About Computers for Newbies & Everyone Else

September 18, 2012

Create Your Own Windows 7 Theme

Last week generated many comments about Windows 7’s hidden themes, of which many of you were apparently unaware.  My tease at the end of that column generated more email from you about creating your own themes.  So to make you happy here is how you can create your very own personalized theme and how to share it with others.

Start where you normally choose a theme.  Right click a blank area of the desktop and select, "Personalize."  Click on one of your current themes, which will select it and make it active.  Selecting an existing theme and editing it is much easier than creating one from scratch, so that is what we will do.  You may have an “Unsaved Theme” which you can easily use too.

Ron's Castle BackgoundsFirst let us select all the pictures you want to use for your background wallpapers.  Click on the "Desktop Background" link on the lower left.  I would advise that if you have not already you should put all the pictures/graphics you want to use as wallpaper together in one folder.  This makes it much easier for the next step.  "Browse" to the folder containing your pictures.  Click each one you want to make part of this theme.  When done click on, "Save changes."

Next try the "Window Color" link to the right of the background link you used previously.  Choose your new color from all of your windows borders.  This one makes me yawn but I am sure that some of you will really like it.  Just like before when you are done click, "Save changes."

Sonata Scheme chosen and Asterisk sound highlightedNext, choose, "Sounds."  You have many choices here and the easiest is to use the "Sound Scheme" dropdown and choose one you like.  I like "Sonata."  These are the sounds your computer makes when specific things happen, like email arriving, starting up and shutting down your computer, or when an error occurs.  You know the little beeps and bops that occur while you are on your computer and you don’t know where they come from.  To hear them, click on the sound you want to hear and click the, "Test" button.

If you are really into it, you may choose each individual sound from your computer’s sound files.  If you are really, really into it (and know how) you can create your own sounds or even record your voice saying things like, "You’ve got mail."  Once you are finished click, "OK."

Now choose a "Screen Saver."  I will not go into that at all since I am sure the huge majority of you have done that many times before.

Once you are finished designing your own Windows Theme you need to save it.  All you do is right click on the now unsaved theme you created and choose, "Save theme", give it a name, click Save and that is all there is.  It will appear as one of, "My Themes."

Ron's Castle ThemeIf you think your theme is one someone else may appreciate you can save it and email it to them.  To do this, right click on the theme and select, "Save theme for sharing."  As before, give it a name. This will save it to your My Documents folder as a themepack.  All you have to do is email that themepack to your friend.  When they receive it they need to save it to their computer and double click it.  They will then be using your theme.  Keep in mind that if they do not have the same sound files and screen savers installed on their computers they will have the windows defaults instead…but hey, the wallpaper pictures are where it’s at anyway!

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