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Colours

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For visual styles that allow you to change the colours, clicking on the "Colours" tab displays a number of options. Though not every skin will allow you to use Smart Recoloring, so the option (lower, left corner) may not be visible. The preview shows a sample of the skin, but not all areas. So when changing the colour(s), try clicking "Apply changes" and checking the different areas of your desktop. Sometimes a colour may be on a scroll bar or some other element.

Colours tab - allows you to change skin colours.

Terminology

When dealing with colour, there are a number of terms it helps to be familiar with, including:

 Term

 Description

Brightness Changing the brightness of a colour, makes it appear lighter or darker in appearance. For example, making a solid red color brighter, will make it look pink.

HSL

This is a more accurate method of coloring and stands for: Hue, Saturation and Luminance. Though luminance can not be adjusted. In WindowBlinds 7, changing the color using HSL is done by checking the box "Use smart recolouring" (checked by default) in the lower, left corner of the "Colors" tab. (Note: WindowBlinds 6 referred to this as "Advanced HSL Colouring".)

Hue - think of hue as the tint of the colour. So by altering the hue of a color with "Use Smart recolouring" (checked), you alter the skin and you do not have to pick the colour or range. If smart recolouring is turned off (unchecked), the hue you select, changes the entire skin.

Saturation - can be described as the purity of a colour or the intensity or "the degree of difference from a gray of the same lightness or brightness" (American Heritage Dictionary, www.dictionary.com).

With these options, you can change the colour to a basic shade by clicking on a solid colour box or clicking along the colour bar (rainbow) for a more exact colour change. The following are available: brightness, saturation, range of colours, primary colour and turning off Smart Recolouring. After making changes, you can apply it to your desktop by clicking the "Apply changes" button in the upper, left corner (top menu). A change on this tab will be reflected by a circled Colours checkmark checkmark on the "Colours" tab.

Existing Colours

The simplest way to change the colour is by clicking on one of the existing colour boxes (hues) and it will update the preview area. "None" is selected by default, meaning the colours you see in the skin are what it comes with. As you click on a box, the slider Slider will jump to that hue in the rainbow under "Colour to apply". You may need to scroll through the existing colour boxes horizontally to see all of them. Either left click & drag the coloured boxes to the left or right click on the gray scroll bar and drag left or right.

Colour boxes for the Corporate skin.

Note the location of Use smart recolouring checkbox under the colour boxes, as it will be referred to later.

Hue

For a more exact colour, you can click on the slider Slider and drag it along the colour bar to change the hue, as you watch the preview change. When you find the desired color, release the mouse button.

Colour to apply - move drag slider to desired colour.

Brightness

To change the brightness of the skin colour, click the Brightness button Brightness to the right of the "Colours to apply" bar and a vertical slider will appear. This will allow you to drag the slider Slider up (darker) or down (lighter) and watch the preview as the level of brightness changes. Clicking Reset will return the slider Slider to the default position for that skin. Clicking the Brightness again, will collapse the slider bar. Changing the brightness of a colour can alter it in interesting ways.


Brightness Brightness


Saturation Saturation

Saturation

To change the Saturation of the skin colour, click the Saturation button Saturation to the right of the Brightness Brightness button. A vertical bar like Brightness will appear, and allow you to drag the slider Slider up (darker/dull) and down (brighter in intensity). Clicking Reset will return the slider Slider to the default position for that skin. Clicking the Saturation again, will collapse the slider bar.

Range of Colours to Apply to

(This option is only visible if Use smart recolouring is checked.)

By default, "Automatic" is checked, meaning WindowBlinds will take care of selecting the range for you. For best results, leave it on automatic. This changes the range of colours in the skin that the colour will be applied to. If you want to change the range, uncheck "Automatic" and drag the slider Slider to the desired position. The preview will reflect the change.

Range of colours to apply to.


To return to the default setting, check the "Automatic" box and the slider will return to the default position.

Primary Skin Colour

(This option is only visible if Use smart recolouring is checked.)

By default, "Automatic" is checked, meaning WindowBlinds will take care of selecting the colour for you. For best results, leave it on automatic. This option tells WindowBlinds what colour in the skin that you want to change. For instance, if you wanted to change the colour blue in the currently selected skin to red. You would uncheck this option and drag the slider Slider to red.

Primary skin colour.

To return to the default setting, check the "Automatic" box and the slider will return to the default position.

Change Skin System Colours

To change specific items of a skin, click on "Change skin system colours..." located in the lower, right corner.  This will open the following dialog box, listing: any available substyles, items of the skin (varies by skin) with their current colour, a button to change the colour and one to recover original. Making changes here will alter the actual skin, however you can restore the original backup copy by clicking the Recover original button.

Change skin colours dialog box.

The first thing to do is to select a substyle of the skin you want to edit.  You can select one on the list or create a new substyle.

Selecting a substyle to edit.

If you want to create a new substyle, click "Create new substyle" and the following dialog box opens:

Creating a new substyle involves naming it and selecting a substyle to use as a base.

Select a base substyle to use as a starting point for the new substyle, by clicking the pull-down menu above the Create button and select one. Then type in a name for the new substyle and click Create to save.  (Click Cancel or X to close to abort, without saving.)  

After selecting the substyle (Example: Corporate (Aero Frames)), select what element of the skin you want to edit.  For this example, I have clicked on "System Colour: Title Text" (bottom of list).  Next, I clicked on the c button and see the following "Color" dialog box. 

Color dialob box used for selecting a colour.

This table lists the steps required to locate and add custom colour(s):

 Do this...

 See this...

First click on a box under "Custom colors" where you want to store the new color. Custom colors

Then click on any of the colours under "Basic Colors" in the color range you are interested in

Basic colors.

Click the Add to Custom Colors button to have it added to the "Custom colors" box OR ... Add color(s) to Custom colors box(es).
Move the cursor in the colored box (rainbow of colors) on the right by clicking anywhere within that area. The color will change in the "Color/Solid" box below and when you have found the desired color, click the Add to Custom Colors button OR ... Select from rainbow of colours.
Type in the numeric values (i.e. Hue, Sat, Lum) in the boxes (lower, right). The color should appear in the "Color/Solid" box, then click on on the Add to Custom Colors button. Type in color values for Hue, Sat and Lum (HSL).

If you have multiple colours you have stored in the "Custom Colors" boxes, click on one, then click the OK button to apply the colour to the skin.  (Click Cancel or X to abort to abort, without saving.)

Repeat for any other areas of the skin you want to change, when done click the Close window button. At this point, the preview will show the new color if that part of the skin is shown in the preview. To apply the colours to your desktop skin, click the "Apply changes" button. 

Clicking X (far right, under preview) will close the "Styles" tab and return to the "Visual Styles" tab.