When you have a particular style you use in your panels it’s very useful not to have to make the same property settings again and again. So Helm let’s you define for example various button styles in the Parts Bin, so you can simply drag-drop these onto the panel, In 4.3.0 we’ve extended this functionality to most of the Visual Controls and merged all theme-related settings into one file called ‘theme.txt’. Let’s see how that works in more detail.
Where to find ‘theme.txt’
‘theme.txt’ is located in the same folder as the Helm Designer executable – as shown above. It’s a simple text file so you can open it in any text editor. We usually use Notepad++.
‘theme.txt’ has property settings grouped under headings for each type of Visual Control. The headings are denoted like this: [LABEL]. Let’s lookat some examples:
1. – [BASE]
Property settings in this group are applied to the entire panel. So here we are using [BASE] to set up default fonts and text styling.
2. – [BUTTON]
Here we show how to set up two button styles as sub-groups of [BUTTON]. You simply give them names e.g. [BUTTON.Red] and [BUTTON.White], and now we can have two buttons in the Parts Bin with different colours. We’ll see how that looks in the next step.
3. – [LABEL]
We’ve set the default size and text alignment for Labels
How it looks in Helm
1. – [BASE] controls overall settings
2. – [BUTTON.Red] & [BUTTON.White] creates a sub-group of Button controls
3. – [LABEL] controls Text Label properties.
Creating Left and Right text labels
So here, adding an extra entry for [LABEL] I’ve now got two Text Label controls in my Parts Bin: left-aligned and right-aligned.
When you are deploying Helm panels throughout a large installation it’s useful to keep a consistent look & feel. Operators feel much more comfortable when the visual language is the same. Using themes also saves you a lot mouse clicks so now that you are a Helm power user, perhaps it’s time to develop a them for your site.