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Using the Real-Time Theme Roller

To help you quickly & easily customize the visual appearance of your community InstantForum comes with a comprehensive built in real-time theme roller that lets you visually customize any element shown within the InstantForum user interface.

Accessing The Theme Roller

To access the theme roller you must be logged in as an administrator within InstantForum. Once your logged in as an administrator you'll see a small arrow in the upper right of each front-end page as shown below...

Customizing The Theme

Once you expand the theme roller you can use the "Customize" menu to show the various elements you can visually customize via the theme roller. When you select an element from the Customize menu to modify the elements that will be effected by your changes will briefly flash yellow. You can see this in the animation above when we select the PanelBar Header option from the Customize menu.


As you make changes to elements via the Customize menu your changes will be reflected immediately within the user interface in real-time. This saves you having to preview your changes.

TIP: As not all elements are shown on every pages you may need to jump between a few pages when using the theme roller to ensure you've customized every element. For example the WYSIWYG editor used to compose message is not shown on the forum homepage. If you wanted to customize the editor via the theme roller we would suggest you first navigate to a page that contain the editor so you can see your changes in real-time.

Saving Your Changes

You can save your changes anytime using the "Save & Install" button shown within each option within the Customize menu. This can be seen below...

How the Theme Roller Works

Behind the scenes the visual theme roller simply updates the "theme-debug.css" or "theme.css" depending on the InstantASP_DebugMode application setting within the InstantForum web.config. If InstantASP_DebugMode is set to true within the web.config the theme roller will update the un-minified theme-debug.css file. If InstantASP_DebugMode is set to false the theme roller will update the minified theme.css file.

Editing the CSS by Hand

The theme roller is great to help you quickly customize the look & feel of your InstantForum community. For those that need more control please see Editing CSS by hand within InstantForum.