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Windows 7: Need help in applying custom theme


02 Sep 2009   #1

Win7 Pro 32-bit, Win8 Pro 32-bit
 
 
Need help in applying custom theme

I've got a tablet PC that doesn't do Aero, so I did the following (with much-needed help from others here):
1) Downloaded and installed the UxStyle service thingy
2) Downloaded bunch of Windows Basic themes from DA
3) Took ownership of aero.msstyles and aero.msstyles.mui in the Themes folder
4) Went through each of the downloaded themes, replacing aero.msstyles in the folder with the one from each theme.

All-in-all, worked quite well.

However, I have one theme that I'm not able to figure out how to apply. It's called Window 7 dark and it comes with files named Windows 7.msstyles -- not the typical aero.msstyles.

I've copied the folders and files into Windows\Resources\Themes but there is no indication of them in the Personalization window in any of the themes areas.

There is no .theme file or I would have used that to "install" the theme.

So, how do I get the personalization tool to "see" this theme so I can select it?

BTW, I did install a theme known as Luna Royal (it has a .theme file) and it DOES show up in Personalization as an installed theme. So, I know that I can install themes.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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12 Sep 2009   #2

Win7 Pro 32-bit, Win8 Pro 32-bit
 
 

No replies in aweek?? I did the "usual" thing -- I double-clicked the mmstyles file and all it did was open a Windows Classic panel. So, is there no way to apply the style without using a .theme file?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Sep 2009   #3

Windows 7
 
 

Hey man sorry for the late reply finally got a hold of some REALLY useful information it says for XP but all of it makes sense that it wouldnt be any different on 7. So here it is, first some basic and then the last question should be what your looking for.

(Infomation Courtesy of neowin.net - Thanks guys! - Kukag)

------

Q: How do I use visual styles (msstyles) now?

A: This, again, is very simple.

1. First, download a visual style. The Completed Visual Styles Section and Deviantart are two good places.
2. Extract the visual style to a folder with the same name in the following directory: C:\Windows\Resources\Themes. For example, if the msstyles file is xyz.msstyles, create a folder called “xyz” in C:\Windows\Resources\Themes and extract xyz.msstyles to that folder.
3. To load the visual style, go to the Display Properties > Appearance > Windows and Buttons, and find the visual style. Do not look for the visual style in the Themes tab. You can also double-click the msstyles file.


Q: What is the difference between a theme and a visual style?

A: The terms “theme” and “visual style” are often thrown around carelessly and used interchangeably, which adds to the confusion, but the distinction is clear.

A visual style (*.msstyles) is the file that skins the windows, taskbar, start menu, and other elements of the Windows appearance. Visual styles are loaded in the Appearance tab of the display properties dialog.

A theme (*.theme) is a visual style with saved settings, wallpapers, [COLOR=#009600 !important][COLOR=#009600 !important]icons[/COLOR][/COLOR], and so on. Themes are loaded in the Theme tab of the display properties dialog.

When people say themes, they usually mean visual styles.


Q: What is a shellstyle and how do I install it?

A: Shellstyle.dll is a file often bundled with the visual style that skins the common tasks pane (and other panes, e.g. the add/remove panel). No installation is necessary. Simply unzip the visual style to the appropriate directory as mentioned above and make sure the shell folder is in the visual style folder along with the msstyles file.


HERES WHAT I THINK IS YOUR MISTAKE! -Kukag

Q: Uxtheme was patched successfully, but visual styles do not appear in the Appearance tab dropdown list. What do I do?

A: This is a common problem, but one that deserves more attention than it is currently given. The problem is caused by a misnamed visual style folder. For the style to appear in the list, the folder name in which it is residing must correspond to the name of the msstyles file. For instance, gloss.msstyles must be in its visual style folder named “gloss” in the correct directory (C:\WINDOWS\Resources\Themes) and it will appear. The correct path for the file itself should then be:

C:\WINDOWS\Resources\Themes\gloss\gloss.msstyles

And equivalently, the shell folder should be in the same “gloss” folder: C:\WINDOWS\Resources\Themes\gloss\shell.

Hope that helps and if it did don't forget to rep! =P

Let me know if you have any other problems and I'll be sure to get back to you ASAP!
-Kukag
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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13 Sep 2009   #4

Win7 Pro 32-bit, Win8 Pro 32-bit
 
 

Kukag:

Thanks for responding.

All I have is Personalization --> Themes. There's no "Display Properties > Appearance > Windows and Buttons" that I can see.

As I've said, I have already double-clicked the msstyles file and all I get is a Classic properties panel that allows me to change windows features. Nothing appears to apply the style. There appears to be no way to select it.

Have already applied the patches because other styles, which include .theme files, work fine.

Have created the proper folders and files under Windows --> Resources --> Themes.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Sep 2009   #5

Windows 7
 
 

Hmm maybe I'm missing your problem so your sayin that all your themes have worked but when you went to install the .msstyles theme it didnt show up? Did you read the last part about making sure the folder name is the same as the file name?

Get back to me ASap!
Thanks,
Kukag
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Sep 2009   #6

Win7 Pro 32-bit, Win8 Pro 32-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Kukag View Post
Hmm maybe I'm missing your problem so your sayin that all your themes have worked but when you went to install the .msstyles theme it didnt show up? Did you read the last part about making sure the folder name is the same as the file name?

Get back to me ASap!
Thanks,
Kukag
Sorry about NOT getting back ASAP. Been too busy to address this recently.

Anyway ... I have been able to do the following:
1) Replace aero.msstyles with various other customized ones (downloaded from DA), and seen various desktop changes.
2) Install the Luna Royal theme for Vista Basic -- came with .theme file
3) Copy "Windows 7" basic theme (also downloaded from DA) components into the Windows --> Resources --> Themes directory.

It's the last that is the problem. The components are there, and the file and folder names match, but I can't find any way to enable it. What I've read says to double-click on the msstyles file, but while I can do that, all I get is a Windows Classic panel, which while it LOOKS like it will allow me to make changes, doesn't actually do anything to the desktop.

And, it's not a problem with using msstyle files named other than Aero or Basic because the Luna Royal theme uses a Luna Royal msstyles file and it works fine.

I've looked at some .theme files and have thought about hand-bashing one for the "Windows 7" basic theme, but would really like to know if there is a tutorial anywhere on creating .theme files.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Sep 2009   #7

Windows 7
 
 

Hmm weird well heres some tuts on creating .theme files and resources i found..

The Difference between Visual Styles and Themes - bfarber.comCreating and Installing Theme Files

Hope this helps!

Thanks,
Kukag
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Sep 2009   #8

Win7 Pro 32-bit, Win8 Pro 32-bit
 
 

Kukag:

Many thanks for the links. I'll check them out.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Sep 2009   #9

 

You need to research applying Visual Styles, which are quite different from Themes.

Another thing you could possibly research would be AveStyler....
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Sep 2009   #10

Win7 Pro 32-bit, Win8 Pro 32-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by johngalt View Post
You need to research applying Visual Styles, which are quite different from Themes.
I DO understand the difference. From what I've read, you double-click the msstyles file to apply the Style -- but that doesn't appear to work in my system. As I've said repeatedly, all that does is open a panel and none of the changes I make there appear to do anything.

So ... since the theme approach DOES work, I though I'd see about creating my own .theme file for the visual style ... and see if that works.

Quote:
Another thing you could possibly research would be AveStyler....
I've seen links to that but am more interested at this point in getting a single style to work.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Need help in applying custom theme




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