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[TUT's][Work In Progress-6th July] So YOU Want To Edit Manila? - The Complete Guide

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Default [TUT's][Work In Progress-6th July] So YOU Want To Edit Manila? - The Complete Guide

Welcome all


This thread is now in the process of being built, so please dont complain about it being rubbish until I have finished it

This thread will guide you through all the steps to skin and edit manila how you like, so you will be able to make your own themes and visual tweaks

This guide will be more complete than others, but primarily focus on the more skinned files, to save peope time scanning through long lists, I will also make raw packages for people to use to get a head start on their themes..

So, watch this space and I will help you with all you need to know, some of the things I will cover are:




[★]Manila Basics
[★]Opening up a cab
[★]Quick and basic way to find what manila file does what, and how to find them on your phone
[★]The Better way to find Manila file does what, and how to find them on your pc
[★]Converting Manila Files To PNG And Vice Verca
[★]Skinning Manila Files
[★]Re-Colouring Manila Files
[★]Editing The Transparency Of Manila Files
[★]Manila Compatibility
[★]Cabbing Up Manila Files To Test




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Manila Basics

Ok, so there are different types of manila file,
even though they all look the same when looking at them
on a desktop, or on your phone. There are: QTC, Mode9
and Lua files. The only one I understand, and the one that
is used for skinning manila, is the QTC files, and this is what
we will learn about, so for now, forget about the other two,
and note that when I refer to a manila file, I mean a QTC file,
but you cant tell the difference anyway, just by looking at it.


A common question that people ask is: Is 'this manila mod'
compatible with my version of windows? Now, this is pretty
much irrelevant, as manila and windows are two seperate things,
manila runs on top of windows.. However if you are running an
old version of windows mobile, its likely you have an old phone
which isn't able to run Manila anyway.

There are many different name for all these manila. Touch Flo 3D,
Sense 2.5, Sense 2.1. Now, Touch Flo 3D is the original htc ui that
was first released on devices such as the Touch Pro and the Diamond.
Sense 2.1 was releases on the touch pro 2, the diamond 2 and the
blackstone, a good way to distinguish between this version and
sense 2.5, is that 2.1 has a greyed out slider, whilst 2.5 has a colourful
one. Sense 2.5 is on most of the newer devices, such as the leo,
however due to custom roms, pretty much everyone on the blackstone,
touch pro 2, touch diamond 2 and imagio now runs 2.5.

Hardly anyone uses TF3D any more, so you can forget about that, a
simple way to differentiate between 2.1 and 2.5, is 2.1 has no
quicklinks on the home screen, and 2.5 does. However there has been
many updates to both versions so it can be hard to tell sometimes.



If you are still not sure, go to the settings tab, scroll down to the bottom and select about, select software information

You only usually need to refer to the first 6 digits, so mine is 2.5.2012.
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Opening up a cab



You shall want to know how to open and examine cab files,
I will explain why in the next post. This is much easy than
many people first think.

The easiest way to do this is to use Win CE Cab Manager,
however it is not free,but Im sure many of you have other
ways of getting it, but that is not to be discussed on this forum
There is also another program you can use to look at the contents,
however it is not as fancy as Win CE, but it is FREE . I shall go
over that later

To Open a cab with Win CE Cab Manager (WCM): This is very simple, just
open the cab file with WCM and go down to the files tab, here you will find
every file that is in the cab, along with its locations that it installs to on the
phone. Here is a visual aid:



Another way to do this, is to use ervius's Package Creator, this is free, and will quickly extract all files from a cab for you to a set folder, however this way, you cant find out where the files go to, however this does not matter because all manila files go to windows. Here is how to do it:




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Quick and Easy Way To Find What Manila File Does What


Ok, so this is how I used to find what I needed,
however it isn't very useful all thee time, as you have to know of
a cab that already changes what you want to change yourself.

So, for example, lets say I want to edit the clock background, but
I don't know what manila file represents it, first thing I would do is
go to try and find a cab that someone else has made that did something
to the clock background, so I find this
'Touch X original clock background',
[Download it here if you want to
follow me exactly]

So now I have it, I will open it with WCM (see above on how to open
the cab up with WCM), and we can see that there is the file called
'31794a12_manila' inside, so we now know that this file is for the
clock background.

Next we want to find the original or 'stock' version, of this file, so
we can work with the same file that we see on our phone. So, next
thing to do is open up file explorer on our phone and navigate to the
windows folder. This is located at the root of the device. Now if you
keep scrolling down the windows folder, you should start coming
across all the manila files. If you don't see any manila files, then
go onto the file explorer menu and select show all files. Now, all
you have to do is scroll down until you find 31794a12_manila, and
then copy it from windows to somewhere like your storage card,
and then copy it onto your pc, you now have a file ready for editing.

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Better way to find manila files.


Sorry this took me so long to write, I wasn't sure of the best way to write it, and I'm still not so here goes..

When your favourite rom chef, or even HTC for that matter, make roms, manila is added in, in multiple packages, such as Manila Music, Manila People, Mania Home ect.... This can help us ALOT in finding a particular file, as we can narrow down our searches to one package.

So, being a rom chef myself, I just take all the manila packages from my kitchen, and look through them with cfcgui (we shall get to that later) however there are so many different versions of manila, so many different packages that it might be hard to find the packages for your specific version, however if you can find yours, thats great. Alot of files DO NOT change between versions, so usually its quite easy to find a packages that suits yours and others roms. The most used manila package at the moment is probably 2012 and 2014, so I will upload those packages for you guys, that way you have somewhere to start. Also provided is a thread which has some more manila packages, thanks to dotcompt

[Dotcompt packages]
[Manila 2012 Packages]
[Manila 2014 Packages]

So, lets begin , lets say for example, I want to edit the Mail background paper image, so this will take 2 seconds with this method , no looking for other cabs

The first thing we want to do is download CFC GUI, heres a link to the thread!
[Download]
[Thread, so you can read more about it and its features] - Thanks Chainfire, great work as usual

I keep CFCGUI in the same folder as my manila packages...
Open CFC GUI, and it will ask you to select a folder, this is the directory it will work from, so we want to point it to the manila package. And we want to edit the mail tab background, and so we can make a pretty good guess that its gonna be in the Manila Mail package , so browse to where your manila mail package is, and then to the files folder inside that, and click ok, CFC GUI will now scan the folder for manila files.

Now, we have a list of files, CFC GUI will name the ones that it already knows, but considering it hasn't been updated in a while, this doesnt pick up all of the files, so any ones it doesnt recognize goes into the unknown section. Just keep flicking through all these files, whilst CFC GUI displays an image of it on the right, until you find the one your looking for, which in our case is the second from last file, found in unknown - 32830efc_manila WE HAVE OUR FILE!

Now, we want to edit it, use the shortkey Ctrl+S to save the file as a png ready for editing, I like to have a seperate folder for converting png to qtc and vice versa, which I name, my working folder , so have an empty folder called Working Folder somewhere else, and choose to save the png there.

Another advantage to this is, the file is already converted to png for you



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Converting Manila Files To PNG's And Vice Verca


If you found the files the better way from the last post, you won't need to know how to convert from Manila (QTC) to PNG, however its good to know for other reasons, plus its super easy

For this, I use a program called M9Editor, technically, you can do the same with this as you can with CFC GUI, but M9Editor does this particular task more efficiently.

[Download Here]
[Thread For Further Reading] thanks 6Fg8!


Once m9editor is downloaded, extract the contents to a folder and then run m9editor.exe, and it will say something along the lines of 'some of the following settings are not correct' so you press ok and set what directories are used. I personally just use the same folder for all 4 of the functions, as I only use m9editor for one function, and so this saves confusion!, use the same folder as you save into with CFCGUI, this makes everything fit together and makes your manila editing experience much smoother ;D

So, to convert Manila to PNG, put the Manila file in the directory you specified when you setup m9editor, and you will see it appear in the list, you can put as many files in the folder as you want, they will all show up, also on the left of the screen you will notice a preview, this is also useful to have. Now, to convert the manila file to a png file, click the button 'Q>P', depending on how many files you have in your folder, this will take a few seconds, and then you will have a png with the same name in your working folder. Sorted! Now you can go edit it.

So Im sure you've worked it out, to convert PNG to Manila, we just press the button next to 'Q>P' which is 'P>Q' ;D and now you have a manila file generated with the same name as the png.

NOTE: If you are going to convert a file, always make sure that the file you are producing is not going to be made in the same directory as a file with the same name, so in other words, if you converted a Manila to png, then edited the png, then wanted to convert it back to manila, make sure you delete the original Manila file first.




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Skinning Manila Files




Now this is where the fun bit comes in and where everyones skill is put to use, the actually skinning and modification of a manila file. This is also relatively easy (especially for graphics artists ofc lol) but there are a couple of rules you MUST remember when doing it.

Firstly, when you open your new PNG image in whatever program you use to edit images, I would always recommend you make a new layer on top to work with, as you must remember the original image should be considered a template, and you must work within its guidelines. Alot of manila files total canvas size is alot bigger than the actual graphic that is on it, I'm not sure why HTC decided to do this, but they did and so we must always remember that when on our phone, Sense only picks up graphics where the original one was, and the rest isnt seen.

That leads me onto my second point, all the wasted space is transparent! it has to be transparent, that means two basic things, all manila files are always saves as PNG's before conversion, as only PNG's support transparency, and also you cant use MS Paint to edit manila, cus it has no transparency support for its PNG's I usually use Alpha Transparency.

So if your confused by now, heres a few little images to show you what I mean, using the clock background image file:






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