DesktopX includes many themes you can apply to the Windows desktop. Each theme includes a different set of widgets. To open the Select DesktopX Theme window, right-click the DesktopX icon in the system tray and then select Load Theme from the shortcut menu (see Figure 14.16).
Figure 14.16. Load a different DesktopX theme.
You can load any of the available themes; select the theme and then click Load. You can also download new themes by double-clicking the Download from Internet option (the last icon in the theme list). This takes you to the winCustomize.com website. You can download numerous DesktopX themes from this website. You can then load them from the Select DesktopX Theme window by using the Browse button to locate the downloaded file.
Using a desktop extender such as DesktopX in conjunction with a custom toolbar program like ObjectBar allows you to completely change the Windows desktop. Throw in the capabilities of a skinning program like WindowBlinds, and you can create a totally custom user environment within Windows.
DesktopX also provides the ability to create your own themes, widgets, and objects. Because this involves the creation of miniprograms, it requires some knowledge of scripting (such as a working knowledge of Visual Basic). Creating widgets and objects is beyond the scope of this book. DesktopX does contain a special theme called Developer's Desktop that provides information on creating objects and includes objects you can clone. You will find the DesktopX Resources website at http://www.stardock.com/products/desktopx/resources.asp. This site not only provides links to DesktopX documentation, but also provides access to DesktopX programmer discussion groups.
For more about DesktopX theme, object, and widget creation, you can access the DesktopX Developer's Guide. Right-click the DesktopX icon in the system tray and then select Developer's Guide.
If you do a little search on the Web, you will find that a number of Windows XP applications are skinnable. For example, skins are available for the popular media player Nullsoft's Winamp at http://www.winamp.com/. Another example is the popular Internet chat software ICQ (check out the ICQ skins at http://www.appleblossomart.com/icq.htm).