WinCustomize: Navigating the Galleries

Find the skins more easily!

Thursday, March 27, 2008 by Island Dog | Discussion: Wincustomize Tutorials

WinCustomize gets an incredible amount of visitors each month, and a great many of them are new or first time users along with the regular community members.  Now whether you are a new member or a long time member, navigating through the galleries of WinCustomize might not be fully known by our users.

With that being said, I wanted to give an overview on how to navigate the galleries here on WinCustomize.  We have a wide range of galleries from wallpapers, cursors, WindowBlinds skins, and much more.  We also have categories for these galleries that can make finding what you are looking for a bit easier, but not everyone is aware of how to do this.

Gallery Navigation

Clicking the Gallery button in the main navigation header will take you to the gallery page.  Obviously, you can go directly to your gallery of choice by clicking the specific gallery on right, but we will get started in the main gallery page to show off some of its features.

Main Gallery Page

At the top of this page we have more links to common pages like cursors, visual styles, etc.  Below that we have some other sections where users can get a better view of certain skins.

  • Newest: This section will show the latest skins submitted to the public gallery.  A preview is shown of the latest six skins, and clicking the newest skins link will take you to a full gallery page showing the latest skins.
  • Most Popular Skins: Here you will find the most popular skins by downloads.  At the top of this page you can sort by specific library, and from the last 30 days, the "hall of fame" or from yesterdays count.
  • Recently Featured:  Skins are often featured on the front page of WinCustomize.  This section allows you to sort through the skins that have been featured.
  • Recently Updated Skins:  Skins that were recently updated are displayed here.
  • Top Skinners:  Clicking here will show you the top skinners in various categories, and you can select different viewing options from the menu at the top.
  • Top Master Skins:   Master Skinners on WinCustomize can sell their skins.  This section shows off some of the most popular Master skins.

Most Popular skins


Navigating through Categories

One library that this will be very useful for is the ObjectDock gallery, so I will use this as the example, but the other galleries function the same way.  Under the main site navigation you will see the breadcrumb links.  You will see these in all the galleries on WinCustomize.

Category links

Next to each text link you will notice the arrow buttons.  Clicking one of these will open a menu allowing your a variety of sub-category choices depending on which you click.  Lets say you are looking in the ObjectDock gallery, and want to find a nice set of tabbed dock backgrounds for ObjectDock Plus.  Clicking the arrow next to "ObjectDock" will give me the menu seen below.

Sub-categories

By selecting the "Tabbed Backgrounds" link, it will filter the gallery to show only tabbed backgrounds.

Filtered gallery results

You don't have to stop there either.  You can filter it even more with settings like amount of downloads, newest, ratings, etc. 

Even more filters

Sorting Galleries

So we have gone through how to navigate through the different sub-categories in the gallery sections, and now we will cover just sorting through the galleries.  By default, when you enter any of the galleries on WinCustomize you will see the skins in order of the newest first.  This is great, but clicking the drop-down menu above the gallery will give you more sorting choices.

You can sort the galleries by:

  • Downloads Overall
  • Downloads Today
  • Featured Skins
  • Last Updated
  • Newest Skins
  • Skin Name
  • Skin Rating

Gallery sorting options


WindowBlinds Advanced Filters

With the addition of WindowBlinds 6 and Windows Vista skinning, the WindowBlinds gallery has an added filter that will show WB skins that are WindowBlinds 6 ready, Vista ready, or both.  Clicking one of these three links will filter the galleries appropriately.

WindowBlinds gallery filters


You can also know which WindowBlinds skins are WB6 or Vista ready by looking for the icons as seen below.


Edit Displayed Libraries

On the right side navigation of WinCustomize, you will see links to some of the various galleries.  By clicking "edit" you can easily add or remove galleries from that list so you can see only the galleries you are interested in.

Changing displayed libraries

Simply select or deselect the check buttons for the gallery you want to change.

Conclusion

Hopefully this guide will help you navigate through WinCustomize more easily, and help you find the skins you are looking for.  If you still have questions or suggestions, please feel free to visit the forums.  More guides on other parts of WinCustomize will also be available soon.

Navigating WinCustomize Screencast

 

ZubaZ
Reply #1 Thursday, March 27, 2008 1:35 PM
THIS IS AWESOME!!!

Great walk-through! Much needed.

( I wonder if there is a way to packages some of your WC articles in an email when a user subscribes?  that could be a huge help.)
Philly0381
Reply #2 Thursday, March 27, 2008 1:38 PM
Very good and informative. Just what was needed also with the beta release of Impulse. I really am looking forward for the Screencast for this.   
Island Dog
Reply #3 Thursday, March 27, 2008 1:59 PM
Thanks.  Screencast should be up real soon. 

zakai1369
Reply #4 Thursday, March 27, 2008 2:23 PM
Nice.

Any idea yet if the screencast will be a permanent fixture on the site or just in the forums?
HAPTORK
Reply #5 Thursday, March 27, 2008 1:23 PM
Thanks. Didnt notice 'edit' in the right bar.
messiah1
Reply #6 Thursday, March 27, 2008 1:43 PM
Nice.   
victory99
Reply #7 Thursday, March 27, 2008 1:48 PM
THIS IS AWESOME!!!

Great walk-through! Much needed.

( I wonder if there is a way to packages some of your WC articles in an email when a user subscribes? that could be a huge help.)
I agree with Zubaz. I'm fairly new here. I eventually discovered these tips on my own. It would have greatly enhanced my browsing experience from the very beginning if an article such as this had been available. Thanks again, Island Dog, for an excellent, well-written and helpful article!
Bebi Bulma
Reply #8 Thursday, March 27, 2008 5:25 PM
( I wonder if there is a way to packages some of your WC articles in an email when a user subscribes? that could be a huge help.)

I've asked the same thing myself. This is a must-read article for anyone who browses this site (new and old users alike). Great job ID!   
Island Dog
Reply #9 Thursday, March 27, 2008 5:57 PM
Screencast is now up.  Link at the bottom of the article. 

Bebi Bulma
Reply #10 Thursday, March 27, 2008 9:42 PM
eieio
Reply #11 Thursday, March 27, 2008 10:07 PM
Why not have a page that the freshly signed up user is shown with something to the effect of 'Now you've signed up, here's how to get started' with links to these types of articles .. along with the wiki of course.


Great walk-thru, ID
Island Dog
Reply #12 Friday, March 28, 2008 7:43 AM

Now on the Wiki: http://wiki.wincustomize.com/wiki/WinCustomize:_Navigating_the_Galleries   

Thanks Bebi!
Why not have a page that the freshly signed up user is shown with something to the effect of 'Now you've signed up, here's how to get started' with links to these types of articles .. along with the wiki of course.
That's a pretty good idea.  I will run it by "the people". 
sViz
Reply #13 Wednesday, April 02, 2008 2:28 PM
Great article!   
Philly0381
Reply #14 Wednesday, April 02, 2008 3:45 PM
I've know that you could sort while you were in the gallery libraries for a while, but just recently I realize that you can also use the search function. DOH!   

I now use that function when I'm thinking of changeing the desktop and want to see just what other skins maybe there to go with the WindwoBlind.  
Necaradan666
Reply #15 Wednesday, April 16, 2008 6:03 AM
I have been having a problem with the 'WindowBlinds 6 ready, Vista ready, or both' filters.

The filters work when I first click on them but as soon as I try to navigate to the next gallery page the filters no longer apply and the page refreshes so I get thrown back to the 300 odd pages of skins again. Basically I can only ever see the first of the filtered gallery pages making the option useless.

Another thing I would like to see is Vista ready sorting for the IconPackager galleries.

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