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Windows 7: anyone used Ave's Style Builder?

06 Aug 2009   #1

7600 x86
anyone used Ave's Style Builder?

apparently, not only does it support Windows 7 visual styles, but it can import/translate XP and Vista visual styles. of course there would be some extra elements to skin, but that sounds awesome.

anyway i'm thinking of ordering it, and wondered if anyone here has used it. let me know what you think

Ave's Windows7 Style Builder

My System SpecsSystem Spec

06 Aug 2009   #2

XP Pro SP3 x86/Vista SP2 x64/Win7 x64 Triple-boot

I havn't tried it mate, but I keep checking that site regular to see if they have added a demo version.
It's really missing that part and I think they really need to sort one out otherwise their sales might suffer from it IMO.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Aug 2009   #3

7600 x86

i just went ahead and ordered it. i guess i'll be the guinea pig here

i'm having paypal trouble at the moment though, so the money won't clear until next week...

i'm not too adept when it comes to making my own graphics, but i can edit existing stuff just fine. that's what i plan to use this for. right now i've got a great plan for a mod of aero. and i think that later on, as more and more styles come out, it will be nice to have this to mod them.

it's kind of odd that there's not a free app available to do this, but such is life i guess...
My System SpecsSystem Spec

06 Aug 2009   #4

XP Pro SP3 x86/Vista SP2 x64/Win7 x64 Triple-boot

Lol!, temptation got the better of you?

You'll have to let us know if it's any good.. I might be tempted myself. It has to make it easier than using a conventional resource editor at the end of the day i suppose!
It's a right PITA going through a folder full of extracted resources with half of the images too small to even see.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Aug 2009   #5

7600 x86

well it has quite a lot of advantages really. first of all, you get live previews as you change resources, so you don't have to keep applying the theme all the time. it treats the Stream image as separate images, and lets you edit each bit individually, reassembling it all behind the scenes. plus, you can change things font and colour values along or sizing margins without having to mess with hex. it really does simplify the whole process.

but most importantly, everything is labeled, so you know exactly what each image is. look at the screenshots on their site to see what i mean.

i've used stylebuilder before for making/editing XP styles, and it was really wonderful to use. this one looks 10x better. i'm convinced it will be good to use - i just hope the windows 7 support is all i'm expecting it to be
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Aug 2009   #6

Windows 98 SE

Yeah ive bought it too..

It makes visual style editing atleast 300 times easier and not only that its just pure smarter, fast to test your style without actually saving it, and stuff like that. KAPLA!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Aug 2009   #7

7600 x86

KAPLA! is the best review i could hope for

yeah like i said i won't get it until next week but i'm looking forward to it!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Aug 2009   #8

7600 x86

well i got my copy finally

i was expecting live previews/mockups like the old TGSoft StyleBuilder for XP, but no such luck. fortunately it's got an in-memory uxtheme patcher built in, so it's dead easy to apply changes and see how it looks.

the layout is a bit overwhelming, it's going to take some time to get used to where things are, fortunately, it's possible to search for elements in a variety of ways, including by the resource number of the actual image inside the .msstyles file.

overall it's quite nice, and it's going to make building styles a whole lot easier. you can assign an external editor, so you just hit a button and send the image out. edit, save, then go back to Style Builder and click OK - it imports it immediately. i guess it uses a temp directory someplace... easy!

you can even edit parts of images - just export the hover or pressed or inactive parts of a button for example - and the app will re-assemble things for you.

not tried to import Vista styles yet - no time, i'll try later today and report back.

overall i'd say it's definitely a good investment for anyone interested in making visual styles for 7!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Aug 2009   #9

XP Pro SP3 x86/Vista SP2 x64/Win7 x64 Triple-boot

Glad you finally got your hands on a copy garbanzo.

I guess you won't know until you've given it a proper bash when you do your next style on wether the live preview stuff is really needed.

The layout bit sounds a bit frightening mind!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Aug 2009   #10

7600 x86

holy smokes!

i finally got around to importing a visual style from Vista, and it basically works right out of the box. new UI elements are carried over from Windows 7 Aero, but everything else gets replaced. the only glitch i found is with the new start menu, but that's easy enough to repair...

this is awesome

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