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Author Topic: Do you use any Desktop Theme Software on Windows?  (Read 13417 times)
masu
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« on: August 04, 2007, 02:46:03 PM »

Do you use any Desktop Theme Software on Windows?
e.g. to improve the look and layout of your windows.
If yes, which one do you use? I need some software which charge my Core2Duo CPU  cheesy
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Darwin
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« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2007, 03:01:19 PM »

I'm running the beta of WindowBlinds 6 - it's a HUGE improvement over 5, which was a HUGE improvement over 4... I don't actually have it doing anything at the moment - I tend to favour the Windows Classic look, but have used WB 6 on and off over the last few weeks and have had not real issues with it. My main beef is that some menus are slow to display when running it and that there can be artifacts. I would hope the artifacts would be dealt with before a final release. Stardock are pretty good about releasing updates and bug fixes, so I'm not that worried.
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jgpaiva
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« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2007, 03:13:32 PM »

I don't have any desktop theme software, but i have patched windows to support custom themes, and i use this theme because it's darker and smaller than any of windows' default themes.
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Ampa
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« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2007, 04:36:46 PM »

I own a WindowBlinds license but don't use it except when I get a brief episode of Vista jealousy smiley

I haven't tried the beta, but found that WB5 although a huge improvement to previous versions still did cause the odd graphical glitch - enough to be irritating.

Ampa
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Eóin
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« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2007, 05:50:09 PM »

I'd be just like jgpaiva, so to mention a couple I'm really fond of; Soul Luna Remix, Reluna and XPMC.
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Darwin
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« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2007, 05:53:36 PM »

I own a WindowBlinds license but don't use it except when I get a brief episode of Vista jealousy smiley

I haven't tried the beta, but found that WB5 although a huge improvement to previous versions still did cause the odd graphical glitch - enough to be irritating.

Ampa

Heh, heh - DITTO! You've managed to sum up exactly how I feel about WB5 and 6 - I too only use it when I get a fit of Vista envy. I don't much care for many of the "windowblinds" that are available but find some of the variants of Vista pleasant for short bursts until I get tired of the darkness and/or of the glitches that you mention.
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Grorgy
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« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2007, 06:21:52 PM »

That's the really good thing about wb, if you get sick of something its only a click away to change it, and if you are using the computer a lot I like a bit of eye candy, makes the experience just that little more entertaining for me  cheesy
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tomos
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« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2007, 07:33:55 PM »

... but i have patched windows to support custom themes  ...

ehh, is that a complicated business?  smiley
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« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2007, 07:52:30 PM »

I don't have any desktop theme software, but i have patched windows to support custom themes, and i use this theme because it's darker and smaller than any of windows' default themes.

Same here, I patched UXTheme.dll and am using XPMC style by ~b0se (Ross Harvey). @tomos check out http://www.neowin.net/for...ndex.php?showtopic=140707 for details (version 4.0 is the latest) and an informative article at http://www.tech-recipes.c...heme_dll_file_xp_home_pro
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nite_monkey
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« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2007, 08:51:07 PM »

I don't use desktop theme software, MS's windows already burns up a crap load of resources, I don't need desktop theme software using up more, I just patch my uxtheme.dll and then google msstyles, and there is a great site that is like the first or second site, and it has a ton of msstyle themes to choose from that uses MS's Os instead of 3rd party software, but that is just my opinion, with a lot of ram and a really good cpu, you could probably achieve the same thing with software other than the Os.
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Laughing Man
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« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2007, 09:33:21 PM »

The patch is prettty much automatically now. And not all desktop theme software uses additional resources. Some like Aston use less then the default (it replaces explorer). Or Blackbox Win.

Though I guess those are more Desktop replacements then desktop theme.
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lanux128
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« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2007, 10:53:38 PM »

I once used a patched UXTheme.dll but that made my system highly unstable.. Sad since then, i'm stuck with Microsoft releases only, here is a recent one - Royale Theme for WinXP

http://www.softpedia.com/...ale-Theme-for-WinXP.shtml
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Eóin
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« Reply #12 on: August 05, 2007, 01:19:13 AM »

Same here, I patched UXTheme.dll and am using XPMC style by ~b0se (Ross Harvey). @tomos check out http://www.neowin.net/for...ndex.php?showtopic=140707 for details (version 4.0 is the latest).

I think the WindowsX patcher has superseeded the Neowin one. For example it's the only one to support XP x64 SP2.

lanux128- I recommend giving it a second try, it's proven very stable for me recently smiley
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« Reply #13 on: August 05, 2007, 03:30:52 AM »

thanks for the link, Eóin.. i might give it a try once again.. smiley
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tomos
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« Reply #14 on: August 05, 2007, 04:37:42 AM »

Thanks Phil & Eóin for those links
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Tom
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« Reply #15 on: August 05, 2007, 05:07:05 AM »

One more nice theme available for free and without any patch needed:

Zune (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=75078 or http://microsoft-zune-theme.en.softonic.com)

Enjoy!
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Renegade
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« Reply #16 on: August 05, 2007, 08:55:49 AM »

I'm using the Royale theme on my Windows 2003 Server box. It's quite nice.

Other than that 1 box, I never use themes. I tried a few back in like 1998 or something like that, but never really got into it. The computer just does things for me, and I value the resources that it has...
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« Reply #17 on: August 05, 2007, 02:36:52 PM »

I've been using Window Blinds on and off for years - sometimes I get tired of it and don't use it.

I've used .msstyles for quite a while.

My favorite place to get them is here:
http://topstyles.net/
Most of the styles are Mac based and pretty calm - not much color or punch which can be very nice.
Most of the packages there include a Visual Style, which most skinning sites call .msstyles.
They also have Linux styles.

Wincustomize is another good source. I think they are affiliated with Stardock.
http://www.wincustomize.com/

A few other sources I like:

Skinbase is a great site:
http://www.skinbase.org/Skins/msstyles/135

Customize.org
http://customize.org/

GUI Championships has some great stuff:
http://www.guichamps.com/

Last, but not least, there's a program called Litestep that functions similar to Window Blinds. I haven't used it but its very popular and there a lot of themes out there for it.
http://lsdev.org/e107_plugins/links_page/links.php


Nice Litestep theme sample here:
http://customize.org/litestep/themes/32640

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TucknDar
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« Reply #18 on: August 05, 2007, 02:46:50 PM »

Last, but not least, there's a program called Litestep that functions similar to Window Blinds. I haven't used it but its very popular and there a lot of themes out there for it.
http://lsdev.org/e107_plugins/links_page/links.php

Nice Litestep theme sample here:
http://customize.org/litestep/themes/32640
As a longtime LiteStep user I feel I should reply here. Actually LiteStep does pretty much everything BUT the WindowBlinds functions. LiteStep is a shell replacement, i.e. it replaces the default explorer look (taskbar, start button, desktop icons, etc...) and adds a bazillion extra features through a modular system, but it won't skin your windows like windowblinds will.
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Edvard
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« Reply #19 on: August 06, 2007, 10:57:44 AM »

I've used Litestep off and on for about 3 years, and it seems most of the eye candy comes from skinning the modules, not a universal litestep theme engine.
The topic of which is (IIRC) routinely brought up and promptly dropped, as such a thing would be a rather large project requiring much collaboration with the core devs, many of whom are MIA.
As far as I ever knew, most Litestep folks used a third-party thing like WindowBlinds, etc for window decorating, although there are some free alternatives with varying degrees of stability...

CustomEyes
(not updated since march of '01)
http://dabder.free.fr/CE/

ShellWM
http://sourceforge.net/projects/shellwm/

Illumination
http://www.geocities.com/...rk/6797/illumination.html

Chroma is nice, but shareware ($20US)
http://www.thematic.com/chroma/index.html
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Darwin
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« Reply #20 on: August 06, 2007, 04:26:11 PM »

I'm using the Royale theme on my Windows 2003 Server box. It's quite nice.

Other than that 1 box, I never use themes. I tried a few back in like 1998 or something like that, but never really got into it. The computer just does things for me, and I value the resources that it has...

Hear, hear! I couldn't agree more. This is why WindowBlinds has matured into something that I can tolerate having installed. When I DO feel the urge for a change I can apply a skin and will then bask in its new glow for an hour or a day or a week. Eventually, I tire of it and yearn for the simplicity of Windows Classic. I cycle through like this about once every 4 - 6 months (ie I spend most of my time with Windows Classic and am as happy as a lark). What makes the last builds of WB 5 and the beta of 6 nice is that it is now possible to have WindowBlinds installed but not running without resources being hogged in the background. When WB 5 first came out, this certainly was not the case.
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« Reply #21 on: August 07, 2007, 01:34:19 PM »

Quote
I've used Litestep off and on for about 3 years, and it seems most of the eye candy comes from skinning the modules, not a universal litestep theme engine.

Ah, I am newly educated. I didn't know it wasn't a theme engine.

The only other program I'm aware of that does this is Style XP.
Its shareware.
http://www.tgtsoft.com/prod_sxp.php
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Darwin
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« Reply #22 on: August 07, 2007, 01:41:13 PM »

styleXP used to have quite a following. Recently, it seems to have largely fallen from favour, though I can't offer anything other than a vague memory of having read that somewhere... So hardly the final word on styleXP!
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« Reply #23 on: August 07, 2007, 05:53:25 PM »

Probably because it's exactly the same as patching UXTHEME.DLL, and no one want to pay for something you can do for free. Of course, people didn't pay for StyleXP as well Grin
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Darwin
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« Reply #24 on: August 07, 2007, 06:30:42 PM »

Ah, you're right Lashiec. I remember now - the chief objection was that it was/is a phenomenal waste of money given that there are free alternatives. I guess once the free patch came out development of sytleXP "styles" fell of drastically and I recall people complaining about that, too (though of course all those free styles/themes are available...).
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