Vista Style Builder

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1  Help / Windows 7 / Re: Size of glyphs on: May 10, 2011, 10:43:08 pm
I finally found out what the problem was. It was in part sizing margins (thanks for that tip), but also because of this: if you export and then import a sub-image, such as the active top frame, WSB doesn't let you resize it, it will shrink it to the size of the original graphic. To be able to import the image with a different size, then you have to go to the upper level of that item, export from there and import back to there. I was working on the top frame, but in the "Active" sub-category and graphic, so I was having the problem mentioned above. Then it occurred to me to export the graphic at the root of the Top category, which includes both the active and inactive frames in one graphic. I worked with that in PS, I made the canvas 100 pixels wide and imported it back that way. I also set the sizing margins, which proved very useful when the top frame is in a Windows Explorer window and it's expanded vertically. So it's always a good idea to work at the root of each item, and edit the full graphic with all the variants.
2  Help / Windows 7 / Re: Size of glyphs on: May 10, 2011, 07:15:21 pm
So you're saying there's no way to make WSB accept a different size? Let me give you one example that's driving me crazy now. I did the command module bar in black, applied a Bevel and Emboss effect in PS, and I didn't export it at the same size that the original image for that has, I did the same height, but it's like 200 pixels wide. When I imported the new file into WSB to replace the old command module, it shows with the right width. So that worked perfectly fine and the new command module bar looks exactly as I intended. Now I would like the top frame to look the same or as close as possible, but it's not working the same way. If I work on the exported DWMWindow_FrameTop_ActiveImage.png in Photoshop, not resizing but expanding the canvas horizontally and then painting black in the middle, when I import it back into WSB it doesn't show with the same width I saved it in, it shows with the width of the original file, and it makes the corners almost 90 degrees. The only way to make it work more or less is to open the original in PS and don't change the size, paint everything but the corners black and apply the Bevel and Emboss effect. The problem there is that because it is so tiny, the result looks far more different than the command module bar. The Bevel and Emboss effect doesn't work the same way for a graphic that is 100 px wide than for one that is 21, even if you play with all the parameters. Here's the screenshot:

Now, is there a way I can tell WSB to accept the DWMWindow_FrameTop_ActiveImage.png but with a longer width, just as it did with the command module?
3  Help / Windows 7 / Problem with transparency on: May 10, 2011, 05:14:04 pm
I'm trying to make a kind of black glass theme, kind of like the Vista taskbar was, but for Win 7. So I want to replace the default look of the windows for something I create, so for starters I exported the top frame and did this graphic in Photoshop:

Since the top corners are rounded I saved the graphic as png with transparency, which was the original format WSB exported. In fact, I basically worked on the exported file so it would have the same dimensions and DPI.

When I import the file into WSB it respects the transparency just fine. However, when I click on test, the transparency is not right. It changes depending on the background, but here's what I mean:

So how can I get around this problem?
4  Help / Windows 7 / Testing style problem and color of windows on: May 10, 2011, 06:44:33 am
In working on each of the graphic elements and testing them it's annoying that the tested style always has the baby blue default Windows color, and then when I press stop testing it doesn't go back to the color I had set in the Window Color control panel but instead to the ugly baby blue window color. So I've got a couple of obvious questions:

1) is there a way to set the predetermined color and opacity in the style I'm editing to what I want? For example, right now I'm trying to design a style that is all black with white text for the most part. That means a black command module background with white text, which I already achieved using the maps here, but I would like to set things in a way that when I press the test button, the color of the windows that you normally set in the Window Color CP is already black, and not having to set it each and every time from the control panel.

2)Is there a way to set WSB so that when I press "Stop testing" it goes back to the window color that I had set before, instead of going back to the baby blue and also to the Segoe 9 pt font? This is not terrible when it's just a couple of times, but when I'm working on a specific element of the style, and I have to go back and forth between normal and test states, it's really annoying to have to change the windows color each when I test, and then click on the saved theme when I go back to normal state.
5  Help / Windows 7 / Size of glyphs on: May 10, 2011, 06:02:42 am
The image elements of the skin, those are called glyphs, right? What I'm wondering is if the size of a particular glyphs or set of them has to be exactly the same size as the original, or if you can make them bigger. For example, I was creating a new set of pushbuttons in Photoshop, so I exported the original which is 13x138 pixels and I created a set of new buttons, respecting the height of 138 but expanding it horizontally. This worked perfectly when I tested it in WSB, but then I wondered if I could make the buttons a little bigger than the standard 21 pixels tall, to I went into image size and change the height to 160, with the width in proportion. I imported that back into WSB and tested it. Even though the graphic file was bigger, when I tested it it had the same height as before. So do every single graphic element I create has to be exactly the same size as the original?
6  Main / Notices / Re: Windows Style Builder 1.6 XML Changes on: May 10, 2011, 05:53:30 am
Should be working Huh?

open it,open the classmap .xml in notepad, do a search for backgroundshinelayer, if it shows up you know  your files have been replaced.

OK, I realized what the problem is. When I did this the first couple of times, I had not simply copied the two folders to the data folder, I had deleted the Vista and Win7 folder to make things cleaner, since I had compared the folders and they both had the same files in them. But upon launching WSB, for some reason WSB would delete the new versions and force the old versions back into place. So then I tried to simply copy the two folders and overwrite, and now WSB is working with the 1.6 XMLs. I don't know why this happens, but it's fine now.
7  Main / Notices / Re: Windows Style Builder 1.6 XML Changes on: May 09, 2011, 06:09:57 pm
You must've gone wrong somewhere  , if the old locations are showing up the files in the win 7 folder haven't  been replaced.Try again , open the data folder (.....AveApps\Windows Style Builder\Data  ), follow the instructions in the post.

I think I followed the instructions step by step. I unzipped the files, I overwrote the Vista and Win 7 folders in C:\Program Files (x86)\AveApps\Windows Style Builder\Data, then I copied the Base folder to C:\Windows\Resources\Themes\, but I also left it where I had unzipped it, since I didn't want to work directly on the C:\Windows\Resources\Themes\ folder.

I opened WSB and then I opened the msstyle Base from the scratch folder I had unzipped it. Was there anything else I was supposed to do?
8  Main / Notices / Re: Windows Style Builder 1.6 XML Changes on: May 09, 2011, 08:02:42 am
Something has me confused. In the first page of this threads there's a list of changes in the new XMLs and in the Command Module changes it says:

Explorer & Shell > Explorer > CommandModule > <1> RENAMED TO BackgroundShineLayer
Explorer & Shell > Explorer > CommandModule > <2> RENAMED TO Background

and some more changes to it. But, I installed WSB 1.5, replaced the folders per the instructions in the 1.6 XML download, opened the style "Base" included with the download, but then I went to Explorer & Shell > Explorer > CommandModule > and the <number> are still there, they haven't been replaced to BackgroundShineLayer, etc.

Did I do something wrong?
9  Other / Base / Re: Base + 1.6.0 XMLs Released. on: May 09, 2011, 07:46:05 am
WSB's documentation is stored on the internet, not locally. The sever in which it's hosted's disk is full.

Oh, OK. So it's nothing I should worry about then.
10  Help / Windows 7 / Re: Visual guide for elements? on: May 09, 2011, 06:58:09 am

That's awesome. Thank you!
11  Help / Windows 7 / Visual guide for elements? on: May 09, 2011, 06:19:38 am
I haven't used WSB for about a year so I don't remember this. Was there a visual guide somewhere in the forums to make it easier to identify the different elements of the Windows GUI in WSB? For example, which one is the regular button that we see on popup dialogs or in control panels, or the sliders and arrows in windows, the bar that starts with "Organize" and so on. Since the images are so tiny it's difficult to tell what is what in WSB. I have seen these visual guide scattered in different threads, but is there somewhere where they are all together?
12  Other / Base / Re: Base + 1.6.0 XMLs Released. on: May 09, 2011, 06:07:46 am
Disk is full where the Documentation is.

The C:\ drive has 75.4 GB free in it.
13  Other / Base / Re: Base + 1.6.0 XMLs Released. on: May 09, 2011, 05:40:10 am
Hello, I downloaded this and followed the instructions to put the folders where they are supposed to be. This was on a fresh installation of WSB, because I had not installed it yet since I did a fresh install of Win 7 the last time. However, when I launch WSB, on the bottom pane where the help is supposed to be, I get all this stuff with a pink background, which I remember wasn't there last time I used WSB about a year ago:

Writing /sites/ failedUnable to save cache file. Hint: disk full; file permissions; safe_mode setting.Writing /sites/ failedUnable to save cache file. Hint: disk full; file permissions; safe_mode setting.Writing /sites/ failed

Could this be because of SP1? Or is it because of this replaced xmls?
14  Help / Windows 7 / What's the latest on this software? on: May 08, 2011, 08:42:04 am
Hello, I haven't been in this forum or used Windows Style Builder since 2009 I think. What's the latest version, and where do I download it from? I searched my emails from 2009 and found the confirmation e-mail with the link, username and password to download I just did, but when I unzipped the file it gave me two setup files that have a date of 10/19/2009. So I'm guessing the link must be to an older file, unless this program hasn't been updated in one and a half years? What the latest version?
15  Help / Windows 7 / Need help finding a resource location on: January 01, 2010, 03:51:42 am
Can anybody point me to the resource of the area around the address and search fields for Windows Explorer in Aero Basic? It's the only area in my screenshot that has the ugly baby blue color.

BTW, it would really help if the author of the program posted a tutorial on the website with screenshots and arrows pointing to all the different areas of a window, the start menu and the taskbar and where are they located in WSB. It's really frustrating having to spend so much time searching for things.
16  Help / Windows 7 / Re: Can I use WSB to change the colors in IE8? on: December 07, 2009, 05:31:59 am
OK, can you please tell me what exactly do I have to hack? There's a ton of things inside that file.
17  Help / Windows 7 / Can I use WSB to change the colors in IE8? on: December 07, 2009, 05:07:26 am
Specifically the colors of the toolbar background, and the tab bar. If possible, also the colors of the related tabs, but I would guess that's more in a dll that belongs only to IE8. Does IE8 get the background colors of the toolbar and tab bar from the msstyle, or not.
18  Help / Windows 7 / Re: Copy progress dialog animation? on: October 31, 2009, 08:43:04 pm
SysWOW64 is for 32-bit files which are rarely used.

I thought that the name implied that it had the files used for 64 bit processes. However, if it's that way, then the procedure listed by the Spanish guy in that tutorial doesn't work, because I was able to replace the shell32.dll inside System32 with mine from the command prompt and still copying a file brings the default ugly gradient. I specified a totally different one with no light blue at all. Maybe his tutorial was for Vista?
19  Help / Windows 7 / Re: Copy progress dialog animation? on: October 31, 2009, 07:12:16 pm
I checked the tutorial and modifying the shell32.dll under system32 does nothing, so I copied the one in syswow64 to a working folder, and did the modifications he says, but it's impossible to replace the shell32.dll under syswow64 even when booting to the command prompt. This is of course after taking ownership of it and setting permissions to full control for me, for administrator and for system, besides trusted installer which was already in full control.
20  Help / Windows 7 / Re: Help finding the toolbar background on: October 28, 2009, 12:07:00 am
It's 671. Thanks!
21  Help / Windows 7 / Re: Copy progress dialog animation? on: October 28, 2009, 12:06:12 am
Great, thanks!
22  Help / Windows 7 / Copy progress dialog animation? on: October 27, 2009, 02:15:24 pm
I liked the animation in the Vista copy progress dialog more than the one in 7, I think the only difference is the addition of that annoying light blue color. Is this modifiable in WSB, or is not in the msstyles file? If it is, can you tell me what's the path?
23  Help / Windows 7 / Re: Help finding the toolbar background on: October 21, 2009, 08:17:45 pm
Sorry to bump this thread, but I'd really like to find this. I updated to 1.5 today, but I still can't find it.

24  Help / Windows 7 / Help finding the toolbar background on: October 11, 2009, 03:11:46 am
Can anybody tell me what's the path to change the toolbar background in applications that take it from the msstyle, such as OpenOffice, Mozilla apps, etc?
Please see the attached image.
25  Help / Windows 7 / Re: I'm getting really frustrated (Kind of solved) on: October 10, 2009, 04:17:15 pm
OK, I finally made it work, but there is a problem with Win 7 Style Builder. It occurred to me that one reason why the system might not be reading the msstyles file correctly was those weird numbers that W7SB assigns to the image resources, all above 10000 instead of starting at 508 as the original aero.msstyles does. Then I remembered reading something about this in these forums about an option to not change the image IDs and I searched for it again, figuring that at best I could try to match the real image IDs to the raw list in Restorator and change what I wanted. But after I opened W7SB with the -noupdateimageids option I thought I could make a couple of changes and see if it would work, and this time the style applied correctly, so I kept making all the wanted changes and updating it.

But clearly the software has a big bug if in its default state the saved style doesn't get applied but it does when you open it with a specific option, which according to that thread where it's discussed it doesn't allow Stylehacks to be applied to it. Still, it's much more useful than just opening the file in a Resource program and trying to figure out which image corresponds to what, but still is far from being user friendly. I mean, at least the author should have a place on his website showing all the different elements of the GUI, one screenshot for a Windows Explorer window, another for the start menu, etc, with arrows pointing to the different areas and what's the path in his software to replace them. Many paths in W7SB are still very cryptic, maybe GUI programmers might know those names better, but I don't and I don't have to. Another problem is that I see the same paths repeated more than once in the tree but some of the instances don't have any properties or images in them, so why are they there? My guess is that some belong to the msstyles usage in Vista and some to Win 7, but if that's the case, then there should be two programs, one for each OS, not paths that are still there but are empty depending on which OS is used. That only adds noise to the process when a user is trying to find elements to change.

Finally, this software could use more key shortcuts. What I did yesterday would have taken me several less minutes if I wouldn't have had to reach for the mouse every ten seconds to click on the Edit button.
26  Help / Windows 7 / Re: I'm getting really frustrated on: October 09, 2009, 03:53:30 am
The theme applier in 7 (Control Panel, not 7SB) is flawed and doesn't always work. It has nothing to do with 7SB.

Then why the Lumens style gets applied without a hitch each and every time? I can go between Lumens and the Windows 7 style back and forth at any time without a problem, but my style doesn't ever apply. I may be doing something wrong, but basically I just opened W7SB, chosed to start a new style, which it reads from the original aero, and modified a few things.
27  Help / Windows 7 / I'm getting really frustrated on: October 09, 2009, 12:39:57 am
OK, so I bought Win 7 Style Builder, and today I changed just a few items, the commandmodule background, the details pane and the menu background. When I click on Test within the program it updates the Windows GUI and shows the changes correctly. When I finished and saved the style, I duplicated the Aero folder inside the Resources\Themes folder, I deleted the duplicated aero.msstyles and replaced it with Dark Green 10-8.msstyles. I gave the duplicated folder at the Themes folder the same name. Then I edited the theme file in notepad to reflect the changes, changing these to the correct name and path:

DisplayName=Dark Green 10-8


Path=%SystemRoot%\resources\Themes\Dark Green 10-8\Dark Green 10-8.msstyles

But when I open the control panel to choose my style, it is listed under "installed themes", but although it does something when I click on it, the changes to the style are not applied, the commandmodule, details pane and menu bar background are still that vomitive baby blue. I know that the uxtheme patcher is working because I also have the Lumens style and when I apply it, it applies perfectly fine, and that's a style that not only has color changes but several graphic changes as well. If I apply mine after having Lumens selected, it stays on Lumens. I have to select one of the native Win 7 themes to get back to the normal glass appearance.

I would think this product is flawed, but people have successfully created styles with it, so can anybody give me a hand and tell me what I might be doing wrong? I'm running Win 7 RC 64 bit, which I asked Andreas before I bought the software and he said it was compatible. Maybe is there a specific extra thing I have to do because of being 64 bit?


28  Help / Windows 7 / Re: Win 7 Style Builder not working for me on: October 05, 2009, 08:06:35 pm
OK, so the style forcing Windows into basic mode is over now, I don't know what it was but I started a new style from scratch and not the style works in Aero.

However, I noticed that many times my style, when I choose it from the themes control panel, will not get applied. I can tell because I did a test changing just one thing just to test, which was the commandmodule bar, and I set it to a totally different color, and when I finished working on the style, saved it and copied it to its proper place, and then chose it, the commandmodule was still the same baby blue. Is this perhaps because the patcher I downloaded from is not very good? Is there another patcher that I should get? But regardless of this, there is something not right with the style I saved with W7SB, because if I apply "Lumens" it applies everything just fine, and the same if I apply the native Windows 7 style.
29  Help / Windows 7 / Where to set default glass color in msstyle? on: October 05, 2009, 08:00:14 pm
In the .theme file, I know how to set a specific color for all the aero glass areas (the areas that are modifiable using the Windows Color control panel in Windows). The problem is, if I'm working in W7SB and I click the Test button, it defaults the glass color to the ugly light blue MS set as default, and that makes me waste time because I would have to go to that control panel and set it again to what I want. Is there a way to set a default in the msstyle file that I'm working on? I saw there is a property that starts with "Colorization..." but when I change it to my Colorization code it gives me an error, and even if I leave it there, it doesn't change it to my color.
30  Help / Windows 7 / Re: Win 7 Style Builder not working for me on: October 04, 2009, 05:03:26 pm
About the basic thing I dont know, but I can help you with theme name.

Thanks, I actually figured out that part before when I looked into the lumens.theme file and I saw that the author had changed that part to his name, so I did the same and now my theme shows with my name, but still make Windows go into basic mode.
31  Help / Windows 7 / Re: Win 7 Style Builder not working for me on: October 04, 2009, 04:47:30 pm
You need to make .theme file to apply theme, edit aero.theme with notepad, I think it was [VISUALSTYLES] part.

Also you can edit detials pane from msstyle too. And that up part (called CommandModule).

I had already modified the theme file to point to sebaz.msstyles instead of aero.msstyles in the [VISUALSTYLES] section, and now I even opened the theme file for Lumens to see make mine as similar as possible with the exception of the style name, and still when I apply my theme/style, Windows goes into basic mode.
32  Help / Windows 7 / Win 7 Style Builder not working for me on: October 04, 2009, 03:45:02 pm
After wasting countless hours going through the resources in the aero.msstyles and shellstyle.dll files and seeing that it was going to take me several more hours just to find the right resources I decided to bite the bullet and purchase Win 7 Style Builder, thinking it might help, but it's been quite disappointing so far. Having worked with TGT Soft's Stylebuilder for XP a few years ago, which had a few things that could be improved but overall was a great software, I find myself missing it a lot. For example, that program was a lot better at showing all the different resources you were adjusting and where they were placed in the window, start menu, etc. W7SB only shows the tiny graphic that is being adjusted, and the only way to guess where it might be in the GUI, it's the name in the tree of items, such as Windows 7 - Start Menu - Aero - Top - More Programs, but that is not always evident, as I don't know all the names of the items and W7SB doesn't come with documentation that clearly shows that.

Also, the tree in the left pane is very confusing, as there are items that have no properties or graphics at all, and some items are duplicated, some under the root and then inside Windows 7, such as Explorer & Shell. Am I to assume that since I have Windows 7 I have to modify only the items inside Windows 7 if they are duplicated? There's no documentation that suggests that anywhere.

But I started modifying some items, mostly the ones with that horrible light blue color that MS puts all over the GUI and doesn't allow to change without hacking, setting PS4 as the graphic editor and basically desaturating all the instances of such color. I only modified a few of them to test if it worked. Here I found some more problems. One if that W7SB only saves the .msstyles file, but doesn't create the rest of the tree that Win 7 requires, such as the NormalColor folder with the shellstyle.dll file and all that, and the theme file that Win 7 requires to be able to add the new style to be chosen. When I save the style I was working on, a dialog pops up asking me if I want to apply the style, but if I click yes, nothing happens.

I had patched my uxtheme using the installer at but I uninstalled it prior to installing W7SB because in its website it says that it has a "one-shot in-memory uxtheme patcher on board for testing themes on machines without patched uxtheme files". But at least in my W7SB, that doesn't exist. Also in the same page, a few lines above, it says "Furthermore, 1.4 makes it possible to test themes without having patched UxTheme files on the system." I have no clue where would that be, but the style I had been working on doesn't work without patching either manually or with the installer at

So I patched my uxtheme again, and created the tree under Resources\Themes with the name Sebaz, then sebaz.msstyles and I changed the references inside the theme file from aero.msstyles to sebaz.msstyles.

Then I went to Personalization and a new theme was below the Aero Themes under the "Installed Themes" section, but when I clicked on it Windows loaded the style but went into Basic mode, which made me want to put forks into my eyes so I wouldn't have to see that tasteless GUI that evidently MS designed with the purpose of people buying new graphics cards and computers. Just in case I put another downloaded style/theme in the themes folder, one called Lumens, and when I choose that one it doesn't go into Basic Mode.

As far as I know, I didn't touch anything in W7SB that said "Basic only", so I don't know what's going on.

Now, I don't want to do any drastic style editing until I receive my pre-ordered 7 Home Premium, but I want to at least take care of the urgent stuff that is really hideous to me and is not possible to change without software like this. I'm talking about this the bar in a windows explorer window that starts with Organize, Include in Library, etc, etc, and also the details pane at the bottom, both having that baby blue color, and also the selected file or folder baby blue color both in the left and right pane. Can anyone point me to where I can find that in W7SB, and tell me why I might be having the problem with Windows going into Basic mode when I apply the style?

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