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Can't see changes editing styles? Changes have disappeared?

Description: This article will explain why changes do not show, or why your changes have disappeared.

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Ever been stuck editing files through your file system using FTP and not able to see any changes? Or why does your style changes disappear when you press "refresh"? This article will explain in detail why these incidents happen, and explain the best way for you to edit your styles.

Why can't I see my changes?
You may have noticed that when you are editing styles directly from the files, that the changes do not appear on your board?
The reason for this is, most of the styles files are saved onto the board's database and not the file system. So the changes basically haven't been sent to the board. They've been created but not implemented.
The reason I say most, is for the exception of SubSilver2's theme, "stylesheet.css", which doesn't get saved to the database, it gets grabbed straight from the file system.

    Simple.. After making any changes to the files, they need to be sent to the database, all you have to do is visit: Administration Control Panel >> Styles Tab >> Template/Theme/Imageset >> Yourstyle-Refresh
    The Board will then refresh the database to use the new modified files in your file system.

    In the case where you are doing heavy editing jobs, pressing refresh all the time, could get quite time consuming. The way to remove this feature is to activate "Recompile Stale Style Components", which means every change made to the files, the board will basically refresh automatically for you, making changes instant.
    Go to: Administration Control Panel >> Load Settings >> Recompile Stale Style Components: Yes

My changes have disappeared?!?
This problem occurs when a user edits their style using the built in ACP Editor.
The ACP Editor only saves the changes to the database, and doesn't update the file system. So in this case, (as explained above) if it comes a time when a user presses the refresh button, the database will revert back to what the files are, so if you have edited using the ACP Editor, you will lose the changes.

    Why supply the ACP Editor then?
    The ACP Editor is there, for instance if a user doesn't have access to the file system, having the built in editor, it will still give them the option to customise their styles. You still may wish to use the ACP Editor, but if you do have direct access to the files, we recommend that method, as your edits will be safer.

What tools can I use to edit the files?
The most common editing and FTP programs are explained here: Tools needed to set up and customise phpBB

Happy Style Editing ;)