Flex - Style with Skin


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What is Skinning?

  • Skinning in Flex, is a process of customizing look and feel of a UI Component completely.

  • A Skin can define text, image, filters, transitions and states of a component.

  • A Skin can be created as a separate mxml or ActionScript component.

  • Using skin, we can control all visual aspects of a UI component.

  • The process of defining skin is same for all the UI component.

Step 1 – Create a Skin

Launch Create MXML Skin wizard using the option File > New > MXML Skin.

Flex Skin Wizard

Enter Package as com.tutorialspoint.skin, name as GradientBackgroundSkin and choose host component as existing flex BorderContainer controlspark.component.BorderContainer.

Now you've created a skin for a BorderContainer. Modify content of the mxml skin file src/com.tutorialspoint/skin/GradientBackgroundSkin.mxml.

Update fill layer as follows −

<!-- fill -->
<s:Rect id = "backgroundRect" left = "0" right = "0" height = "100%" top = "0">
   <s:fill>
      <s:LinearGradient rotation = "90">
         <s:GradientEntry color = "0x888888" ratio = "0.2" />
         <s:GradientEntry color = "0x111111" ratio = "1" />
      </s:LinearGradient>
   </s:fill>
</s:Rect>	

Step 2: Apply Skin

You can apply skin over a component in two ways −

Apply skin in MXML script (statically)

Apply GradientBackgroundSkin to a BorderContainer with id mainContainer using its skinClass attribute.

<s:BorderContainer width = "560" height = "500" id = "mainContainer" 
   styleName = "container">
   <s:VGroup width = "100%" height = "100%" gap = "50" 
      horizontalAlign = "center" verticalAlign = "middle" 
      skinClass = "com.tutorialspoint.skin.GradientBackgroundSkin">

Apply skin in ActionScript (dynamically)

Apply GradientBackgroundSkin to a BorderContainer with id mainContainer using its skinClass property.

protected function gradientBackground_clickHandler(event:MouseEvent):void {
   mainContainer.setStyle("skinClass", GradientBackgroundSkin);
}

Flex Style with Skin Example

Let us follow the following steps to see skinning in action in a Flex application by creating a test application −

Step Description
1 Create a project with a name HelloWorld under a packagecom.tutorialspoint.client as explained in the Flex - Create Application chapter.
2 Create skin GradientBackgroundSkin.mxml under a packagecom.tutorialspoint.skin as explained above. Keep rest of the files unchanged.
3 Modify HelloWorld.mxml as explained below. Keep rest of the files unchanged.
4 Compile and run the application to make sure business logic is working as per the requirements.

Following is the content of the GradientBackgroundSkin.mxml file src/com/tutorialspoint/skin/GradientBackg roundSkin.mxml.

<?xml version = "1.0" encoding = "utf-8"?>
<s:Skin xmlns:fx = "http://ns.adobe.com/mxml/2009" 
   xmlns:s = "library://ns.adobe.com/flex/spark" 
   xmlns:mx = "library://ns.adobe.com/flex/mx">
   
   <!-- host component -->
   <fx:Metadata>
      [HostComponent("spark.components.BorderContainer")]
   </fx:Metadata> 

   <!-- states -->
   <s:states>
      <s:State name = "disabled" />
      <s:State name = "disabled" />
      <s:State name = "normal" />
   </s:states>

   <!-- SkinParts
   name = contentGroup, type = spark.components.Group, required = false
   -->
   
   <!-- fill -->
   <s:Rect id = "backgroundRect" left = "0" right = "0" height = "100%" top = "0">
      <s:fill>
         <s:LinearGradient rotation = "90">
            <s:GradientEntry color = "0x111111" ratio = "0.2" />
            <s:GradientEntry color = "0x888888" ratio = "1" />
         </s:LinearGradient>
      </s:fill>
   </s:Rect>	
   
   <!-- must specify this for the host component --> 
   <s:Group id = "contentGroup" left = "0" right = "0" top = "0" bottom = "0" />
</s:Skin>

Following is the content of the modified HelloWorld.mxml filesrc/com/tutorialspoint/client/HelloWorld.mxml.

<?xml version = "1.0" encoding = "utf-8"?>
<s:Application xmlns:fx = "http://ns.adobe.com/mxml/2009"
   xmlns:s = "library://ns.adobe.com/flex/spark"
   xmlns:mx = "library://ns.adobe.com/flex/mx"
   width = "100%" height = "100%" minWidth = "500" minHeight = "500"
   initialize = "application_initializeHandler(event)">

   <fx:Style source = "/com/tutorialspoint/client/Style.css" />
   <fx:Script>
      <![CDATA[
         import com.tutorialspoint.skin.GradientBackgroundSkin;
         import mx.controls.Alert;
         import mx.events.FlexEvent;
         import spark.skins.spark.BorderContainerSkin;			

         protected function btnClickMe_clickHandler(event:MouseEvent):void {
            Alert.show("Hello World!");				
         }

         protected function application_initializeHandler(event:FlexEvent):void {
            lblHeader.text = "My Hello World Application";				
         }

         protected function gradientBackground_clickHandler(event:MouseEvent):void {
            mainContainer.setStyle("skinClass", GradientBackgroundSkin );
         }

         protected function standardBackground_clickHandler(event:MouseEvent):void {
            mainContainer.setStyle("skinClass", BorderContainerSkin );
         }
      ]]>
   </fx:Script>
   
   <fx:Declarations>
      <s:RadioButtonGroup id = "selectorGroup" />
   </fx:Declarations>
   
   <s:BorderContainer width = "500" height = "500" id = "mainContainer"
      skinClass = "spark.skins.spark.BorderContainerSkin" 
      horizontalCenter = "0" verticalCenter = "0" cornerRadius = "10">
      
      <s:VGroup width = "100%" height = "100%" gap = "50" horizontalAlign = "center"
         verticalAlign = "middle">
         <s:Label id = "lblHeader" fontSize = "40" color = "green" 
            styleName = "heading" />
         <s:Button label = "Click Me!" id = "btnClickMe" 
            click = "btnClickMe_clickHandler(event)" />
         <s:RadioButton color = "gray" fontWeight = "bold" 
            group = "{selectorGroup}" label = "Standard Background" 
            click = "standardBackground_clickHandler(event)" selected = "true" />
         <s:RadioButton color = "gray" fontWeight = "bold" 
            group = "{selectorGroup}" label = "Gradient Background" 
            click = "gradientBackground_clickHandler(event)" />			
      </s:VGroup>			
   </s:BorderContainer>	
</s:Application>

Once you are ready with all the changes done, let us compile and run the application in normal mode as we did in Flex - Create Application chapter. If everything is fine with your application, it will produce the following result: [ Try it online ]

Flex Skin Style1

Flex Skin Style2

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