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Web App Theme

Web App Theme is a rails generator by Andrea Franz that you can use to generate admin panels quickly. Inspired by cool themes like Lighthouse, Basecamp, RadiantCMS and others, it wants to be an idea to start developing a complete web application layout.

Web App Theme screenshot


Rails >= 3.1.0

For this version, all the stylesheets are stored inside the gems assets path. They don't need to be copied to the to the application, unless you want to customize them (using the web_app_theme:assets generator). There only css file generated when you run the theme generator is the web_app_theme.css that includes the theme of your choice. Add to your gemfile:

gem 'web-app-theme', '~> 0.8.0'

Other versions

You can use web-app-theme >= 0.6.2 with Rails 3. If you want to use it with rails 2, use web-app-theme 0.5.3 Specify the web-app-theme gem in your Gemfile, only for :development and :test

group :development, :test do
  gem 'web-app-theme', '>= 0.6.2'


Theme Generator

Used without parameters, it generates the layout inside the application.html.erb file using the default theme.

rails g web_app_theme:theme

You can specify the layout file name in the first parameter:

rails g web_app_theme:theme admin # it will generate a layout called `admin.html.erb`

If you want to use another theme, instead of the default, you can use the --theme option:

rails g web_app_theme:theme admin --theme="drastic-dark"

You can specify the template engine with --engine=name option, where name can be erb (default) or haml:

rails g web_app_theme:theme --engine=haml # you must specify haml in your Gemfile

If you want to generate the stylesheets of a specific theme without changing the previously generated layout you can pass the --no-layout option:

rails g web_app_theme:theme --theme=bec --no-layout

You can specify the text used in the header with the --app-name option:

rails g web_app_theme:theme --app-name="My New Application"

If you need a layout for login and signup pages, you can use the --type option with sign as value. Ìf not specified, the default value is administration

rails g web_app_theme:theme sign --layout-type=sign

Assets Generator

Used to copy a theme of your choice from the gem to your application, without parameters it will copy the 'default' theme

rails g web_app_theme:assets --theme=red

This will copy the theme files on your app/assets/stylesheets/web-app-theme path. Also this will copy theme's images to app/assets/images/web-app-theme path

Themed Generator

Start creating your controllers manually or with a scaffold, and then use the themed generator to overwrite the previously generated views.

If you have a controller named like the plural of the used model you can specify just the first parameter:

rails g web_app_theme:themed posts # you have a model named Post and a controller named PostsController

rails g web_app_theme:themed admin/gallery_pictures # you have a model named GalleryPicture and a controller named Admin::GalleryPicturesController

Use the --layout option specifying the previously generated layout to add a link to the controller you are working on:

rails g web_app_theme:themed posts --layout=admin # you will see the `Posts` link in the navigation

If the controller has a name different to the model used, specify the controller path in the first parameter and the model name in the second one:

rails g web_app_theme:themed items post

rails g web_app_theme:themed admin/items post

If you use will_paginate for pagination use the --will-paginate:

rails g web_app_theme:themed items post --will-paginate

You can specify the template engine with --engine=name option, where name can be erb (default) or haml:

rails g web_app_theme:themed posts --engine=haml

If you have something like map.resource :dashboard in your routes.rb file, you can use the --type=text to generate a view with just text:

rails g web_app_theme:themed dashboards --themed-type=text

If you want to show form error messages inside the generated forms, use the following code inside your environment.rb

ActionView::Base.field_error_proc = do |html_tag, instance| 
  if html_tag =~ /<label/
    %|<div class="fieldWithErrors">#{html_tag} <span class="error">#{[instance.error_message].join(', ')}</span></div>|.html_safe

If you want to have translated pages, simple create in your locale.yml the keys just like config/locales/en_us.yml example.

    save: Save
    cancel: Cancel
    list: List
    edit: Edit
    new: New
    show: Show
    delete: Delete
    confirm: Are you sure?
    created_at: Created at
    all: All


  • Fork this repository.
  • Duplicate the 'themes/default' folder and rename it.
  • Modify the style.css file adding your favorite colors.
  • Add a link to your theme in the 'Switch Theme' block inside the index.html file.
  • Send a pull request.



Andrea Franz -


  • Nelson Fernandez
  • Giovanni Intini
  • Jeremy Durham
  • Wouter de Vries
  • Marco Borromeo
  • rick mckay
  • Peter Sarnacki
  • Garret Alfert
  • Mikkel Hoegh
  • Juan Maria Martinez Arce
  • Stas SUSHKOV
  • Daniel Cukier
  • Roberto Klein
  • Bryan Woods
  • Sandro Duarte
  • David Francisco