Start menu not aligned after proper painting and applying to my computer

By on February 26, 2013 8:14:59 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

DocWilson

Join Date 12/2007
+12

Hi All you skinners out there. I have been having this problem ever since I started skinning.

I make my start menu properly and it applies fine on other people's computers but on mine, the lower left ande right sides don't match up. I know it's partly due to having to paint the bottom of the right side more to get it to align in SKS.

Someone must have gone through this before.... any help would be apppreciated. Screen shots below.

Thanks in advance for any help, Stardock products just hate my machine.

 

start menu

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February 26, 2013 8:19:05 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

If you cannot resolve the issue with paint margins DocWilson, you need to adjust the actual image itself to compensate. I have had to do it many times myself. It has to do with the spacing the OS gives for the user icon, even if you are not using a user icon.

 

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February 26, 2013 8:40:37 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Lightstar is correct saying it may be a SM sizing issue.

Also just for the heck of it, Change the amount of programs you show on the left side. Some people like that many but most don't use that amount. If you go 5 or 6 programs less it just may work fine. Will be watching to see if their is another suggestion for this situation.

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February 26, 2013 9:11:27 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

you might not be cutting it properly....

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February 26, 2013 9:11:38 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Thanks for the info Lightstar and Dave. I do have aa habit of adding about 20-30 pixels to the bottom of the places list after I upload a skin, That way, it aligns fine when applied to my machine. I've tried reducing the number of recent programs being displayed and reducing the amount of programs showing in the places section also but to no avail.

You'll notice that each of my first two skins use seperate windows for the left and right side due to this very problem.

It's amazing that all the skins I download work fine and the skins I've posted align right also but for some reason, Stardock products just don't like my machine. Skin Studio isn't the only porgram I've had problems with.

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February 26, 2013 9:33:01 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

I don't have the Wb so can't be sure. just another guess as in the early days I did have the problem once. The AllPrograms graphic is a fixed size as you know. Looks like it may be pushing up the left side. Try moving up the bottom of the Left and right hand places and programs list. Just shorten up the bottom height. Like Kitty said make sure you aren't cutting the left side along with the AP graphic. Doc. just guessing here but it won't take long to see if that is your problem.

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February 26, 2013 2:22:44 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Doc Wilson... your not supposed to add extra pixels to the bottom of the places list so it "fits" when its applied in skin studio.

you are supposed to make your startmenu as ONE WHOLE PIECE and then cut it up CORRECTLY AND CAREFULLY into the seperate parts for

the startmenu.

userpane, places list, programs list. ect.

 

you obviously need help with either making the startmenu or cutting it properly so it fits.

if you want you can send me your wba, if you send me a pm here ill give you my email address

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February 26, 2013 3:22:10 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

FYI: The last time Mitch sent me the blind, it looked like this on my machine, and looked messed up like his screenshot on his PC.

 The start menu parts were cut correctly.

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February 26, 2013 5:15:42 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Obviously something was altered between the two occasions.

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February 26, 2013 6:53:13 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

I would like to contribute some advice. Listen to Vamps!

 

I just looked at 3D blues, and you are not cutting the start menu properly.

 

You have the combined total on the left, consisting of the programs list and the all programs section=318 in height.

You have the places section sized at 324 in height.

 

The all programs back has to be 25 in height.

Now is my guess at why it works for us and not you. The six pixel difference is enhanced on your pc by a dpi setting or large text option, there bye making it worse on your pc. Hope it helps, if I am wrong I do apologize and meant no offense to anyone. DT1

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February 27, 2013 12:46:30 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Thanks Doortech fror the information, all this time I thought the height for the all programs section was 30 pixels and have been sizing accordingly. I know I used to keep my desktop fonts at 125% so I willl recheck t5hat too. At least this gives me a starting point for re-cutting my current Start menu. Please never take offense when providing possibilities as you never know what will turn on that lightbulb in my head. Now I have some guides to re-set in Photoshop so I can re-cut my start menu again.

As I said before, in my newbieness, I did some compensating in getting my start menu to line up on previous projects.

I just had to bring this continuing problem up out of frustration in having my SKS preview image lining up but not applying properly when the skin was installed.

Thanks again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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February 27, 2013 1:18:36 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

  just make sure that programs list + all programs background are the same height as the places list.

for example if the places list is 250 height.  you need to make sure that the programs list and the all programs background equal

that same height together. otherwise nothing is gonna line up

and make sure your pc is set to 100% and not 125%... that stuffs up everything too...

 

I know your his tutor xiandi.... Im just offering extra help.

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February 27, 2013 6:16:47 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

You are very welcome Doc, glad it helped. If you are cutting a start menu with a specific pattern, especially a horizontal stripe or border, the image needs to be cut precise , meaning you should not have to paint margins. If it was just a solid color, would not be important, but to line things up, cutting is key.Also, do not feel bad, I did not even know an all programs section was in a skin until Vamps helped me! Cut all my earlier skins wrong. Still using 3D blues by the way, excellent skin, even with the start menu, cause it works on my pc!. Check that start button on 3d blues also, I do not know if you saw my comment on the skin, but just slightly off on the alignment. Think it was the fourth image had to be shifted, not sure though. If you have trouble lining up transparent images, try putting in an extra layer while you are working on the image, size a solid block to the frame size and place it behind the layers you are aligning, and use it for reference. works well to line up shadowed images, , just count pixel movement from the left or right edge, as you shift each image,of the solid image. Hope that makes sense, if not maybe someone else has a better method. Generally you can just figure out which image is off and shift a bit left or right , that works for me usually.Trial and error, only way to learn. Look forward to your next skin, DT1

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February 27, 2013 6:21:43 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

One other thought, I have almost gone blind learning how to skin, not really, but close, so use your high dpi or large text, just not while making a skin, then you will see what we see, or if your me you see fuzzy images until I put my face inside the monitor!

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February 27, 2013 6:35:19 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Don't forget to apologize to stardock! It likes your pc, just not your cut and your large text.LOL. Picking on ya Doc.

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February 27, 2013 6:37:33 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Just to let you all know.... my Win7 font display size had been set to 125% for my old eyes. I changed it back to 100%

and re-made the start menu for my WIP (Asian Red). I did make a few changes by dropping down the "All Programs " insert so I would have some painting room at the bottom of my programs menu, that also helped a lot and finally things lined up on the start menu. Even my sub-style applied without mis-match and I didn't work on that one at all. YAY!

The main thing is that when  I applied the skin to my machine, it finally lined up perfectly. All these months I've been skinning and compensating for the problems caused by my display text settings.

Thanks to everyone that posted about this problem. I took in all the input and will put it to good use.

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February 27, 2013 7:10:08 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Hey Doortech, I just posted the above comment and didn't even see that you'd written again.

I thank you very much for pointing out the start button images that wern't positioned right. I did take it down right away and corrected the problem. I'm quite embarrased that I overlooked that placement when making the skin. My only defense is that those darn inner shape layers were giving me fits because I had no way of painting them so the highlights and shadows didn't stretch. I liked the overall design effect and believe it or not, that whole skin design came from watching a you tube video on creating a company logo. I just fell in love with the inner color layer and decided it had to become a skin.

When i can, I actually use the original graphics as a background layer to line up my images such as taskbar buttons. This start button just happened to be bigger than the original and I completely spaced when it came to checking the spacing using skin studio's painting section. On my previous skin, I got brave and did a 4 frame start button animation but the extra images didn't show up in the painting section and aligning them gave me fits for over an hour.

Thanks again for the input and as far as appologizing to Stardock.... it'll be a cold day after the lack of support I've gotten from them. My conputer just doesn't like Stardock products and I've written tech support many times now due to Skin Studio and DesktopX not getting along with my system and it's (Very Overprotective) Security suite. My Bitdefender seees all stardock programs as intruders and I've had to put in all Stardock directories to be excluded from virus search as well as disabling parts of Bitdefender itself after it wouldn't let me save any new settings on my skins and the DesktopX Multibar I created and posted here.

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February 27, 2013 7:26:19 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting DocWilson,
Just to let you all know.... my Win7 font display size had been set to 125% for my old eyes. I changed it back to 100%

Good move.  Never alter from the 'standard default' when skinning.  For yourself it is fine...and you can even fudge graphics to compensate for a specific issue.

But when you skin for release to others you do not have that option.

If you skin for default and someone else has settings at 125%, etc....and it messes up on theirs....so be it....it's their problem not yours...

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February 27, 2013 7:29:19 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

I used to use Bitdefender and had no problems with Stardock apps.... I only switched to Kaspersky because BD was too slow catching up to Win 7.

BD DID deny me access to an 'innocent' Sonique download.....which was annoying. [it's an old media player [skinnable]]...

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February 27, 2013 7:42:37 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

i AM NOT CHOOSING SIDES, NOT SAFE, BUT THAT DOES SOUND LIKE A PC ISSUE, EVER TRIED ADDING EXCEPTIONS FOR sTARDOCK STUFF, OR MAYBE EDIT YOUR HOST FILE IF sTARDOCK IS IN IT? Sorry, just noticed my caps lock on while hitting shift, duh. Any security can be adjusted to your likes. Just a matter of learning how. With that harsh of a security , your pc probably blocks any free software, even if you have a paid version, still will recognize the site as a free software sight. Just FYI, I guess.

 

The  shadows and highlights will not stretch funny if you choose the right size image and settings in how it is displayed or painted. IE:  center true size, tile the image horizontally etc.Adjusting the size can also help. Sometimes bigger, sometimes smaller.Or, add some highlights as a glyph and center true size usually works well. Okay sorry to ramble. Good luck

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February 27, 2013 8:29:22 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Hmmmm, after reading all this it's odd that I always make my all programs image 30 pixels in height, and don't have any real issues with it at all. Oh well, whatever works!

 

Yeah! The emoticons issue is fixed!

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February 27, 2013 8:35:23 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting LightStar,
Hmmmm, after reading all this it's odd that I always make my all programs image 30 pixels in height, and don't have any real issues with it at all. Oh well, whatever works!

 

Yeah! The emoticons issue is fixed!

I believe that the 30 pixel height is the suggested maximum size and works for me as well.

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February 27, 2013 8:41:52 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

heh another skinning issue solved from us killer skinners....

do we all kick as or what???

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February 27, 2013 12:10:17 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting gmc2,
I believe that the 30 pixel height is the suggested maximum size and works for me as well.
Right.

I'm glad it's finally sorted out. I was at a loss why it was looking like that on his PC and not mine. The font size setting never even crossed my mind!

(just goes to show ya that there is always something to learn)

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February 27, 2013 1:39:27 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting Xiandi,
(just goes to show ya that there is always something to learn)
Yeah, Kitty´s a Killah´ Skinnah 

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February 27, 2013 3:44:26 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Lightstar and Gmc, probably works because of the 125% settings you do not apply to your pc's.Painting compensates.

 

really was a combination of two problems exaggerating one another. Five pixels is not a lot, but combined with his oversized setting, it made it worse.

And I believe lightstar said he sometimes compensates for that sizing difference, but I wonder, do Lightstars skins not work without that issue of misalignment on DocWilson's pc?

 

How about it Doc, or anyone using large text settings?Just thoughts anyhow.

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