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Changing FontAwesome icons per-forum

By default, we use the 'comments' icon from FontAwesome to represent forums on the read/unread badges. IPS4 also includes an option to upload an image that will be used instead of the icon. But what if you want to use a different FontAwesome icon for each forum?

The good news is this is possible using some custom CSS. Each forum row in the index template includes a data attribute with the forum ID, meaning we can write a style to specifically target each individual forum and overwrite the icon it uses.

Note: Although this method isn't terribly complex, it does require editing custom CSS and working with unicode characters.


Determining the icon unicode value

The method we're going to use involves replacing the icon using a CSS rule, rather than changing the icon classname in the HTML. The reason we take this approach is it won't make upgrading your templates difficult later - our custom CSS persist through IPS4 versions easily.

What this means however is that we need to identify the unicode value that FontAwesome assigns to the icons we want to use.

To do so, head over to the FontAwesome icon list on this page. Locate the icon you'd like to use, and click it. On the information page, you'll see the unicode value for the icon. Make a note of this code. For example:


Do this for each icon you'll want to use.


Adding the CSS

We're going to add our CSS to our custom.css file so that it persists through upgrades. In the AdminCP, go to Customizations -> Themes, and click the code edit icon next to the theme you want to change. On the CSS tab, open the custom.css file:


The rule we need to use looks like this:

[data-forumid="..."] .fa-comments:before {
 	 content: "\f123";

You'll need to adjust this code to include the forum ID for the forum you want to change. You can find the forum ID by hovering on the link to the forum, and noting the number you see in the URL: 


You'll also need to replace the f123 unicode value with the one for the icon you want to use that you noted earlier.



Let's say we have forum ID's 1 and 2, and we want to use FontAwesome's bicycle and car icons, respectively. We note the unicode values for those icons, which are f206 and f1b9.

The CSS we'd add looks like this:

[data-forumid="1"] .fa-comments:before {
	content: "\f206";

[data-forumid="2"] .fa-comments:before {
	content: "\f1b9";

Once we save it, we can see the result:


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