Moon Sims

How to Fix Long Filenames
Part 3: Caddy finally tells us how to do it

How to fix long filenames in The Sims

Caddy says, "OK now, to get to the point, here's how to do it. Just let me pull up a couple of files in BBEit Lite. Of course, you can use any plain-text editor to do this. These happen to be the two files for the body I'm wearing right now.

"A mesh is defined with two files, a CMX file and an SKN file. The CMX file tells The Sims what SKN files are involved -- sometimes there are more than one -- and the SKN files have all the data for the 3D model.

"First of all, The Sims doesn't need all those words about the PELVIS and BELLYBUTTON and LINT, so you can leave them out. Just '-BODY' will do. And y'know, we might even be able to leave that out. I've never tried it!

"And second, your SKN files don't need to have the same character name as the CMX files. Think about it: There can be more than one of these SKN files, so they can't all have the same filename.

"Here's what you need to do. The procedure works for stuff you've downloaded as well as for things you are creating."

  1. Give the SKN file a decent filename, less than 31 characters total, including the '.skn' at the end
  2. Edit the files and put the SKN filename, without the '.skn' extension, into two places: the first line of the SKN file, and also into the appropriate spot in the CMX file. See the blue boxes in the illustration? There they are!
  3. If somebody messed up the CMX filename, you can fix that by giving it a decent name and then editing the fifth line of the CMX file to match.
  4. Save the files as text only, usind DOS line breaks. The Mac can read files with DOS line breaks, but some Windows machines can't handle text with Mac line breaks. (A DOS line break has a cr-lf pair at the end of a line, while the Mac uses only a CR as a line break.)
  5. Put the fixed files into your Skins folder (or in the People1 folder for SimShow), and you're done!

"That's all there is to it! Allowing for worrying and biting your fingernails, it will take about two minutes the first time you do it. After that, oh, about fifteen seconds; and you'll spend most of that time starting up your text editor and opening the files. No pain. No drama. No worries. That SKN file can look really scary and complicated, but you only need to fix the very first line. Just leave the rest of it as you found it.

"The text you put into the CMX and SKN files has to exactly match the name of the SKN file, of course -- computers are very literally minded. But, as you can see from this example, it's not even case-sensitive.

"I like to just copy the filename from my computer and paste it in. That way I avoid making typographical errors.

"If the CMX needs more than one SKN file, such as my body where I'm wearing my backpack, then you need to make sure that all of the SKN filenames are 31 characters or less, but that's no harder.

"So now you can go back and fix all those awful LFN files that The Namer created, and once again you'll be able to figure out what's in your Skins folder. And promise me that you will never again publish a long filename! Thanks!"

"Hmmm? You like this oufit, too? Why, thank you! I have to tell you, Carla designed our Tour Guide uniforms.

"If you want to get me into your game without my backpack, here's the trick: Download Pasiphae and me both. You will find the links in our Tour Guides section. Pasiphae doesn't carry any accessories but she does use B351, so if you install both of us into your game you should be able to create a character with my outfit and no backpack.

"If you want just this outfit with no backpack, install all of my files except my CMX (B351fafit_moonpack.cmx). Instead, install Pasiphae's CMX file (B351FAFit_tourguide.cmx) from her archive. The same kind of trick works for Carla and her cape, so have fun with us! That's what we're here for!"

-- The End --

Forward Back to Part 2 | Return to Part 1 Forward

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