How to: Preview images for personal Skins

6 min read

Deviation Actions

GinkgoWerkstatt's avatar
This 'How to:' article explains how to add preview images for your skins that you either created on your own or have not been added with the help of the install feature.
It makes only sense to do this with skins that don't get changed though.

The benefit of it is not only a preview image, but also that your skin doesn't get lost anymore.
Skins that haven't been installed and will be deleted from your skins list, will usually be removed from ALL journals that have used these before. So if you delete a skin by accident it could happen that you end up with a lot of blank journals, all formatting is lost and the content might be a mess as well then.
With the method explained below this can be prevented as well.

Everyone who has more than one personal skin installed, knows the pain of not having a preview. Of course you can go by name, but sometimes it just easier to have that little preview to find the skin you search for more easily.

Preview 01 by GinkgoWerkstatt

This is something we are all familiar with - in case you have skins installed and created on your own.
I usually don't install skins, unless I need to test something, so if we ignore the examples above, I end with a list of 16 skins. And they all come without a preview. Being a visual person it is something that really bothers me, so it's time to change that!

Prepare your Skin

To be able to get that preview we just do what we usually would do for uploading a skin. Get the code ready and safe it as a .txt file with the needed structure. Additionally prepare a preview file. As it is just for you, it just needs to be something that makes it easy to recognize the skin and doesn't have to be a full preview like you would use for public skins.

Upload the .txt file to and add all needed images. Once done click the 'Complete Submission' button.

Preview 02 by GinkgoWerkstatt

You now would already be able to install it from to prevent any loss by deleting a skin by accident), but still there would be no preview image.

Adding the Preview Image

Continue by clicking at 'Submit'. It will bring you to the regular submission page where you can add a lot of the usual information, like keywords, the category it should be added to etc. But we don't need that.
The only thing that is interesting for us here is the "Change preview image" function.

Preview 03 by GinkgoWerkstatt

Select that option, search for the preview file you prepared for this skin and upload it. Once it is uploaded it should appear instead of that empty 'no preview available' box. If that is fine and you don't want to change it again, click the "Save & Exit" button.

Preview 04 by GinkgoWerkstatt

:note: Do not finish the submission.
Then your file will become public and others can install it as well.

Install your Skin with a Preview

You will be re-directed to after clicking that button and should now have an installable skin with a preview. Click the install button and you are done.
Your personal skin has now a little image within the skins list as well and no damage can be done when deleted by accident anymore!

Preview 05 by GinkgoWerkstatt

:note: As soon as you make changes to your skin and save it, it will always create a new skin without a preview.

Have any questions or don't understand something?
Questions should be left in a comment directly to this blog so that people with similar problems can look them up later as well.

If there are certain things you want me adress the next time, either leave a comment here as well or note me directly.

© 2014 - 2022 GinkgoWerkstatt
Join the community to add your comment. Already a deviant? Log In
Ecstrap's avatar
What exactly do you mean by "preapre your skin" get the code ready and upload the .txt file? I have the CSS code and HTML code seperately. When I upload the CSS it's just plain text, not "No preview available".

Thanks for the han
GinkgoWerkstatt's avatar
As the title says, this just explains how to upload a preview image.

For everything else, please take a look at these
The Install Journal .txt file by ginkgografix How to upload Journal Skins III by ginkgografix

The layout might have changed a bit, but the overall process is still the same.
Ecstrap's avatar
Thanks! Very helpful!
gillianivyart's avatar
OMG!  I love you!  This is awesome!  I have been wanting thumbnails for all my tonnes of not for public skins.  This is amazing!  Thank you!
GinkgoWerkstatt's avatar
electricjonny's avatar
Ah, that's rather useful :nod:

Although it making a new skin with no preview on any updates is lame :/  I have tons of skins I've written, but they're usually all just tests or things I'm working on.  So yeah, I have around 20 skins with no previews (and unspecific named titles) that always bothers me when trying to find my skin =P  What would be awesome is if you could make/change a skin preview image just from within the edit skin box.
GinkgoWerkstatt's avatar
Yeah, like mentioned at the beginning: It only makes sense when you know you are done with your skin or change things like once a year. For skins that get edited regulary it doesn't really work out - unless you like to do those extra bits all the time.

Would love to have a feature to be able to edit the preview for such skins.
electricjonny's avatar
My skin (that I've been using for years now) doesn't really change all that much.  I just tweak and fine tune things when I get an idea.  I just want it to jump out on the list of other skins I have, as I'm sure you can relate with =P
SimplySilent's avatar
If only we could edit skins and still keep the journal preview. :nuu:
GinkgoWerkstatt's avatar
That would be awesome :nod:
The-Build's avatar
Nice work, well explained. :nod:
miontre's avatar
:D :D Smart one!!

Now we can use this for making private skins installable too (eg group admin skins :eager:)
GinkgoWerkstatt's avatar

Actually it was already possible since a while, but no one really thought of it before - even though was right in front of our eyes :lol:
WorldWar-Tori's avatar
For those of us that don't create them;
is there a way to get the preview back after we've edited them? :noes:
GinkgoWerkstatt's avatar
Only the way described here, but otherwise: no. D:
pica-ae's avatar
I HAVE to try that :eager: I had never thought about doing it that way :slow: 
GinkgoWerkstatt's avatar
Solution was soo simple and none of us realized it before :dummy:
pica-ae's avatar
I havent had time to try it yet … it will be a new skin once I do that, tho? Meaning, I'd have to apply it to every journal I wrote with that skin if I wanted to delete the no-preview version? 
GinkgoWerkstatt's avatar
Yes. You won't be able to modify what is already there, so you have to install one made like explained above and then delete the old ones. A bit complicated, i know.
pica-ae's avatar
Join the community to add your comment. Already a deviant? Log In