Remember those days when you were bound to use only three themes in Windows XP? Then StyleXP and WindowBlinds came and later people started using the custom visual styles by patching/replacing uxtheme.dll. Till then to now even in Vista we are using the same old method (patching uxtheme.dll) for using the third party visual styles but this would be be changed in Windows Seven!
Don’t worry Windows 95 Plus! enthusiasts, Microsoft hasn’t forgotten about you and your themes. A recently updated MSDN Library document shows that Microsoft hasn’t just brushed themes under the carpet, but instead dusted it off, added some new polish and is even putting it under the spotlight.
The document “Creating and Installing Theme Files” has been updated with several “additions to the .theme file format were made for Windows 7″. They include:
The [Theme] section of the file contains the following two attributes:
Icon=module,-iconId (example: themeui.dll,-123) or pathToIcon (example: MyTheme.ico)
Windows 7 and later. The icon to show in the theme gallery, either an embedded resource or a path to an .ico file. Paths are relative to the directory of the .theme file.
You can create custom wallpaper for the desktop and specify a path to the graphics file. Additionally, this section of the .theme file can specify whether the screen saver is active. The following example shows how to do modify the desktop appearance. Windows 7 and later: If the slideshow is active, the path can be a path to a folder containing multiple images, or a colon-delimited list of image files.
Windows 7 and later. The following attribute is set to “1″ to enable a slide show as the wallpaper.
Windows 7 and later. A theme pack is a .cab file that contains not only the .theme file but also the files needed to implement the theme on another computer, such as sound files and images. Users can create theme packs through the Personalization application in Control Panel.
Document: Creating and Installing Theme Files
Edited by Liskiller, 05 August 2008 - 07:40 PM.