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[Guide] Anatomy of my Desktop

Discussão em 'Desktop e Software Modding' iniciada por greven, 3 de Junho de 2008. (Respostas: 38; Visualizações: 12971)

  1. greven

    greven Folding Artist

    Hey! :) Escrevi um "pequeno" guia/artigo no meu blog sobre customização de desktop. É para Windows XP mas serve igualmente para Windows Vista na medida em que faço muitos reparos a links para o novo sistema operativo da Microsoft.

    Espero que gostem. Está em Inglês (pelo menos escrevi a tentar que se parecesse com Inglês... :p) porque é em Inglês que escrevo para o meu Blog.

    Espero que vos seja útil de alguma forma.



    Link: http://www.paintbits.com/2008/06/03/anatomy-of-my-desktop/

    Ok. Achei uma tool para converter de HTML para vB Code. Aqui fica o tutorial na integra, mas se algumas coisas não funcionarem recomendo ver o que está postado no meu site (para além de estar mais bonito com as imagens integradas. :p).


    First and foremost welcome to my little tutorial on desktop customization. I decided to write this because sometimes people ask me what I use to customize my desktop. This is for [highlight]Windows XP[/highlight], I'm not using Vista on this computer, but most of the programs used here are valid to be used in Vista. Someday I will make one concerning Linux. Now on with the show... So bare in mind this is more XP focused but Vista users should be able to use most of the stuff presented here.

    Below you can see one of my desktop screenshots that you can also find in my gallery. I marked the most important regions on the image with numbers and will go into detail explanation of each of them.

    Note: Click the Image to see the larger version and the second screenshot.

    For all these systems check DeviantART or WinCustomize or their official websites for more Widgets.

    [highlight]Desktop Elements[/highlight]

    1. AveDesk

    Number one is my desktop icons. As you can see they are like Mac Icons with text information about size, number of files, etc. This is AveDesk running. Avedesk allows you among other things to create desktop icons (called Pidlshortcut). The program is pretty lightweight, on my system with the configuration you can see in the screenshot it only takes about 1 - 3 MB of my system RAM. It supports all the common Dock Icons, so if you are looking for ways to customize your AveDesk shortcuts you can browse/search DeviantART or Iconfactory for example.


    AveDesk allows you to add Desktop Shortcuts as you seen and also little widgets or desklets like they are called in AveDesk. You can find Desklets on the AveDesk Website, DockEX or even DeviantART.

    If you want to use the specific icons I'm using in the screenshot, they are called HydroPro - HP and you can find them here.

    You can also see a video on Youtube on how to configure Avedesk.

    2. Visual Style

    Visual styles are the most important part of desktop customization since it's what have the most impact on visualization and in the system. There are lots of Visual Styles available over the Internet, as always I recommend DeviantART as a good spot to find them, WinCustomize or even WinMatrix.


    Ok, now to the important part about using Custom Visual Styles on Windows. By default Microsoft doesn't allow you to use any theme other then the official ones (digitally signed). So you have to modify a file (UxTheme.dll) in order to be able to use them. So what do we do? We use a patcher, there are several that you can use. Foremost see what version of Windows you are using. They are available for all Service Pack Versions, for XP and for Vista. WinMatrix got a nice little guide on how to patch the file for Windows XP:

    There are other methods available to patch the .dll, like using Replacer. Check the WinMatrix Topic to see instructions on how to use it or see this video on youtube.

    Download UxTheme.dll Patcher | Neowin UxTheme Universal Patcher

    After you patched Windows (take attention to the instructions) you are ready to use the Visual Styles. Normally it's simple as downloading it, extracting it into a folder, search for the .msstyle file and execute it. A Preview of the theme should come up, tune it up and hit ok. You also have the option to add the themes to the Resources folder by default in C:\WINDOWS\Resources\Themes so that they will always appear in the Appearance Tab of the Windows Display Properties.

    If you are wondering what Visual Style I'm using, it's Royale Vista II by Dobee. You can download it here.

    For Windows Vista, WinMatrix also has a little guide. All the Uxtheme.dll patchers were made by Rafael.

    Download Uxtheme Vista SP1 (32-bit)
    Download Uxtheme Vista SP1 (64-bit)

    3. Wallpaper

    Wallpapers are without a doubt the most prominent part of the Desktop, they are the most important element defining the customization style. Wallpapers are little showcases of Art and a feast for the eyes. :)
    Wallpapers are probably some of the most searched items on the Internet, and because of that you can find several sites linking them. Among my favourites are DeviantArt, Interface Lift and PixelGirl Presents.


    The wallpaper in the my desktop screenshot is called Synth, you can find it among others in my 49 Amazing Wallpapers Post.

    4. CD Art Display

    CD Art Display is an application compatible with a large array of media players displaying, like it's own name indicates, the CD Cover Art on your desktop. Its idea is based around a similar Mac program called Coversutra. It's really easy to install and configure. After downloading it you extract it and run it directly from the folder, doesn't require any installation.


    You can find more skins in the official site or on deviantart. Skins are extracted into the Skins directory inside the CD Art Display program folder, if it doesn't exist, created one... And Rock On! :devil:

    5. Weather Widget

    Now with the Weather Widget. Weather Widget is a Desklet, and therefore part of AveDesk but I decided to separate it from the first topic.


    The reason for this is that like other Desklets, this Weather Desklet, Nice Weather requires another plugin called SysStats. SysStats is very easy to install. Just decompress it and put the resulting folder inside AveDesk folder. You should have now inside AveDesk folder another folder called Docklets with SysStats folder inside. Restart AveDesk and it should be working now. Next step is to look for other Desklets/Docklets. For this go to DockEX website, AveDesk Website or DeviantART.

    SysStats Docklets normally are extracted into the configs folder inside \Avedesk\Docklets\SysStats. After installed you add the plugin to your desktop just like a normal AveDesk desklet (see point 1 for further reference).

    6. Dock

    The use of a Dock Bar on Windows was surely inspired by Mac OSX [Click for Image]. Some years ago was really hard to get a working dock for Windows, today there are several programs available, some with more features then others, but generally all work very well. One of the first docks to appear on Windows was Y'z Dock by M.Yamaguchi, but due to a Cease and Desist Order from Apple, the application development was shut-down. Strangely other similar programs by the time existed, like ObjectDock, and no one from Apple contested it.


    The advantage of using a Dock on an operating system is pretty obvious... easy access to your most used Applications, and of course... it looks neat! :D

    Like pointed before, there are plenty of applications to choose from: ObjectDock, RKLauncher and RocketDock are my favorites. I would personally recommend using RocketDock or RKLauncher. If you interested in RKLauncher there is a great pack including some Leopard Skins and packed Reflection Icons called RKLauncher iVista [If you are [highlight]wondering[/highlight] where the damn [highlight]Download link[/highlight] is... Hint: Click the Image in the Website! ;-) ].

    The Icons you see in the image above are called Ballooon icons and were made by me. You can find them here. If you want to search for more Dock Icons, once again I recommend searching DeviantART or Iconfactory.

    [highlight]Other Elements[/highlight]

    There are other elements that you can include in your [highlight]desktop modding[/highlight]. If you look at the screenshot below you can see for example a little shadow under the taskbar or a customized Toolbar. All these modifications can be accomplished using specific applications. Other items you can modify are cursors, sounds, media applications, etc...


    7. Y'z Shadow

    Y’z Shadow is an application that adds a shadow effect to the windows and taskbar.

    I don't know if Y'z Applications work under Windows Vista so you will have to try it yourself.

    8. Y'z ToollBar

    Just like Y'z Shadow, Y'z ToolBar is a simple program designed for Windows XP by M.Yamaguchi to customize certain parts of it. Y'z ToolBar allows the user to change the toolbar icons in Explorer and Internet Explorer (I'm afraid after iE 7 this doesn't work anymore).

    For some Y'z ToolBar themes go here. The theme I'm using in the screen shot is the Buuf theme.

    9. Cursors

    Other thing you can customize and that has a nice visual impact (special it enhances your workf low) is the cursors. This is one of the first things I do when I re-install Windows XP. Default cursors on Windows Vista are far better then then ones on the earlier version of Windows. You can find plenty of cursors on DeviantART. My favourites has to be BlueCurve from Fedora.


    Installation is normally very easy, I'm using Bluecurve example:

    There are applications that let you use marvellous animated Cursors, like CursorFX. The program is available in two versions, a free version a and a paid version called Plus. You can find CursorFX cursors on typical websites like deviantArt or Wincustomize.

    Download CursorFX 2

    10. System Icons

    Icons are little pieces of art that give you quick information to what you want to access. Icons are along with Wallpapers them most easy resource to find in the internet. You can find several websites listing them, among whom I highlight DeviantART and WinCustomize. The problem with replacing System Icons is that you have to do it 1 by 1... Imagine all the work necessary to accomplish that! Almost as long as writing this guide! :lol: You can use Resource Hacker to change icons manually, contained in shell32.dll. There is a little tutorial at WinMatrix, take a look.

    To facilitate the task of replacing system icons there are some applications that do the job for us. IconPackager by Stardock is one of them. IconPackager is payed, but there is a trial version available in the official website.

    The IconPack I'm using in the screenshots is Buuf.


    For more IconPackager Themes the best place is once again DeviantART.

    Download IconPackager Trial

    11. System Sounds

    If you use Windows XP the chances are that you are fed up with the default Windows Sound Scheme. :grin: That's why you should search for a new one. Some complete themes you install might bring some new sounds, but if you choose to install some standalone sound packs I suggest this XP Vista Pack including the Vista sound scheme, cursors and wallpapers. This website also has some sound schemes you might like.

    [highlight]Other Applications and Resources[/highlight]

    There are several other programs or resources you can use to customize your System. I will try to give a brief resume of what is available to you.

    12. Widgets

    Widgets are little applications to facilitate your life, to give you quick information and to improve your workflow. AveDesk (referred in point 1 and 5) is a good example of a widget application. There are several that you can choose from. The use of Widgets in the Desktop was mainstreamed by Konfabulator, currently Yahoo! Widgets.


    Download Yahoo! Widgets

    There are other Widget Engines then just Yahoo! Widgets (old Konfabulator). You can check out Rainmeter, Kapsules (might be unavailable at the writing of this guide) or Samurize (this one is so complete it would need an entire guide to explain it). Google also has some Widget System for the Desktop, but it's far more limited then the ones referred before.

    13. Rainlendar

    Rainlendar is a standalone calendar for your desktop (just like the ones you can use with Yahoo! Widgets, etc...). It's a very neat application because it allows you to keep ToDo Lists, Events, etc...


    You can find several skins to match your desktop style in the official site or on DeviantArt.

    14. Window Blinds

    WindowBlinds is another application that allows you apply a different theme to your desktop. It's available for Vista and XP in several versions (one of them Free). It doesn't require much resources from the OS and it can give your System a Cutting Edge look!


    For Themes for WindowBlinds go to the official site or DeviantArt (where did I see this site before? :o ).

    Download WindowBlinds Free Edition

    15. Windows XP PowerToys

    If you don't know XP PowerToys you... SHOULD! :D PowerToys are little extensions to Windows XP that makes your life easier but not only... They allow you more control over your Desktop and System.

    [highlight]My favourites[/highlight] and the ones I always download when I install XP are:

    - Alt-Tab Replacement: With this PowerToy, in addition to seeing the icon of the application window you are switching to, you will also see a preview of the page. This helps particularly when multiple sessions of an application are open.

    - Tweak UI: This PowerToy gives you access to system settings that are not exposed in the Windows XP default user interface, including mouse settings, Explorer settings, taskbar settings, and more.

    - Image Resizer: This PowerToy enables you to resize one or many image files with a right-click.

    - ClearType Tuner: This PowerToy lets you use ClearType technology to make it easier to read text on your screen, and installs in the Control Panel for easy access.

    16. TuneUp

    TuneUp is an application that does it all... that's why you need to pay for it! :devil:


    TuneUp makes it possible to Change the look of the windows and buttons, reconfigure the boot screen and makes it possible to change the logon screen. This and all the other system maintenance tasks... There are some Icon Packs made for TuneUP just like for IconPackager. Problem is you need to pay for it. But you can always try the Trial Version.

    17. StyleXP

    StyleXP was probably the first application I used to change the appearance of my Desktop back in the days... It's a paid application but very versatile. It's [highlight]only for[/highlight] Windows XP, doesn't work in Vista.

    StyleXP Website is also a good source for themes, icons, bootscreens and logonscreens. Check it out.

    Download StyleXP Trial

    18. Windows Logons

    Ok, now that we pretty much covered the Desktop customization, we focusing attention to change the Windows Log On Screen. Stardock gives you LogonStudio, both for Vista and XP. LogonStudio is free and you can find plenty of Themes both in Wincustomize or DeviantArt. Changing the Logon is not something I do Often, since by the time I'm tired of Windows XP Logon Screen I have to reinstall it. :D But well, since Vista probably lasts more time installed in your system you might take pick at this program.

    20. Litestep

    Litestep is Shell replacer for Windows, it works on XP and Vista (I think...). Basically it's a Theme Engine but that replaces explorer so it changes they way you navigate files, etc, etc... It's lighter then explorer.exe, that's why some people prefer it. It's installation is a bit tricky so I recommend using LOSI to install it, if you're interested.


    You can find really great Litestep themes (like the one showed above) on DeviantArt (where else right? :D ).

    20. Transformation Packs

    Transformation Packs are the ultimate resource for Desktop Customization. They use several resources and change the appearance of your system completely. I have to admit I only used on of them once, but if you are looking for a fast way to make your system look like Mac OSX or have a whole Gant Experience.

    If you want to find more just search for Transformation Pack or Shell... Remember, use at your own risk, I recommend doing at least a restoration prior to installing this packs.


    99. Your Imagination

    Although you don't have a white canvas in front of you, customizing the look of your System is pretty much similar to creating Art... at least in order to make it all look right. :) Don't forget you should create something functional and not only pretty. Try not to waste to many System Resources, always look for the "cheaper" solution if you have more then one choice available.

    The imagination is your limit... so put it in practice. Of course you can always search for some inspiration... for that DeviantArt would be a nice place.

    100. One Hundred

    YAY! One Hundred! :lol:


    Related Posts

    I hope you enjoyed the Guide and some way was useful to you. Took my several hours writing it... so I hope so! Forgive my English, I tried my best, my editor is on vacations... Editor? What Editor? Ye right! :lol:


    Última edição: 25 de Maio de 2009
  2. freedy

    freedy I'm cool cuz I Fold

    Gostei é muito esclarecedor para aqueles users que se estão a iniciar no Deskmod!

    Good Job! :D
  3. greven

    greven Folding Artist

    Thx Freedy. Aparantemente mais ninguém gostou, nem 1 comment. :D

    PS - Esta bosta deu-me um trabalho do catano. :p
  4. freedy

    freedy I'm cool cuz I Fold

    Imagino isso está muito bem feito mesmo e traduzir para inglês ainda deve ter demorado umas horitas:p
  5. greven

    greven Folding Artist

    Última edição: 4 de Junho de 2008
  6. Shook

    Shook Power Member

    greven, está muito mau!

    no gozo :p

    Gostei de ler, foi dos poucos artigos/tutoriais que li do principio ao fim apesar de já conhecer a maioria dos programas. :P
    rated: Yes. Please make more guides like this. :D
  7. sirHack

    sirHack Guest


    nem k seja pelo bable fish acho melhor traduzires.
    de resto 'tá bom para quem não percebe.
  8. Elrond

    Elrond To fold or to FOLD?

    Parabens pelo artigo...assi q tenha mais tempo vou testar algumas das coisas...nomeadamente a aplicação dos icones ;)
  9. Kaneda

    Kaneda Power Member

    realmente está muito bom:wow:
  10. greven

    greven Folding Artist

    Pessoal achei uma tool para converter HTML para BBCode... vamos ver se funcionou...

    LOL. Funcionou! :D Vou postar no primeiro tópico. :)
  11. Romani48

    Romani48 Power Member

    isto está uma grande b*sta pah! fogo..

    loool joking!

    por acaso perdi tempo precioso a ler este magnifico tutorial!
    não comentei porque já era muito tarde
    PS: o yz shadow dá no vista em modo de compatibilidade ;)
  12. Pallad1um

    Pallad1um Power Member

    Parabéns greven, tens aí um belo trabalho sim senhor. Além de interessante de ler é muito útil. Se traduzires para português tens aí um bom tutorial aqui para a Techzone (mas mesmo em inglês lê-se muito bem).
  13. bseixas

    bseixas Power Member

    Muito bom o tutorial...kudos ;)
  14. rafaqueque

    rafaqueque Power Member

    Tenho de dar os meus parabéns a pessoas que fazem artigos deste género. Muito bom mesmo! Parabéns mais uma vez :D
    Queremos mais, pelo menos eu :x2:
  15. greven

    greven Folding Artist

    Estou a pensar fazer um para Linux, mas vai levar um tempo agora com tudo oque tenho para fazer. :)
  16. FilipaF

    FilipaF Power Member

    Como se diz no ebay A+++ ... tou sempre a procura de por o desktop simples e bonito..pois trabalho melhor... :x2:
  17. Sway

    Sway To fold or to FOLD?

    nao percebo nada do cd art display. tou farto de dar voltas com isto e nao ha meio de meter aquilo no desktop. fica-me só o tray e tal. mas coisas bonitas, nada.
  18. greven

    greven Folding Artist

    Instalas-te skins? Tens lá um link no guia para skins no deviantart. Depois de meteres as skins na directoria Skins carregas com o direito nesse icon na taskbar e mudas a skin, já deves ver qq coisa. :) Depois tens de configurar qual o player que queres para ele poder funcionar bem. :)
  19. Sway

    Sway To fold or to FOLD?

    ok! ja ta essa parte. mas acho completamente idiota o .rar vir sem a pasta Skins e termos que criá-la e mover a Default para lá.

    mas já passei essa parte. falta só aquilo funcionar lol.

    com o windows media player parece nao funcionar.

    exprimentei com o winamp e deu logo. gostava que desse com o wmp.
    Última edição: 9 de Junho de 2008
  20. Romani48

    Romani48 Power Member

    sway.. instalaste logo a versão 2?
    é para ficar trouble-free, tens de instalar a V1 (com installer) e dps a v2 (RAR)