Css – Change navbar color in Twitter Bootstrap

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How would I go about modifying the CSS to change the color of the navbar in Twitter Bootstrap?

Best Solution

tl;dr - TWBSColor - Generate your own Bootstrap navbar

Version notes: - Online tool: Bootstrap 3.3.2+ / 4.0.0+ - This answer: Bootstrap 3.0.x

Available navbars

You've got two basic navbars:

<!-- A light one -->
<nav class="navbar navbar-default" role="navigation"></nav>
<!-- A dark one -->
<nav class="navbar navbar-inverse" role="navigation"></nav>

Default color usage

Here are the main colors and their usage:

  • #F8F8F8: navbar background
  • #E7E7E7: navbar border
  • #777: default color
  • #333: hover color (#5E5E5E for .nav-brand)
  • #555: active color
  • #D5D5D5: active background

Default style

If you want to put some custom style, here's the CSS you need to change:

/* navbar */
.navbar-default {
    background-color: #F8F8F8;
    border-color: #E7E7E7;
}
/* Title */
.navbar-default .navbar-brand {
    color: #777;
}
.navbar-default .navbar-brand:hover,
.navbar-default .navbar-brand:focus {
    color: #5E5E5E;
}
/* Link */
.navbar-default .navbar-nav > li > a {
    color: #777;
}
.navbar-default .navbar-nav > li > a:hover,
.navbar-default .navbar-nav > li > a:focus {
    color: #333;
}
.navbar-default .navbar-nav > .active > a,
.navbar-default .navbar-nav > .active > a:hover,
.navbar-default .navbar-nav > .active > a:focus {
    color: #555;
    background-color: #E7E7E7;
}
.navbar-default .navbar-nav > .open > a,
.navbar-default .navbar-nav > .open > a:hover,
.navbar-default .navbar-nav > .open > a:focus {
    color: #555;
    background-color: #D5D5D5;
}
/* Caret */
.navbar-default .navbar-nav > .dropdown > a .caret {
    border-top-color: #777;
    border-bottom-color: #777;
}
.navbar-default .navbar-nav > .dropdown > a:hover .caret,
.navbar-default .navbar-nav > .dropdown > a:focus .caret {
    border-top-color: #333;
    border-bottom-color: #333;
}
.navbar-default .navbar-nav > .open > a .caret,
.navbar-default .navbar-nav > .open > a:hover .caret,
.navbar-default .navbar-nav > .open > a:focus .caret {
    border-top-color: #555;
    border-bottom-color: #555;
}
/* Mobile version */
.navbar-default .navbar-toggle {
    border-color: #DDD;
}
.navbar-default .navbar-toggle:hover,
.navbar-default .navbar-toggle:focus {
    background-color: #DDD;
}
.navbar-default .navbar-toggle .icon-bar {
    background-color: #CCC;
}
@media (max-width: 767px) {
    .navbar-default .navbar-nav .open .dropdown-menu > li > a {
        color: #777;
    }
    .navbar-default .navbar-nav .open .dropdown-menu > li > a:hover,
    .navbar-default .navbar-nav .open .dropdown-menu > li > a:focus {
          color: #333;
    }
}

Custom colored navbar examples

Here are four examples of a custom colored navbar:

Enter image description here

And the SCSS code:

$bgDefault   : #e74c3c;
$bgHighlight : #c0392b;
$colDefault  : #ecf0f1;
$colHighlight: #ffbbbc;
.navbar-default {
  background-color: $bgDefault;
  border-color: $bgHighlight;
  .navbar-brand {
    color: $colDefault;
    &:hover, &:focus {
      color: $colHighlight; }}
  .navbar-text {
    color: $colDefault; }
  .navbar-nav {
    > li {
      > a {
        color: $colDefault;
        &:hover,  &:focus {
          color: $colHighlight; }}}
    > .active {
      > a, > a:hover, > a:focus {
        color: $colHighlight;
        background-color: $bgHighlight; }}
    > .open {
      > a, > a:hover, > a:focus {
        color: $colHighlight;
        background-color: $bgHighlight; }}}
  .navbar-toggle {
    border-color: $bgHighlight;
    &:hover, &:focus {
      background-color: $bgHighlight; }
    .icon-bar {
      background-color: $colDefault; }}
  .navbar-collapse,
  .navbar-form {
    border-color: $colDefault; }
  .navbar-link {
    color: $colDefault;
    &:hover {
      color: $colHighlight; }}}
@media (max-width: 767px) {
  .navbar-default .navbar-nav .open .dropdown-menu {
    > li > a {
      color: $colDefault;
      &:hover, &:focus {
        color: $colHighlight; }}
    > .active {
      > a, > a:hover, > a:focus, {
        color: $colHighlight;
        background-color: $bgHighlight; }}}
}

And finally, a little gift

I've just made a script which will allow you to generate your theme: TWBSColor - Generate your own Bootstrap navbar

[Update]: TWBSColor now generates SCSS/SASS/Less/CSS code.
[Update]: From now, you can use Less as the default language provided by TWBSColor
[Update]: TWBSColor now supports drop down menus colorization
[Update]: TWBSColor now allows to choose your version (Bootstrap 4 support added)