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Latest comment: 15 years ago by Spacebirdy in topic Variant Monobook only changing a font

Early unsectioned discussions[edit]

  • Where to go to download skins? ahah I have not seeing a reference around to it. Thanks!
  • Not that this is the right place for this, but I think smarty looks great! While I know some php, I'm much better at the interface design, so it would make it easier for me to create templates based on smarty code. If this ever goes to vote, I'll be waving the smarty banner! Neolux 16:12, 7 Sep 2003 (UTC)

Why do we need to use templates of HTML code to provide skins? That's what CSS is for. CGS 12:36, 6 Sep 2003 (UTC)
I don't think that CologneBlue and the current Standard skin would easily be made with the same HTML and different CSS. Some skins might not have the same links present or the same elements (see "skin design" below). It might be worth looking into though -- we can certainly have more than one stylesheet variant per HTML template, which would keep fans of pretty colours happy -- Tarquin 00:49, 7 Sep 2003 (UTC)
Yes, using CSS might restrict people writing skins, but it is the right thing to do. I think you may be surprised at what modern CSS can do. For example, if I wanted my skin to have an embedded flash animation at the top, I could use the insert after property (not sure what it's called) to insert the HTML required to do this after the header banner. So inserting other links or elements is possible through CSS. CGS 16:27, 7 Sep 2003 (UTC).
I know all about cool stuff like that. But we run into problems with the Dreaded Internet Exploder. :( It would be a good idea to use templates anyway, even if there is only one, because it separates the HTML from the PHP database code. Currently, the HTML is scattered about in the code and it's hard to work with (hence my terminal procrastination with replacing TABLEs in the header) -- Tarquin 19:18, 7 Sep 2003 (UTC)
Im also in favor of xhtml/css. There's a long discussion at the bottom of Layout design document about it. For the future i would like to increase cacheability by using the same (well, maybe the same two) xhtml files with the current skin injected by the local squid via ESI. Gwicke 12:55, 10 Jan 2004 (UTC)
I'm trying to change the standard skin for a MediaWiki installation but can never find anywhere a variable or setting where to define it. Just wanted to change the Standard to the Cologne Blue Skin... and i seem not able to find any documentation about this somwhere... sorry for the inconvenience
In 1.2, that's a bit hidden in languages/Labguage.php, search for 'skin'. '1' would be 'Nostalgia', '2' CologneBlue. Will be in LocalSettings.php starting with the upcoming 1.3. See also MediaWiki User's Guide for more stuff about mediawiki. -- Gwicke 18:13, 13 May 2004 (UTC)Reply


In all this discussion about skins, there appears to be no mention of Monobook, the skin that was foisted upon the global Wiki community as a default. Is Monobook a new name of one of the other skins discussed at length? I can't help but get the feeling that Monobook is some kind of stealth skin that surprised everyone but a handful of Wiki cognoscenti!

I've said this stuff elsewhere, but I'm trying to bring it up everywhere it seems relevant because I feel completely unempowered to encourage changes in this arena. Quoting from the Layout design document Broad aims section:

Hence this project aims to design a new suite of layout templates for Wikipedia, each geared to a particular purpose:
* clear and easy to read for casual visitors
* easy to access editing functions for editors
* a veritable cornucopia of utility links for "hardened" editors and admins

I respectfully suggest that, in order to make Wikipedia et al. "clear and easy to read for casual visitors", Monobook should NOT be the default skin, as it violates many default HTML characteristics (e.g., serif fonts for body text) common to all major (and most minor) browsers, disturbing the common user experience.

The general tone I've seen on Wikipedia:Village pump, Wikipedia:MediaWiki talk:Monobook.css, MediaWiki 1.3 comments and bug reports, etc., is that less-experienced users complain about odd and unexpected formatting changes, while more-experienced users respond by talking about changing skins and editing CSS files. This is exactly backwards. The more-experienced people should be the ones who need to do the technical work, while the inexperienced folks should be able to expect the default styles to do what they expect from a browser. One must also bear in mind that we only see complaints from people comfortable enough with Wiki to find these discussion pages and edit them. There is no doubt a much larger number of people with even less experience whose frustration goes unrecorded because they don't even get that far. -- Jeff Q 07:43, 9 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I second the above. Having just implemented MediaWiki for my own project I've found it very frustrating trying to find information about various aspects of customising the look of our wiki aswell as other aspects of running a wiki generally. Maybe there should be a kind of MediaWiki For Dummies resource covering such things as disclaimers, Copyright and, of course, customisation. mandrill 19:59, 25 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Is there a possibility to display monobook´s navigation panel on the right side of the page? If not, do any attempts exist to integrate such a feature?

Lost in Translation[edit]

I am pulling my hair out trying to figure out how to add a simple HTML header and footer block to the output pages. I found relatively simple template files (.tpl) for a couple of styles (montparnesse and paddington) included with the distribution, but the standard template seems to be baked-in in to the code in a kind of cancerous way with no template to be found. Part of the stuff seems to be in skin.php and the balance is in OutputPage.php.

Design.doc describes it thus: "The StandardSkin object is a complete implementation, and is meant to be subclassed with other skins that may override some of its functions." This seems to be a charitable evaluation of the situation.

Is the expectation that to add a header (dare I say banner ad?) to the OutputPage that I should hack the StandardSkin, or perhaps create a new default template, or play with CSS? I would appreciate your comments. I feel like I am trying to push on a rope!


I want to delete all skins except Cologneblue, but I'm afraid to try. I don't know if it's as simple as deleting a few files, or if doing so will break important references within the wiki. Can anyone point me in the right directon?


Celestina celestina((at))ev1((dot))net

Help in Customizing[edit]

In 1.3, the default skin (monobook) uses templates/ and a new SkinPHPTal that pretty much separates logic from presentation. Smarty isn't included anymore. -- Gwicke 10:46, 28 Jun 2004 (UTC)

"In 1.3, the default skin (monobook) uses templates/ and a new SkinPHPTal that pretty much separates logic from presentation" -- I'm also trying to add simple headers directly above the Article (content) I don't understand what 'serparating logic from presentation" means, or where to do this??

ALSO, does anyone know how I would add a block of my own PHP code say underneath the SEARCH box?

IF I insert say:

<form method=GET action=""> <img SRC="" border="0" alt="Google" align="center"></img>

<input type="text" name="q" size="20" maxlength="255" value=""></input> <input type="submit" name="sa" value="Search"></input> </form>

into xhtml_slim.php I get a huge Pear Error? (I don't even know what pear is?!)

Title problem[edit]

After installing MW 1.3 b5, my main page title was "Main Page - MySite" After installing the Cur tables from Wiktionary to use as test data, it says "Main Page -Wiktionary" even though in localsettings.php I still have my own site as the $wgsitename

Why is this?

I have the same problem... it's a db problem

Setting the default skin[edit]

How do you set the skin which is seen by the user when they first come to the site? I'm building a wiki around a specific subject and would like the images and layout of the wiki to be relevant to that subject. How do I do this?

mandrill 19:53, 22 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Modify $wgDefaultSkin in LocalSettings.php. —Lowellian (talk) 00:47, July 24, 2005 (UTC)

Removing skin options[edit]

I am new to using MediaWiki and want to be able to remove most of the options for skins on my wiki. I've seen this on a few sites where only one skin is used for the entire site and is available under preferences. Please respond to

Thanks, Larry

If you go into wiki/includes/skin.php at the top there is a private array that has valid skin names, you can just comment the ones you don't want. You also have to comment out the ones you don't want in the if statement right below it. So in my site case, we only wanted monobook. In the array I commented out all three options and in the if statement I commented out everything but monobook. In the if statement all of them are already commented out except for myskin and monobook anyway.
Hope that helps CtrlPhreak
This no longer works for newer versions of MediaWiki, which instead have code at the top of "skin.php" which looks for PHP files representing skins in the "skins/" directory. —Lowellian (talk) 02:42, July 26, 2005 (UTC)
If you remove all of the skinname.php (where skinname is the name of the offending skin) files in your /skin directory, it appears to remove them as options.

Changing the background[edit]

I would like to remove or change the website background image that came with the default wikimedia skin. Is there a way to do that please? Thanks.

-You could just edit the image that comes with wikimedia.

I found this page looking for the same answer. For me, this worked.

In /includes/SpecialPreferences.php, on line 726 I found #Skin. Comment out the 30 or so lines of code down to #Files and refresh. You will note that the Skin option under Preferences is no longer visible to anyone, which is exactly what I needed since we have a corporate policy with regards to all internal websites.

Changing the Main Content Background[edit]

I would like to change the color of where all of the main content goes. like where this message is appearing right now. How can I do that? I found a way to change the sidebar and the footer, but I cant get this thing to be anything but white.... any help would be greatly appreciated...

Changing the PHP[edit]

Hi I am using version 1.3.11. I will like to add my own banner at the top of the page. I have already added the relevant css in the main.css in monobook directory. I just wanted to ask how to include the

<a href....> statement just below the <body> tag to invoke that picture please. I can't figure out where exactly to put this statement in. I will greatly appreciate your help.

Would someone please help me get out of "Chick" skin?[edit]

I thought it looked like a good option for displaying what I want most in accessible places. But the quickbar overlaps the main panel and I can't use my mouse there. I can't even edit my preferences to get back to another skin. should get me to the right sub-page but it doesn't. Robin Patterson 22:41, 29 August 2005 (UTC)Reply

Currently experiencing the same problem and need help getting it back to normal. :( 22:09, 28 October 2005 (UTC)Reply

Just had the same problem. The "Search" box and button were on top of some of the options for skins. Go that preferences page. In Internet Explorer, go to "View" at the top of your browser, choose "Text Size". I chose "Larger" which moved the "Search" box to a different part of the page and allowed me to click a circle and save the option. That's how I got out of it. Hope this helps.


If i run my own wiki, is it necessary that I show a link to on my site or to note that my site was set up by using mediqiki-software? I tried to figure this out by reading the GPL but didn't find anything about that. As far as I have come I wouldn't need to mention this ... what do you say?? -- 18:14, 12 May 2006 (UTC)Reply

Adding a header[edit]

Could you help me to add header to default skin Monobook? Where should I place my table tags for inserting header in this skin design?

Hook MonoBookTemplateToolboxEnd[edit]

In the section to create a new skin you can find the following advise:

 3c - FIND:  
 wfRunHooks( 'MonoBookTemplateToolboxEnd', array( &$this ) );
 wfRunHooks( 'FooBarTemplateToolboxEnd', array( &$this ) );

This is not wrong, but I found out, that there are problems with it: Some Extensions, like Pdf_Export, are using Hooks based on MonoBook. On changing the hook, the extensions wont get showed up in the toolbox anymore - if you wont change the extension-code at the same time. --Xwolf 07:31, 24 May 2007 (UTC)Reply

I saw that step and tried to comply, but I can't find the wfRunHooks code line in the Monobook.php file at all. I am on Version 1.4.15. Whoever is controlling the code of MonoBook.php could explain why this line is absent or perhaps update this page with new instructions. If you try to switch skins without this step the result is a nearly unformatted wiki. Bad news. Help! --[User:Anon]] 10:35, 20 Nov 2007 (PST)

Go and Search buttons in Chick skin[edit]

Please excuse the cross posting -- not sure where this belongs.

The Go and Search buttons on the Chick skin spill over into the edit box (in which I am currently typing).

Could they be moved beneath the Search box (directly above the Toolbox label).

Robertgreer 14:02, 11 December 2007 (UTC)Reply

IE hacks[edit]

Could you remove the hacks for IE from MediaWiki? People continue to use IE when there are CSS hacks. Please. -- 18:50, 18 September 2008 (UTC)Reply

Variant Monobook only changing a font[edit]

How would I ensure that the entire wikipedia is displayed in an alternate font that is installed on a user's system using a skin? I have the Beowulf_Modern.ttf installed, and I want to default to that. I also plan on creating a runic font for use on the anglo-saxon wikipedia as well. What would be the most efficient way to do this? Can we upload the two fonts to the wiki and not require user installation, or will a user be required to install the font to see the alternate skins? --CalebGuitarman 22:07, 27 February 2009 (UTC)Reply

Afaik the users must download the font to their computer, if they don't have it installed their system will display something else. You can define them in the style sheet. Unicode runic fonts can be found here, best regards, --birdy geimfyglið (:> )=| 22:24, 27 February 2009 (UTC)Reply