SMF1.1:Themes and Layout From Online Manual

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Manage and Install

The Manage and Install page is the default page loaded in the Themes and Layout section of the Administration Center. Here you can select whether the Default theme can be selected, what Theme guests will use, as well as other options. The following are all the options shown on this page:

Themes and Layout Settings

Allow members to select their own Themes - You can enable or disable selecting Themes for members. If this option is disabled, members will not have the option in their Profile to choose different Themes.

Themes that the user is able to select - When clicking [ Show the list of themes ] a list of all the Themes currently installed on your forum will appear with a checkbox before their name. Checking the box will allow users to select the theme, otherwise if it is unchecked the theme can only be used by Administrators.

  • Overall forum default - Specify the overall Forum default theme. This theme will be used for guests, new members and members who did not specify any theme.
  • Reset everyone to - You can rest all members to a specific theme, regardless of their theme preference. Note that even when this setting is set to No change, all users that have Forum or Board Default set as their theme in their profile will still have their theme changed when the setting Overall forum default is changed.

Latest and Greatest Themes

This area shows a few of the latest themes, as well as one featured theme and one randomly selected Theme of the Moment themes from the Simple Machines Theme Site. However, it may not show up properly if your computer can not connect to the Simple Machines server.

Install a New Theme

This section provides three ways to install a new theme.

  • From a file -- a theme archive file, such as can be found on the Simple Machines Theme Site
    1. Find a theme archive file in the Simple Machines Theme Site and download the file to your desktop. Be certain that this theme is compatible with your version of SMF. The version is also listed on the page where you downloaded the theme. Themes for 1.1.* will not work on 2.0.* and 2.0.* themes will not work on 1.1.*.
    2. Click the "Browse" button to the right of the "from a file" label.
    3. From the pop-up, navigate to the theme file (still compressed as a .zip or .tar.gz file) on your computer.
    4. Click Install and confirm if you want to install the theme in the popup
    5. Installation will take a few seconds. If all goes well, the installer will tell you that the theme "... was installed successfully."
    6. From your profile, select the theme, to test it.
    7. If you have any difficulties with the theme, switch back to the SMF default theme by using theme=1 in your query string (example:

  • From a directory on the server -- If the files are not packed into an archive
    1. Make sure the files are already arranged in directories, just as SMF expects to find them. Keeping them in subdirectories of your forum's Themes/ directory will make them easiest to keep track of
    2. Be certain that these theme files are compatible with your version of SMF, and that they include a file called theme_info.xml (for more on theme_info.xml, please read Packaging_a_Theme). The version is also listed on the page where you downloaded the theme. Themes for 1.1.* will not work on 2.0.* and 2.0.* themes will not work on 1.1.*.
    3. Select the "Install" button.

  • Create a copy of Default named -- To create a new copy you can customize yourself
    1. In the input box, enter a name for your new theme.
    2. Select the "Install" button.

Theme Settings

Themes List

The Themes Settings section of the Administration Center shows a list of all themes currently installed on the forum. Clicking on any Theme's name will take you to that theme Settings, exactly like Current theme settings. If you want to remove a theme from your forum, then click on the red X, to the right of the theme's name. Doing this will only delete that theme reference from your forum settings. The actual theme contents will be left in your themes directory. To physically remove the theme from there, you need to do so using FTP or your CPanel's File Manager.

At the bottom of this page is: Reset Theme URLs and Directories. This form allows you to reset the base url and base path to your Themes directory. This can come in handy when you recently moved your forums -- simply correct the Base path and Base URL to the Themes directory, and select the button labeled Attempt to rest all themes.

When selecting the link for any theme listed on this page, or selecting the "Current Theme" option in the menu, you will be lead to page with the following settings:

Theme URLs and Configuration

This part contains the paths needed for the theme as well as its name. The following fields are used in this part:

  • This Theme's name - Although this field will be filled with a theme name, you can change it if you like. This will only affect the name that will be shown to members when they choose a theme from their profiles.
  • This Theme's URL - This will be also filled automatically with the location of the theme main directory (the address you use in a browser's bar).
  • This Theme's images URL - This is similar to the above but must point to the images directory that the theme uses. It does not have to be the same location as the theme directory. Some themes will use images from different theme] resulting in a different location.
  • This Theme's directory - This one is different from the previous two. It will contain the exact location/path of the theme directory in your website. If you do not know where your theme directory is, you can try clicking the Edit Server Settings and looking at the content of SMF Directory, adding /Themes/your_theme to that will be your theme current location.
Theme Options and Preferences

This part contains various settings that will affect the look and functionality of a theme. Note that some themes may add some new options here. Also from here, you can set or reset options for members. The following is a description of each element found in this part:

  • Logo image URL - Put in a url to a logo image you would like to use on the top of your forum.
  • Site slogan - If supplied, this text will replace the simple machines logo.
  • Select default smiley set for this theme - Here you can choose which smiley set the theme will be using. You can choose the global smiley set used by the forum or one from the available sets or none.
  • Forum width - This sets the width of the pages of your forum. If it's set to less than 100%, you might see gaps at the edges of each page. This only, really, needs to be adjusted if your pages seem to wide, or two narrow, for your browser. Although, please remember that changing this setting will affect all of your members, not just you.
  • Show current position in forum as link instead of text - When you browse the forum, your current location is displayed on top. This location can be shown as just text; or as links, to simplify navigation.
  • Enable and show 'Mark as Read' buttons - This will give you the option to show or disable viewing 'Mark as Read' button that can be found in Board index and message index.
  • Allow users to turn off word censoring - If ticked, members can choose whether or not to censor words. For this to work a list of words must be entered first in (Edit Censored Words).
  • Enable random news line in the forum header - If ticked a news item will be shown randomly each time you refresh the page or navigate through the forum. The news items can be configured in Admin>Main>News and newsletters.
  • Show news fader on Board index - This will cause a news box to be shown in the Board index that will display all news items with a fading effect between them. You can control how long a news item is shown by setting the Time in milliseconds to display each item in the news fader field.
  • Fading delay between items for the news fader - This sets the amount of time that each news item is displayed, before the next item is shown, in the news fader.
  • Number of recent posts to display on Board index - Here you can set the numbers of recent posts that will be displayed in the forum's main index. Set it to zero to disable showing any posts.
  • Show statistics on board index - Enabling this will display detailed stats on the info center such as total topics, total posts, total members, etc. Disabling it will hide the stats in the info center and show basic stats above the first Category in Board index. Also, a Personal Message bar will be shown at the end of the info center if the user is logged in, and a Login bar if the user is logged out.
  • Show latest Member on Board index - This option will work with Enable statistics on Board index unchecked. It will add a welcome note and link to the latest member.
  • Show group key on board index - Enable or disable showing a membergroup color legend in the Who's Online block in the Info Center section of the Board Index.
  • Show who is viewing the Board index and posts - Three options are available to choose from. If you do not like this feature, simply choose Don't show. Otherwise either choose Show only numbers or Show Member names, to show how many members in numbers/names are looking at a Board, Message index, or a post.
  • Show last modification date on modified posts - If ticked, this will cause a note to be written in each modified post, which will state the name of the Member who modified it and the time of modification.
  • Show view Profile button under post - If ticked, this will display a small icon below the member's name in their posts that will take you to that member's profile.
  • Show user avatars in message view - Enable or disable showing of a member's Avatar in posts under his/her name.
  • Show personal text in message view - Enable or disable showing personal text in posts under the Member avatar.
  • Show gender images in message view - Enable or disable showing a gender image in posts under the member's name. The gender image is a small icon that indicates if the Member is male or female. This is only useful if members select their gender in their profiles.
  • Hide Post group titles for grouped members - Enabling this will hide a member's Post group title on the message view if they are assigned to a non-post based group.
  • Show BBC Buttons on Posting and PM Send Pages - This will either show or hide Bulletin Board Code buttons. The BBC will be not affected, only the buttons will be hidden if this option is ticked.
  • Enable collapsible additional Post options - This option controls showing extra options when posting such as Notify me of replies, Attach, etc. You may either always show those options on or hide them and use an arrow to display them.

Member Options

On the Reset Options page of your Administration Center you can control the default theme options for your members.

Resetting the options

First you will be given the following options for each theme you have installed on your forum:

  • Configure guest and new user options for this theme - These are the default values for some Member specific settings. Changing these will only affect new members and guests. Check the box to make the statement next to it true, otherwise the option will not be used.
  • Change current options for all members using this theme - The options below will reset options for everyone. To change an option, select "change" in the box next to it, and then select a value for it. To use the default, select "remove". Otherwise, use "don't change" to keep it as-is.
  • Remove all member's options and use the defaults - This option will remove any altered options a user is using from the default options set for the Theme the Member is viewing. Next to the link you can see how the number of members that are using non-default options for that theme. Note: no confirmation will be asked before reset to default the options.
The options and their meanings

Upon clicking on one of the above options you will be taken to a page that has the following theme options that you can manage:

  • Show Board descriptions inside boards. - This will show the description you see next to each Board on the Board Index inside each Board as well.
  • Show child boards on every page inside boards, not just the first. - If you select this, Child Boards will be listed on every page of a Board rather then just the first page of a board. A Board will have multiple-pages when there is more topics than the defined number of topics per-page on the Board has been reached.
  • Use sidebar menus instead of dropdown menus when possible - This option allows to set as default to use a sidebar with all the navigation menus whenever possible in SMF's interface (e.g. in the admin panel) instead of the dropdown menus.
  • Don't show users' avatars. - Select this to hide the display of member's avatars. This may speed page viewing for those who have dial-up internet connection.
  • Don't show users' signatures. - To disable the showing of signatures underneath each post made by a member, check this.
  • Leave words uncensored. - With this setting checked, words that normally would be replaced with the censor filter will be left untouched.
  • Return to topics after posting by default. - Check this box if you wish to return to the post you just submitted instead of returning to the index of the Board you posted the topic in.
  • Don't warn on new replies made while posting. - While posting a topic, another member could have posted a reply since you started posting a reply, with this unchecked, a warning will be shown before the post is submitted telling you a reply was made to the topic. Check this if you wish to not show the warning and just submit the reply.
  • Show most recent posts at the top. - Having this checked will show the newest posts first in a topic and the replies will get older and older as they go along instead of showing the oldest posts first.
  • Show most recent personal messages at top. - Checking this will show the most recent personal messages on the top, and they will go down as they get older and older.
  • Hide messages posted by members on my ignore list - If activated the messages posted by members present in the user's ignore list will not be displayed.
  • Show WYSIWYG editor on post page by default - Checking this will have the What You See Is What You Get style postbox shown as the default editor each time the posting page is loaded. You can always switch back and forth to the editor you want however by clicking the Toggle icon next the bbcode buttons.
  • Show a popup when I receive new messages - Set this to have a popup shown to the user after they receive a new personal message.
  • Save a copy of each Personal Message in my sent items by default. - With this selected, the checkbox when sending a a personal message to save a copy of the message into your sent items directory will be initially checked.
  • Remove the inbox label when applying another label. - With this checked, when a personal message is applied a label, the inbox label of the personal message will be removed.
  • Turn notification on when you post or reply to a topic. - With this checked, the checkbox to send out notification of replies to a topic you post in will by default be checked.
  • Topics to display per page - Determines how many topics (topic subject with link to topic, as well as View and Reply count and last post information) should be shown per page on the topic listing when inside of a board.
  • Messages to display per page - Determines how many posts should be shown per page when inside of a topic.
  • Use Quick Reply on Topic display - Select if you wish to not show quick reply at all, or show it but collapsed, or just show it at full height.
  • Show quick-moderation as. - Select whether you wish to show quick moderation boxes on the message index next to each topic of a Board as icons (which would disable the use of mass-moderation), checkboxes or not show them at all.

Modify Themes

Every Theme you have installed on your Forum is listed here. Underneath every Theme the following are listed:

Browse the templates and files in this theme - Lists all template files a Theme has. You may click on any template file and edit it straight from there.

Edit this theme's stylesheet - Shows the theme's stylesheet. There is a built in preview of the Theme you are editing and you can see what the changes would look like before you even save the changes.

Copy a template from the Theme this is based on - Here you can select a template file that the Theme is based on (Usually the default SMF theme) and copy it over to the theme.

It is not recommended to edit a theme in this way as no backup is created if an improper edit is made so there is nothing to restore which can not be done if the forum is in a crashed state.