SFC Tutorial: From Casual to Buyable
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SFC Tutorials

1.      Making Casuals into Buyables – by Val EYou Are Here

2.      Making a Haunted Hotel on VacationIsland – by Val

3.      Creating a brand New Object – by Rougue

4.      Saving Your Sims – by Bruce/Gandalf

5.      Dealing With Buffers – by Rosemary

6.      Making Tuck-In Beds – by Rosemary

7.      Using Lot Manager – by Bruce/Gandalf

8.      Fit 2 Fat or Skinny Skins – by Val – Coming Someday!

 

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Try these other Sims Fanatics Community Links!

 

Would you like your Sims page to be a part of the SFC? Or do you need Help building your own Sims page?

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tut

 

 

 

 

This Tutorial is happy to be a part of the Sims Fanatics Community!

 

It’s the Sims Community built for Sims fans by Sims fans!

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Tutorial is happy to be a part of the Sims Fanatics Community!

 

It’s the Sims Community built for Sims fans by Sims fans!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SFC Updates

 

 

 

 

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SFC Updates

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Note from the Author:

 

Howdy! Howdy, fellow Sims Fanatics!

 

I fairly recently spent several days organizing my skin downloads, because I got tired of Swim Wear and Lingerie showing up in my family creation screen. After all, who lives in the swimming suits or underwear all day?

 

If that wasn’t bad enough…It was aggravating when I would take my simmies downtown to the nice establishments I made them only to see other simmies shopping in their underwear! What’s wrong with these simmies?

 

*giggle*

 

If you have the same problem, this is how you can fix it.

 

Be forewarned that this is a risky process, and if you choose to do it…you do so at your own risk!

 

Happy Day, Ya’all!

--Val

 

 

 

Be forewarned:

The author is not responsible for any damage you may cause your computer as a result of reading this tutorial or following any of its directions. If you choose to mess with the files on your computer, you do so at your own risk!

 

…and remember, ALWAYS back up your files!

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Tutorial Index

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Click a Topic!

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Click a Topic!

 

 

Skins Folder

  1. Locating your Skins
  2. Organizing the Skins
  3. Viewing the Skin Files
  4. Identifying the Skin Files

 

Skin Files

  1. Understanding the Skin Files

·        BMPs, NPCs, and XSKINS

·        Warning!

  1. What’s in a Name?

·        What the name means

·        What to expect!

  1. Buyables

·        Formals

·        High Fashion

·        Lingerie

·        Swimwear

·        Winter Wear

  1. Changing the files!

·        Changing the BMPs

·        The CMX is the hard part!

1.       Viewing the CMXs

2.       Changing the CMXs

  1. Read Only: if you are having trouble saving your CMXs, take a look at this note.
  2. Author’s Disclaimer

 

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The Skins Folder

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Locating your Skins

 

 

 

Time to pay a visit to your skins folder.

 

  1. The first step in Making your skins buyable is to find your skins and identify them. If your Sims is installed in the default directory, you will find your skins here:

 

C:\Program Files\Maxis\The Sims\GameData\Skins

 

(If your Sims1 is NOT installed in the default location, our SFC FAQs page will tell you how to find it.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Organizing the Skins

 

 

 

 

To make our project much easier, let’s organize the skins so we can easily find what we are searching for.

 

  1. We’ll begin by setting your view to mirror mine.

 

·        Once you have located and opened your skins folder, Right click the background in the skins folder and choose ‘Arrange Icons by’> ’Name’. This will help you find the cmx files that go with your skins you need to change, which is very important.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Organize the view for quicker searches…

 

Note:

You will need both the BMP and the matching CMX to complete this project.

 

 

If you followed the instructions as illustrated above,  all of your skin files should now be listed in order, with the CMX to each set of BMPs right in front of the BMPs that use it! This will help us to locate the files we need to rename and alter in this project,.

 

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Viewing the Skin Files

 

 

 

 

Now that we found them and organized them, we need to view them to identify the skins that need to be altered!

 

  1. There are a couple of ways to do this, one is much easier than the other.

 

·        Shortcut Method: If you have WindowsXP, you can use a nifty shortcut to view the files without an editor. This will save you a lot of time doing this project.To do this: Change your view to thumbnails, and this will allow you to preview all your skins BMPs without having to use a graphics editor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note: We are only concerned with skins beginning with the letter B, since these are the only skins that fall into the casual category!

 

 

 

 

Note: We are only concerned with skins beginning with the letter B, since these are the only skins that fall into the casual category!

 

 

·        If you do not have WindowsXP or an option like this preview shortcut in your browser, then you will have to view each individual file in a graphics editor such as PaintShop Pro, Photoshop, or PhotoImpact to find your Swim and Lingerie BMPs beginning with a ‘B’, or you can use an internet browser.

 

To do this, (only if you don’t have the preview option), simply open your graphics editor of choice, and drag the BMP(only) files and drop them into the editor or internet browser, one at a time, until you find a skin that is either Lingerie or Swimwear that has a name beginning with the letter ‘B’!

 

(We are only concerned with skins beginning with the letter ‘B’, since these are the only skins that fall into the casual category!)

 

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Hopefully now you  can view your skins files using one of the  methods above! If so, then let’s move on to the next step in our project.

 

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Identifying the Skin Files

 

 

 

It’s time to learn what the files are.

 

  1. In this view of my skins folder you can see an accessory, 3 CMX files, and several BMP files.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Identifying the files:

If you have arranged the files in the skins folder by name, finding the CMX and it’s matching BMP files is easy.

 

 

The files that end in .CMX are used to shape your skin to fit your simmies, like the skeleton does for a human.

 

 

In this view of my skins folder you can see an accessory, 3 CMX files, and several BMP files.

 

 

 

 

This is the easiest way to locate the CMX files that belong with your BMPs.

 

 

 

 

 

Because we had the files arranged by name, the CMX will be located in front of the skins it belongs to; the beginning of the names of the BMPs and their matching CMXs will be identical up to a point. In this case, the first CMX is named ‘b0a3fafit_01.cmx’. It will apply to all BMPs following it that have the same beginning of ‘b0a3fafit’. In our example, there are 3.

 

The next CMX is named ‘b0A4fafit_01.cmx’. It will apply to the 3 BMPs following it that begin with the same name ‘b0A4fafit’. When you go to rename your skins, you will need to make sure you create a copy of the CMX, and rename it to fit with your renamed skins and edit its content with NOTEPAD to reflect the change. This is the most complicated part of the process, and we will address the particulars of that in just a few moments. For now, let’s get familiar with what the files are…how they are named and why they are named in this manner.

 

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You must have both the BMP and the matching CMX for a skin to work.

 

Most good skinners include a copy of the CMX with their skins.

 

Some skins use a default CMX that maxis put into your game; these you won’t need a CMX for, as they are located in the game files in a .far somewhere.

 

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Understanding the Skin Files

 

BMP Files

NPCs

XSkins

 

The files that end in .bmp are your skins. Below are some examples of the BMP files you might find inside your skins folder.

 

Your chances of finding these things goes up with any skin downloads you may have personally added.

 

They will look something like this:

 

Body

 

Heads

 

Hands

 

 

Accessories

 

Accessories will have various names and various textures that could look like these two examples. Just don’t mess with them.

 

 

The only BMPs we are concerned with in this tutorial are the BODY files.

 

 

 

These will include files that are BMP, CMX, and XSKIN.

 

 

These files you will want to avoid messing with, or you may lose your custom NPCs created by your favorite object maker.

 

Before you change any skin names, make sure the skin does not belong to an NPC and you will do fine.

 

 

These are just a few examples of custom NPCs I have in my skin folder.

 

 

Notice that none of their names begin with the traditional ‘B’ for the body skins, and ‘C’ for the craniums.

 

 

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Warning!

It’s important to note that you must be careful not to change the names of any skins that came with customized objects, or you will lose those prized customized NPCs and possibly even get invisible skins where there should be none!

 

Custom NPCs often have hints in their names letting you know that they are NPCs…

 

Clues that hint to their being NPCs:

 

  1. They often do not begin with the traditional buyable skins and body skins. (ie; B,F,H,L,S,  and W)
  2. They have words in their names like Barmaid, bartender, chef, trainer, cashier, npc, masseuse, bar, shop, shopkeeper

 

Not all NPCs will have clear markers like this, but most of the best skinners and hackers do mark them somehow…Just try to use your best judgment when choosing which skins to rename or just rename a copy instead.

 

If you are in doubt about a file, simply do NOT change it and you won’t have a problem!

 

…and…of course…don’t forget to ALWAYS back up your files!

 

 

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You have probably already figured this out, but the index (last 3 letters) in a file identifies what kind of file it is.

For our project, we are only looking for .CMX and .BMP files.

 

Everything else you can just forget about! YAY!

 

 

These files all begin with ‘xskin’.

 

I have not messed with the .skn files, and I don’t recommend that anyone do so unless you know what you are doing.

 

Messing with these can leave you with a missing animation error… and no one wants that.

 

These should be easy to avoid if you arranged your icons by name, since these all begin with xskin, they will be among the last of the files listed in your skins folder.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Good to know!

D

Good to know!

 

Yes…Pink is my favorite color!

 

 

What’s in a Name?

Understanding the names!

 

Notes:

 

Occasionally there is more than one CMX for a group of BMPs.

 

This is because sometimes they have flat shoes and sometimes they have heels…and sometimes there are other accessories like a hat, purse, or flowers.

 

If you look at the complete name of the extra CMX, it should contain a clue as to why it’s there.

 

It might say heels, or hat…or something similar…

 

Sometimes there is only one BMP for the CMX. Don’t be alarmed, it just means the skinner for that particular skin probably chose not to make other skin tones of his/her beautiful skin! Or, more likely, you only downloaded one skin tone for that particular mesh.

 

There are often 3 or more BMPs that accompany the CMX.

 

 

 

 

The body BMPs…

 

BMP Files that begin with ‘B’ are casual body files…these are the files that show up in your create a family screen. These are our target files. We will be looking for all lingerie and swimwear that begins with a ‘B’ and their matching CMX file, so that we can change them to reflect their proper BUYABLE categories.

 

Below is a sample of my ‘B’ skins.

 

 

Consider these ‘B’ skins. One of my favorite casuals is the beautiful stars and stripes shirt with blue jeans in the middle row. (Simmie ladies look beautiful in it! I wish I could remember where I got it, but alas…I do not…)

 

Anyway…

 

Notice that its CMX is named:

  • ‘b0t9fafit_stripetr.cmx’

 

It’s BMPs are all named similarly:

  • ‘b0t9fafitdrk_lp_America.bmp’
  • ‘b0t9fafitmed_lp_America.bmp’
  • ‘b0t9fafitlgt_lp_America.bmp’

 …each is a different skin tone!

 

 

Continue to the next step to learn what the parts of the name mean.

 

The names of a CMX and its corresponding BMPs are always identical up to a point. Knowing what the information in the names mean will help you keep them straight.

 

 

 

The ‘B’ files should be a variety of skins that would fit into the casual category…(These should be every day clothes for your simmies.)

 

They should look something like these portrayed in our sample to the left.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note:

In each of the sample photos, you can see that there is a CMX file that is named nearly identical to the BMPs that use it.

 

 

 

 

 

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What the name means:

In the BMP file name, each part tells us about the file.

 

 

The beginning letter in the file name of BMPs and their matching CMXs indicates what category they fall into.

 

  • B - Casual
  • F – Formal
  • H – High Fashion
  • L – Lingerie
  • S – Swim
  • W – Winter

 

If you do not have all EPs installed on your puter, then you will not have all of these optional skins.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note: It doesn’t matter if the letters in your file names are lower case or upper case. The game reads them both the same.

 

Continuing from the last section of this tutorial, we are still discussing the beautiful stars and stripes casual skin in my skins folder named…

 

  • ‘b0t9fafitdrk_lp_America.bmp’
  • ‘b0t9fafitmed_lp_America.bmp’
  • ‘b0t9fafitlgt_lp_America.bmp’

One for each skin tone…

 

Each part of the BMPs name tells us something about this particular skin.

 

‘B’ - tells us that it’s a casual body skin. This means this skin will show up in the create a family screen of our game…AND townies will show up in your downtown scenes wearing these kinds of skins randomly.

 

‘0t9’ - This number helps to identify this mesh that this skin uses. We won’t need to know anything more about this for our purposes, except all skin files should have something similar in their name right after the ‘B’ and that the CMX must have the same sequence of letters and/or numbers. (a series of numbers or letters of three)

 

‘fafit’ - Tells us the body type this skin will fit. In this case our sample skin will fit the Female Adult (fa) Fit (fit) body type.

 

Other body types you might find in your skins are as listed here:

·        Fafit = female adult fit

·        Faskn = female adult skinny

·        Fafat = female adult fat

·        Fatnr = female adult teenager

·        Fcchd = female child

·        Mafit = male adult fit

·        Maskn = male adult skinny

·        Mafat = male adult fat

·        McChd = male child

·        Matnr = male adult teenager

 

The 3 letters following the body type indicates the skin tone for this file.

 

  • Drk = Dark
  • Med = Medium
  • Lgt = Light

 

The skin tone should immediately be followed by an underscore, just as our sample skin does. Everything after this is just to identify the file, and we don’t need to know anymore, as we won’t deal with that at all…but for the curious, the first set of letters (in this case lp) usually identify the creator of the skin, and the last set of letters (in this case America) is usually the name that the skinner gave this particular skin.

 

 

 

The beginning letter in the file name of BMPs and their matching CMXs indicates what category they fall into.

 

  • B - Casual
  • F – Formal
  • H – High Fashion
  • L – Lingerie
  • S – Swim
  • W – Winter

 

If you do not have all EPs installed on your puter, then you will not have all of these optional skins.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note: It doesn’t matter if the letters in your file names are lower case or upper case. The game reads them both the same.

 

If you are comfortable that you understand this information, then you’re ready to move onto the next section.

 
What to expect!

 

The only thing we will be changing on the BMP names, is the ‘B’. Then we will make a copy of the matching CMX and rename it to match the BMP. Once we change the name on the BMP and the CMX, we have to then open the CMX with notepad and change the file name to match the file. It’s really very simple once you know what you are doing.

 

Don’t worry, I have a detailed ‘How to’ below to help you do this.

 

 

 

 

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Buyables

 

Formals
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note:

In each of the sample photos, you can see that there is a CMX file that is named nearly identical to the BMPs that use it.

Files that begin with ‘F’ are Formal buyables.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Formals

 

Formal BMPs should be fine gowns and tuxedos that a simmie would wear for a night out on the town…like to a prom, fine dining, or a wedding…

 

Items that best fit this category are ball gowns and tuxedos!

 

 

 

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High Fashion
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note:

In each of the sample photos, you can see that there is a CMX file that is named nearly identical to the BMPs that use it.

All skin files that begin with ‘H’ are High Fashion buyables.

 

 

 

 

 

 

High Fashion

 

Clothes that best fit this category are those that Super Stars would wear on the Red Carpet, or in their famous music video!

 

 

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Lingerie
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note:

In each of the sample photos, you can see that there is a CMX file that is named nearly identical to the BMPs that use it.

 

Files that begin with ‘L’ are the Lingerie buyables.

 

 

Lingerie

 

These are the clothes you would wear to bed. Some simmies might be meant to wear sexy nightwear, but you and I know that isn’t the most comfortable way to sleep…

 

So, thankfully many skinners have made lovely nightgowns and pajamas for our simmies. These all should fall into the Lingerie category!

 

 

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Swimwear
 

 

 

 

I personally tend to get the Lingerie and the swimwear confused because I often think that lingerie should be called ‘Sleep wear’.

 

*giggle*

 

Note:

In each of the sample photos, you can see that there is a CMX file that is named nearly identical to the BMPs that use it.

 

Files that begin with ‘S’ are the Swimwear buyables.

 

 

Unfortunately, swimwear tends to be monotonous…if you are fortunate enough to find some truly unique swimwear skins…Snatch them up!

 

Also, be kind and send me a link!

 

*giggle*

 

 

SwimWear

 

Swimwear are usually the nearly naked skins that simmies wear into the pool or hot tub. They are fairly easy to find because rarely do any of the other skins show so much skin.

 

 

 

 

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Winter Wear

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note:

In each of the sample photos, you can see that there is a CMX file that is named nearly identical to the BMPs that use it.

 

Files that begin with ‘W’ are the Winter Wear buyables.

 

 

 

Winter Wear

 

These skins are usually identified by their use of overcoats, sweaters, earmuffs, scarves, heavy boots, and/or hats…

 

These are some of the hardest buyables to find on the net, but they are certainly worthy of our attention as they help to individualize our simmies on vacation.

 

 

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NOTE: I suppose I had better mention that you MUST have all of the expansion packs to have all of these fabulous buyable choices available to you!

 

If you are comfortable that you understand the difference in buyable skins and their names, then you are ready to move onto the next section.

 

 

 

 

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Changing the files!

 

 

Changing the BMPs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Use your choice of Lower case or Capital Letters…it won’t make a difference in how the game uses the file.

 

Personally, I prefer to use capitals to help identify the files.  You can use what you are comfortable with!

 

Let’s do this!

 

  1. Locate the BMPs you want to change and their matching CMXs that begin with ‘B’.

 

    • Before you change your file names, I recommend you create a file on your desktop for swimwear and one for lingerie.

 

    • Once this is done, look through your ‘B’ files and take all of the swimwear you find and put them inside the swim file you put on your desktop, along with a copy of the CMX that was with them. I say a ‘copy of the CMX’, because there may be other files using the original CMX and you don’t want to take it away if it’s being used…

 

    • Do the same thing with your Lingerie files beginning with a ‘B’…putting all lingerie BMPs with a copy of the CMX in your created lingerie folder on the desktop.

 

I went so far as to do this with all Formal wear, High fashion, and Winter wear that began with ‘B’ as well, in my project.

 

It’s a tedious and long process if you have a lot of skins, like I do…but you will find it is well worth it if you have clothes showing up in your create a family screen that you would rather not see there.

 

It also increases  your choices of buyable skins, for you simmies, which is a very good thing!

 

  1. Once you are satisfied that you found all of the swimwear (ie. lingerie, etc.) that begins with the letter ‘B’, and you feel that none are NPCs, and you are confident you can do this…Then you are ready to change your skins into a buyable!

 

Simply change the ‘B’ at the beginning of the bitmap name to the correct letter reflecting the desired buyable for this skin.

 

·        F – Formal

·        H – High Fashion

·        L – Lingerie

·        S – Swim

·        W – Winter

 

 

 

 

In my case, I used ‘S’ for Swimwear!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Use your choice of Lower case or Capital Letters…it won’t make a difference in how the game uses the file.

 

Personally, I prefer to use capitals to help identify the files.  You can use what you are comfortable with!

 

 

 

 

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The CMX is the hard part!

 

Viewing the CMXs
 
 
 
 

 

Good to know!

E

Good to know!

 

 

 

Changing the CMX is the hardest part of creating buyables…but if you make sure of the steps…it becomes very easy. I suggest you read through the process at least once before taking on the project.

 

CMXs will not have fabulous little pictures for you to preview like the BMPs. These files, however, you can view with a txt program like NOTEPAD and WORDPAD. ( I have an example posted below.)

 

When you find the CMX that goes with the skin you want to change, you will have to edit it. I suggest making a copy of the CMX and editing it instead, just in case another file is using the original CMX.

 

PLEASE DO NOT USE ANYTHING BUT NOTEPAD to edit the CMX!

 

Any OTHER word program or processor will likely add to the content of the file and render the CMX useless. Just to be safe, use NOTEPAD only!

 

Your computer will not know what program to open CMX files with, so you will have to tell it that you want it to use the NOTEPAD. This is how…

 

    1. Find a CMX in your skin file and right click it once.
    2. Look for the option ‘Open With’. This will open a little window that shows your optional programs to use to open the file.
    3. Find NOTEPAD.
    4. Highlight it and before you click the okay, look for the little box at the bottom of the window that says something like ‘Always use the selected program to open this kind of file’…put a check in that box,
    5. …and then click Okay!

 

If you did this right, now all you have to do is double click a CMX and Notepad will open it to reveal a view like the example I have posted below. (This will not affect the games use of these files, so there is no need to worry about that.)

 

Now, you can open these files with Notepad easily and be ready to adjust them as necessary!

 

 

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An opened CMX file will look like this:

 

Viewing the CMXs
 
 
 
 

 

Good to know!

D

Good to know!

 

 

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cdcdcdcdcdcdcdcdcdcdcdcdcdcdcd

 

 

Changing the CMXs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Use your choice of Lower case or Capital Letters…it won’t make a difference in how the game uses the file.

 

Personally, I prefer to use capitals to help identify the files.  You can use what you are comfortable with!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NOTE:

Remember, I don’t recommend changing any original CMX. Make a copy of it first and then change the copy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NOTE:

Don’t forget to save the CMX after you have made your changes!

 

 

 

 

 

 

F – Formal

H – High Fashion

L – Lingerie

S – Swim

W – Winter

 

First change the ‘B’ in the file name to reflect the buyable category you want the file to show up in.

 

 

In this case, we used ‘s’, for swimwear.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then open the CMX and change the internal file name to match the new file name.

 

 

 

Simply change the B to the proper letter to reflect your choice buyable.

 

F – Formal

H – High Fashion

L – Lingerie

S – Swim

W – Winter

 

Use your choice of Lower case or Capital Letters.

 

 

Don’t forget to save the CMX after you have made your changes!

 

DONE!

 

 

 

Once you have changed both the CMX and the BMP, you can now return these files to the skins folder and you are done.

 

 

 

 

When you are ready, simply change the ‘B’ to the proper letter to reflect your choice of buyable.

 

F – Formal

H – High Fashion

L – Lingerie

S – Swim

W – Winter

 

If you leave it as ‘B’ it will show up as casual wear.

 

 

Use your choice of Lower case or Capital Letters…it won’t make a difference in how the game uses the file.

 

 

Once you have changed both the CMX and the BMP, you can now return these files to the skins folder.

 

 

 

 

 

NOTE:

Don’t forget to save the CMX after you have made your changes!

 

 

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cdcdcdcdcdcdcdcdcdcdcdcdcdcdcd

 

 

READ ONLY
 

Note:

If you are having trouble getting the CMX to save the changes you have made, then the file is likely ‘Read Only’.

 

To correct this problem follow the steps below.

 

 

 

 

 

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Right click the closed CMX file:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Select ‘Properties’:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clear the box next to ‘Read Only’:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then hit ‘Apply’:

 

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Now try changing and saving the CMX again.

 

 

 

 

 

Author:

   Valzgr8

Email:

   Valzgr8@hotmail.com

Date:

   2/9/06

 

The author of this tutorial is not affiliated with Maxis in anyway. This tutorial was created for nonprofit use, only! No one may reproduce any part of this tutorial and sell it or use it on their sites without first notifying the author and requesting permission to do so. This tutorial is the sole property of its author.

 

 

Please send suggestions and report any broken links to valzgr8@hotmail.com

 

 

Yes…Pink is my favorite color!

 

 

 

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