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TWiki Skins

Skins overlay regular templates with alternate header/footer layouts; topic text is not affected

Overview

Skins are customized TWikiTemplates files. You can use skins to change the look of a DENX topic, for example, the layout of the header and footer. Rendered text between header and footer does not change. You can also use skins to define an alternate view, like a view optimized for printing.

Defining Skins

Skin files are located in the twiki/templates directory and are named with the syntax: <scriptname>.<skin>.tmpl. For example, the Printable skin for the view template is view.print.tmpl.

Use the existing TWikiTemplates (like view.tmpl) or skin files as a base for your own skin, name it for example view.myskin.tmpl.

Variables in Skins

You can use template variables, TWikiVariables, and other predefined variables to compose your skins. Some commonly used variables in skins:

Variable: down Expanded to:
%BROADCASTMESSAGE% Broadcast message at the beginning of your view template, can be used to alert users of scheduled downtimes; is set in TWikiPreferences
%EDITTOPIC% Edit link
%META{"attachments"}% FileAttachment table
%META{"form"}% TWikiForm, if any
%META{"parent"}% The topic parent
%REVINFO% Revision info, ex: r1.6 - 24 Dec 2002 - 08:12 GMT - Main.guest
%REVTITLE% The revision title, if any, ex: (r1.6)
%SCRIPTSUFFIX% The script suffix, ex: .pl, .cgi
%SCRIPTURL% The script URL of TWiki
%TEXT% The topic text, e.g. the content that can be edited
%TOPIC% The name of the current topic. Note: It is recommended to URL-encode the variable in form actions with %INTURLENCODE{"%TOPIC%"}% for proper handling in an internationalized environment
%WEB% The name of the current web. Note: It is recommended to URL-encode the variable in form actions with %INTURLENCODE{"%WEB%"}% for proper handling in an internationalized environment
%WEBBGCOLOR% Web specific background color, defined in the WebPreferences
%WEBCOPYRIGHT% Copyright notice, defined in the WebPreferences
%WEBTOPICLIST% Common links of current web, defined in the WebPreferences. It includes a #GoBox
%WIKILOGOALT% Alt text of page logo
%WIKILOGOIMG% Image URL of page logo
%WIKILOGOURL% Link of page logo
%WIKITOOLNAME% The name of your TWiki site

The "Go" Box and Navigation Box

The %WEBTOPICLIST% includes a "Go" box to jump to a topic. The box also understand URLs, e.g. you can type http://www.google.com/ to jump to an external web site. The feature is handy if you build a skin that has a select box of frequently used links, like Intranet home, employee database, sales database and such. A little JavaScript gets into action on the onSelect method of the select tag to fill the selected URL into the "Go" box field, then submits the form.

Here is an example form that has a select box and the "Go" box for illustration purposes. You need to have JavaScript enabled for this to work:

Bare bones header for demo only
Welcome Register Changes Topics Index Search Go

Using Cascading Style Sheets

The regular templates files currently do not use style sheets. Many skin developers choose to use them, it helps in separating style from content.

Example: To use a style sheet for the broadcast message, add this to view.myskin.tmpl:

<style type="text/css">
.broadcastmessage {
    background: yellow; display:block;
    border-style:solid;border-width: 2px;border-color:red;
}
.broadcastmessage strong {color: red}
</style>

Then add a div tag to the %BROADCASTMESSAGE% variable located after the #PageTop anchor or after the opening form tag:

<div class="broadcastmessage"> %BROADCASTMESSAGE% </div>

Packaging and Publishing Skins

See TWiki:Plugins/SkinPackagingHowTo and TWiki:Plugins/SkinDeveloperFAQ

Activating Skins

A skin can be activated in two ways:

The ?skin=name URL parameter overrides the SKIN Preference value.

-- PeterThoeny - 05 Jan 2003