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Applications: Overview

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The Applications menu allows you to select various graphic and sound elements from across the different sub-tabs.  Each sub-tab is related to a different Stardock application (i.e. WindowBlinds, DeskScapes, ...) or Windows feature (i.e. wallpapers, screen savers). If you want to change just your icons, click on the "Icons" sub-tab and select a package from IconPackager.  Like the Themes tab, you must have each of the applications installed to use them through Theme Manager.  Otherwise a web link will be provided to the product page for the missing application.

Applications menu

Each of the following sub-tabs work the same way: Skins, Icons, Cursors, Wallpapers, Screen Savers and Logons.  These sub-tabs will be covered in this section.  The remaining sub-tabs (i.e. Sounds, DeskScapes) will be covered in the next section (5. Applications: Sounds & DeskScapes).

You will notice these tabs look very similar to the tabs under the "Themes" menu option.  However, there is no sidebar menu.  There is a large Preview Pane and list of Available Themes in thumbnail form on the bottom.  Also, each sub-tab has the same grid view Grid View icon, and "Theme Options" pull-down menu.  Right-clicking on any theme (on the bottom) will display the same menu as the Theme Options. 

Minor differences between the sub-tabs include the "Wallpapers" tab which includes a "Filter By Category" menu.  This helps narrow your search for wallpapers that are Static, or Themed.  Another difference is that the "Skins" and "Wallpapers" sub-tabs include a Substyles menu for any that support it.  Plus all sub-tabs include a settings Settings icon which opens the associated application for that tab (i.e. WindowBlinds for the "Skins" tab).

Preview Pane

The preview shows what the currently selected theme (or Windows default) will look like if applied to your desktop. To preview each theme, simply click on the thumbnail at the bottom and the preview will change to that theme.  So if you are on the "Cursors" tab, you will see sample icons for different actions.  For the "Icons" tab, you will see sample icons and so on.  To apply the theme to your desktop, do any one of the following:

  • Double-click on the desired theme's thumbnail.
  • Right-click on the theme, then select Apply Theme.
  • Select the desired theme by clicking on it once, then click on Theme Options and select Apply Theme.
  • Click on the desired theme's thumbnail & click the Aplly Changes button in the upper right hand corner.

It is recommended to close other applications before applying a new theme, otherwise it may slow the conversion.

Available Themes

The list of available themes runs along the bottom of the window, underneath the preview area.  Each theme is represented by a small picture called a thumbnail.  Under the thumbnail is the title of the theme, and beneath that is the author (or company) that created it.  Clicking on a theme, changes the picture in the preview area to the theme.  If there are more themes than will fit in the Theme Manager window, you can use the horizontal scroll bar (bottom on window) to view the other themes.

List of available themes.

Alternate Grid View

If you have a large number of themes, using the horizontal scroll bar can be rather difficult to find the desired theme quickly.  Clicking the View List icon (lower left corner) will change the display to list just the thumbnails of each available theme.  The preview area will be removed.  This allows you to view a larger number of themes at one time.  A horizontal scroll bar will appear if you have more than will fit in the window.  If you would like to preview the desired theme, click on it, then click the Preview icon to return to preview mode.  It will be displayed in the preview pane.

List View - view more themes at once.

 

While on the grid view screen, clicking "Theme Options" (or right-clicking on a theme) will display the same options as on the preview pane view.  Also, clicking the "Featured Theme" will take you to the web site.

Clicking the Preview mode icon will return you to Preview mode.

Settings Icon

If you would like access to more settings than what Theme Manager provides, click the Settings Settings icon (lower left corner) to run the associated application.  The Theme Manager window will remain open.

Wallpaper Settings

For the Wallpapers tab, when clicking the Settings Settings icon, it will open a small window (dialog box) with options on where you want Theme Manager to look for wallpaper on your computer. Check the box next to a folder to have it included or uncheck it to be skipped.  You can also add additional folder(s) with the Add Folder button and remove folders by selecting it and clicking the Remove Folder button. 

Wallpaper Settings

Clicking the Add Folder button will open a dialog box to allow you to locate the folder you wish to add.  If you want to create a new folder instead, browse to the desired folder, the click the Make New Folder button and a new folder will be created, allowing you to name it.  (If you make a mistake in naming it after you press the <Enter> key, you can select the folder & right-click on it to display the standard Windows commands, including "Rename".)  Once you find (or create) the folder, click the OK button and it will be added to the list in the "Windows Settings" window.  (Click Cancel or X to abort.)

Browse for Folder

To remove a folder, click on the desired folder to select it (highlighted), then click the Remove Folder button and it will be removed from Theme Manager.  This will not remove it from your hard-drive, only from Theme Manager.  It does not matter what folder(s) are checked or unchecked, only which folder you have selected that will be removed.

Removing a folder

When done making changes, click the OK button.  (Click Cancel or X to abort.)

Screen Saver Settings

When clicking the Settings icon on the "Screen Savers" tab, if there are settings available for the selected screen saver a dialog box will appear.  Each screen saver varies in what options you are allowed to change.  Some do not have any settings that can be changed so either you will not see the Settings icon or you will see a message box telling you there are no settings for the screen saver.  Since each screen saver's options are different, it will not be covered here.  These are the same settings you would see through Windows desktop preferences.

No screen saver options

Theme Options

Clicking "Theme Options" (above the available themes on the left) or right-clicking on any theme will display a menu of options, that include:

Theme Options menu under Applications.

Theme Options Quick Reference

 Action

 What it does...

Apply Theme Applies the selected theme to your desktop

Delete Theme 

This acts the same way as clicking "Delete This Theme" on the sidebar menu on the "Themes" tab, it will ask you to confirm the deletion of the selected theme from the hard-drive.  (Pressing the <DEL> or <Delete> key on your keyboard has the same effect and is the hotkey shortcut.)  Click Yes to delete it.  (Click No or X to abort.)  Note: You can not delete the built-in Windows (default) theme, so this option will be grayed out (unavailable).

Delete Theme

Install from disk...

Opens a Windows Explorer window displaying a folder on your hard-drive.  Use it to navigate to the folder where the theme(s) is that you want to add to Theme Manager.  The file type (seen above the Open & Cancel buttons) will be set for the application tab you are on at the moment.  For example, if you are on the "Skins" tab, the file types Explorer will display (if found in the folder) will be .uls or .wba.  To see all files, regardless of type, click the file type menu and select "All Files".  Then click on the desired file, and click Open.  (Click Cancel or X to abort.)

Install from disk
Install from the web...

This will open your web browser and display the WinCustomize.com web site related to the Applications tab you are on (i.e. IconPackager).  So if you are on the "Icons" tab, your browser will display IconPackager packages you can download and add to your computer.  There is a large selection of free themes for the Stardock applications.  Some of the themes, called Mater Skins have a small fee which helps support the author.

Refresh Clicking this option or pressing the keyboard shortcut <F5> will refresh the list of available themes.  This is handy if you downloaded a compressed (i.e. .zip, .rar) theme, uncompressed it and copied the contents to the Theme Manager folder while Theme Manager was running. Refresh will force it to check the hard-drive for any new themes that you added, changed or removed and update the list.

 

Filter By Category

On the "Wallpapers" tab is an extra option called "Filter By Category" (under the preview area) that allows you to view in the list of available themes only those that are either Static (i.e. normal wallpaper), or Themed (wallpaper from suites or MyColors themes).  Clicking the link will open a small menu, which allows you to check (include in list) or uncheck (exclude from list) the options.  Or you can click "Select All" (to check all boxes) or "Select None" (uncheck all boxes).  Click outside the menu to close the menu and update the listing of themes.

Filter By Category

Substyles

On the "Skins" tab you will see a pull-down menu (lower, right corner under preview) that contains a list of Substyles.  Substyles (or compound skins), offer alternative choice(s) such as different colors.  Clicking on the pull-down will open a small menu you can select from.  Some substyles may be for Windows XP or Vista, but you can apply either to your computer regardless which you have. If you click on a different substyle it will update the preview.

List of available Substyles.

Not all skins have substyles, in these cases this option will not be seen on the screen.


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