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  1. #1
    shautieh's Avatar
    shautieh is offline Senior Member Community Builder
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    Default how to edit windows xp themes ?

    yop ^^
    i need a little help here

    i have a theme i really like, wich is blue, but i'd like to make another one a little bit more purple...
    the main file is (i think) "ForeverBlue.msstyles" ... does a freeware program exist to edit this ? (a simple one -_-)
    or maybe it's the "shellstyle.dll" that i should edit ??

    keep in mind i only want (for now at least) to purpulize a little bit the theme, not redo it completely

  2. #2
    Volvogga's Avatar
    Volvogga is offline Senior Member Always Around
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    A free and simple way?

    No... fraid not.

    As far as the dll file goes... NO! Never edit one of them unless you know EXACTLY what you are doing.

    If you want to add the themes, without using pay programs (those also take extra memory, btw), you need to patch a certin .dll file with the correct one for your flavor of XP. The easiest way is to use the uxThemeMultiPatcher (see my freeware utilities list for the link and a warning). This way, it is automated.

    To add the theme, place the .msstyles file into the \windows\resources\themes subdirectory. It should then show up in the desktop properties (right click the desktop, and select properties) under either themes or appearance (can't remember which). If it doesn't, then double click the file, and it should install and apply it.

    To edit the way the theme looks, some things can be done from the appearance tab under advanced. More than that, and I think you need to edit it with a program like ResHack (if you were going to edit a .dll file, then I assume you have one of these). Extract the bmp from the styles file, edit it, and add your new bmp back into the msstyles file. Re-apply that, and you should be good to go.

    Remember that there are no guarentees with this method, and that it is a bit dangerous. Making a backup of your system is a good idea.
    Vol~

    thanks to Silverwmoon!

  3. #3
    shautieh's Avatar
    shautieh is offline Senior Member Community Builder
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    Default

    for the first part, i'm already using foreverblue theme, so the dll is already patched

    Quote Originally Posted by Volvogga
    To edit the way the theme looks, some things can be done from the appearance tab under advanced. More than that, and I think you need to edit it with a program like ResHack (if you were going to edit a .dll file, then I assume you have one of these). Extract the bmp from the styles file, edit it, and add your new bmp back into the msstyles file. Re-apply that, and you should be good to go.
    so the coloring scheme would be in the dll file... i'll have to look at that ^^ (later -_-)
    thanks

    btw, do you know what the .msstyles is for ?

  4. #4
    Volvogga's Avatar
    Volvogga is offline Senior Member Always Around
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    Default

    I looked it up, and the .msstyles themes are controled by the appearances tab, and .theme themes are controled by the themes tab.

    The difference is that the .theme type can include icons and backgrounds, as well as stylized bars and such.

    Also, you want to edit the .msstyles file with the ResHack, not a dll file. SHould be a foulder within the file called bitmaps that should have the stuff you need to change. I think anyway, been a while sense I did it.
    Vol~

    thanks to Silverwmoon!

  5. #5
    shautieh's Avatar
    shautieh is offline Senior Member Community Builder
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    ok thank you

    i'll look it up after christmas (or maybe after new year's eve )

  6. #6
    ZeRoRaVeN is offline Member Frequent Poster
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    http://www.stardock.com

    It's not free but they sell this program that's very popular and alot of themes are being made for it, and you can use their theme editor (sold seperatly).

    Their trial lasts forever but doesn't skin a few elements which is ok for free software.

  7. #7
    shautieh's Avatar
    shautieh is offline Senior Member Community Builder
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    i've looked into the dll, and there are "only" 2 images in it.. (there are others but don't interest me.. :P)
    i lack the "bottom bar" and what is upside the windows at least

    where can they be ?

    i also found a .theme but it's a textfile with a lot of info in it... i think i shouldn't touch this

    happy christmas

  8. #8
    Volvogga's Avatar
    Volvogga is offline Senior Member Always Around
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    No, no.

    You don't open any .dll files with the resource hacker. You are going to flatline your system if you do that.

    You want to open that .msstyles file you downloaded. That is what you need to edit.

    In that file, there will be a section called bitmaps. In that section will be a ton of subsections for bitmaps. In these will be numbered bitmaps. You need to extract these bitmaps, edit them, and put them back in with the exact same names as before.


    This is using Resource Hacker (reshack).That is what you should be looking for.
    Vol~

    thanks to Silverwmoon!

  9. #9
    shautieh's Avatar
    shautieh is offline Senior Member Community Builder
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    oki ^^"

    i thought i had to look into the .dll
    i'll look at the msstyle tomorow, thanks

    btw, how can you "purpelize" an image under photoshop ?? i guess i only have to change the numbers for red/blue/green, but how
    if you have a way to do that

  10. #10
    Volvogga's Avatar
    Volvogga is offline Senior Member Always Around
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    I don't use photoshop (GIMP & Inkscape), but I would think that the easiest thing to do would be to place a rectange that is slightly larger than the image you want to edit over the image, color the rectangle purple, make it semi-transparent (so you can see the origonal image through the purple rectangle, might be called opacity), and then save/export only the area that is the origonal bitmap. That way, you should get an image that looks like it has a purple piece of plastic wrap over the top of it.

    The other thing you can try is looking for a 'colorize' filter. If I remember right though, Photoshop has 500 filters (sarcasm) in it, so it might be tough to find. This would be the perfered method, but for me, on inkscape, the method I described above could be done much faster than looking for the filter.

    It is definatly doable though.
    Vol~

    thanks to Silverwmoon!

 

 
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