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Which operating system do you use?
To create a skin, you need a folder with the name of your skin, and a .xml
file with the description of the skin. The directory will contain all pictures
necessary for your skin.
Directory: c:\Program Files\djDecks\skins\mySkin\
XML: c:\Program Files\djDecks\skins\mySkin.xml
The .xml file contains one xml object named skin, which is started by
<skin> at the beginning of the file, and </skin> at the end of the file.
All text outside this tag is ignored.
Because this xml can get quite large, it can be easier to split various parts in several xml files.
All parts that you want to use have to be stored in the skin's directory (djDecks\skins\myskin\playerwindow.xml for example)
You can then include this file in your main skin object by using the include tag as follows:
At almost any place, you may add a comment field, which is also ignored by djDecks.
If you want to share your skin with others, it is nice to have an
installer, which makes it easier for other people to install your skin.
To help you with that, I've created a NSIS template. The only thing you need to change in the script is the name of your skin.
You can download the template here. To compile it, you need NSIS, which is a freeware installer system.
Once your skin is ready, and you have created an installer for it, you can
post it on the forum.
If you still have some questions about creating a skin, feel free to ask them on the forum as well.
Registered users can also upload their skin to be included on the skins overview by logging in to the registration page.
To help you create your skin's xml, there is also a little utility available to generate the
xml objects by selecting the required fields.
The utility can be found on the forum
A skin will look like this
<DATE>March 19, 2004</DATE>
<LAST-UPDATED>February 11, 2006</LAST-UPDATED>
In the future, this information might be shown while selecting the skin.
Minimalbuild is the lowest djDecks version (indicated by build number) that is required to optimally use this skin.
You can find out which build you are using by opening the console and scrolling to the top.
Background specifies the background image.
For all images, djDecks first looks in the skins\skinName folder, and tries .bmp, .jpg, .gif and .png extensions.
If the image isn't found, the skins root directory is searched.
djdecks_background is the name of the default background that is included with djDecks. You don't need to copy it in your own skin directory.
Players defines the number of players to be shown by default. If you want to
make a skin that consists of only one window with all controls on it, use 0
2 is the default, and will result in 2 separate windows for the players.
You can also choose if you want to show an effect panel for every player, and if you want to show a background.
Resoltion-Height and Resolution-Width specifies the original resolution of the skin.
This helps the automatic resizing to make sure the skin fits the screen on different resolutions.
The default is 1024x768
Elements are additional small images that you may need in your skin.
An example is the handle of a slider that shows at which position the slider is. Elements may also be the pictures of a button when it is pressed or when the mouse hovers over it.
The Picture field specifies in which picture all these elements are located.
Each element field looks like this:
Name specifies the name of the element, position specifies where the element
is located in the elements picture.
To specify the position, you must specify the top-left coordinate with the X and Y fields.
You can specify width and height of the element with the WIDTH and HEIGHT fields, or you can specify the bottom-right coordinate with the X2 and Y2 fields.
The elements field has to be specified before the following fields, because they will need this information.
The fonts field specifies all the different fonts you want to use.
There is one font created by default, which is called 'default'
If you create a font with the name 'default', then this font will overwrite the default font.
If you later define an object, and you don't specify a font, then the default font is used.
The 'Size' field specifies the height of the font in pixels. If you rather want to specify the fontsize in points (as normally used in windows) you should use a <POINTSIZE> field instead of the <SIZE> field.
The allowlarger and allowsmaller fields can force the size to stay the same even when the resolution is increased or decreased.
This is particularly useful for the playlist font, that may not be readable anymore at 800x600 if smaller font size is allowed.
If these fields are omitted, they default to 'yes'
Cleartype (optional) specifies if you want the font to be anti-aliased normally, or using cleartype anti-aliasing (only supported in windows XP or later). By default, normal anti-aliasing is used.
Angle (optional) specifies the angle to draw the text in in degrees. Use 90 for vertical text
The colors field is optional. It might be useful if you want to be able to change one particular color in your skin to another color.
Windows are all very similar. There are 3 specifically named windows, playerwindow, main and
fxwindow. Other custom windows are very similar, but are named window, and have a name field to set their name.
They all consist of objects, which are the separate parts on each window.
It is required that a skin at least has a Main window. Other windows are optional.
Background specifies the background image for the player and the main window.
Selected specifies an image with the same size as the background image, but with all buttons pressed
MouseOver specifies an image with the same size, but with all buttons selected (when the mouse pointer hovers over them).
Active Some buttons might display a state (for example if loop is on or off). These buttons might also have a different picture when activated.
You can choose whether you want to use a clicked and mouseover picture, or whether you want to use elements for that.
StartPosition_1 specifies the default starting position of this window on the screen.
It is strongly recommended to use this field, because it makes the user experience better when he switches to your skin.
Note that this only sets the default starting position when the user changes his skin. The user can still move the windows to a different place if he likes.
For <PLAYERWINDOW> and <FXWINDOW> you can also specify startposition_2 to startposition_4 for the other decks.
The startposition can also include WIDTH and HEIGHT fields for resizable windows like the playlist. (For other windows the width and height is retrieved from the background image).
It is also possible to use <HEIGHT>max</HEIGHT> to set the default height to fill the remaining space at the bottom. This is especially recommended for playlist windows.
An Object looks like this:
Type specifies what type of object it is, which defines how the object is drawn. Some examples are text, button and slider.
Value specifies what the value of the object is, for instance the volume of a player, main volume, title, ...
ValueSpecifier specifies more specifically what value should be used. At the bottom of this page, the values along with their possible valuespecifiers are listed and described in more detail.
The left, center and right action specify what action is taken when the user
uses the mouse buttons on the object.
You can enter default to use the default action. For instance, for a slider showing the volume of a player, the default action is to change the volume depending on where the user clicked.
It is possible to have another mouse button have a different action, such as resetting the value to it's default.
Player specifies for which player the object is shown. For values such as the
main volume, this field has no effect. In the player field, you normally want to
use auto for this field. This means that the first player window will affect the
properties of the first player, and the second player window will affect the
properties of the second player.
You can use this field in the main field, to specify that one slider is used for player 1, and another slider is used for player 2 for instance.
Position defines the position of the object on the window.
Drawtype defines how the object is drawn. For instance for a slider, you might want a handle to drag it or not. How the number is used depends on the type of object.
Color defines the color for the object. For text this will be the font color,
for some objects this might be ignored.
Instead of defining the color by it's red, green and blue value, you can also specify it by using <name>myColor</name>, where myColor is the name of a color specified in the colors field.
You can also specify color2, color3 and color4. It depends on the object's type what these colors mean.
Font defines the font to be used. It is the name of a font that you have
You don't have to specify this field. If you don't, a default font is used.
Finally, you can specify up to 4 additionalpic fields, labeled
additionalpic_1 to 4
You have 3 choices on how to define this. If you use a name field inside it, then the additionalpic is taken from the elements list. The element with the name that you specified is used.
You can also use a ref tag, which can be 'background', 'selected', 'mouseover' or 'active'
If this is used, then the picture is taken from the picture that you specified at the same position. This is especially useful for buttons, where you can just create 3 copies of the background, and change the buttons to how they should look when pressed, active or when the mouse moves over them.
Finally, you can also use a file tag, if you want to get the additional pic
directly from a file. No extension or path should be specified, the picture will
automatically be searched for in the skin's directory.
Tabs allow one part of the screen to be used for different purposes.
A good example is the effect panel, where the same sliders can be used
to control different effect parameters depending on which effect you choose.
If you have just started skinning, it is best to skip this part and first get familiar with the basics.
The general outline is as follows, and can be placed inside any window tags ( <PLAYERWINDOW>, <MAIN>, <FXWINDOW> or <WINDOW>)
You can have multiple tabs sections, each containing as many tab fields as you like.
From each TABS section, exactly one TAB section is active at a time.
Each tab has a name, which you can use on a Text or
Button object with Value 'TabSelect'. Each tab also has a default field,
which indicates with which tab djDecks should start with as default.
Inside each tab, you can add objects, which will only be active when that tab is selected.
To select a tab, the user can press a button with Value 'TabSelect'. The ValueSpecifier specifies the name of the tab to switch to. This button object can be defined both inside or outside the tabs field.
This field specifies what the playlist/filebrowser will look like.
Since it works slightly different than the other windows, the details are explained in a separate part of the documentation.
Skinning the playlist
If the playlist field is omitted, a default style is loaded.
Note that if you don't want to change anything to the default playlist, it is recommended that you copy the playlist.xml from the Chiron skin to your own skin and add the <include> for it to your main skin file.
Custom windows are additional windows similar to main, player and fxwindow which you can give a name yourself. You may want to use a separate window for a sampler window, or maybe a custom window to show some other info. A window field looks like this:
... objects etc...
Except for a name field all fields in a window object are the same as
for other windows (also parts such as background, selected, startposition etc...).
Custom windows are hidden by default, so you will need to add a startup script or a button on one of the other windows to show your new window.
The following line can be stored in a file startup.djscript in your skin's folder to open one window.
ifnot ShowWindow,windowname,0 click ShowWindow,windowname 0
This will open the window called windowname. The zero at the end indicates that it is for the first deck. Optionally you can use 1, 2 or 3 to open the same window multiple times, but for different players.
The different types of objects you can create, and the value and valuespecifier
fields that can be used with them are explained in a separate document:
djDecks (c)2003-2011 Adion