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IP.Board 3.2.0 - Visual Skin Editor

Since the very first release of IP.Board, those with a working knowledge of HTML and CSS have been able to alter the look and feel of the board to better match their site.

Over the years, we've made many improvements to the skinning system. For 3.2 alone we've added remote skin editing and more modular CSS to make editing much quicker.

Last year, we introduced the skin generator for customers with an active license. This has been a very popular service and quickly allows customers to produce a new skin that better matches their site colors. However, we felt that we could do better than this tool and do better than our competitors who allow you to 'blindly' change colors from the Admin CP without seeing the immediate effect it has on the board.

Wouldn't it be so much easier to just change the colors while browsing the board? We thought so.

Introducing the Visual Skin Editor
This brand new innovative new feature allows you to edit the board's colors right from the board itself! You don't need to know CSS, you don't even need to remember hex codes and you don't have to blindly edit oddly named CSS classes from the Admin CP.




Live Demonstration
As this feature is best demonstrated, I've recorded a short video in which I make a brand new red themed skin in about five minutes using this new feature.

The usual disclaimer applies: this is work in progress and contains some rough edges that will be smoothed out before release.



As you can see from this video, it's a cinch to create a brand new skin in IP.Board 3.2! If you can point and click and use a basic paint editor on your computer then you're able to use this tool.

We're thrilled to announce this feature and look forward to your feedback and questions.
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[quote name='.Ian' timestamp='1308680620'] Does this work with elements of other IPS apps? Can app developers plug into this to allow their apps to be skinned?

It will work with our apps, yes. Because the CSS is more modular even non-IPS apps should be fine unless they are incredibly complex.

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[quote name='Matt' timestamp='1308678740'] Lots of questions: - Does it colourize imagesNot in this first release. There are very few images in IP.Board that need colourizing. It's something we want to add at some point
I wouldn't bother, they'll be no images left by then the rate you're removing them :laugh:

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Beautiful, simply beautiful! I have never been a huge fan of the current skin generator, but this one brought a huge smile to my face the more I watched the video sample. I love everything about it. Thank you guys so much for this. Can't wait to finally use it once we decide to upgrade to 3.2 :)

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[quote name='Bitter' timestamp='1308673946'] Looks great. Well done, Rikki. Few questions, though. Can a skin be edited using the visual and manual editor? Or can you only choose one or the other for a given skin?Also, is the visual editor just for changing colors, or can images be placed into classes as well?As a continuation of my last question, are classes moveable, or is this editor just for simple color changes? Regardless, I see it making my job easier...or putting me out of a job if it is a really powerful editor, haha.

Looks like a basic color editor. Which is not impressive in any way to me.

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[quote name='Rikki' timestamp='1308675773'] I believe, but I'm not certain (Matt took over by that point!) that you can 'finalize' a skin made with the visual editor, allowing it to be edited manually, but you can't go back the other way. You can't put images into classes yet - but there's always the next version :) We have so many ideas for expanding on this, and that's one of them. You can't move classes - the classes are basically invisible with the visual editor anyway, you don't need to deal with them. But from a technical point of view, the visual editor needs to understand the CSS it's working with behind the scenes, and we can only do that by allowing the default skin to be edited.

Yes this confirms my assumption I had in my comment above. I don't find this impressive at all. Just another useless feature I'll never use. When you actual make it powerful enough to do more than a simple BS color edit, maybe i'll give it the time of day.

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[quote name='Kage Kazumi' timestamp='1308692490'] Yes this confirms my assumption I had in my comment above. I don't find this impressive at all. Just another useless feature I'll never use. When you actual make it powerful enough to do more than a simple BS color edit, maybe i'll give it the time of day.

may be you don't find it impressive ... you might not use it at all...but there are others who would find it useful. This feature is useful. maybe not to me but to others, it is useful.

I'm actually waiting to see how XF is gonna respond to that and how IPS is going to respond to their response.

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[quote name='Kage Kazumi' timestamp='1308692163'] . Looks like a basic color editor. Which is not impressive in any way to me.

And a paint brush is just a stick.

Just because it's not useful to you, doesn't mean it's not useful at all. You may not use it but many will. Because it's on the fly much of the grunt work can be done quickly. More often than not, I just need a few colors changed with the default scheme. Around 12 changes or so tops. An editor like this makes life just a little bit easier.

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