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XP Themes

Posted on 2002-05-26
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Last Modified: 2008-02-01
Can anybody tell me where I can get a program to enable me to edit the appearance of WinXP in the same detail as older versions.

Note, I know I can go into the Advanced section and change some things, but this isn't the "full editor". For example, I want to change the colour of the line at the edge of a scroll bar.

Thanks
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Question by:gbentley
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by:ginsonic
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interested
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by:stevenlewis
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by:gbentley
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Couldn't find any free options in there. Did I miss one?
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by:gbentley
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Can anyone assist with this. I do not have facilities to buy software from the internet so I can't use the products above. Is there a free method of editing existing themes, or, creating new ones?

Thanks
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by:Asta Cu
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Perhaps you upgraded from a prior version of Windows where you had other themes installed, which you can use.  Have you tried modifying themes within the existing environment of XP?  What, exactly, are you trying to accomplish?  This may help us help you quicker.

When you upgrade a Microsoft Windows 98-based computer with Microsoft Plus! 98 themes in use, the current theme is replaced with the default Windows XP theme. The wallpaper is not changed, but themed icons and mouse pointers are changed to the Windows XP defaults.

RESOLUTION
To return to your Plus! 98 theme:

Click Start , click Control Panel , and then click Appearance and Themes .


Click Change the computer's themes , and then choose the theme you want.
From here:
http://support.microsoft.com/search/preview.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;Q291700

Hope this helps you as it did me when I upgraded.
Asta
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by:Asta Cu
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More helpful links from Microsoft for XP
http://support.microsoft.com/search/preview.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;Q307855
Default Folder for Browsing for Themes Is Different from the Default Folder for Saving Themes (Q307147)
http://support.microsoft.com/search/preview.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;Q307147

HOW TO: Distribute a Custom Desktop Theme to Users in Windows XP (Q310514)
http://support.microsoft.com/search/preview.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;Q310514

Icons in the Notification Area May Disappear If You Use High-Contrast Color Themes in Windows XP (Q321213)
http://support.microsoft.com/search/preview.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;Q321213

http://support.microsoft.com/search/preview.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;Q300802
Internet Explorer Menu Items Do Not Use the Desktop Theme on a 64-Bit Windows XP-Based Computer (Q283181)
http://support.microsoft.com/search/preview.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;Q283181
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by:gbentley
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astaec - What I want to do is to get detailed control over the "XP look" themes. The example I gave above is a particular one. The line that separates a vertical scroll bar from the rest of it's pane is very light and I would like to make it darker.

If someone can tell me how to apply the numerous free themes (XP type with all the effects) without having to get StylesXP, I'll happily award the points. Isn't there any other way?

Note, I have no problem with registry hacks, or whatever, I just want at least the same level of control over the new look in XP as I had over the old one in 95/98/ME/2000.
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by:stevenlewis
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try searching www.winguides.com/registry
for the modifications you would like
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by:Asta Cu
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Sounds intriguing, though unclear how to accomplish this without StylesXP, but here goes:
http://www.themexp.org/
http://www.wincustomize.com/
http://www.xp-erience.org/
":0) Asta
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by:Asta Cu
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by:gbentley
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They still all seem to want StylesXP.
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by:stevenlewis
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If that's what they want, then you may have to break down and spend the bucks
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by:gbentley
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As I said above, I don't have that option.

I have seen it mentioned that all StylesXP does is simplify the process. Is there no manual method? As I said above it's fine if it takes registry changes or binary file edits.

I am researching this for my employer. Many users like there own colour schemes, fonts, sizes, etc., and will not want to give this facility up. So, I have the task of finding a way to do this in XP. Having to put a shareware product on the PCs isn't an option the powers-that-be will accept.

Thanks
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by:Asta Cu
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Still exploring the possibilities, and will share some points of interest along the way.
http://www.microsoft.com/WINDOWSXP/expertzone/columns/bridgman/december17.asp
http://www.microsoft.com/WINDOWSXP/expertzone/columns/bridgman/november19.asp
http://www.microsoft.com/Windows/Plus/Themes.htm

Checking MSDN now for any customization options.
Asta
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by:Asta Cu
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by:Asta Cu
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Using UxTheme Manager to Render a Control Whose Parts Do Not Have a Visual Style
Is covered above.
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by:gbentley
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astaec - That is referring to using the style in apps you write. I had a look through Technet and couldn't find anything. Thanks for the continued effort.
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Asta Cu earned 100 total points
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I'm afraid that nothing further or more promising has been found, despite additional extensive research and effort again.  Sadly, I advise you of this.

":0(  Asta
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by:gbentley
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Thanks for all the effort. I have also had no luck in this. Almost like a conspiracy! The strange thing is that nowhere have I seen a flat categorcal statement that this can't be done.

I'm going to do some more searching on this from the point of view of finding out what is required in a style file. This has to be documented somewhere. And as I mentioned above, if I have to use something like Visual C++ or what ever to build the DLL, that will be a solution at least.


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by:Asta Cu
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Thanks. ;)

Exactly my point as well, and I have searched until my eyes fell out (so to speak), and would at the very least like to find a definitive statement on yes or no in terms of feasibility.  

I've not given up here either, and will add any meaningful results, if/when found.  Hopefully you'll do the same, this is a truly baffling situation.  I would have thought at at MSDN and/or the MSN TechNet site and/or programming/development links I'd have found "something" more than posted so far.

":0) Asta
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by:gbentley
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Thanks again for the effort.

It seems that MS do this every time. They provide a new feature but don't quite follow through. They do 99% of the job but miss the 1% that makes it really work. Every version of Windows I've used has this sort of thing.

I understand that most people don't want this functionality, but the same could be said of most of the features in Office and MS keep piling those on. It is a little like the promise of increased performance. MS say each version of Windows is faster than the one before. But, each one takes longer to boot than the previous one, how is this faster? To me for it to be faster means that every function is at least as fast and some are faster, none are slower.

OK - Rant over.
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by:Asta Cu
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Timing is everything.  I was "invited" via Email to respond to an in-depth survey by Microsoft yesterday and spent roughly 15 minutes keying in "issues" and shortfalls, this was one of them.  I was very explicit and gave them rough ratings and lots of verbiage, we'll see if positive results ensue.  You may also want to give them your 2-cents worth on this issue, given the amount of time and effort by visiting the Microsoft site and exploring some links to do their on-line survey, which is only about 3-5 minutes and give them your feedback as well in terms of end-user preferences, needs, etc.  They do care or wouldn't bother doing the surveys as frequently as they do, and I have had positive results from letting my feeling be known in this fashion.  It may well create a fix for you.

Clicking through some of the links above may pull up the survey, or just accessing their Knowledge base, alternatively this:

Provide Feedback

Tell us what you think about our products, services or Web site. We value your feedback and do use it to provide better services and products for our customers. Thanks for taking the time to tell us what you think!
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=fh;en-us;feedback

Now my rant is over ;)

Sorry I couldn't help you achieve "A" level results, but then, perhaps something meaningful will result after all.

":0) Asta

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by:gbentley
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Thanks Asta, I've also had positive responses from MS surveys in the past.
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