The most common problems with skins we find on Wincustomize
Friday, April 22, 2005 by Adam Najmanowicz | Discussion: WindowBlinds Tutorials
Browsing the WindowBlinds skins on Wincustomize and applying them is a source of a lot of joy, but there's also a drop of frustration. There are some common problems with the skins that skinners notoriously forget to check for. Perhaps my working environment is not typical but since you've went all the way to create a skin it's relatively easy to make it a perfect skin for everyone. So here are the 10 things I find most common to be wrong with a lot of skins:
- Vertical taskbars. this one is a source of a lot of grief for me. I use 2 monitors, which results in a very wide desktop area, so it's logical for me to use the vertical taskbar. And I do use it. I must say that it's the most common for Both WindowBlinds and MSStyles not to include a customized Vertical Taskbar and leaving it in Luna Blue instead.
- Make sure your horizontal taskbar does not have problems when it's located on top of the screen or when user resizes it to more than one row of task buttons. If I use the horizontal taskbar (for example when a skin does not provide a vertical one) I always have it resized to at least 4 rows of tasks. Being the developer I tend to have a teen up to 30 windows open at once for testing various aspects, browsing sites with code and helpful tips and what not. 1 row of tasks in NOT enough.
- Making dark skins is tricky on Windows. A lot of apps are not ready at all for dark skins they hard-code colors or use the classic ones for a lot of things: Internet Explorer for example always uses only the classic color for text on buttons. No. it is not sufficient that your dark skin looks good outside Internet Explore, if it makes IE forms unusable it's not going to be used by the majority of users. IE uses the color defined in Section: "Miscellaneous"->"Colors" in Attribute: "3D Controls"->"Text - System Button". If you make the skin have dark buttons, make sure this color is readable on Web forms or you'll run into this:
- Make sure you fix the colors on the Desktop context menu, the "New" item sub menu and you won't have problems with custom drawn menus. On this menu Microsoft pretty much violated it's own guidelines of how menus should be implemented (which a lot of other apps do as well - including one menu in SkinStudio). If you do not make sure the following hint worked in your skin, this menu is liable to look bad.
The text should be black on the olive green, but instead it has the light outline. the colors responsible for the outlines in your skin are:
- Section: "Miscellaneous"->"Colors" Attribute: "Window"->"Background - Window" for the regular non highlighted menu items. (this is what makes the menu in this very skin look bad). Update! I have just recentlydiscovered that this color is overriden by the: Section: "Miscellaneous"->"Colors"-> Attribute: "Menus"->"Background - Menu" which is much better choice as it is liable to interfere with much less places in windows.
- Section: "Miscellaneous"->"Colors" Attribute: "Selections"->"Background - Highlighted" for highlighted text outline (which in this skin is not visible since it's defined as orange - which is very good)
this my no means exhausts the list of skin bugs, but those the things I find most commonly wrong with the WindowBlinds skins. To be honest most of the tips also concern the MSStyles I tend to convert a lot. Of course they do not have their menus skinnable and do not have a way to auto install fonts and SkinStudio auto converts classic fonts to negative values during conversion but it does not really make the things much better better, if anything - more limited.
If you find any of the problems in your skins the fix are in most cases at the reach of your hand. Should you find none of the problems in them, your nick is probably treetog, , danilloOc or VoodooFreak