Using the Stardock Theme Manager

Theme Manager is a free application but doesn't really do anything if you don't have other Stardock Object Desktop programs installed. Theme Manager provides a single and simple interface for changing theme elements, visual styles, and other interface items (see Figure 6.32). Theme Manager can save all the GUI elements in a suite that can then be applied to Windows. This means you can apply a theme, icons, a desktop background, and visual styles easily to the interface and even save these element settings together in a suite file.

Figure 6.32. The Theme Manager interface.

On the left side of Theme Manager is a list of the applications it provides. You can use these to quickly change the current suite (again, a suite is a collection of a theme, icon settings, and a visual style; it is the easiest way to change all the elements of the interface), visual style, or icon set.


Theme Manager is a free download and can be downloaded with the other Object Desktop programs from If you choose to download or buy the demo Object Desktop, Theme Manager is one of the member applications.

Let's take a look at applying a new suite. Click the Suites icon and then select a new suite from the list provided. Click the Apply button. You are asked whether you want to apply the selected suite; click Yes. The suite is applied to the Windows interface (see Figure 6.33).

Figure 6.33. You can quickly skin the Windows interface with a suite.

Theme Manager also lets you change other interface elements. To change the visual style, click the Visual Styles icon and then select a new visual from the list. Click Apply to apply the visual style. This also changes the visual style provided by WindowBlinds.

You can also use Theme manager to change the current icon set, screensavers, and wallpapers. Just select Icon Packages, select the appropriate icon in the Applications list, and apply the selected item.

If you like to mix and match elements, you can create your own suite, which allows you to quickly apply all the interface elements at once. Click the Theme Manager File menu and then select New Suite. The Create New Suite dialog box opens (see Figure 6.34).

Figure 6.34. You can create your own suites.

You can enter the credits for your suite and select an icon to represent the suite. Any icon file will do (more about icons in Chapter 10). You can then use the application icons provided in the dialog box to select the icon set, visual style, logon screen, screensaver, and so on for the new suite. After selecting the skin elements that will be part of the suite, click the Save button, provide a name for your theme, and specify a location if you want to use one other than the default in the Save Theme dialog box. You can then apply the suite from the list provided by Theme Manager.

Theme Manager enables you to easily and quickly select a new look for any and all of the interface elements, including logons and boot screens. Because it provides a single interface for the various Object Desktop skin-related applications, you don't have to know all the ins and outs of each of the applications.


You can also create your new suite from the current desktop. If you apply the various skin elements using Theme Manager, you can then click the Use Current Desktop button in the Create New Suite dialog box. You also have to create a suite preview for your suite before you can create it. So, working from a skinned desktop, press Print Screen and then open a graphics program, such as Microsoft Paint. Paste the screen capture of the desktop into Paint and then save it. You can then specify this bitmap picture as the suite preview (when creating the theme in the Create a New Suite dialog box).

Theme Manager also provides a link to, which provides a library of visual styles, icon sets, and other interface elements you can download. You can then apply these interface elements to Windows from the Theme Manager window.

    Skinning Windows XP
    Skinning Windows XP
    ISBN: 078973348X
    EAN: 2147483647
    Year: 2003
    Pages: 160
    Authors: Joe Habraken © 2008-2017.
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