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The fonts in a visual style are just as important as any other graphical image you create.   Text in the title bars, start menu, taskbar, etc. are all things you see on a constant basis.  You have gone through the process of creating all these graphics, so why stop when it comes to the fonts?  Well you don't have to as SkinStudio allows you to easily change the fonts in your skin.

The screenshot below is the Edit fonts window that will appear when you select Change skin fonts from the SkinStudio menu. 

One of the most intimidating things about changing the fonts in your skin is knowing what exactly you are changing.  Thankfully, SkinStudio will tell you what fonts belong to what section so you know what will be changed.

As  you see in the example above, I selected the Title bar Active font in the selection list, and in the lower right corner you will see the sections that this font is used in.  To change the font used, just click the Change font button and the screen below will appear.

Here we can select which font to use, the style, size, shadows, and text effects.  Once you have the font set to your liking, click the OK button.  You can see a preview of the font you have selected in the preview window in the upper right hand side of the window. 

But what if you want to change the font to something more obscure, that might not be on everyone's PC?  SkinStudio takes care of this by allowing you to include up to 5 different fonts that will be installed on the users system when the skin is installed.

SkinStudio will also allow you change certain colors in your visual style.  There is a wide variety of color settings in this section, and some people would refer to some of these as "classic" colors.  You can access this section via the Change skin colors button in the SkinStudio 6 menu.  Here are a few examples of the items in this section:

  • Active title bar.  If there is an application that is excluded from being skinned, or uses its own title bar, then you can change this color to closely match the rest of your skin.

  • Desktop Background.  If there is no wallpaper selected, then this is the color that will be displayed.

  • Selected item.  When you select an item in explorer windows, this is the color that is used.

Now these are just a few of the choices that you can find, but it should give you a pretty good idea of the types of colors you can change in this section. 

In this configuration window you have a drop-down menu to select from the skin defined system colors, and the skin color presets.   In similar fashion as changing the fonts, selecting each of the color boxes will then show a description of where that color is used.  If you want to import the current system colors into this section, then you can do that by selecting the import existing system colors button at the bottom of the window.  Above the description you have the "Change color" button and the color picker, both of which will allow you to change the selected color.

Another selection in the drop-down menu will be the skin color presets.  The color sets here might look familiar because we have visited this window before when changing colors in areas like the title bar caption.  The color changes you have made previously in the various sections of your skin will be shown here.  It can be easier as you can change the colors again without having to go through the skin sections again.  Don't forget, you can also change the names of the color presets for easy reference again.  You can also add your own custom color preset here by selecting the add new color preset button.

There is also a special color section for Vista.  There are new color options for Vista and in this window you can change those colors for the specific areas.

When changing your colors, take the time and choose colors that match the rest of your theme.  It might take a little extra time to try different color schemes out, but it will be worth it in the end.

Well we are getting close to the end of the tutorial series.  In the final chapters, we will cover some tips and tricks of SkinStudio 6, along with a few other things to finish off your skin. 

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