Custom themes in Power BI Report Server (PBIRS)


Power BI Report Server (as of the time of this post) doesn’t allow preview features, therefore doesn’t allow custom themes (easily). But with a little work, anyone can easily “install” a custom theme for their report in PBIRS in just a few steps.


  1. Get Power BI Desktop (non-PBIRS version)
  2. Get Power BI Report Server aka Power BI Desktop (October 2017) – optimized for RS (if you don’t already have it)
  3. If you’re wanting to change an existing report, save a copy from PBIRS to your desktop

Create the theme

Download this JSON theme file and change the hex codes to your theme colors. If the download doesn’t work for you, you can also:

  1. Copy the following code
    "name": "Test-Theme",
    "dataColors":["#ffbb00","#7cbb00","#00a1f1","#f65314","#96005d","#796d66", "#c0ca7f","#0099ff","#a66999"],
    "foreground": "#000000",
    "tableAccent": "#ffbb00"
  2. Paste it into Notepad or a similar text editing program and edit the hex codes as you like
  3. Save as ThemeName.json anywhere you like
    Note: It’s very important that you include .json after the theme name.

Apply the theme

  1. Open your report copy from your desktop, or create a new report in Power BI Desktop (non-PBIRS version)
    Note: Ignore any errors that might come up about the report being created in an earlier version
  2. Turn on the preview feature if you haven’t already
    1. File –> Options
    2. Preview Features
    3. Check “Custom Report Themes”
    4. OK
    5. Close and restart Power BI Desktop (non-PBIRS version)2018-02-16_10-35-47
  3. Click the new “Switch theme” dropdown –> Import Themeimport theme
  4. Select your theme.json file and “Open”. You’ll immediately see your theme applied2018-02-16_10-38-40
  5. Save your report and close Power BI Desktop
  6. Open the Power BI Report Server program (October 2017, optimized for RS), and open the saved file on your desktop
  7. Even though you can’t change the theme in PBIRS, your imported theme has stayed with your reportnewtheme
  8. Save your report with its new theme to PBIRS, overwriting the original. In any future edits, you’ll be able to easily use colors from your palette as seen above.

Consider creating a blank report template with a standard theme applied to avoid having to do this for every report.

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