I have seen hundreds of dashboards that all look similar for 1 reason…People who use Xcelsius don’t want to spend a lot of time customizing the look and feel for their dashboard. So what happens when you assemble components on a screen and want your dashboard to take on a different look from the standard default Xcelsius look and feel?
Within Xcelsius there is a concept of skins, which simply changes the look and feel without effecting any functionality you have created within your dashboard. To change the skin, go to View>Change Skin. You are then presented with several skin names that will globally change how all components look. Note that there is a default color scheme for every skin, which can be changed manually or through Styles (View>Change Style.)
I will give a brief overview of each skin, and my personal opinion of how and when I use each one…
Aqua is a skin that emulates the Apple skin used for web browsing and an older version of the operating system. Aqua uses a consistent blue color scheme, which people seem to like, but sometimes the gradients and visual effects can also be a little too much to visually digest. I like using this one sometimes because the out of the box backgrounds layer together nicely.
Aero is a aviator type of theme that shows the most when you look at the gauge component. The charts and components all have extra gradients and glare effects which may be a little over the top for some, but the default color scheme is vibrant and pleasing to the eye.
Elan is one of the original Xcelsius skins which use a somewhat monotone blue color scheme. I see Elan and Aero as similar skins, because there are limited out of the box backgrounds, and the graphs look similar.
Graphite was released with version 4.5 and has a nice collection of backgrounds that can be mixed and matched. While the default colors are dark, the skin itself has nice looking charts. The only problem I find with this skin is some of the transparency for dropdown components.
Halo is by far my personal favorite simply because it does not have all of the gradients featured in the other skins. I am a minimalist at heart, so this is as close as I get with Xcelsius, but still gives some depth within the selector controls. Most people hate the default lime green color but, once I change that, it always looks clean.