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Windows 7: Custom Themes, Custom Icons

16 Apr 2009   #1
Orbital Shark


With the addition of slideshow within Windows 7 it is now possible to do away with single image backgrounds.

This short thread will teach you how to create your own themes and use custom icons for that theme.

First you need to decide what wallpapers you wish to use for you slideshow, these will no doubt be images downloaded from the internet. Once the images have been decided, copy them to a location that you'll remember (e.g. Wallpapers 1, in the Pictures library).

Second you will need to change the folder and search properties in explorer to 'Show hidden, files, folder and drives'.

Now open the Personalization panel (right-click the desktop & select personalize). Now select 'Desktop Background' and Browse to the folder you've just created and select all the images you wish to use. Next, click ok, choose the setting you wish to use (Position, Time, Shuffle etc) then 'Save Changes'.

This will now create an 'Unsaved Theme' in the 'My Themes' section. Click 'Save Theme' and call it what you like. This will save the theme in the following location;


where C is the root drive & [username] is your name.

That's the easy part out of the way, now comes the technical bit. You will need to access the above directory if you are to add custom icons to your theme (hence changing the folder and search properties earlier).

For the next part i'm going to presume you have already downloaded some icons. For easy access it is best to create a directory called icons in your root directory (e.g. c:\icons ). This will allow you to easily locate your icon files.

Locate your newly created theme & right-click then select 'Open with'. This will bring up a box displaying the programs you can use to open the theme file. If you click the small down arrow just below 'Windows Shell Common Dll' and select 'Notepad', then un-check 'Always use this program to open this type of file' and click ok.

This will open the theme file in notepad and you can now edit the individual components of the theme. The bits you want to change will look like the example below.

; Computer - SHIDI_SERVER

You now want to change the DefaultValue to the icon of your choice. See example below;

; Computer - SHIDI_SERVER

Do this for all the components you wish to change.

NOTE: The following is a list of all that can be changed
; Computer - SHIDI_SERVER
; Documents - IDI_MYDOCS

Once you've completed this step then just close notepad & choose to save the file.

Now you will have to activate another theme, then re-activate your saved theme in order to see the new icons.

Please note, there may be other ways to do this, i just haven't found them yet LOL

Also, the recycle bin does not change automatically but all the others are working on my rig :)

My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Apr 2009   #2


According to Creating and Installing Theme Files these instructions are subject to change....
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Custom Themes, Custom Icons

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