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Palm Tungsten C




Palm Tungsten C - Skinning with ZLauncher Tungsten C

On the previous page I discussed cutomizing my Palm. On this page I go into a little more detail about how to use the ZLauncher application.

03/4/2005

How I skinned my Palm

This page shows my basic set-up in ZLauncher. It's all based on version 4.3, so may look slightly different to what you have if you are using a later version.

To skin your Palm you need to grab a copy of ZLauncher. There's a link on the ZLauncher Home Page. You'll also need a data card (I use a 256MB SD card in my T|C).

You might also want to track down some additional skins to start playing with. A couple of good places are:
ZLauncher Themes page (I use the ChaNija theme on the 2nd row, right) and Darrins Den.

Install ZLauncher via Quick Install in the usual way (I'll come to installing skins further down). Ok... I'll assume you've already installed ZLauncher with default skin. Now launch ZLauncher. Most of the work is done via the menu options. Just tap the top left corner of the screen to get the menus to show.

Stage One - Setting main preferences
Go to Options>ZL Preferences. This gives you a range of options.

In all cases I suggest you try out the options and see what effect it has on your display. I am a long way from having tested everything. I'll run through each tab in order, just to show how I arrived at my set-up.

General Tab
On the General tab, I have Tab Mode set to "Right". This put my tab list on the right of the screen. I have the following options ticked: Show Hints, Cycle Tabs, Default Launcher, Tab Panel, Fast Find.

general tab

Display Tab
On the Display tab I have Auto Popup Panel ticked, but nothing else. (Graphic Tab will affect how the Tab Menu I've put on the right of my screen will look). I've also adjusted Side Tab Title Width to 28 (experiment with settings, depending on your set-up), and selected small fonts throughout.

display tab

Color Tab
Experiment at will. This mainly affects text display. I have a fairly minimal selection.

color tab

Advanced
I think these are all still on the defaults. Anyway, all the options are ticked, Viewer is set to "None" and Long Press Select button is set to "Pop up system menu" (handy for switching categories from the main user interface).

advanced tab

QuickLaunch
This sets up 'quicklaunch' options operated from the graphic toolbar at the bottom of my main screen. It gives fast access to regularly used apps from a single tap (a bit like the Start Menu in Windoze systems). Play around with it.

quicklaunch tab quicklaunch in action

TopBar
I like it minimal. I've unticked the toggle button, and removed all the graphical choices. To add them, tap on the icons (it'll tell you what it is) and drag to the empty boxes two-thirds down the screen (selection area). I don't have anything selected. To remove a selection highlight it in the selection area (tap and release) and select "None". This will be more obvious when you look at the next screen. I have Time (which shows the actual time), Battery, Memory, Card1 and Signal all ticked.

top-bar tab

Bottom Bar
This is essentially the same as TopBar. I have Time ticked (it shows the date, not the time), and the following graphical options selected, from right to left: QuickLaunch (allows me to select commonly used apps from a single pop-up menu), Toggle Icon/List (toggles through the various layouts)/Refresh Apps (never use this one, but it does what it says)/Open Command Bar (allows access to Command Bar functions)/Brightness (lower brightness means longer battery life)/Power Off (use it all the time instead of the physical off switch). These buttons allow the selected functions to be accessed from any of the main tabs (but not from within applications).

bottom-bar tab


Stage Two - Setting tab preferences
That's the main settings.... Now for the fun stuff... the Tabs.

Go to Options>Tab>Tab Properties
There are four sub tabs here (General, Icon, Color, Advanced). At the top of each screen it will indicate which of your tabs you are working on.

General
This shows your icon set. If you select an icon it will display next to the name of the tab on your Tab Menu. I have nothing selected. I have Hide unticked (if you tick it, then the tab is hidden from view... useful for hiding away stuff you don't use. It remains accessible from the main ZLauncher menu), and Caption ticked (this allows the name of the tab to display on the ). This section will also show what backimage you have selected (if any), and allows you to change the image (more on that in a minute, because it won't work if you haven't first set up your images).

General tab

Icon
This allows you to tweak the display of the tab you are adjusting. You can adjust whether it displays icons, or shows a list of applications. You can adjust columns and the spacing between icons. Experiment with these settings and see what happens. My settings are shown in the screenshot.

icon tab

Color
This allows you to select colours for text, backgrounds etc.

Color tab

Advanced
The only thing I have ticked on this page is Transparent UI. The part of this screen that I do use a lot is the option to set individual tab set-ups to all tabs (Set Current Properties to All Tabs). It means I can play around on one tab, and then automatically set up the others in the same way.

Advanced tab


Stage Three - Setting Themes
Installing icon sets
Google for ZLauncher themes to find more, but as a starter go here: www.zztechs.com/en/zlauncher/themes.htm. You may have to pay a couple of dollars for some of them, but try a free one first (plenty to choose from).

Download the theme. Install it via Quick Install and a hotsynch to your Palm. I've tended to install the icon-set and theme to the handheld, but I've found that the backimage only works if I install direct to the card. Once you've installed the theme, icon set and whatever backimage you are going to use, you'll probably need to move the backimage to the correct 'folder'. On my set-up installing the backimage to the card defaults to the [Card]>Palm>Launcher folder. You need to move it to [Card] Palm>Programs>Zlauncher>BackImage. Use the in-built file manager in ZLauncher to locate and move the image file or a bespoke application such as Filez.

To select your Theme, go to App>Theme Manager in the menu on your Palm. You'll see various options: Theme/Icon Set/Back Image. On the first two the choices are pretty obvious. Select the theme and icon set you want to use (they don't have to be the same). You can preview them, or simply select.

Zlauncher menu tab Theme tab

Icon Set tab BackImage tab

To load up a BackImage, go to the Back Image tab and you should see the files that are available. If the selection is blank, you'll need to move an image file to the correct folder on your card (see above). Assuming that an image(s) is showing, select the image you want. A window will open giving you various options. When you select the image you'll get a 'Set To' menu. You can select individual tabs or "Card" or "Set to all tabs" (you may need to scroll down to see all the options available, depending on how tabs/categories you have). My backimage is set to 'Set to all tabs'. The file size of the image grows somewhat during this process. In the above screenshot the file jackiebit.jpg has gone from 17kb to 207kb.

Using Tabs
On Menu>Tab you'll find an option to create a New Tab. Just give it a name (you can leave the preset as is). This will then show up in "Categories" when ZLauncher is running (these won't afftect the underlying Palm structure by the way). This helps sort out all your files so you know where to find them. You can also hide a tab (Tab Properties>General). This is useful for tidying up you Palm by hiding away things you never use. Just tick the Hide option when you create it (and name it something obvious like "Hidden"). You can always get it to show by toggling the Menu>Tab>Show/Hide Hidden Tabs option.

If your set-up is like mine, when you tap and hold an application icon a menu will appear giving various options. You can move/copy files this way, beam or email (send) them, delete them (Trash bin), or change their Category. Incredibly useful for managing your files/applications. More information and help can be found in the ZLauncher User Manual.

Palm Tungsten C: Introduction
Palm Tungsten C: Customizing Your Palm
OperaMini on a Palm
EiP PDA site

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back all text copyright Paul Cecil, 2005