Branding

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This article describes the Branding of FreeCAD. Branding means to start your own application on base of FreeCAD. That can be only your own executable or splash screen till a complete reworked program. On base of the flexible architecture of FreeCAD it's easy to use it as base for your own special purpose program.

General

Most of the branding is done in the MainCmd.cpp or MainGui.cpp. These Projects generate the executable files of FreeCAD. To make your own Brand just copy the Main or MainGui projets and give the executable an own name, e.g. FooApp.exe. The most important settings for a new look can be made in one place in the main() function. Here is the code section that controls the branding:

int main( int argc, char ** argv )
{
  // Name and Version of the Application
  App::Application::Config()["ExeName"] = "FooApp.exe";
  App::Application::Config()["ExeVersion"] = "0.7";

  // set the banner (for loging and console)
  App::Application::Config()["ConsoleBanner"] = sBanner;
  App::Application::Config()["AppIcon"] = "FCIcon";
  App::Application::Config()["SplashPicture"] = "FooAppSplasher";
  App::Application::Config()["StartWorkbench"] = "Part design";
  App::Application::Config()["HiddenDockWindow"] = "Property editor";
  App::Application::Config()["SplashAlignment" ] = "Bottom|Left";
  App::Application::Config()["SplashTextColor" ] = "#000000"; // black

  // Inits the Application 
  App::Application::Config()["RunMode"] = "Gui";
  App::Application::init(argc,argv);

  Gui::BitmapFactory().addXPM("FooAppSplasher", ( const char** ) splash_screen);

  Gui::Application::initApplication();
  Gui::Application::runApplication();
  App::Application::destruct();

  return 0;
}

The first Config entry defines the program name. This is not the executable name, which can be changed by renaming or by compiler settings, but the name that is displayed in the task bar on windows or in the program list on Unix systems.

The next lines define the Config entries of your FooApp Application. A description of the Config and its entries you find in Start up and Configuration.

Images

All image resources are compiled into FreeCAD. This reduces delayed loading and keeps the installation compact. The images are included in XPM-Format which is basically a text format that uses C-syntax. You can basically draw this images with a text editor, but it is more comfortable to create the images with your favorite graphics program and convert it later to XPM format.

The GNU image program Gimp can save XPM file.

For conversion you can use the ImageConv tool which is included with freecad. You can find it under

/trunk/src/Tools/ImageTools/ImageConv

It can not only convert images but also automatically update the BmpFactoryIcons.cpp file, where the images are registered. The typical usage is as simple like the following example:

ImageConv -i InputImage.png -o OutputImage.xpm

This converts the file InputImage.png in XPM-format and writes the result to file OutputImage.xpm.

The line:

Gui::BitmapFactory().addXPM("FooAppSplasher", ( const char** ) splash_screen);

in the main() then include the image in the BitmapFactory of FreeCAD.

Icons

The main application icon FCIcon that appears in window titles and other places is defined in

/trunk/src/Gui/Icons/images.cpp

and starts with the line

static const char *FCIcon[]={

Replace it with your favourite icon, recompile freecad and the next step to create your own brand is done. There are many other icons in this file that you might change to your gusto.

If you need to add new icons, you have to register it in

/trunk/src/Gui/Icons/BmpFactoryIcons.cpp

so that you can access from FreeCAD.

Background Image

The background image appears, when no document window is open. Like the splash screen it is defined in developers.h in the section starting with:

static const char* const background[]={

You should choose a low contrast image for the background. Otherwise it might irritate the user.

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