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  • R1 2023 is the last official release of Kendo jQuery, where Less Themes are supported and shipped with the product.
  • The Less-based themes support only the default value of the Size styling option.
  • As of 2022 R1, components receive the default value for the Rounded styling option through the k-rounded-md class. Check the Backwards Compatibility section for more details.

The appearance of the Kendo UI components entirely depends on styles defined by the applied CSS classes. The components use no inline styles except for some specific cases where you must set these styles with JavaScript and depending on the browser or configuration.

Kendo UI for jQuery Web Themes

Adding a Theme to Your Project

Setting a Kendo UI theme for any of the Kendo UI components, such as the Kendo UI Grid or Kendo UI Bar Chart, requires you to include the following two stylesheets to your project:

  • kendo.common.css—This is a common (base) stylesheet. It applies styles related to element positioning and component dimensions. It is a must for the components to look and function in a proper way.
  • kendo.[theme].css—This stylesheet applies theme-specific styles such color palette, background gradients and patterns, etc.

The following example demonstrates how to include the stylesheets to your project:

        <link rel="stylesheet" href="[file path]/kendo.common.min.css" />
        <link rel="stylesheet" href="[file path]/kendo.default.min.css" />
  • You must register the common CSS file before the theme CSS file because the theme CSS file needs to override common styles through selectors with the same CSS specifics.
  • On the page and at any given time, you need to register only one pair of common and theme CSS files.

The following example demonstrates how to include the default Less theme by using the Kendo CDN:

    <link rel="stylesheet" href="">
    <link rel="stylesheet" href="">
    <link rel="stylesheet" href="">
    <link rel="stylesheet" href="">

Components for Data Visualization

The Kendo UI Gauges, Charts, Barcodes, Diagrams, and Maps use a mix of browser technologies to meet the required precision and responsiveness. Visualization is rendered as vector graphics with computed layout. In contrast, interactive features are built by using traditional HTML elements. As a result, the appearance settings of these components are split between declarative options and traditional CSS.

The following example demonstrates how to define a theme for a Kendo UI Chart.

    theme: "material"

Kendo UI for jQuery DataViz Themes

Common CSS Files

Some themes require a different common (base) stylesheet that applies different dimensions. Kendo UI ships the following common stylesheets:

CSS Files Contents and Application
kendo.common.css The default base stylesheet. Required by the majority of the Kendo UI themes.
kendo.common-bootstrap.css The base stylesheet for the Bootstrap (v3) theme. Use this file instead of kendo.common.css and only with kendo.bootstrap.css theme file to achieve Bootstrap-like widget dimensions.
kendo.common-material.css The base stylesheet for the Material and MaterialBlack themes. Use this file instead of kendo.common.css and only with kendo.material.css or kendo.materialblack.css theme files.
kendo.common-nova.css The base stylesheet for the Nova theme. Use this file instead of kendo.common.css and only with kendo.nova.css.
kendo.common-fiori.css The base stylesheet for the Fiori theme available in the enterprise bundles of Kendo UI. Use this file instead of kendo.common.css and only with kendo.fiori.css.
kendo.common-office365.css The base stylesheet for the Office365 theme available in the enterprise bundles of Kendo UI. Use this file instead of kendo.common.css and only with kendo.office365.css.

Apart from the common stylesheet and theme stylesheet, you must make the following folders available in your application.

  • /ThemeName/—This is the folder, which contains all images required by the used Kendo UI theme. The folder name matches the theme name, for example. Default, Bootstrap, Silver, etc. The theme image folders for unused themes can be removed.
  • /fonts/—This is where the KendoUIGlyphs and DejaVu font files live. The KendoUIGlyphs font describes the Kendo UI font icons used by the web components. The DejaVu font is used by default during PDF export.
  • /images/—This where the Kendo UI font icons for the mobile widgets reside.
  • /textures/—This is where some fallback theme images are stored for browsers that do not support the CSS3 linear gradients.

Browser-Specific CSS

While most of the CSS code is cross-browser compatible, some layouts require different styles for different browsers. Kendo UI targets specific browsers by adding browser-specific classes to the document root element instead of relying on CSS parsing hacks.

The example below demonstrates how to take advantage of these classes.

.k-ie { /* styles to be applied to all versions of Internet Explorer */ }
.k-ie9 { /* styles to be applied to IE9 only */ }
.k-ff { /* styles to be applied to all versions of Firefox */ }

The syntax of the generated classes is k-[browser] k-[browser][majorVersion].


The Kendo UI components use primitives, meaning that different HTML elements in different components use the same CSS classes to provide a level of abstraction and allow common styling. To learn how to modify the primitives, check the Overriding Primitives section in the customization documentation.

You can use some CSS classes to apply borders and background colors to containers—for example, k-info-colored, k-success-colored, and k-error-colored. For more examples, refer to the StylingPanels demo.

Common CSS Classes

CSS Class Behavior
k-widget The class is applied to the component wrapper to set a border, text and background color. In addition to k-widget, every component has its own specific CSS class, such as k-menu, k-panelbar, k-tabstrip, etc.
k-header Applied to Grid headers, Menu top level items, PanelBar top level items, TabStrip items, and DropDownLists to set a background image and a background color.
k-link Applied to hyperlinks and clickable text items to set a text color.
k-button Applied to elements that are expected to look like push buttons. The class sets a text color, background color, background image, and hover styling. This is the recommended class for styling form buttons.
k-input Applied to textboxes inside input components like ComboBox and AutoComplete to set border, text and background color.
k-textbox Same as k-input, but used for standalone (generic) input elements that are not part of a component. This is the recommended class for styling form input elements as it provides the same look, height, and vertical alignment as the Kendo UI input components.
k-checkbox Applied to checkboxes inside the TreeView component, when checkboxes are enabled for it.
k-group and k-content Applied to various containers to set a background and border color.
k-popup Applied to popup containers that are detached from their opener component and are placed in the body element.
k-icon and k-sprite Applied to elements that display part of a sprite image as background to initialize their dimensions.
k-image Applied to inline images to set their dimensions.
k-item Applied to various repeating component items, for example, Menu, TabStrip, TreeView, PanelBar, ComboBox, DropDownList, etc. This CSS class does not apply any particular global styles and sports display: block.
k-first and k-last Set on the first and the last k-item respectively, where a special type of styling is needed, for example, rounded corners and removing borders.

The k-state Classes

The appearance of a component depends on its state, which is also tied to CSS classes.

k-state Class Behavior
k-state-default This class is applied on items to set their default appearance background and colors.
k-state-hover Set to items when they are hovered to apply their hovered look.
k-state-focused Applied on focused, mostly input elements and the DropDownList.
k-state-active Set on activated k-link elements.
k-state-selected Set to selected items to apply their selected look like in the PanelBar and TabStrip.
k-state-disabled Applied to disabled items.
k-state-error Can be used with form fields that have an invalid value.

Backwards Compatibility

This section includes issues related to the Kendo UI backwards compatibility.

Rounded Components with the High Contrast Theme

As of 2022 R1, the default rounded value of the components is set to medium.

To revert back to the previous border-radius (9999px) value, use any of the following approaches:

  • Set the rounded option of the component to full:
    <button type="button" class="k-button k-rounded-full">
        <span class="k-button-text">Text</span>
  • If you are using components initialization:
    <button id="roundedButton"></button>

            rounded: "full"
  • Override the .k-rounded-md class:
    .k-rounded-md { /* Global rule */
        border-radius: 9999px !important!

    .k-button.k-rounded-md { /* Scoped rule */
        border-radius: 9999px !important!

See Also

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