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Windows 9x/ME Customization Guide

Appearance

In display properties, move on to the Appearance tab. Predefined schemes can be chosen from the scheme list or custom schemes can be created.

Here is a description of what each of the settings in the Items menu do:

3D Objects: changes the default background colour & text colour of applet windows & toolbars, etc. Fonts cannot be changed.

Active title bar: changes the colour for the title bar currently selected. All versions of windows from 98 onwards support two colours with fading effects between them. Windows 95 users need to use X-Setup to enable this; but even then it isn’t a total solution; it looks horrible. Text font, size & text colour can also be changed.

Active window border: This useless feature adds a border of the selected colour to all active non-skinned windows. I’d recommend leaving this set to 0 at all times.

Application background: Not discernable in most cases; this changes the background in applications where a colour is not specified by the application, for instance the non-active area in ms paint.

Caption buttons: This refers to the size of the minimize, maximize & close buttons on the top right hand corner of the window, as well as icons in the system tray, but not ones in taskbar toolbars (like quick launch). I’d recommend reducing the size of these as far as is tolerable to free up some desktop space if you are on a lower desktop resolution.

Desktop: This refers to the desktop colour if you haven’t specified a background, and the background for the icon text if you have. For details on how to remove the background for the icon text, see the icon section.

Icon: Changes icon size as well as text size, text colour & text font for the icon.

Icon spacing (Horizontal): This refers to the horizontal space between icons displayed on both the desktop & in my computer.

Icon spacing (Vertical): This refers to the vertical space between icons displayed on both the desktop & in my computer.

Inactive title bar: Similar to Active title bar, but for all title bars displayed other than the active one.

Active window border: This useless feature adds a border of the selected colour to all inactive non-skinned windows. I’d recommend leaving this set to 0 at all times.

Menu: This refers to the size of the Bar in which “file, edit” etc are displayed, at the top of most non-skinned windows. You can increase the size of the bar as well as the size of the text & you can change the text font & colour also.

Message box: Changes the font, colour & size of the text that appears in message boxes

Palette title: A strange feature that changes the size of title bars such as ICQ’s. I’d recommend leaving this setting alone.

Scrollbar: Changes the size of the scrollbar

Selected items: Changes the background colour of selected icons, items on menus, etc.

ToolTip: Changes text colour, size, font & background colour of tooltips.

Window: Changes background & text colours in windows such as Windows’ Explorer/My computer.

If you have desktop themes installed, you can individually import the Window appearance from a desktop theme without importing any other setting. To do this, go into control panel and double click on Desktop themes. Select the theme you want from the drop down list & click to uncheck every check box under settings apart from the bottom three settings. Should you wish to you don’t have to apply the colour scheme settings, or the font sizes, as the Desktop themes control panel puts font & window sizes, Font names & styles & colours in separate categories. Now click apply.

Cursors

To change (mouse) cursors, go into control panel and double click on mouse & go to the pointers tab. You can browse to your own cursors for each of the events or use one of the predefined schemes.

If you do not see any schemed you can install them by going into control panel, double clicking add/remove programs, moving to the windows setup tab, double clicking on accessories, checking the mouse pointers box & clicking Ok, then Ok again.

If you have desktop themes installed, you can individually import the cursors from a desktop theme without importing any other setting. To do this, go into control panel and double click on Desktop themes. Select the theme you want from the drop down list & click to uncheck every check box under settings apart from Mouse pointers. Now click apply.

NB You can also preview a theme’s cursors before applying it by clicking on Pointers, sounds, etc in the Previews box & browsing through the cursors on the pointers tab.

 



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