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Jcink Theming: Creating the theme
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  • This is the first true guide in theming for Jcink. As with anything you have to start somewhere and in this instance we need to create a theme and the things that make up a theme.

    Type: Look & Feel Software: Jcink 99

image.pngSo to start a theme in Jcink one must first create a theme in Jcink. This requires a few steps to create all the assets needed for a theme.


A quick note, I use the ACP dark theme. You can choose your ACP theme in the lower left corner of the right panel in the Jcink ACP. Additionally, I prefer themes over "skins" so these words will likely be used interchangeably throughout


  1. So first step is you must create the "Theme". This does not create the theme assets, we will do that afterward. To create the theme click on "Skins & Templates" to expand it then click on "Manage Skin sets.
  2. Next on the left you need to Choose the skin set that you would like to base the new theme on. The two default themes are "Jcink Forum Hosting Default" and "Invision Power Board Default" you can choose either but most people choose "Jcink Forum Hosting Default".
  3. Click "Create new Skin Set".
  4. This will bring you to a new page that has you enter information and choose  a few things. Please remember that we haven't created a HTML Template Set, Macro Set, a Stylesheet or a Wrapper so all of these options can be left as is.
  5. Click "Create Skin Set".image.png


Now that we have the Skin Set or Theme Set created we will need to go through and create our custom macro set, stylesheet and wrapper.



We're going to go in order on the left so the first thing we are going to create is "Board Wrappers". Click on that. image.png


  1. On this screen, the same as we did for the "Skin Set" we are going to choose the Wrapper we are going to duplicate. We're going to continued to use the "Jcink Forum Hosting Default".
  2. Click "Create new wrapper".
  3. Here it will bring you to the wrapper that you can give a Title to as well as the wrapper itself so that you can start editing it. At this time we are not going to do any editing but you can look at it and see what you want for it.
  4. Once you've custom named it click "Create Wrapper. image.png


Now that we have our wrapper we're going to repeat these steps for "Style Sheets", "Macros" and "HTML Templates". The steps are pretty similar for each of them.


"Macros" will not go directly to where you can edit it. It will automatically just copy the macro set you choose. If you want to edit the name just click "Edit" next to it on the manage macros page.


HTML Templates will give you the option to apply it to a "skin set". Please choose the name of the skin set you created first (if you want). It's not necessary though as we still have to add the others to the Skin Set we created.


Finally, we are going to return to the main "Manage Skin Sets" page and click "Edit" beside our new skin set. In this screen you will change each of the drop downs to your newly created assets and click "Edit Skin Set" to save.


Now, this theme will be available in the drop down (if you allowed it) and in the users profile section so that you can change yourself over to the theme so you can start testing and editing.


A few explanations for things in this article:

  • What is a Board Wrapper? A Board Wrapper is the main chunk of your theme. It provides the header and footer bits to your site.
  • What are macros? Macros are icons and images used around your site. Additionally you can use custom "macros" to use in your theme and CSS. When I get to the Macros tutorial specifically I'll explain a cool few tricks that I'm working on including on future themes that I release for Jcink. This trick will be useful if you want to provide your members with different themes without a lot of effort. Macros include the read/unread indicators for both forums and for topics. Terms for open and closed topics and styling/verbiage for creating new topics.
  • What are HTML Templates? The HTML Templates are the thing themers use to make custom forum layouts, topic layouts and post layouts. You can view a little more about it here which includes the variable's that you are able to use in each template.

Related Guides

  • Morrigan

    Jcink Themeing: What you Need

    By Morrigan, By Morrigan, in Coding,

    This guide is the precursor guide to how to create a theme, step by step on Jcink. This will start from how do you even start a new theme on Jcink to exporting/importing it to s site. This particular guide is the expectations that I have for a member to follow guides in order to be successful.


  • Kit the Human

    A few weeks ago, the editable templates for Jcink's memberlist went live on all sites. This is a fantastic opportunity for admins to create a memberlist that can be filtered by factions, or sorted on playby, without having to update and maintain a list.


    I'm going to show you how you can do this using isotope and custom profile fields. This code can be used by any software (just substitute your variables and templates) but I am targeting administrators of jcink sites in particular.


  • Morrigan

    So continuing through the Jcink theming guides our next step is the actual design process. Board Wrappers are considered the bones of your theme and wraps up the other elements in it. This will often be the biggest part of your mock-up.


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