After the installation is complete, you can open the StyleBuilder application window. Select the Start menu, point at All Programs, point at the TGTSoft icon, and then select StyleBuilder.
The StyleBuilder window is designed to provide easy access to all the elements that make up the Windows interface. The StyleBuilder window is divided into several panes, as shown in Figure 8.2.
Figure 8.2. The StyleBuilder window consists of several panes.
Each of the StyleBuilder panes is designed to let you quickly access and view different visual style elements; meaning individual parts or pieces of the interface. A brief description of each pane follows:
Shortcut bar This bar provides quick access to interface elements such as the windows, toolbars, taskbar, and user pane. Click one of the thumbnail images on the bar to go to that category of interface elements. There are also group buttons for each of the default color schemes: Blue, Homestead, and Metallic (more about the color schemes in the section "Creating a Simple Windows XP Visual Style"). To view the interface elements associated with a color scheme, click that color scheme group button.
Part tree This tree lists every major element and subelement that makes up the interface. When you select an interface category, such as Task Bar (using the Shortcut bar), the Task Bar element is selected in the Part tree. To drill down to specific parts or items (graphic images) associated with the taskbar, select them in the Part tree.
Preview window The Preview window shows the currently selected interface element (the element you selected on the Shortcut bar). You can select individual items of the currently shown element by clicking that item.
Part window This window shows the current item that is selected in the Part tree (and was clicked in the Preview window). Many items have multiple states, such as mouse-over, selected, and so on. Use the mouse to interact with the item shown in the Part window to determine the bitmap used for each state of the item.
Properties/Zoom/Colorize window This pane shows the properties associated with the currently selected interface element. The pane also has a Zoom tab that provides a zoomed-in view of the element you mouse over. The Colorize tab of this pane allows you to control the color hue, brightness, and saturation of the current element (color changes can also be applied to all interface elements).
You can change the size of any of the StyleBuilder panes by dragging the border of that pane. The size of the panes and the amount of information shown in a pane depend on your screen resolution. If you are using the 800 ¥ 600 resolution, you might have to expand a particular pane to see all the options.
Using the different panes to drill down to a particular interface element and its properties provides you with complete control over the visual attributes of that element. Before working through the process of building a visual style, let's pause for a moment and discuss what StyleBuilder is designed to do in terms of skinning the Windows interface.