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Understanding InstantKB Skins

The skinning architecture within InstantKB allows developers to easily customize or create unique skins to fit within existing designs or corporate identities.

Skins are the key to changing the visual appearance and styling of InstantKB. A skin is essentially a directory containing all the user controls, images, style sheets & master page templates required to control the look & feel of a skin.

As each skin has a unique collection of user controls, different visual layouts are supported between skins. Each skin can also have a unique cascading style sheet and set of associated images ensuring the style of the skin can be customized to suite your needs. Skins are located by default within the [Root]\Skins\ directory.

The root directory of a typical InstantKB skin is shown below:

Skin User Controls

The various user controls (.ascx files) contain the HTML mark-up for your skin. 

If your familiar with ASP.NET web forms development user controls should already be familiar.  For those not familiar user controls are basically injected into our web pages (.aspx files) at run-time at specific locations. They allow you to develop re-usable controls with highly customizable mark-up.

As all mark-up generated by InstantKB is skin specific each skin cannot only have a unique theme but also a unique layout between skins. To achieve a unique layout you could go about customizing the various user controls to suite your requirements.

When modifying user controls within a skin please ensure you don't remove any controls with the Runat=Server" attribute. These are server controls references by the user controls code-behind and it they are not present a "Object Reference To Instance Of An Object" error may be displayed.

I your having difficulties locating any specific mark-up within an InstantKB skin please don't hesitate to contact us and we can guide you in the right direction.