Navigation Pages Missing Styles, Background Colors and Incorrect Formatting after PeopleTools Only Upgrade

After PeopleTools 8.53 upgrade, I came across this rather annoying issue where some of the pages were not showing up properly and the background colors as well as formatting appeared to be absent in the Navigation pages that appears (see the picture below). Initial thought was that the cache is not able to build properly and after a couple of attempts at bouncing the appserver, webserver and visiting the page multiple times – I was amazed that the problem persisted.

Also, the issue was not with one particular machine – all the users were reporting the same. So, with a few unsuccessful attempts with the cache – it was evident that the issue is not because of cache but something else like stylesheets.

One trend which was observed was that some of the pages looked fine, as expected and the problem always happened when the users clicked one of the main folders (like People Tools folder in the navigation menu). It was a system wide portal issue as far all the navigation collections/navigation pages are missing the styles and all these looks odd.

formatting issues after peopletools upgrade

The reason for this abnormal behavior was found to be a wrongly defined stylesheet called PTPP_SCSTYLEDEF under PeopleTools->Portal->Portal Utilities->System options. (*Style Sheet Name: )

The correct settings are:

  • PeopleTools->Utilities->Administration->PeopleTools Options (Style Sheet Name:) – (correct would be PSSTYLEDEF)
  • PeopleTools->Portal->Portal Utilities->System options. (*Style Sheet Name: ) – (correct would be PSSTYLEDEF)


Root Cause

The stylesheet called PTPP_SCSTYLEDEF  is deleted in the PPLTLS84CURDEL project which runs as one of the upgrade steps, and this deletion makes the customer upgrade clone or the older tools DEMO to miss one important stylesheet that is set as default after tools only upgrade in PeopleTools->Portal->Portal Utilities->System options. (*Style Sheet Name: ) Р(correct would be PSSTYLEDEF as this would be the standard tools delivered for backward compatibility instead of wrong PTPP_SCSTYLEDEF as set by tools only upgrade scripts)

This does not happen often and with every upgrade path of an application if you had it once. Also, in some cases, the styles sheet name have been reported to be wrongly updated to “blank”.


  1. With an application superuser (say PS) navigate in the upgraded PIA to – PeopleTools->Portal->Portal Utilities->System options
  2. Select PSSTYLEDEF instead of PTPP_SCSTYLEDEF as (*Style Sheet Name: ) and Save further
  3. Clear the appserver and webserver cache while bouncing the servers



Apurva Tripathi

Apurva is a PeopleSoft consultant and a big advocate of everything PeopleSoft. He is also a technology enthusiast and loves learning and implementing newer and open source technologies. He spends his spare time updating this blog and likes to read books on self help and productivity.

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