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Ave's Vista Style Builder FAQ


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#1 Liskiller

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Posted 19 August 2008 - 10:55 AM

Ave's Vista Style Builder FAQ for the newbies who want to make their own visual styles for Windows Vista

All of you would be using custom visual styles (msstyles) in Vista by replacing uxtheme.dll, shsvcs.dll and themeui.dll but do you know how these MSStyles are being made? People who release Vista themes have to hand-edit the MSStyles through Resource Hacker which is a tiresome work.

UKIntel has tried to make this task easier by posting his awesome tutorial but still it isn't so easy as it was in the time of Windows XP.

Making visual styles for Windows XP was quick and easy because of the availability of StyleBuilder but TGTSoft couldn't make a StyleBuilder for Vista, then The Skins Factory came forward and announced the making of a Vista MSStyles skinner but he immediately drew back when AndreasV, the maker of AveDesk posted a working screenshot of his Vista Style Builder [LINK].

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So what it is?
With Ave's Vista Style Builder there now is a fully fledged application for changing every aspect of a Vista Visual Style:
  • No more hex-editing binary files
  • Auto fixes alpha-channels from Photoshop
  • Smart support for image import and export
  • Add or remove properties
  • Built-in documentation
  • Import XP Visual Stye and export it as a Vista compatible :woot:
Current Status
It's released! click here
The last update was on 6 July 2008 that they were close to a release. The full post is here:
"Bugs have been fixed in the alpha-converter module: Vista Style Builder makes it possible to import images from PhotoShop without fixing the alpha with other programs; you just import the image and it works. A major new feature is the ability to import XP themes into VSB to convert them to Vista themes. It works well on most XP themes (e.g. Luna). However, some themes might require some small tweaking still. It is still a magnitude faster than converting themes by hand."


Will it be a freeware?
It will be the first AndreasV's program which will not be free, but a small amount won't matter considering his hard work and the requirement of this program.

When it will be available?
It has been released!
Anytime soon. Keep checking Vistastylebuilder.com

Where can I know more about it?
How-To-Geek has a walkthrough to get you started with doing so.

How can I make a Vista visual style without Ave's Vista Style Builder?
As I have told above. You can make your own visual style by replacing the images of Aero.msstyles with Resource Hacker and by Hex editing.
Here are the tutorial links:
Creating a Windows Vista Visual Style, The Beginners Guide
How to change FONT TYPES, in Vista Visual Styles (using Hex-Edits)
Hex-Editing Vista Visual Styles, A list of some useful changes to your .msstyle

Ok, is there an easy way?
You can use SkinStudio that allows users to create visual styles for Windows XP and Windows Vista but these visual styles are applied by WindowBlinds and can't be exported as MSStyles. Both SkinStudio and WindowBlinds are sharewares.

Screenshots: Thanks to how-to-geek

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#2 Mheltin

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Posted 19 August 2008 - 11:01 AM

Looking forward on This. :woot: :woot: :woot:

#3 darkredbbb

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Posted 19 August 2008 - 02:30 PM

wicked!! :D

#4 Mattias

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Posted 19 August 2008 - 03:36 PM

awesome! when this releases. I'll conquer the windows vista visual style scene ;). No seriously, this will give a major boost to all skinners for Vista and you will be noticing how many Vista visual styles there will be on deviantart when this application releases.

#5 Gragier_521

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Posted 19 August 2008 - 06:29 PM

Can't wait to give it a try..

#6 netbox

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Posted 28 August 2008 - 06:39 AM

hope this will be not hard to buy.. :)
if this will be release, even a computer begginer can create a visual style for vista..
That would be cool..
and also if this release is free then AveStyleBuilder would be legend..

#7 Airflow

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Posted 28 August 2008 - 10:45 PM

Maybe I can get into skinning, but I guess I'm a cheap kind of person that doesn't like to pay for stuff...maybe this thing is good enough that I should pay for it ;)

#8 pm_41

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Posted 29 August 2008 - 01:53 AM

Port XP msstyles to Vista msstyles? Will they be Vista basic or somehow incorporate Aero?

#9 Villain

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Posted 29 August 2008 - 02:36 AM

doesn't matter, this way, think of how big the vista skin base will be by making it backwards compatible with the conversion process...

cant wait to see this app!

#10 RickSOLET

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Posted 29 August 2008 - 07:50 AM

Port XP msstyles to Vista msstyles? Will they be Vista basic or somehow incorporate Aero?

Of course Vista Basic!

#11 pm_41

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Posted 30 August 2008 - 12:34 AM


Port XP msstyles to Vista msstyles? Will they be Vista basic or somehow incorporate Aero?

Of course Vista Basic!


When AndreasV releases this, someone port Luna to Vista Basic! :woot:

#12 TheGreenMan

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Posted 30 August 2008 - 05:35 PM

When AndreasV releases this, someone port Luna to Vista Basic!

LOL, it'll be the first basic (non-transparent) visual style I'll be using in Vista.
I miss Luna. :cry:

#13 imsobored17

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Posted 31 August 2008 - 02:55 AM

or you could get windowblinds

which ports any xp msstyle to vista flawlessly

a in depth skineditor for free

and a more advanced skinning engine

the way i see it this app is quite obsolete

it cant do anything a resource hacker and a hex editor can do

and it cant do anything more special the skinstudio and windowblinds 6

i allready have luna and all my favorites on vista and i have had them for a long time..

Edited by imsobored17, 31 August 2008 - 02:55 AM.


#14 kyosan

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Posted 31 August 2008 - 03:22 AM

thanks for info. Purchase..éc éc :blink:

Edited by kyosan, 31 August 2008 - 03:29 AM.


#15 timbertide

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Posted 31 August 2008 - 08:07 AM

or you could get windowblinds

which ports any xp msstyle to vista flawlessly

Yup, you can download this free XP .msstyles to WindowBlinds converter tool.

#16 ricemonster

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Posted 31 August 2008 - 11:18 PM

Will this app make it possible to change the fonts such as the taskbar font?

#17 AndreasV

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Posted 01 September 2008 - 01:14 AM

The imported and converted Luna actually supports both basic and aero on Vista, complete with dropshadows :) :

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#18 pm_41

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Posted 01 September 2008 - 03:21 AM

The imported and converted Luna actually supports both basic and aero on Vista, complete with dropshadows :) :

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Ohhh...Sweet! Release it as an example of the power of the program (and because loads of us miss Luna...)!

#19 Johnnyboy

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Posted 01 September 2008 - 11:09 AM

Wow, it looks amazing AndreasV. :)

#20 Sem

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Posted 30 September 2008 - 04:13 PM

vaporware... :(

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