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Windows 7: Where are the .dll and .exe files responsible for the look of windows?

29 Jan 2013   #1
Digital64

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 
Where are the .dll and .exe files responsible for the look of windows?

Hi
I'm trying to make my own advanced theme (Custom window textures and stuff) but I can not find the .dll and .exe files that contain the graphics I wish to change. Any help on the subject would be greatly appreciated.

P.S. I do not want a program to do this for me like windowblindes.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

29 Jan 2013   #2
Bongo

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 Pro x64 / Win 8.1 Pro
 
 

Welcome to the Seven Forums

There are many .dll, .exe, etc. that control the look of Windows, post some screenshots of the areas you would like to change either highlighting them or use arrows to point at the areas.

Use these tutorials for posting screenshots.
Screenshot with Paint
How to Use the Snipping Tool in Vista - Vista Forums
Screenshots and Files - Upload and Post in Seven Forums

Jerry
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jan 2013   #3
Digital64

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

What I want to figure out how to change are the less-customizable graphic components of windows, such as the actual bitmap images buried within the system that dictate how things are going to appear on the screen. Here are a few of the ones I am looking to figure out how to change:


The texturing of the title bar of the window. I've seen customization that goes deeper than just changing the color.


The border that surrounds active applications on the taskbar.

(Couldn't get a picture for this one)
The overall appearance of the start menu, primarily just the graphical layout of the entire thing.

That's pretty much everything I want to know about, I've found out where the images are located for all of the other graphical components on my own.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


30 Jan 2013   #4
Bongo

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 Pro x64 / Win 8.1 Pro
 
 

OK all those images are in the aero.msstyles in C:\Windows\Resources\Themes\Aero folder

I would suggest that you create a custom theme from scratch so you did not corrupt the original, look at Post #38 of this thread Start menu color change ?? it will show you how to start a new custom theme giving it a different name than Aero.

You will need to do 1 of these 2 ways of Enabling custom themes for it to work.
Enabling Custom Themes - Windows 7
Or
Theme - How to Apply Custom Themes


Here are some image numbers that I have made up in the past.
-explorer.png-start-menu-2-.png
-taskbar.png-scroolbar_.png
Name:  th.png
Views: 14
Size:  82.4 KB
Here is a breakdown of the track image.
Name:  Untitled.png
Views: 69
Size:  14.3 KB
You'll find the frame and Close, minimize, maximize buttons in the Steam image 971 (I have applied a gray background layer so that the images can be seen)
-971.png

If you are going to be doing a lot of customizing of the .msstyles I would recommend getting Ave's Windows7 Style Builder it is only about $22.50 US and makes editing very easy especially that Steam image 971 is all broken down into individual parts.
Jerry


My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Jan 2013   #5
Digital64

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Thank you so much,
This is exactly what I needed!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Jan 2013   #6
Bongo

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 Pro x64 / Win 8.1 Pro
 
 

You're welcome
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Where are the .dll and .exe files responsible for the look of windows?




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