XWiki Skins

How to create a new Skin

To create a new Skin, you must have access to the server side of the XWiki Enterprise instance.
  To create a new Skin, you have to create a new direcory inside the webapps/xwiki/skins folder and then add Velocity templates, CSS stylesheets, Javascript files and images inside it. For example, if you want to remove the logo from the header of the pages, follow these steps:

  1. inside the webapps/xwiki/skins folder, create a folder named myskin
  2. change the Skin at instance level and set it as myskin ( see the section C-2 for more informations about how to change the Skin )
  3. open any page in view mode and you will notice that myskin layout is the same as the albatross layout ( this happens because on having no Skin set as the Skin, the default Skin is considered to be albatross )
  4. change the global template:
    • copy the webapps/xwiki/templates/global.vm template and paste it inside the myskin folder
    • to remove the logo, modify the global template under the new Skin and delete the line:
      <img src="$!logourl" alt="XWiki" width="200" height="70"/>
  5. save the template
     
      Open any page in view mode and you will notice that the XWiki logo is not displayed anymore.
      Congratulations! You have created a new minimal XWiki Skin.

How to override a Skin

To change the Skin, the user must have administrating rights. In the case that you have these rights, make sure that you switch to the Advanced mode in your profile, to enable the advanced options on the top main menu.
  An alternative for creating a new Skin is the possibility to override an existing Skin. The advantage of overriding an existing Skin is the fact that you don't need access to the server filesystem in order to modify the files used by the current Skin.
  To override a Skin, you have to use the same document that is used to store the Skin.

A. Creating a Skin document

You need to have the advance edition mode activated to access the object editor. Please refer to PageEditing for more information.
To create a new Skin document, follow these steps:

  1. create a new page - if there is the option CREATE -> PAGE on the main menu, use it to create a page, or, if there is no such option, add the New Page panel on the interface by following these steps:
    • go to Administration -> Panel Wizard
    • select the Tools category
    • add the New Page panel on the interface by using drag&drop
    • click on Save the new layout to save your changes
    • open any page in view mode and 
    • use the New Page panel to create a page
  2. edit the document's objects ( if you are in edit mode, use the right panel and choose the Objects editor, or, if you are in view mode, use the top-left menu: EDIT -> OBJECTS)
  3. add an object of type XWiki.XWikiSkins to the document (use the ADD OBJECT panel from the right and select the XWiki.XWikiSkins class, then click on ADD OBJECT FROM THIS CLASS)
  4. save the document

4.png

  

B. Working with the XWiki.XWikiSkins class

  The base element in overriding a Skin is the XWiki.XWikiSkins class ( http://localhost:8080/xwiki/bin/view/XWiki/XWikiSkins ). In order to modify the templates or the files used by a Skin, you have to work with the properties of this class.
  By default, the Skin class contains a set of properties that allows you to override some of the templates and files used by the Skin, and it also allows you to set the name of the logo displayed in the header of the interface.
  To override other templates or files, you have to add new properties to the Skin class. For example, if you want to override  myfile.vm ( or myfile.css, or myfile.js ), follow these steps:

  1. go to the XWiki.XWikiSkins document
  2. click on the add or modify the class properties link
           ( or follow this link: http://localhost:8080/xwiki/bin/edit/XWiki/XWikiSkins?editor=class )
  3. from the ADD PROPERTY panel in the right, set the name of the property as being myfile.vm, choose the TextArea type, and click on Add
  4. save the document

5.png

  

C. Using a Skin document

  To use a Skin document, follow these steps:

  1. go to the Skin property from inside the Administration interface
  2. set the value of the property as being the full name of the Skin document
  3. save the preferences
     
     

D. Overriding the Skin components

  Let's add a "HELLO," before the username on the top right menu, not by modifying the global.vm template on the server, but overriding it inside the Skin document. Follow these steps:

Method 1: By editing the XWiki.XWikiSkins properties on the Skin document

  1. add a TextArea property named global.vm to the XWiki.XWikiSkins class
  2. edit the Skin document's objects ( use the top-left menu: EDIT -> OBJECTS ) and open the properties of the XWiki.XWikiSkins object
  3. copy the original content of the global.vm template and paste it in the property field named global.vm; if you don't have access to the server filesystem, open the template by following one of these links:
  4. replace the following code:
    <a class="glink"
      href="$!xwiki.getURL($context.user, 'view')"
      id="headeruser">
          $!xwiki.getUserName($context.user, false)
    </a>
    with
    <a class="glink"
      href="$!xwiki.getURL($context.user, 'view')"
      id="headeruser">
          HELLO,
          $!xwiki.getUserName($context.user, false)
    </a>
  5. save the document

6.png

Method 2: By attaching files to the current Skin document

  1. create a copy of the global.vm template; if you don't have access to the server filesystem, open the template by following one of these links:
  2. replace the following code inside the copy of global.vm template:
    <a class="glink"
      href="$!xwiki.getURL($context.user, 'view')"
      id="headeruser">
          $!xwiki.getUserName($context.user, false)
    </a>
    with
    <a class="glink"
      href="$!xwiki.getURL($context.user, 'view')"
      id="headeruser">
          HELLO,
          $!xwiki.getUserName($context.user, false)
    </a>
  3. attach the copy of global.vm template to the current Skin document page

  Now, open any document in view mode and you will notice the nice "HELLO," before your username.
  Follow the same process in order to override Javascript and CSS files ( http://localhost:8080/xwiki/skins/colibri/myfile.css ).

  

E. Adding new components to the Skin

  If you want to add new files to the skin, like CSS  or Javascript files, you have two options:

  • attach the files to the Skin document and reffer them by their URL, or
  • add new properties to the XWiki.XWikiSkins object from inside the Skin document, and refer them by their name

  For example, if you want to add a new CSS  file to the Skin, named mynewfile.css, follow one of these set of steps:

  1. attach the CSS  file to the Skin document
  2. override the stylesheets.vm template ( check the section D to learn how to override a Skin component ), and add the reference to your file in the template:
    <link rel="stylesheet"
      type="text/css"
      href="$xwiki.getSkinFile('mynewfile.css')"
    />
  3. save the document

7.png

  OR

  1. add a new property to the XWiki.XWikiSkins, name it mynewfile.css ( check the section B for more information about how to work with this class ), edit the Skin document's objects ( use the top-left menu: EDIT -> OBJECTS ), and paste the CSS  code into the mynewfile.css field
  2. override the style.css component ( see the section D for more information about how to override a Skin compoment ) and add the following line to the content of the style.css property:
    @import "mynewfile.css";
    the important thing is to add a reference to the new component from a existing one; you must know most of the components content, so that you will take the best decision about which existing component will contain a reference to the new one
  3. save the document

8.png

  Open any document in view mode and you will notice that the stylesheet is now applied.
 
 

F. Using images in a Skin document

    For example, if you want to add an image named myimage.jpg as being the logo for the current Skin, follow these steps:

  1. attach the image to the Skin document
  2. edit the document's objects ( use the top-left menu: EDIT -> OBJECTS )
  3. use the XWiki.XWikiSkins object and set the Logo property as being the name of the attached filename myimage.jpg
  4. save the document

    Open any page in view mode and you will notice that the logo is now changed.

    

2. Adding images to the Skin interface

    To add images to the interface, attach them to the Skin document and use them in the CSS  code. For example, if you want to use myimage.jpg as background image for the pages inside your XWiki Enterprise instance, follow these steps:

  1. attach the image to the Skin document
  2. choose one of these actions:
    • add a new CSS  component to the Skin, name it pagebackground.css and add a reference to it from the style.css component ( see the section E for more information about how to add new components to the Skin )
    • override the mybaseskin.css component ( where mybaseskin is the name of the current Skin - for example: albatross.css, toucan.css or colibri.css )
  3. paste the following code inside the CSS  component:
    body{
     background-image: url($xwiki.getSkinFile("myimage.jpg"));
    }

  Open any page in view mode and you will notice that the the background of the page contains your image.      
  Have fun taking advantage of the power of XWiki Skins!

More about XWiki Skins

In order to find more about XWiki Skins, check the Skins Tutorial from inside the Admin Guide and the Skins Tutorial from inside the User Guide 

Further reading

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