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Specifying Conference Layout Options

Forums includes a number of features that allow you to customize a conference interface to give it a distinctive appearance. You can add announcement text that users see in the main conference page. You can also add text that appears in header and footer area of the threads and messages pages. With these options, your conferences can quickly adopt the look of the rest of your web site, even incorporating the same graphic details.

Summary of layout options

Conference layout options are specified in the Conference Manager. Many of the Conference Manager layout options allow you to embed HTML code in conference and message pages.

Undisplayed Graphic

In addition to specifying things like background and font color, the conference layout page allows you to specify additional HTML as an announcement, header or footer, and text that appears in the bottom of the main conference page. You could, for example, provide a link to the Allaire Forums End User Guide by placing a link in the conference footer.

You can also specify a different graphics library for conference icons and graphic objects. You can even build your own graphics library for a totally customized look for your conference. See Conference layout options for more information.

Customizing Button and Icon Graphics

All conferences use a default set of graphic objects such as conference buttons and icons. Forums provides several libraries of graphic objects you can pick from to customize your conference user interface. These libraries are installed by default in the c:\web_server_root\forums\images directory. The three graphics libraries installed with Forums correspond to the three folders in the images folder.

You can use a different library of graphic objects by specifying any of the additional graphics directories shipped with Forums. You can also create your own library of graphic objects if you want to further customize the Forums user interface.

To customize button and icon graphics:

  1. Open the Conference Manager and select the conference you want to customize.
  2. Click the Layout button.
  3. At the top of the form, enter the graphics library you want to use. The library names correspond to the folders in the images folder; by default, these are Default, Lib1, and Lib2.
  4. Click Finish. Your new conference button and icon graphics will now appear in your conference.

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