With Windows Vista, Microsoft took a huge step forward in the visual department. Vista looked pretty good with its new transparent design and visual effects: There are endless possibilities—including icons and backgrounds—for styling Windows Vista. Let’s start off with a simple ‘how to’ guide for changing the entire user interface of the operating system.
But, there are easy ways to make it even better, sleeker, and richer looking. What about giving Windows Vista a more translucent and “glowing” interface?
Or, what about applying a theme similar to Apple’s Snow Leopard
We’ve also downloaded and tested more than 50 alternative visual styles and compiled a list of our five favorites for readers.
Changing the visual style
Microsoft officially does not like users to change the look and feel of Windows; by default, third-party themes, such as the two images above, are not allowed. But, no sweat! We’ve got you covered, with a safe way to change the default, Windows Aero design to basically anything you like.
- All you need is TuneUp Styler. (As a reminder, this is part of TuneUp Utilities, which you can try for 15 days.) Install the program, and click on “Visual Style” in the “Customize Windows” category.
- Click on the “Add” button. You should now have two choices—select one of the visual styles from TuneUp’s Web site, or a third-party visual style by clicking on “Load visual style from a file”.
- If you like the way the new visual style looks (click on “Show large preview”), then hit “Apply”. After a moment, you will see the new visual style. (Note: If you don’t like the new design, click on “Restore defaults” and “Apply” to return to the Windows Aero style.)
Our favorites: the top five visual styles
Since the release of Windows 7, hundreds of third-party visual styles have popped up all over the Internet. We’ve gathered the best of the best (many from the popular DeviantArt Web site), and here are five designs we love (and think you will too).
Note: Be aware that, in some cases, you will need to extract the downloaded files using a program like WinRAR. Inside the archive, you will need to add the “Windows Theme File” with TuneUp Styler.
Next up in our Windows Vista styling series—the TuneUp Blog team will show you how to customize the screen that you see every time you lock your computer, log on, and log off.
3 Responses to “Styling Windows Vista (Part 2): How to Change the Visual Style”
- Styling Windows Vista (Part 1): Give Your OS a Facelift with a New Boot Screen » TuneUp Blog about Windows
- Styling Windows Vista (Part 3): How to Change the Logon Screen » TuneUp Blog about Windows