Pattern skin

PatternSkin is developed to provide a CSS based default look and feel for TWiki - flexible and W3C-compliant. Its layout and color scheme are designed to provide a nice, clean and productive editing environment. For use in corporate or perhaps in personal websites it should be fairly easy to tune the looks or even create a PatternSkin-based new skin.

Screen Shot

Click for full screen image

Supported browsers

PatternSkin has been tested succesfully on the following browsers:

  • Windows
    • Internet Explorer 6.0, 5.5 (note: Explorer 5.0 is not supported: will function but shows visual quirks)
    • Mozilla/Firefox
  • Mac OS X
    • Safari 1.2
    • Mozilla/Firefox

Not tested, but will probably work (let me know):

  • *nix
    • Mozilla/Firefox


Note: You do not need to install anything on the browser to use this skin. The following instructions are for the administrator who installs the skin on the server where TWiki is running.

Note 2: PatternSkin is included with TWiki by default. Use the following instructions only if you are upgrading PatternSkin.


If you have set the SKIN variable setting to pattern and you still don't see the layout as on the screenshot, a few settings in may have been disabled.

Check these variables here:

  • TWIKILAYOUTURL = /pub/TWiki/PatternSkin/layout.css
  • TWIKISTYLEURL = /pub/TWiki/PatternSkin/style.css
  • SKIN = tagme, topmenu, pattern

If TWIKILAYOUTURL or TWIKISTYLEURL don't give a value or point to non-existing files, check in TWikiPreferences that the following variables do exist and that they are set to on:

   * %TWIKIWEB%.PatternSkin settings:
      * Set TWIKILAYOUTURL = %PUBURL%/%TWIKIWEB%/PatternSkin/layout.css
      * Set TWIKISTYLEURL = %PUBURL%/%TWIKIWEB%/PatternSkin/style.css

If this still does not work, contact the administrator who installs skins.

For further troubleshooting and feedback, go to TWiki:Plugins/PatternSkinDev.

Creating your own look

It is easy to tune the look and feel of PatternSkin by changing the color and space (margin, padding) settings in the Style Sheet files.

You may also choose to radically change the look and create a PatternSkin-based new skin. This is easier than to create a skin by writing new template files; you can concentrate on how things should look instead of what elements should get displayed.

You can eiter:

  • Change the layout.css and style.css attachment files for this topic (upload updated versions)
  • In TWikiPreferences, point the variables TWIKILAYOUTURL and TWIKISTYLEURL to other attachments, perhaps in another topic (your new skin topic?)

If you want to change colors and white space of screen elements, modify style.css.
If you want to change the positioning of screen elements, modify layout.css.

See for practical details: PatternSkinCustomization
The CSS classes that PatternSkin uses are documented in PatternSkinCss.


See: PatternSkinCustomization

Further reading

Skin Info

Description: Provides a CSS based default look and feel for TWiki - flexible and W3C-compliant
Screenshot: Click for full screen image
Base Name: pattern
Skin Author: TWiki:Main/ArthurClemens
Skin Version: 08 Aug 2004 (v1.000)
Download PatternSkin:
Note: the CSS files in this topic may be more recent than the version in the zip file
Change History:  
14 Aug 2004: v.1.0.3 - Update to attach template, css fix to edit template
14 Aug 2004: v.1.0.2 - Fixes print template, table paddings in topics, minor changes to style.css
13 Aug 2004: v.1.0.1 - Updated /data/TWiki/WebLeftBarPersonalTemplate and style.css
08 Aug 2004: Initial version (v1.000)
Dependencies: TablePlugin
Skin Home:

Related topics

See also Further reading on this page.

Other skins:


Leave remarks, suggestions and other feedback in Plugins.PatternSkinDev.

-- TWiki:Main/ArthurClemens - 16 Aug 2004

Topic attachments
I Attachment History Action Size Date Who Comment
Compressed Zip archivezip r2 r1 manage 158.5 K 2004-08-16 - 11:27 UnknownUser Skin package v.1.0.3
GIFgif i_arrow_down.gif r1 manage 0.1 K 2004-08-16 - 05:41 UnknownUser Icon: down arrow; used for Table Of Contents
Cascading Style Sheet filecss layout.css r1 manage 1.7 K 2004-08-16 - 05:42 UnknownUser Layout: positioning of page elements
Cascading Style Sheet filecss style.css r2 r1 manage 25.4 K 2004-08-16 - 09:12 UnknownUser Style: appearance: margins, fonts, colors
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Topic revision: r3 - 2004-08-16 - ArthurClemens
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