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Windows 7: Porting Vista themes to 7 ?

22 Jun 2009   #1
Legacy Code

Porting Vista themes to 7 ?

Now that RTM is nearly ready I'm thinking about creating a custom Visual Style for 7 as Ive always wanted to do something like this and to be honest i want the theme i have on Vista on 7. Ive not done this before but have found some very cool and easy to follow tutorials by UkIntel.

[HEX-EDITING] locations in Vista Visual Styles - Community

I have a few questions that I'm hoping someone here can help me with :

1 - Are the basics the same on 7 as it is in Vista and if not what are the changes i will have to get over and the differences in the set up of themes in the 2 OS's?

2 - Will the destination folder for the theme be the same as in Vista ? C:\Windows\Resources\Themes

3 - Can anyone recommend a good app so i can make a self extracting file that will install the theme into the relevant folder on set up ?

4 - Will i need the makers permission to port the theme ? I can contact him via DeviantArt but i thought id try and workout how to create a theme first.

5 - Stardock are working on windows blinds 7, Is there any major differences in the two types of theme , by that i mean a WB theme and a normal Visual style.

The theme i want to try and port is shown in the attachment below.

Any help would be most appreciated.

The theme i have on Vista is here :

UkIntel's deviantART gallery

Attached Thumbnails
Porting Vista themes to 7 ?-theme-i-want-port-7.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jun 2009   #2

Win 7

1. There are many differences. So that Vista-Theme not work on Win 7
2. Yes
4. You can first try out. But when you make it public on deviantart etc. then you need the permission.

The best way to port a vista-theme, is the VistaStyleBuilder Ave's Vista Style Builder

(sorry for my english)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jun 2009   #3
Legacy Code


Thanks for the information and the link Moinmoin. I have heard of Aves style builder but has no idea that Aves Win7style builder was going to be available. Hopefully this will make it easier for me.

So basically any information i have on visual styles for vista is irrelevant ? Oh well looks like more research is needed...and i thought this was going to be easy lol

My System SpecsSystem Spec

22 Jun 2009   #4

7600 x86

a lot of elements are the same, but a lot are not. for example, the taskbar. buttons work very differently now, and there are several sizes to skin. plus, the start orb isn't in the .msstyles file anymore, it's part of explorer.exe and has to be edited separately.

porting skins will be a lot of work since new graphics will have to be made to accommodate these changes. plus, until a solid style building app is produced, it's down to using a resource hacker and editing things manually, which is a ton of work.

as for windowblinds, it uses a very different format than regular visual styles, and porting between the two is a tedious manual task.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jun 2009   #5
Legacy Code


Hey garbanzo ,
Ive seen your works on DeviantArt and its very cool indeed !

So i take it the latest build of Res hacker works well on 7 then ? To be honest i was going to stay away from windows blinds as most people wont pay to theme the OS they are using . I was thinking if it was easy to port to WB i would include a version for it, but if your saying its very different i think i will drop that idea completely.

Thanks for the advice
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jun 2009   #6

7600 x86

thanks for the compliment! glad you like my stuff :)

ResHacker works fine, but i actullaly use Resource Tuner because it lets you view PNG images before extracting them. it's not freeware though...

i think it's a wise decision to stick with visual styles rather than going to windowblinds. wb is good for XP because it adds things like transparency effects, but for vista and 7, it's really not necessary.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jun 2009   #7

Win 7

But Reshacker and Resource Tuner is for x86 (x32)
Restorator or Anolis Resourcer (freeware) is also for x64.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jun 2009   #8
Legacy Code is a cool site MoinMoin , Im glad google translates because my German isn't that good .

Ok i have Reshacker and Restuner, all i need now is a lot practise , lots of long nights and some occasional swearing at my laptop when it all goes wrong lol.

So how long would you say a theme takes to create , bearing in mind Im on a steep learning curve .... months not weeks i guess ?

Thanks for the help and advice guys.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jun 2009   #9

Win 7

Thanks Legacy Code :)

Its difficult. It depends on how much you want to change.
Start with simple things (picture), then goes better.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jun 2009   #10
Legacy Code


OK first hurdle to overcome ,

When i open the the aero shell into resource tuner i cant see to find the bitmaps for the navigation pane or the details pane so i can replace them. Obviously I'm looking in the wrong place lol.

Can anyone tell me where they are please ?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Porting Vista themes to 7 ?

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