Old modules and plugins

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Block: Accessibility Options

Type: Block
Requires: Moodle 1.8
Status: Third-Party

We needed to find a way for our students to change the font size and background colour of our Moodle site. Here’s how we achieved it. We haven’t thought of an easier way to install this block or how to copy it across all pages of the site yet I’m affraid. I’ll post here again when we get there though. Hope this helps you out:

Step 1

You’ll need to get access to your Moodle server and add the following line to your config.php in the root of your Moodle install:

$CFG->allowthemechangeonurl = true;

Here’s a good link with more information about Moodle Theme Settings: http://docs.moodle.org/en/Theme_settings

Step 2

You’ll need to know which theme you’re using. If you’re unsure, you can find it from by logging into to Moodle as an admin and going to:

Moodle > Administration > Appearance > Themes > Theme Selector

Once you know your theme name, from your Moodle Server, navigate to:

Moodle Main Directory\theme

You’ll see a list of Moodle Themes, something like this:


You’ll need to find your theme in the list.

What you’ll need to do is produce a number of copies of your theme folder and adapt the css and html of each one to produce a range of different themes with varying font sizes and background colours.

It might be worth looking at our Accessibility Options block to see examples of the range of themes you might need:


The time-consuming part of all of this is copying and pasting the theme folders, renaming them meaningful names (yellow_mediumfont for example), then tweaking the css and html in each file to the changes you need. It is worth it in the long-run though – promise smile

Step 3

Once you have a range of new themes based on your original theme you can put your accessibility options block together.

Just create a HTML block on the front-page of your Moodle site. We went for a table filled with icons which represented the different themes, which have hyperlinks attached. In Step 1 we added a line to the Moodle config file, which let users change the theme by clicking a hyperlink. The format you need for your links is:


You’ll just need to change the yellow_mediumfont to the different names of your new themes. We also added a reset button at the bottom of the block, which just has a link back to the default theme.

The theme choice will stay until the user closes down the web window.

I hope this makes sense. The instructions are a bit scrappy, but feel free to drop me a line if you’ve got any questions. We hope this will be really helpful for our students who have trouble reading websites.

If anyone has any suggestions about how we could improve this, we’d welcome your ideas.



Record added by Mike Wilson - Wednesday, 21 November 2007, 12:28 AM
Last modified - Wednesday, 21 November 2007, 12:40 AM