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1 votes - 5 average   Before making a request (Create your own skin the really easy way)
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Menthix
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O.P. Before making a request (Create your own skin the really easy way)
A lot of skin requests seem to be from people who are just looking for a basic skin with images from their favorite celebrity, singer, music group, movie, TV series, cartoon, anime, and so on. Creating a unique new skin takes a lot of time and effort, because of that not that many of these requests are fulfilled. However, if you are looking for a basic skin you might want to know you can create your own one in under 5 minutes without any technical knowledge.

How to create you own (basic) skin
Before you start you should already have the latest version of Windows Live Messenger and Messenger Plus! installed. When that is taken care of you can skin your Messenger the easy way using one of these two methods.

Your Skin Control
The Messenger Plus! script Your Skin Control allows you to skin the background image of your login window, contacts list, and chat windows.
  • Go to the Your Skin Control page and download the script.
  • Doubleclick the (.plsc) file you just downloaded to open it. You should already be signed in to Messenger for this, if you're not, do this first.
  • Check the 'I Accept the responsibility for installing this script' box and click 'Import'.
  • Now the script has been imported successfully you can start using it.
  • In your Messenger contacts list, click on the scripts button [Image: messenger-plus-live-scripts-buttons.png], go to 'Your Skin Control' and click 'Choose your pictures'.
    [Image: select-the-sections-of-messenger-that-yo...nalize.jpg]
  • Click the checkbox in front of each section you want to skin and browse to the image on your PC you want to use.
  • When you're done, press 'Update' followed by 'OK' to restart Messenger and you're done.
  • Enjoy your very own skin.
    [Image: Your-Skin-Control-result-skin.jpg]

When you decide you want to go back to Messenger's default look:
  • In your Messenger contacts list, click on the Messenger Plus! logo button [Image: messenger-plus-logo-buttons.png], go to 'Messenger Skin" and click 'Select a Different skin'.
  • Check the 'Standard Messenger Look (no skin)' box.
  • Click on 'OK' to restart Messenger.

Background Changer
Another Plus! script to modify the look of your Messenger the easy way is Background Changer. This one only allows you to change the background of your contacts list.
  • Go to the Background Changer and download the script.
  • Doubleclick the (.plsc) file you just downloaded to open it. You should already be signed in to Messenger for this, if you're not, do this first.
  • Check the 'I Accept the responsibility for installing this script' box and click 'Import'.
  • Now the script has been imported successfully you can start using it.
  • In your Messenger contacts list, click on the scripts button [Image: messenger-plus-live-scripts-buttons.png], go to 'Background Changer' and click 'Change Background'.
    [Image: background-changer-please-enter-the-path...to-use.png]
  • Press the '...' button and browse to the image on your PC you want to use.
  • When you're done, press 'OK' and you're done.

When you decide you want to go back to Messenger's default look:
  • In your Messenger contacts list, click on the scripts button [Image: messenger-plus-live-scripts-buttons.png], go to 'Background Changer' and click 'Change Background'.
  • Make sure the input field is empty and click 'OK'.

Where can I find images to use?
There are plenty of sites to look for images. Remember, high resolution (bigger) images generally give a better result. Good places to search for images are:
Can I share the skins I made with others?
When you are using images you found on the internet you should be careful about sharing them. As long as you didn't create the images you can not share them without permission from the original creator, only in certain cases the original creator will specifically license his creation so you are free to use and share it. Sometimes it can be hard to track down the original creator. We recommend you keep the skins you created this way for private use. We don't accept this type of generated skins on the official skins database.

I want to create a more unique skin and really get into skinning myself
Unfortunately skinning in Messenger Plus! is not something you'll learn in a few minutes, nor something which can be explained in a single post. But I can direct you to resources which have a lot of useful info.

The first thing would be to start reading the official skinning documentation as it is called. It's a zip file with a help file in it, you shouldn't have a problem opening it on most Windows versions. Inside is a lot of information an examples. After that there are tutorials you can try. But what also works for a lot of people: install some skins you like from the skins database, after that browse to your skins folder (usually C:\Program Files\Messenger Plus! Live\Skins\) and open up the files in the skin folders. You can open them in Notepad, but it's recommended to use a more specialized program like for example Notepad++ (free). Looking at other person's skins, together with the documentation you can get the feel of what skinning is all about. Just remember you can't use (parts of) other people's skins without their permission, only look at it to get an idea how it works and learn it yourself. If you go in the Messenger Plus! options (Preferences & Options -> Customize! -> Skins -> Extract Resources) you can extract the default Messenger skin and use the \Windows\Definitions\ and \Styles\ folders as a base for your own skin.

Learning how to skin compares to learning a new language. It's something that not everybody has the time to get into or wants to get into. But if you do you can have a lot of fun with it. Learn by trial and error and start with something small. The chapter 'Getting Started' -> 'Your First Skin' in the official skinning documentation is a good starting point.

Of course you can also always post questions on the skinning forum.


The following images were used in the above screenshots:
Trav Saber Risk Aroe Zes MSK AWR LTS WCA HA SeventhLetter LosAngeles Graffiti Art by anarchosyn, and Colorful balls by Ben's Optic.
These creations and the screenshots itself (which are an adaption of these works) are released under the Creative Commons - Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

This post was edited on 02-24-2011 at 05:03 PM by Menthix.
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04-22-2010 11:22 PM
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albert
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RE: Before posting a request (Create your own skin the really easy way)
nice sticky (y)
04-23-2010 01:22 AM
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warmth
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RE: Before posting a request (Create your own skin the really easy way)
Something the forum was lacking for!
@warmth - Beta Testing a life!
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04-23-2010 06:09 AM
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cozmosx
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RE: Before making a request (Create your own skin the really easy way)
Hi Menthix

I followed the steps one by one after I make a double click on the script :"Your skin control"  I checked the :" I accept the responsability.." and successfully import it it automatically stops on his own. And if I try to enable it an Error pop up saying:

Error: couldn't start script "your skin control" The script may be defective or you may not have the proper privileges to run scripts.

i Have windows live messenger version 14.0.8117.416

Internet Explorer 8


I would really appreciate your help

Thank you


PS: I tried the background changer and it worked perfectly but sadly its not what Im looking for
02-24-2011 12:46 AM
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Menthix
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O.P. RE: Before making a request (Create your own skin the really easy way)
quote:
Originally posted by cozmosx
Error: couldn't start script "your skin control" The script may be defective or you may not have the proper privileges to run scripts.
Version 1.01 seems to have some issue with Plus! 5.0. The creator of Your Skin Control (Hanan) mailed me version 1.02 which does seem to work properly:

Your Skin Control v1.02

I'll add this version to the download database as soon as i can. The site still needs some work before we can update scripts and skin. For now just download from the link above :).
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02-24-2011 04:52 PM
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maclennan1982
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RE: RE: Before posting a request (Create your own skin the really easy way)
yo dudes! this is such a long ting on this new version! i just want my black background again, I had the Stealth skin which rocked - then updated and lost it all... Waited months.. Still not updated, so I found this page, and just tried to load a plain black image i made on paint it accepted it and I downloaded background changer to do it - but it didnt work :( any ideas? :D
03-01-2011 09:06 PM
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matty
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RE: Before making a request (Create your own skin the really easy way)
I love how code gets used without being identified as the original author...

*cough* GDI+ class *cough*

Its a good concept but the code is horrible...

* matty shudders after looking at it.

This post was edited on 03-01-2011 at 09:18 PM by matty.
03-01-2011 09:17 PM
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whiz
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RE: Before making a request (Create your own skin the really easy way)
Is it worth saying that making basic skins is a standard feature of Plus! now?  See here.

You don't need a script as such any more, you can just to go the Plus! menu > Skin Designer > Easy Skin Creator... (as of Plus! 5.10).
09-10-2011 10:24 AM
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