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PyroNET
19 Jan 2008, 00:05
Today's update is a customization tutorial on the power of replacement variables.

Replacement variables work like the search and replace function of many text editors. In the AdminCP you simply specify a chuck of text you want to be replaced and and alternate for that chunk, and vBulletin will automatically do this before each page is delivered. This functionality is beneficial on many levels.

Replacement Variables For Text Replacement

For example, Humphrey and Donna Shimellfinny own a forum called Big Basketball Forum. They love basketball and their forum, but often members slip casual references to other similar forums in their posts. Humphrey and Donna wish if only there was a way to replace these site names and links with links to their own site.

Oh but there is! Mr. and Mrs. Shimellfinny's wish can be accomplished through the use of replacement variables.

Adding A Replacement Variable

To use the replacement variable manager, point your browser to your forum's AdminCP and navigate to

AdminCP -> Styles and Templates -> Replacement Variable Manager

On the loaded page you should see a list of all of the style you have active on your forum. Find the one you want to change and click the link next to it that says [Add New Replacement Variable]

On the next page are a few options.

http://www.vbstartup.com/images/basketball.gif

The first option is the style you selected to place the replacement variable on.

Below it a box to input the text you want to be replaced. This text is not case sensitive so inputting Big Al's Basketball Forum will replace any combination of capitalized / lower case letters that match that string.

The largest box at the bottom is for inputting the text you want it to be replaced with. The contents of either of the boxes can range from plain text to html, although if you are using the replacement variables for coding purposes instead of text replacement it is recommended that you make your replacement triggers html tags as they are disabled on most forums.

This leads me into another handy feature of replacement variables which is template coding.

Replacement Variables In Template Coding

Replacement variables are also handy when it comes to template coding. Here at vbStartup we use them when coding our styles by specifying all image paths in our templates with { IF } and using a replacement variable to change it to the actual path of the image. This not only saves a bit of time when it comes to coding, but it also makes it easy if customers want to change the location where they're storing the style images.

Thanks For Reading

This has been the first in what I hope will be many tutorials provided by vbStartup.com (http://www.vbstartup.com).

ArnyVee
17 Aug 2009, 02:52
Such a great tool for admins/webmasters using vBulletin. Thanks! :up:

Barteh
31 Aug 2009, 21:22
Do you know how these replacement variables are called upon in the templates? We run a shoutbox (cyb chatbox), and on the full shoutbox page those replacement variables kick in, but unfortunately not on the more visible shoutbox bit at forumhome.

PyroNET
03 Sep 2009, 14:43
Sorry, couldn't tell you. Try contacting the modification author.