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Welcome to WindowBlinds

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WindowBlinds Visual Styles tab with Sabertooth skin.
WindowBlinds is a software utility that allows you to completely change the look and feel of Microsoft Windows.  It works by applying new visual styles, also called skins, across the entire user interface (i.e. start menu, window frames, title bars, menus, buttons, taskbar, scroll bars, ...) of the operating system.  As a result, you gain complete control over the way Windows looks.

WindowBlinds comes with a number of visual styles to get you started. From there you can modify them by changing the colour, adding a texture, wallpaper, changing fonts, adjusting transparency, blur, and more. Create, edit and apply textures. Use UIS0 to apply textures to the Windows Aero visual style. Live previews of skins and transparencies. In addition, you can download thousands of free visual styles from the popular WinCustomize.com. With the addition of the separate SkinStudio, you can create your own skins for use with WindowBlinds.

Features of WindowBlinds 7 (Enhanced Version)

Includes all of the features of WindowBlinds Trail version, plus the following:
  • Skin non-theme aware programs.
  • Skin unsigned per pixel skins.
  • Change color/hue/brightness on the fly.
  • Change toolbar icons of Internet Explorer and Explorer type windows.
  • Change progress animations.
  • Semi-transparent, Explorer backgrounds.

Features of WindowBlinds 7 (30 Day Trial Version)

Most features are available in this trail, but after 30 days WindowBlinds will stop working.

  • Skin Theme-Aware programs.
  • Skin Windows Start Bar.
  • Add animations to start panel.
  • Skin different programs with different skins.
  • Skin Explorer Views (shell styles).
  • Add more title bar buttons (roll-up, etc..).
  • Supports Windows 7.
  • Skin scrollbars and toolbar icons.

System Requirements

  • Windows XP (32-bit) with Service Pack 3, Windows Vista (32-bit or 64-bit) in versions (Home, Basic, Premium, Ultimate, Business, Enterprise) and Windows 7 (32-bit or 64-bit).
  • 60 MB free drive space.
  • 256 MB RAM.
  • 16 MB DirectX 8 or later compatible video card with appropriate driver support is required for per-pixel, alpha-blended skins. Some integrated graphics solutions and lower-end cards from before 2004 may not be able to use per-pixel skins.
  • 1024x768 minimum supported display resolution.
  • Languages Supported:
    English, and Japanese.
    Note: The interface has been localized for these languages, but the documentation and help (where available) will be in English.

A Note on Drivers and Compatibility

WindowBlinds has been designed and tested to be compatible with thousands of available applications and pieces of hardware. Its memory load is quite low (unless you are using complex skins with lots of animation) and any oddities with specific applications can generally be worked around quickly through the "Settings" tab.

Upgrading from Previous Versions

Install the new WindowBlinds version and reboot when prompted. When upgrading from previous versions, WindowBlinds will automatically move visual styles to the new folder and perform cleanup.

Updates

Check for updates to WindowBlinds 7 and other installed Stardock software.

File Types

The following is a list of common file types used by WindowBlinds:

  • .SSS - are substyles, slightly different versions of the skin.
  • .UIS - is an INI type text file with instructions for WindowBlinds on how to handle the substyle. See www.WindowBlinds.net for information on the UIS Language.
  • .TEXTURE - each texture effect consists of a .TEXTURE and a .TGA image file(s).
  • .WBA - is a compressed ZIP file containing a skin downloaded from the internet. It includes all of the files that make up a skin (i.e. SSS, UIS, BMP, TGA, JPG).
  • .ZIP - of a skin downloaded from the internet, and may contain all of the above, plus other files (i.e. BMP, TGA, JPG).

Installing Additional Visual Styles

To download over 4,100 free WindowBlinds visual styles (skins), please visit: www.wincustomize.com. WindowBlinds skins have the file extension of .WBA or .ZIP (compressed file).

Compatibility

WindowBlinds visual styles are both forward and backward compatible, unless otherwise noted. This means you can install visual themes made for older versions of WindowBlinds. This is a unique feature, which gives you access to a large library of free skins on WinCustomize.

Default File Paths

C: drive is the most common, but if you installed WindowBlinds to a different drive, then the path(s) maybe different.

Windows 7:
Program Files (64 bit): C:\Program Files (x86)\Stardock\Object Desktop\WindowBlinds
Program Files (32 bit): C:\Program Files\Stardock\Object Desktop\WindowBlinds
Visual Styles, Textures, Wallpapers: C:\Users\Public\Public Documents\Stardock\WindowBlinds

Windows Vista:
Program Files (64 bit): C:\Program Files (x86)\Stardock\Object Desktop\WindowBlinds
Program Files (32 bit): C:\Program Files\Stardock\Object Desktop\WindowBlinds
Visual Styles, Textures, Wallpapers: C:\Users\Public\Public Documents\Stardock\WindowBlinds

Windows XP (32 bit):
Program Files: C:\Program Files\Stardock\Object Desktop\WindowBlinds
Visual Styles, Textures, Wallpapers: C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Documents\Stardock\WindowBlinds

Creating Your Own Visual Styles

Create your own visual styles (skins) with SkinStudio (www.skinstudio.net)! See WindowBlinds.net for information on the UIS Language, used in creating new styles.

Support

Please contact Stardock Support at: www.stardock.com/support.  On that web page you will find helpful FAQ's and other troubleshooting information.  If you are unable to resolve your issue, please use the “eSupport System” to open a Support ticket.  Please include as much information about your computer (i.e. version of Windows, type of computer, version of WindowBlinds (on About tab), etc.).  This information will allow support to diagnose your issue much quicker and allow for a faster response.

Resources

WindowBlinds 7 New Code Guide by Master Skinner DanilloOc (7-22-09) includes a downloadable ZIP file with MS Word (.docx) and HTML (.htm) versions of a helpful guide with screenshots for creating and altering skins for WindowBlinds 7.

Understanding Per-Pixel Frames vs. UIS1 vs. UIS2

Object Desktop 2010 Preview by Frogboy (10-26-09)

Documentation

The version of this manual is 2.0 (11-16-09) and is based on WindowBlinds (version 7.00).  The majority of the screenshots in this documentation are from Windows 7, with additional images from Windows Vista or XP (noted). Some features are only visible in Vista or XP, these will be noted.

This manual was written and is maintained by Jim Kennedy.  Please email comments or corrections regarding this documentation to: documentation@stardock.com.