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[FM19][GUIDE] How To Extract the Default Game Files.


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Football Manager 2019 Guide - How To Extract the Default Game Files.

This is a simplified version of my main extraction guide, this version is for people who are only wanting to make a couple of changes to the game files (and have likely been directed here from one of my other posts) rather than make a full skin as in this case you don't need the full details from the other guide, though if you are making a skin I'd recommend reading that one instead:

Football Manager 2018 Skinning Guide Part 1 - How to Extract Default Files & Understanding File Structure

First you need to ensure you have a couple of things ready before you start;

- A Fully up-to-date version of the Football Manager version you are using.

- The Football Manager Resource Archiver. This is obtained via Steam from the Library -> Tools menu and just scroll down until you find the version that corresponds to the version of FM you are using (The safest option is to open the one for that years version of the game as older ones generally cannot open files from later versions).

- A Text Editor - Notepad was fine but it seems to have problems with the formatting of some of the xml files in FM18 so if you don't want to download a program you should be able to use Wordpad instead, however I'd recommend a program like Notepad++ or a web editor such as Kompozer - these colour the code and have line numbers that make it easier to edit the larger xml files.

How to Extract the fmf files

1. The first thing to do is to create a new folder somewhere on your computer that has plenty of hard drive space and is in an easy location to find, (but do not create this folder inside either the Steam folders or your User Data Location for Football Manager as they may cause conflicts) as this is where you'll be extracting the game files to before you work on them. From now on I will refer to this folder you created as your Working folder.

2. Next we need to locate the actual fmf files. The easiest way to do this is to locate your version of Football Manager in your Steam Library then right click on it and go to Properties -> Local Files -> Browse Local Files and a new window will open at your Football Manager install folder. Which should be inside your Steam\steamapps\common\ folder with the exact location of your Steam folder depending on your OS and where you installed Steam.

3. Now depending on the version of Football Manager you are using the files will be located in slightly different sub-folders;

FM2018 and later - If you open the data folder you'll see some fmf files, however these are mainly for the 3D stuff and the files you'll want most of the time are located in the game folder. Though at some point you'll likely want to extract the sitoolkit file as this contains the skin graphics.

FM2017 and earlier - The files you want are just in the data folder.

For the most part if you have been directed to this guide then you should know what file you are after and should have been told which fmf file it is located in, if you aren't sure then check back on the link that sent you here.

4. Now load up the Resource Archiver Tool and in the bottom right corner you'll notice some options the one you want to click is the Browse Archive option as in this case we only want a couple of files.

5. When you click Browse you should get a standard file browser pop-up, in this you need to browse to the location of where your fmf files are located which we found in step #3 above.

As an example we are going to extract the sidebar menu table xml file which is found inside the panels/generic folder which is located within the panels fmf file.

6. So now in the Resource Tool browse to the panels fmf file, you'll notice that folders have a folder icon whilst the fmf files have a text doc icon and once you have found the right file click Load. (Remember that the fmf files are located in either the data or data\game folder of where you installed FM).

7. This will now open up a list of the contents of the fmf file and in this case we are already inside the panels folder and what we are looking for is the generic folder locate that folder and click on it to open it. (Either from the list on the left or the main panel)

8. Now we need to locate the xml file we are after which in this case is the sidebar menu table file so scroll down until you find the file and then click on it to select it.

9. Next click on the Extract Selected... button and this will open up another pop-up. This is where we want to extract the file to so in this case browse to where you put your Working folder

10. If extracting a single file then the Resource Tool will place just this file into your Working folder, so in this case you will need to remember the exact file path it came from. Again if you are reading this you should be following another thread gives you the location to place the extracted file.

11. Once you have located the file(s) you want, copy them and now you need to paste them into your User Data Location, however the exact location will depend on a couple of things.

Custom Skins
If you are using a custom skin then it is best to place the files inside the folder for that skin and the file will need to go inside the same sub-folders within your skin. So in this case the file came from the panels\generic folder so you'll need to place it inside that location for your skin which should look something like this:
\Documents\Sports Interactive\Football Manager 2019\skins\<SKIN_NAME>\panels\generic\

The file was extracted from either skins or sitoolkit fmf files
If the file came from either of these locations then for the modified file to be read you need to place it in the same location for the skin you are using, and if you are using the default game skins you'll need to download and switch over to the relevant base skin.
For example the default font files are extracted from the sitoolkit fmf file and then found in the sitoolkit\skins\fm-widgets\fonts folder.
So they would need to be copied into the following location for your edits to be read by the game:
\Documents\Sports Interactive\Football Manager 2019\skins\<SKIN_NAME>\fonts\

If you are using a default skin and the file didn't come from either the skins or sitoolkit fmf files.
In this case you don't need to bother with a custom skin and can just place the folders for the files directly into your User Data Location, so in the above case you'd place the sidebar menu table xml file in the following location:
\Documents\Sports Interactive\Football Manager 2018\panels\generic\

And in each case if the folders don't exist you'll just need to create them.

12. Now you have the file in the correct place it is just a case of editing it (and again those instructions should generally be in the post that sent you here) and whilst these instructions may look daunting on first glance the whole process shouldn't take any time at all.

13. If you want to get rid of your changes you just need to delete the file and the game will revert back to using the default files.

14. To get your changes to show in game (or to refresh after deleting the file) load up the game and go into the Preferences -> Interface menu and untick Use Caching to decrease page loading times and tick Reload Skin when confirming changes in Preferences then select Confirm and your changes should now display. (Once the changes are loaded and you aren't planning on making any more you can turn the skin cache back on and untick the Always Reload button.) Note if that doesn't work then you may need to exit and restart the game for some changes to be read by the game.
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