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guide

Custom UI Guide

The purpose of this guide will be to inform you how the Everquest UI features work, where to find skins, and how to test and load them. I am by no means an expert in XML or coding, so don’t expect to learn how to make your own XML files / graphics & skins. But with the plethora of pre made skins already created for the PCEQ world, you will have no shortage of fun playing with new UI’s.

In the summer of 2002, SOE opened up the ability to customize your EQ experience on the PC side. Allowing the use of XML and tga files to create your own "User Interface" look. Immediately web sites sprung to life to host and share others UI work. Since the designers had the forethought to use cross platform compatable files, these same UI’s will work on the Mac side – with one exception.

The Mac EQ client has been coded through the patch of EQPC in Oct 02. Since then new features have been added to the EQPC client. New features also included new windows and slots. Raid, guild, journal windows and charm slots and extra bank space. If you try and use a EQPC UI skin that references one of these new windows or slots, you will have errors. Keep this in mind when searching for UI’s that you like.

For the purpose of this guide, an individual change to one window will be termed "Skin" and a User Interface containing multiple Skins will be called "UI"

1) First Step

The first step in creating a custom UI is to find skins that you like. With literally 100’s even 1000’s of custom files, finding them can be daunting to say the least. I am going to provide some links to the more popular UI sites.

I am sure with a search of Google, you can find more. Paruse the bounty of skins available to you, and download the ones you want to test.

2) Downloading

A few tips in downloading and managing your custom files.

  1. Create a folder on your desktop - EQ DLs or some other name
  2. Download and save your EQ files here. This will make finding and working with them much easier.
  3. Create a shortcut in your Dock to your Everquest Uifiles folder
  4. Use list view and turn on file details, your going to want to watch the Date Created field.

3) Now What?

So you’ve surfed the various UI sites and have downloaded the "skins" you like. Now what do you do? Well its time to move the files to the correct folder so Everquest can see them.

Locate your Uifiles folder, ( normally in the users/name/applications/everquest/game directory ) and open it. Before we can use the files you’ve just downloaded together, they need to be tested for EQMac compatibility.

In order to accomplish this, you are going to make a folder inside the Uifiles directory for each download. Keep it simple, if you downloaded a inventory screen you would like to try, then make a folder called testinv and unstuff or move the new inventory files into this folder. You can have multiple folders inside the Uifiles directory. Make folders for all the skins you downloaded and wish to test, and move or unstuff those files as well.

Some skins will just be XML files, some both XML and .tga files. The XML files are the actual code to make the skin work. If additional custom graphics are required for the skin then it will also have .tga files. These are the files that need to be moved. No need to move any readme or txt files.

4) Testing the UI – Skin

OK you’ve found the skins you like, downloaded them and unstuffed &/or moved them to the right directory and folder. Now its testing time. Lets make sure they work on EQ Mac. Testing will include 2 checks, Does it load, can you zone / camp. If the skin can pass these two tests, then you should be able to use it with other window skins to make a complete UI.

In order to test the skins, launch Everquest and get in game. Once you have loaded your char, make sure you are in a safe spot. Nexus and Plane of Knowledge are always safe spots to mess with your UI’s and not worry about passing mobs.

Test One

OK time to test. For each folder you created in the UIfiles directory, you will need to type the following:

/loadskin [name] 1

* REPLACE [name] with your folder name containing the custom files. DO NOT include the brackets [ ]

* By including the #1 at the end of your /loadskin command, you have just told EQ NOT to reset your windows and positions. If you leave off the 1 you will loose any new chat/filter windows you have created, along with any settings for fade and the positions on the screen of those windows. Its best to leave the 1 at the end.

Everquest is set to look in the custom folder and any files missing, it will auto load from the default folder. This is why even with one tiny player window UI in your custom folder, you still see the rest of the default UI.

* IE – Only the custom files need to be placed in the custom folder. No need to copy the default files to this folder too.

Either the UI will load, or it wont.

  1. It loads! Great! Now on to test #2
  2. It doesn’t load, leaving you with 4 options
    1. Check your EQ Game directory for a file called UIerrors.txt – open that and see if you can determine why the UI wont load
    2. Open the XML file with TextEdit and search for lines that reference LOY features or windows. Remove those lines and retest.
    3. Email the author of the UI and see if they have a new or older file that you can try.
    4. Find a new skin.

Test Two

The UI loads now time for the Zone/Camp test. If you can Zone/Camp without crashing to desktop, then the UI/Skin should be good to go. If this test fails, you are left with the above 4 options again.

5) After Testing

Testing complete, and you have multiple pieces of skins that you want to use as one complete UI now. This is the easy part.

Open your Uifiles directory again and create one more folder. Now take the individual files from the folders that passed the tests and either move or copy them to the new folder you just created. Lets say we call it MacUI

Once all the files have been moved/copied, you can launch Everquest again, and type: /loadskin MacUI 1 and the complete tested UI should load.

6) Multiple UI’s

So you have a UI you want to use for your Druid and another UI you want to use for your Warrior. Not a problem. Everquest can handle multiple UI’s seamlessly.

Just make sure the different UI’s are in separate folders inside the Uifiles directory. If you have the same spellbook, you can copy those files into both folders.

Then log into your character and load the UI for that player. The setting is specific to the character not the account.

Now that we have introduced you to the world of EQ Skins, its time for you to personalize your Everquest experience.

Enjoy !

-Khama

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