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Transparency! - FAQ / HowTo - ronie - 2009-06-26

If you have any questions or problems in getting Transparency to work,
please read the FAQ

in case you feel there's anything missing in the faq, let me know and i'll add it.

- rbonon - 2009-09-28


thanks for the FAQ/How-To.

One thing I would like to see, maybe as a post, since it tends to be longer than a simple question/answer, is how to add your own home menu entry.

In my case, I would like to have some additional entries like "Cartoons", "Documentaries", etc, pointing to video folders.

- ronie - 2009-09-28

adding a new button may not be an easy task, depending on whether you want a skin setting to enable/disable the button, specify custom backgrounds for it, etc...
you'll have to add a lot of code to custom_SkinSettings_1111.xml if you want these options.

also adding buttons to the vertical menu is a bit more tricky than adding it to the horizontal menu...

would (ab)using one of the existing buttons be an option?
it's far easier to change the label and the action of an existing button than to create a new one.

- rbonon - 2009-09-29


I was an xTV user before. Being that skin simpler than Transparency!, it was not that difficult for me to hack home.xml plus some other files and get new entries that linked to new video windows.

I will try the (ab)use existing entries to see if I learn a little about it.

Anyway, it would be very nice (and I am sure popular) to see some sort of way to add custom entries easier, or a doc on how to hack your way around it.


- ronie - 2009-09-29

rbonon Wrote:Anyway, it would be very nice (and I am sure popular) to see some sort of way to add custom entries easier, or a doc on how to hack your way around it.

to make it easier is an option, but to make it easy is not possible.
you can't just 'create' buttons on the fly, they'll have to be defined in the skin first.

this leads to a number of questions, first how many 'custom' buttons do you want me to code in Transparency!?
next, menu order, should the custom buttons be at the bottom of the menu or at the top or in between? changing the menu order yourself is not possible in xbmc. it has to be hardcoded in the skin.
and the last question, how can a user easily assign an action to the button?
a button can launch a script, run a plugin (not sure if this is possible?), open a certain entry in the video library or navigate to a certain folder in filemode.

i think it would take a fair amount of coding to create something that works for everyone and is easy to configure at the same time....

i do agree with you that adding custom menu options is one of the most requested things in every xbmc skin forum.

but...i'm always willing to give a few pointers to anyone who want to modify something themselves. just keep in mind that i won't be spoon-feeding all the code, i've done that, been there and didn't like it.
it's way too time consuming to create custom hacks for everyone's personal preferences. (the same applies to writing manuals). ;-)

- rbonon - 2009-09-29


I fully agree with you on not wasting time spoon-feeding custom hacks.

For me it would be enough just to show in couple of comments (as a post on the forum) how a new button could be added by showing what are the changes needed in what file. Just give an example and i will follow (or maybe just show how an existing button is coded). That would suffice for most of the people. That would make a very popular sticky.

Add Menu Buttons - ronie - 2009-10-01

now then, let's give it a try...

what file do i need to edit...
Includes_Home.xml, that's the file where the two menus are defined (vertical and horizontal menu).

search that file for this string: <control type="list" id="5040">
that's where the code for the vertical menu starts.

if you search for this string: <control type="wraplist" id="5041">
you'll find the code for the horizontal menu.

how to add a menu button...
the code for a menu button looks like this:
<item id="13">

so, what does it all mean...
  • <item> : defines the start of the menu button code. it's best to give each button a unique "id". so if you want to add a button, just pick the first unused id, like this: <item id="20">
  • <label> : this is the text label on the button. i'm using numbers here that point to entries in the xbmc language file,
    but you can just use text instead. so let's say you want a separate menu button for all your crap movies, just use this: <label>Crap</label>
  • <onclick> : this is the action that should be taken when the button is clicked. you have many possibilities here, so i'll list a few:
    - to run a script, add the path the the script:
    <onclick>XBMC.RunScript(/home/xbmc/.xbmc/scripts/Apple Movie Trailers/default.py)</onclick>
    - to go to a certain video folder (source) in filemode:
    - to go to a certain entry in the video library:
    (the 'return' parameter will take you right back to the homescreen when you press the 'back' button. if you omit the 'return' parameter, pressing back will take you 'up' one level in the library.)
    - more examples here: http://wiki.xbmc.org/?title=Opening_Windows_and_Dialogs
  • <icon> : specifies the background image(s) that should be displayed when the button is focused. you can specify the path to a single image: <icon>/home/xbmc/backdrops/home-crap.jpg</icon>
    or if you want multiple images, specify the path to a folder: <icon>/home/xbmc/backdrops/crap/</icon>
    of course, the image and/or folder should be accessible by xbmc.
  • <thumb> : you can skip this. it's basically the same as above, but it allows the user to specify the backgrounds in skin settings. you don't need to add this.
  • <visible> : skip this one too. it's only needed to turn the button on or off in skin settings.
  • </item> : end of menu button code.

horizontal menu...
if you want to add a button to the horizontal home menu, you can just insert the button code in-between the other buttons at the position where you would like it to be.
congratulations, you're done.

vertical menu...
add to button code at your prefered position in-between the other buttons in the vertical menu.
a few more code changes are needed and this should only be done under supervision of a second degree skinner.
  • adjust the height of the total menu:
    increase the <height> value of <control type="list" id="5040"> by 40 for every button you add.
  • adjust the y position of the menu:
    decrease the <posy> value of <control type="list" id="5040"> by 20 for each button you add.
  • adjust the position of the top shadow. the code of the top shadow (shadow-home-top.png) is right above the code of the vertical menu.
    decrease the <posy> value of the <control type="group"> containing the shadow-home-top.png image by 20 for each button you add.
  • adjust the position of the bottom shadow. the code of the bottom shadow (shadow-home-bottom.png) is right below the code of the vertical menu.
    increase the <posy> value of the <control type="group"> containing the shadow-home-bottom.png image by 20 for each button you add.

if things don't turn out the way you expected...
too bad....i did my best to explain everything as detailed as possible.
it's up to you to get it to work and there's an excellent xbmc skinning manual available here.

- rbonon - 2009-10-01


fantastic! That is exactly what I meant. Thanks for taking the time to write the instructions. Now it is up to us to sort our way around it.

I vote for this to be a sticky, although that may be a problem for you, as I am sure some less considerate users will always bug you asking questions about it.

How can one not love such a nice skin with such outstanding "support service" Big Grin


- ppic - 2009-10-25

just for you to know, i have updated my plugin (v1.3) to allow clearart dowload in tvshow folder option.

Thanks! - JudoSquash - 2009-10-26

Thanks for taking the time to post that quick tutorial Ronie. It's greatly appreciated! I hope that I'm not the only one that will be experimenting with it and (hopefully) getting fantastic results.

- ronie - 2009-10-26

ppic Wrote:just for you to know, i have updated my plugin (v1.3) to allow clearart dowload in tvshow folder option.

cool! thanx for your efforts. ;-)

- ppic - 2009-10-26

i'm ready to do if somes ideas are in minds Wink

- AlphaDog - 2009-11-01

I'm having trouble with the subtitle script. I installed it through the repo installer. Then I checked the button under script settings, but I can't put in the path to the script. Since it is in ~/xbmc, I cant go there, and I can't type it in. What am I doing wrong?

edit: Found it Smile

- spaljeni - 2009-11-02

where do I find this

in this skin?

- joebrady - 2009-11-02

That link pretty much explains it.....