Using a Custom Theme

You can enable a custom theme by adding the .vitepress/theme/index.js file (the "theme entry file").

├─ docs
│  ├─ .vitepress
│  │  ├─ theme
│  │  │  └─ index.js
│  │  └─ config.js
│  └─
└─ package.json

A VitePress custom theme is simply an object containing three properties and is defined as follows:

interface Theme {
  Layout: Component // Vue 3 component
  NotFound?: Component
  enhanceApp?: (ctx: EnhanceAppContext) => void

interface EnhanceAppContext {
  app: App // Vue 3 app instance
  router: Router // VitePress router instance
  siteData: Ref<SiteData>

The theme entry file should export the theme as its default export:

// .vitepress/theme/index.js
import Layout from './Layout.vue'

export default {
  NotFound: () => 'custom 404', // <- this is a Vue 3 functional component
  enhanceApp({ app, router, siteData }) {
    // app is the Vue 3 app instance from `createApp()`. router is VitePress'
    // custom router. `siteData` is a `ref` of current site-level metadata.

...where the Layout component could look like this:

<!-- .vitepress/theme/Layout.vue -->
  <h1>Custom Layout!</h1>
  <Content /><!-- this is where markdown content will be rendered -->

The default export is the only contract for a custom theme. Inside your custom theme, it works just like a normal Vite + Vue 3 application. Do note the theme also needs to be SSR-compatible.

To distribute a theme, simply export the object in your package entry. To consume an external theme, import and re-export it from the custom theme entry:

// .vitepress/theme/index.js
import Theme from 'awesome-vitepress-theme'
export default Theme

Extending the Default Theme

If you want to extend and customize the default theme, you can import it from vitepress/theme and augment it in a custom theme entry. Here are some examples of common customizations:

Registering Global Components

// .vitepress/theme/index.js
import DefaultTheme from 'vitepress/theme'

export default {
  enhanceApp({ app }) {
    // register global components
    app.component('MyGlobalComponent' /* ... */)

Since we are using Vite, you can also leverage Vite's glob import feature to auto register a directory of components.

Customizing CSS

The default theme CSS is customizable by overriding root level CSS variables:

// .vitepress/theme/index.js
import DefaultTheme from 'vitepress/theme'
import './custom.css'

export default DefaultTheme
/* .vitepress/theme/custom.css */
:root {
  --c-brand: #646cff;
  --c-brand-light: #747bff;

See default theme CSS variables that can be overridden.

Layout Slots

The default theme's <Layout/> component has a few slots that can be used to inject content at certain locations of the page. Here's an example of injecting a component into the top of the sidebar:

// .vitepress/theme/index.js
import DefaultTheme from 'vitepress/theme'
import MyLayout from './MyLayout.vue'

export default {
  // override the Layout with a wrapper component that injects the slots
  Layout: MyLayout
<script setup>
import DefaultTheme from 'vitepress/theme'
const { Layout } = DefaultTheme

    <template #sidebar-top>My custom sidebar top content</template>

Full list of slots available in the default theme layout:

  • navbar-search
  • sidebar-top
  • sidebar-bottom
  • page-top-ads
  • page-top
  • page-bottom
  • page-bottom-ads
  • Only when home: true is enabled via frontmatter:
    • home-hero
    • home-features
    • home-footer