An emulator skin controls the appearance and functionality of the graphical user interface (GUI) for the Device Emulator. Using an emulator skin, you can give the emulator the look and behavior of a specific hardware platform.

You can choose to run the Device Emulator with or without a skin. If you run the emulator with a skin, the skin affects the appearance of the Emulator window. The emulator skin overrides the video display setting for the Device Emulator.

Customizing skins

You can create an emulator skin with an appearance of your choosing and buttons that change in appearance when pressed. For more information, see How to: Customize an Emulator Skin.


An emulator skin consists of up to three bitmap (BMP) or Portable Network Graphics (PNG) files and a single skin definition (.xml) file that contains Extensible Markup Language (XML). The skin definition file and the associated BMP or PNG files must be in the same directory.

One BMP or PNG file, referred to as a normal art file, shows the default appearance of the emulator skin. The normal art file is the only file required by the emulator skin. A second, optional, BMP or PNG file, referred to as a down art file, shows the appearance of the emulator skin with all buttons pressed. A third, optional, BMP or PNG file, referred to as a mapping file, shows a color code for each button in the emulator skin. The color code for each button is represented in the mapping file as a single-color area that completely covers the button. The user of the emulator skin does not see the colors that you use as codes in the mapping file.

The .xml file describes how the skin works and where to find the BMP or PNG files. The .xml file also defines button actions based on the color code shown in the mapping file. For more information, see Device Emulator Skin XML Schema Reference.

See Also


Display, Emulator Properties Dialog Box

Device Emulator Skin XML Schema Reference

Other Resources

Device Emulator