Skinning HowTo/Make window backgrounds MORE opaque

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This HowTo is written for version: 1.20 Viewer and higher.

Intro

The transparent effect of various UI windows in the 1.20 viewer involves one very important color entry, DefaultBackgroundColor.

In the Default and Silver skin look of version 1.20, the transparency treatment of most windows, when they are unfocused, is set around 45%-50% transparent. This gives them the effect of fading into the background when you are not using them.

For legibility, you may prefer that these windows stay MORE OPAQUE, even when you are not directly using them. The following modification will accomplish that.

HowTo

Set a new value of ChatHistoryBgColor in the XML

A. Look in folder \SecondLife\skins\DEFAULT

(Note: In a Release Candidate version, the folder referenced here is instead \SecondLifeReleaseCandidate\skins\DEFAULT\
colors_base.xml - Do not change anything in this file! This is the file which has the base entry for DefaultBackgroundColor: <DefaultBackgroundColor value="62, 62, 62, 140" />. The value of 140 means about 55% opaque/45% transparent)


Step 1. colors.xml

In this file (which will override the above values), paste the following as an entry between the <settings></settings> tags. This specifies a HIGHER Opacity value of 220 instead of 140. This is about 85% opaque:

   <DefaultBackgroundColor value="62, 62, 62, 220" /> 

Step 2. Save this file colors.xml.

B. Look in folder \SecondLife\skins\SILVER

(Note: In a Release Candidate version, the folder referenced here is instead \SecondLifeReleaseCandidate\skins\SILVER\
colors_base.xml - Do not change anything in this file! This is the file which has the base entry for DefaultBackgroundColor for the Silver skin: <DefaultBackgroundColor value="165, 180, 200, 128" />. The value of 128 means 50% opaque/50% transparent)


Step 3. colors.xml

In this file (which will override the above values), paste the following as an entry between the <settings></settings> tags. This specifies a HIGHER Opacity value of 220 instead of 128. This is about 85% opaque:

   <DefaultBackgroundColor value="165, 180, 200, 220" />

Step 4. Save this file colors.xml.

Step 5. Restart the Second Life viewer.

To undo this color if you change your mind

  1. Open \SecondLife\skins\DEFAULT\colors.xml as above, and delete the entry you made <DefaultBackgroundColor value="62, 62, 62, 220" />
  2. Save this file colors.xml.
  3. Open \SecondLife\skins\SILVER\colors.xml as above, and delete the entry you made <DefaultBackgroundColor value="165, 180, 200, 220" />
  4. Save this file colors.xml, and relaunch the SL viewer.