kunzite (kunzite1) wrote in component_help,

Layers, styles and the Wicked* Wizard™

Please visit the new version here.

Okay you have several ways of doing things and reading stuff here and there you’ll heard contradictory advice.

>> Table of Contents

>> Let’s state a few things first
Theme layers and user layers can do exactly the same things, meaning you can put functions and set commands in both of them.
Color Themes are theme layers. You can’t use both a custom theme layer and a system-provided color theme layer. Custom theme layers are not overwritten.
LJ’s Customization Interface -aka the Wizard - automatically generates a User Layer when you hit the Save button. And it will overwrite your current custom User Layer if you have one. That's why I've called it the Wicked* Wizard™. If you don't do things the right way or don't pay attention when you use it you'll lose your User Layer customizations. Otherwise, it's very practical and user-friendly.

>> The right way of doing things according to us is to:
Put your functions into a theme layer.
Either use the Wicked* Wizard™ or create your own user layer. NOT BOTH. Put your custom set commands in a user layer if you’ve decided not to use the wizard.

>> Let’s do it then in 5 steps.
  • Make a theme layer.
    It is best to name the theme layer in the following convention: username_layout_customizations (i.e.: kunzite1_component_customizations).
  • Decisions, decisions.
    • If you use a system-provided Color Theme, you need to copy/paste its code into your User layer (even if you're using the Wizard, you do have an automatically generated User Layer).
      • Go to the Layer Browse page, click on the 10 children of Component then on your color theme.
      • In the new window, you can see a table called Properties Set.
      • kunzite1 created a tool which can generate your color set commands for you here:
        Copy/paste the table of colors into this, type your name, select your layout and the correct layer type and it will generate a complete layer.
    • If you have used the Wizard but would like to switch to a User Layer, simply give a name to the User Layer automatically generated by the Wizard and stop using the Wizard.
    • If you've never used the Wizard and don't want to use it, create a User Layer. It's the same process as creating a Theme Layer except you select User in the Type menu.
      Keep in mind that if you use a User Layer, you will have to manually insert set commands. A list of those can be found here.
  • Create the corresponding style.
    Go to the style page and make one in the create style section of the page. It is best to name the style in the following convention: username_layout (i.e.: kunzite1_component).
    Choose the layout as Component and hit the Change button. Then select your custom theme layer and finally your custom user layer if you have one.
  • ALWAYS SAVE your layers before and after making changes.
    PC aficionados can use Notepad (Start/Programs/Accessories in recent Windows OS) or TextPad. Mac devotees can use textedit or whatever the program is.
  • Preview your custom style before using it.
    Click on the number next to its name. This will link you to a preview of your LJ with your improved layout. If you’re satisfied, go back to the style page and click on use. Go back to your LJ, refresh and ta-da!...okay it's the same ole one for now seeing as you haven't used any tutorial yet ;-))
Editor's note: * - The "Wicked Wizard" is called that because if you put custom code into your user layer then make a change in the Customization Wizard, it will overwrite your user layer and you will lose the custom code that you had placed inside. If used correctly, you will not have this problem.
posted by kunzite1.
original draft by uniquewonders.

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