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Via the Web

1.1 Skins
Ordered collection of layers via precedence

1.1.2 Layers

You can customize existing layers or you can create new layers which override existing Plone layer. Layers contain images, styles, and templates....

Example: ZMI : portal_skins : plone_styles

In your new plone layer named custom_styles, you can override files existing on lower ordered layers by creating a file with the same file name.

Note: When editing existing plone files, images, css, the changes DO NOT alter default plone files, but save your changes to the custom layer.

2.1 Plone Tutorial: WHERE IS WHAT. (

3.1 To create new Plone sites: ZMI - Root Folder - Select Plone Site from Add drop-down

4.1 To create new Templates: ZMI - portal_skins - custom - Select Page Template from the Add drop-down. Upload your template.
Note: If your template is a portlet, in the Properties of your Plone site, add it to the left_slots or right_slots as (here/<portal_name>/macros/portlet

5.1 CSS

5.1.1 Finding out what css tags wrap elements:
  • MouseOver DOM Inspector (MODI v. 2) install on your browser
  • DOM Inspector utility for browsers that rips throgh all css tags and breaks out usage/properties etc.
  • ZOPE 'find' command
  • from the filesystem, CMFPlone - skins - plone_portlets - grep -i <search criteria> *
5.1.2 PloneCustom.css
This file overrides all other css files. Make your changes here...

6.1 Creating a new Skin

Step 1. Add a new Folder from the Add drop-down from portal_skins (put a ploneCustom.css in here or templates, etc.)
Step 2. from the portal_skins - properties - Add a new skin: give it a name, copy & paste layers, and add the folder you recently created as the layer

via the File System

1.1 Advantages
  • outside the ZOPE DB which means less load time
  • deployment of local changes to your porduction server allows testing/reliability of live site
1.2 Disadvantages
  • req. understanding of Python
  • ???
1.3 Dumping 'Thru the Web' Changes to the Filesystem (DB to FS)

Use FSDump

1.4 Local Editing

On your filesystem look for the plone_frontpage folder which contains a ploneStylesCombined.css which is all the css files used into one file that is loaded when your Plone site is viewed. Here you can make changes to any of these css files to create a skin. The way to test is to save one of your plone site view pages as static html to test out your changes.


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Last updated September 13, 2006
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