Customizing theme and portal icon


The theme customization is not available on freemium domains (created through the Try it for free page on Opendatasoft's website). If your domain is a freemium domain and would like to get this theme feature, email us!

Opendatasoft's theme management interface can be found in the domain back-office. In order to access it, you'll have to click the Look & feel section in the navigation bar and then on the theme link.


In order to access the theme page, you'll need to be able to edit domain properties. See Managing the Security of your Domain for more details about permissions.


Using the various forms available in this page, you'll be able to customize every aspect of your portal, from basic colors to making major changes in its layout.


Before diving into the many ways to customize the portal's theme, it is very important to stress that everything you will do on this page is versioned. This is to say that your work has a version number assigned to it and you can at any moment create a new version. You'll always be working on the latest version (think of it as your working draft), but can make any version live (that is, apply it to your portal). Were you to make the latest version live, a new one would be created and would become your new working draft. Only the latest version can be edited; all previous ones are read-only.

While working on the latest version, you can preview your changes by clicking the Preview button. This will open a new window containing your portal with the current version of the theme applied to it.


Only users able to edit the domain properties can preview the latest theme version. If you were to share the URL of the preview with other users, they won't see any difference in the live version.


You can preview the latest version of the theme at any moment and on any given page on the portal's front-office by adding the stage_theme=true parameter to the URL.


The version selector will tell you explicitly if you're working on the latest version or rather viewing a previous one, as well as which version is live.

Customization options

Layout options

The portal layout relies on a 12-column grid system largely inherited from the Bootstrap CSS framework and as such has a few internal variables used throughout its CSS. This tab allows you to set the value of some of these variables.


The variables that can currently be overridden are the gutter width and the responsive breakpoints.

The gutter width is the space between columns, rows and adjacent boxes.

The responsive breakpoints are the screen widths (in pixels) at which the layout will change to better accommodate the available space. There are 4 modes available: extra-small , small , medium and large, which means that there are 3 breakpoints: extra-small to small, small to medium and medium to large. The modes are also commonly referred to as mobile, tablet, desktop and large desktop.


Bear in mind though that mobile mode doesn't mean that the user is actually using a mobile device, but rather that the browser on the device only offers a small display area.

In order to reset any of the variable to its default value, just click on the clear button next to it.


As with layout options, the Opendatasoft platform relies on a handful of color variables for the style of the portal elements. You can use the color inputs on this tab to set some of theme. This way with just a few clicks you can brand your portal to your colors.



These variables will override the default theme's colors. The custom style rules you can write in the stylesheet tab will however have precedence over these colors. Which means that your color choices may not be visible if you wrote more specific CSS rules.


Theme colors can be used in the domain stylesheet, as CSS variables:


The available variables are: text, links, titles, page-background, highlight, boxes-background, boxes-border, section-titles, section-titles-background, header-background, header-links, footer-background and footer-links.

These CSS variables are compatible with all browsers, because the Opendatasoft platform automatically replaces all variables with their real theme color values.


If changing colors is not enough and you'd like make deeper changes, you'll have to write your own CSS. Luckily this tab enables you to input your own style rules. These will be applied on top of Opendatasoft's default rules and have precedence over them.


If your customization uses specific images and fonts, you can upload them to the platform using the assets management page. You'll then be able to copy the assets URLs and paste them in your CSS code.


To change the style of an element, you only have to find the element's class and change the desired CSS property. It won't have any side-effects (limited to this single class name) and is guaranteed to work (since the hierarchy tree is mostly flat).

This is possible because all of Opendatasoft's CSS code is written following the BEM methodology and prefixed with ods- so that they won't conflict with your own styles and can easily be overridden. You'll find a great introduction to this methodology on the ever-useful CSS Tricks website.

In short, class names are written as block, element, modifier (hence the BEM) .ods-block[--blockmodifier][__element][--elementmodifier]. The hierarchy tree is at most 2 selectors deep. Also, the relevant style is as close to the element as possible.

Catalog card

On the catalog page of your domain, each dataset is represented by a single catalog card. These cards feature a few standard elements but you may want to radically change the way it looks, add new links or implement new behaviours.

Here are a few examples of catalog cards:

../../_images/theme__catalog-card-example-central.png ../../_images/theme__catalog-card-example-datacorsica.png ../../_images/theme__catalog-card-example-toulouse.png

We provide handy directives to easily retrieve and include any information relative to a dataset. These directives also come with a standard style that you can override using the Stylesheet tab.


The directives are:

  • ods-catalog-card must wrap the whole catalog card for the other directives to work.

  • ods-catalog-card-theme-icon will retrieve the dataset's theme and include the relevant icon.

  • ods-catalog-card-body provides useful style and behaviour handling edge cases (datasets without records, API proxy...).

  • ods-catalog-card-title, ods-catalog-card-description and ods-catalog-card-keywords are self-explanatory.

  • ods-catalog-card-metadata-item takes an item-key and an item-title attributes, retrieve a metadata property matching the item-key from the dataset and includes in in the page using item-title as its label. It should be wrapped by a .ods-catalog-card__metadata element for better styling but with no obligation.

    <ods-catalog-card-metadata-item item-title="Data" item-key="records_count"></ods-catalog-card-metadata-item>
Metadata item keys
Item key Item title
license License (will be rendered as a link if possible)
language Content language
modified Date of last modification
publisher Publisher's name
references Link to the original source of the data
odi_certificate_url Link to the ODI certificate
records_count Number of records in the dataset (regardless of filters)
attributions Names of the data owner
source_domain For federated datasets only, the name of the domain the dataset comes from
source_domain_title For federated datasets only, the original title of the dataset on its source domain
source_dataset For federated datasets only, the original identifier of the dataset on its source domain
explore.download_count Number of data downloads for this dataset

Offline development

We've seen in the previous section that you can write detailed CSS rules that will override the portal's default theme. However, writing it all in the browser can become tedious, especially for seasoned developers used to powerful text editors. Since it only accepts pure CSS, you will have to manually ensure that your rules are correctly vendor-prefixed and won't be able to use the features frontend developers are accustomed to with pre-processors such as variables and nesting.

For all these reasons, we've created an API enabling users with the theme API key to locally write their style rules using all the tools they want, and to just push the resulting CSS code to the platform. We've packaged a client to this API along with common tools (less preprocessor and autoprefixer) in the Opendatasoft Portal Development Kit.

This ODS Portal DevKit is an open source project distributed for free on Github, feel free to download it and taylor it to your development workflow.

Theme API key

You can find the theme API key on the portal theme customization page. Just expand the API key for offline development section and copy the key.



By generating a new key, you'll also be revoking previous ones. As a result, developers using an old key won't be able to push their work to the platform. Just remember to forward the new key to each developer working on your portal's theme to ensure that development goes uninterrupted.