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10 Jun 2010  

Windows 7
Investigating Themes & Selected Items Color

All I want to achieve is a solid color behind selected items, like XP's blue instead of Vista/7's transparent sky-blue, in an aero environment.

By using the "ultimate theme patcher" software to patch 3 system files (themeservices.dll, themeui.dll, uxtheme.dll), I can have my Win7 PC display a lovely 3rd party Luna_Aero theme by a designer named "~Satukoro" on deviantART, which looks like a mockup of XP and Win7 together. This is almost 100% what I'm after, except for the selected items color still being the transparent sky-blue. Note: Don't mind the larger, bold font for 'icons', this has just been set manually to help my eysight.

Alternatively using the "6.0.6000.16386_XX_UXTHEME" software to patch uxtheme.dll it lauches what I have dubbed a "glitched classic mode". using the Luna_Aero theme in this mode looks like the above image.
I use the name 'glitched classic mode' because whilst the design layout is simillar to that of the 'windows classic' theme, no matter which type of theme you try to change to (win7aero/win7basic/luna_aero/Winclassic), the layout stays the same. The only changed characteristic that I can see at first glance are 'active title bar' and 'selected items' colours. And so, this "glitched classic" layout cannot be removed unless you overwrite the uxtheme.dll file with the original version again, or ultimate theme patcher version.

However this "glitched classic" DOES HAVE the same solid blue selected items color as XP did under the Luna_Aero theme, whereas win7aero and win7basic are lighter shades of the solid blue, and winclassic has a much darker one.

Through multiple trial and error re-boots, I've determined that the difference is deffinatly in the uxtheme.dll offered by each software. Perhaps if someone took a look at the differences between the two uxtheme.dll files provided they could isolate the difference and aid me in my task of achieving an XP-like solid blue selected items inside an Aero environment? I imagine it'd look something like the image below:

Download uxtheme.dll - ultimate theme from - send big files the easy way - Download for Testing - .zip pack containing:
- uxtheme.dll - "6.0.6000.16386_XX_UXTHEME" 32bit version
- uxtheme.dll - "ultimate theme patcher" version
- uxtheme.dll - "win7 32bit original file backup" version

I do know of a 'pay-for' piece of software which I believe is called "vistastylebuilder". However I don't really relish the idea of paying 16.40 Euros for each computer (since the liscense agreement says it's for one user only and not to share the key.) Not because I simply don't want to, but because I just don't have that sort of money to 'buy the fix' for 4 machines at 14.22 each as well as the extra bank charges for converting the money into euros, for myself whom is registered blind, my girlfriend's computer, as well as my mum and dad's, who's eyesights are getting worse now as they get older.
My System SpecsSystem Spec