Office 2016 on the Mac does not support the creation of themes with fonts in them. Well, it doesn’t give you an easy way to customize the fonts
Fortunately, with a little searching, I found a web site that explained how to hack together a Theme Font file: XML Hacking Font Themes. So I started off and created a new XML file to get the fonts into the theme.
The easiest thing to do, as is explained in that article, is to grab an XML file out of the app bundle:
Just grab one of those XML files and copy it to your desktop. Once you’ve done that, edit the file, replacing the font inside the <a:latin> bracket with the name of the font you need. Do this for the Major and Minor font sections, then save the file. Name the new file the name of the font you are using to make it simple to find. My completed XML file looks like this:
Now that you have your XML file and your theme, you need to place them in the correct folder. Office 2016 keeps themes inside the user’s home folder in the following path:
/Users/<user>/Library/Group Containers/UBF8T346G9.Office/User Content/
We’re going to throw the theme into the Themes folder in that path, and the font XML file will go into the Theme Fonts folder in that path:
Voila! You now have a working theme in Office 2016 that can be used in PowerPoint, Word, or Excel.