Look and Feel

Customize colors, fonts, code highlighting, and more for your site.

By default, a site using Docsy has the theme’s default fonts, colors, and general look and feel. However, if you want your own color scheme (and you probably will!) you can very easily override the theme defaults with your own project-specific values - Hugo will look in your project files first when looking for information to build your site. And because Docsy uses Bootstrap 5 and SCSS for styling, you can override just single values (such as project colors and fonts) in its special SCSS project variables file, or do more serious customization by creating your own styles.

Docsy also provides options for styling your code blocks, using either Chroma or Prism for highlighting.

Project style files

To customize your project’s look and feel, create your own version of the following Docsy placeholder files (note the _project*.scss suffixes) and place them inside your project’s assets/scss/ folder:

Colors and color themes

Site colors

To customize your site’s colors, add SCSS variable overrides to assets/scss/_variables_project.scss. For example, you can set the primary and secondary site colors as follows:

$primary: #390040;
$secondary: #a23b72;

Docsy has Bootstrap features such as gradient backgrounds ($enable-gradients) and shadows ($enable-shadows) enabled by default. These can also be toggled in your project variables file by setting the variables to false.

To add colors to or modify Bootstrap’s color maps, use assets/scss/_variables_project_after_bs.scss. For example:

$custom-colors: (
  'my-favorite-color': purple,
  'my-other-color': pink,

$theme-colors: map-merge($theme-colors, $custom-colors);

Learn how to modify maps, see Maps and loops and Adding theme colors.

Light/dark color themes

Docsy 0.10.0 supports light and dark mode color themes. To allow your website users to choose light/dark modes, enable the Docsy light/dark menu or create your own custom theme selector.

If your site uses Chroma for code highlighting, there are extra steps required so that code-block styles are compatible with light/dark mode:

For details, see Chroma for code highlighting.


The theme uses Open Sans as its primary font. To disable Google Fonts and use a system font, set this SCSS variable in assets/scss/_variables_project.scss:

$td-enable-google-fonts: false;

To configure another Google Font:

$google_font_name: 'Open Sans';
$google_font_family: 'Open+Sans:300,300i,400,400i,700,700i';

Note that if you decide to go with a font with different weights (in the built-in configuration this is 300 (light), 400 (medium) and 700 (bold)), you also need to adjust the weight related variables, i.e. variables starting with $font-weight-.

CSS utilities

For documentation of available CSS utility classes, see the Bootstrap documentation. This theme adds very little on its own in this area. However, we have added some color state CSS classes that can be useful in a dynamic context:

  • .-bg-<color>
  • .-text-<color>

You can use these classes, for example, to style your text in an appropriate color when you don’t know if the primary color is dark or light, to ensure proper color contrast. They are also useful when you receive the color code as a shortcode parameter.

The value of <color> can be any of the color names, primary, white, dark, warning, light, success, 300, blue, orange etc.

When you use .-bg-<color>, the text colors will be adjusted to get proper contrast:

<div class="-bg-primary p-3 display-6">Background: Primary</div>
<div class="-bg-200 p-3 display-6">Background: Gray 200</div>
Background: Primary
Background: Gray 200

To only set the text color use .-text-<color>:

<div class="-text-blue pt-3 display-6">Text: Blue</div>
Text: Blue

Code highlighting with Chroma

As of Hugo 0.60+, you can choose from a range of code block highlight and color styles using Chroma. These styles are applied to your fenced code blocks. For details about code highlighting in Hugo using Chroma, see Syntax Highlighting.

Chroma style configuration

Hugo’s default Chroma style is monokai. To use another style, such as tango, add the following to your project configuration:

      style = "tango"
    style: tango
  "markup": {
    "highlight": {
      "style": "tango"

For the complete list of available styles, see Chroma Style Gallery.

Light/dark code styles

Docsy’s default Chroma styles for light/dark mode are:

If you would like to use other styles, save the Hugo generated Chroma styles to the appropriate file:

Code blocks without a specified language

By default, highlighting is not applied to code blocks without a specified language. If you would like code highlighting to apply to all code blocks, even without a language, set markup.highlight.guessSyntax to true in your project’s configuration file.

Copy to clipboard

If you are using a Docsy 0.6.0 or later, code blocks show a “Copy to clipboard” button in the top right-hand corner. To disable this functionality, set disable_click2copy_chroma to true in your configuration file:

Code highlighting with Prism

Optionally, you can enable Prism syntax highlighting in your hugo.toml/hugo.yaml/hugo.json:

prism_syntax_highlighting = true
  prism_syntax_highlighting: true
  "params": {
    "prism_syntax_highlighting": true

When this option is enabled your site uses Prism instead of Chroma for code block highlighting.

Prism is a popular open source syntax highlighter which supports over 200 languages and various plugins.

Docsy includes JavaScript and CSS files for a basic Prism configuration, which supports:

  • Code blocks styled with the Prism Default theme
  • Copy to clipboard buttons on code blocks
  • Syntax highlighting for a number of common languages, as specified in the following Prism download link, Customize your download.

Code blocks with no language

By default, Prism code highlighting styles are not applied to code blocks without a specified language, instead you get Docsy’s default style of grey with black text. To apply Prism styling to code blocks with no language or a language not supported by Prism, specify none as the language after your triple backticks.

Extending Prism for additional languages or plugins

If the included Prism configuration is not sufficient for your requirements, and you want to use additional languages or plugins you can replace the included files with your own.

  1. Download your own Prism JS and CSS files from https://prismjs.com/download.html
  2. Replace the included Prism JS and CSS with the files you downloaded:
    • Copy the Javascript file to static/js/prism.js
    • Copy the CSS file to static/css/prism.css

Styling your project logo and name

The default Docsy navbar (.td-navbar) displays your site identity, consisting of the following:

  1. Your logo, which is included in the navbar as an inline SVG, styled by .td-navbar .navbar-brand svg. For the style details, see _nav.scss.

    To ensure your logo displays correctly, you may want to resize it and ensure that it doesn’t have height and width attributes so that its size is fully responsive. Override the default styling of .td-navbar .navbar-brand svg or (equivalently) .td-navbar .navbar-brand__logo as needed.

  2. Your project name, which is the site title. If you don’t want your project name to appear (for example, because your logo is or contains a wordmark), then add the following custom styling to your project’s styles:

    .td-navbar .navbar-brand__name {
      display: none;

Light/dark mode menu

If you enable this feature, Docsy adds a menu to your navbar that lets users switch your site’s documentation page display between a default “light” mode, and a “dark” mode where the text is displayed in a light color on a dark background.

To enable the display of a light/dark mode menu in the navbar, set params.ui.showLightDarkModeMenu to true in your project’s configuration file. The dropdown menu appears at the right, immediately before the search box, if present.

showLightDarkModeMenu = true
    showLightDarkModeMenu: true
  "params": {
    "ui": {
      "showLightDarkModeMenu": true

Translucent over cover images

For pages containing a blocks/cover shortcode, like most homepages, the navbar is translucent as long as the hero image hasn’t scrolled up past the navbar. For an example, see the About Docsy page. This initial translucent setting ensures that the hero image is maximally visible.

After the hero image has scrolled past the navbar, the navbar’s (opaque) background color is set – usually to the site’s primary color.

The text of navbar entries can be difficult to read with some hero images. In these cases, you can disable navbar translucency by setting the params.ui.navbar_translucent_over_cover_disable option to true in your site’s configuration file.


Docsy applies the following styles to all tables, through the class .td-table:

  • Bootstrap table styles:
    • .table
    • .table-striped
    • .table-responsive
  • display: block, which is necessary for tables to be responsive.

This styling configuration gives you responsive tables using Markdown only, without the need to wrap the table in a <div>. It does, however, mean that all your tables have display set to block. If you don’t want this, you can create your own custom styles for tables.

To render a table without Docsy styling, apply the .td-initial class to the table. From the resulting <table> style base, it is easier to apply your own custom styles (rather than trying to undo Docsy table styling), as is illustrated in the following example:

| Shape    | Number of sides |
| -------- | --------------- |
| Triangle | 3               |
| Square   | 4               |
{.td-initial .my-dark-table-style}

The example above uses Markdown attribute syntax, and might render like this:

ShapeNumber of sides

Customizing templates

Add code to head or before body end

If you need to add some code (CSS import, cookie consent, or similar) to the head section on every page, add the head-end.html partial to your project:


And add the code you need in that file. Your partial code is automatically included just before the end of the theme partial head.html. The theme version of head-end.html is empty.

Similarly, if you want to add some code right before the body end, create your own version of the following file:


Any code in this file is included automatically at the end of the theme partial scripts.html.

Both head.html and scripts.html are then used to build Docsy’s base page layout, which is used by all the other page templates:

<!doctype html>
<html lang="{{ .Site.Language.Lang }}" class="no-js">
    {{ partial "head.html" . }}
  <body class="td-{{ .Kind }}">
      {{ partial "navbar.html" . }}
    <div class="container-fluid td-default td-outer">
      <main role="main" class="td-main">
        {{ block "main" . }}{{ end }}
      {{ partial "footer.html" . }}
    {{ partialCached "scripts.html" . }}