Customize Flare’s tripane icons

It’s a nice touch to customize the icons used in Flare’s tripane online help. Sometimes small design touches make a noticeable contribution to the polish and professionalism of online help. In this post I’ll take you through the steps of finding the icons in an output folder, changing them, and then uploading the new icons via the Skins editor to a specific project.


Finding the icons

There are six icons in the navigation panel that we might want to replace: the active and inactive tab icons for Contents, Index and Glossary, used in the top tabs:


and the Closed Book, Open Book, and Topic Page icons used in the Contents panel:


Here they are, at a larger size, left to right:

flare default icons

Their filenames:


These default icons are in the following Output folder:

\Output\[user name]\HTML5 – Tripane\Skins\Default\Stylesheets\Images

Copy them to another graphics directory.


Changing the icons

You have several options. You can open each icon in Paint or some other image editing program and change the colour, pixel by pixel:


Or you can create a completely new icon. Or you can replace the icons with small photos.

I like to mix solutions. I keep the three gray “inactive” icons as they are. I edit the colour of the three “active” tab icons. Then I use photos to replace the Closed Book, Open Book, and Topic Page icons.

Here’s a before and after red version of the Active TOC icon I did to match the colour in a client’s logo:


Note: the tab icons for Contents, Index and Glossary must be exactly 16 x 16 pixels or they won’t display properly.

Here are three icons created from photos for the Closed Book, Open Book, and Topic Page. They look a little fuzzy when magnified, but display fine:


Flare tolerates various sizes here so experiment to see what looks best. If the icons are too small, they’re hard to interpret. If they’re too big, they draw attention to themselves.


Upload the finished icons

When you have all the icons ready to go, the last step is to upload them to Flare via the Skin editor.

With your project open, use the Project Organizer to locate and display the file in the Skins folder. If you haven’t changed the name, it’s likely HTML5 – Tripane. Make sure the Styles tab is displayed in the Editor window.

Next, locate the following icon upload areas using the vertical slider:



and upload each icon using the Select Image button on the right:


Here are the locations:

Active TOC icon: Navigation > Navigation tab (active) > TOC > Icon

Inactive TOC icon: Navigation > Navigation tab (inactive) > TOC > Icon

Active Index icon: Navigation > Navigation tab (active) > Index > Icon

Inactive Index icon: Navigation > Navigation tab (inactive) > Index > Icon

Active Glossary icon: Navigation > Navigation tab (active) > Glossary > Icon

Inactive Glossary icon: Navigation > Navigation tab (inactive) > Glossary > Icon

Closed Book, Open Book, Topic Page icons: Navigation > Navigation Panel > TOC > Icons

Save the Skins file, then build and view. You should see the new icons. If you don’t, go back to the Skins editor and make sure you have uploaded in the correct place.


Final result

Here’s how my new icons look. I’ve changed the colour scheme of the help using the Skins editor:



Stephen is a senior technical writer with more than 20 years experience writing for corporate and hi-tech clients in Vancouver and Toronto. He is the past president of the STC Canada West Coast chapter.