A group for anyone who loves and uses the Gimp. Share your work with others and comment on their work.

Post tutorial Report article RSS Feed Customizing Windows

A tutorial about making windows a little bit more custom with the right tools. in this tutorial I will show you how to make these changes using programs that do not require to be turned on for the effects to be visible and simple tricks that will give your computer a nice and customized look.

Posted by Admiral_Skeybar on Apr 28th, 2011
Basic Other.

Are you tired of the way windows looks? Maybe you are just looking for new way to make windows look more personal. Well there are many program that help you change the looks of windows, unfortunately they are usually small programs that slow down your computer and full of bugs. The other way to change windows is to learn loads of complicated programming languages and make changes directly to the windows registry.
Both of these two options have their ups and downs but there is a third way that has less downs and is easy to learn, in this tutorial I will show you how to make these changes using programs that do not require to be turned on for the effects to be visible and simple tricks that will give your computer a nice and customized look. It should be noted that this tutorial only covers the Win 7 operating system. XP is unfortunately very hard to customize unless you want loads of programs running in the background which will slow down your computer. Some of below mentioned things can be applied on Vista as well.

Also, just in case, make a restore point of windows so you can always go back to the way things were if something goes wrong.
First of all, let's start with the things you can do right away. Windows offers many ways that you can customize the looks of your desktop. To access them, simply go to the control panel and select "Personalization".

This is your starting point when changing the looks of your computer.
For anyone who follows my blog, they will have noticed I recently played the game Portal 2 and really liked it. This will be the new theme for my computer, naturally you can choose to make any theme you like using the methods I will show you in this tutorial.

You can see the color settings of my theme in the picture above and here is the background I have made for my theme:


Now for the fun part, remember, everything mentioned above is possible to accomplish just using windows. Now let's start customizing our computer for real.

First: Start button. For this, you will need the Windows 7 Start Button Changer, this is a smart little program that replaces the windows 7 start button with your own. You can download it here: Thewindowsclub.com

This is the start button I have made for my Portal theme:


Second: Login screen. The background that you see when you log out and login, to change this you can use Thoosje Win 7 Login Editor: Thoosje.com Here is my login screen:

login screen

Third: Boot screen. I used Windows 7 Boot Updater: Coderforlife.com Now it looks kind of like this:


Fourth: Extra editing of the window 7 Aero theme. For this, use Aero Tuner: Winreview.ru

All of these programs are pretty self explanatory, all of them are easy to use and none of them run in the background slowing down your computer. In the picture below you can see the finished result.
Picture If you wish to add a dock to your computer like on my desktop, visit rocketdock.com where you can download it for free.

All the files needed to create my Portal theme can be downloaded here: Moddb.com
The pack includes:

Boot Screens

Portal Cursors
Login Screens
Profile pictures
Start Buttons

I hope this little tutorial was helpful, if you have any questions regarding the tutorial, feel free to send me an email.

Post comment Comments
MattmanDude Apr 28 2011 says:

Well I already knew about this myself... I fail to see what it has to do with Profile Banners though?


+2 votes     reply to comment
Admiral_Skeybar Author
Admiral_Skeybar Apr 28 2011 says:

It's more like a general art-thing. You know, what all these groups are about. ;)

Also, believe it or not, there are people who don't know how to do these things...

+3 votes   reply to comment
cW#Ravenblood Apr 29 2011 replied:


+3 votes     reply to comment
Admiral_Skeybar Author
Admiral_Skeybar Apr 29 2011 replied:

Now you do :D

+3 votes   reply to comment
jjawinte Apr 30 2011 replied:

Your absolutely right Admiral. With W7 being a heavily media based OS, a lot of people simply don't realize how flexible it can be when it comes to customizing it's appearance to reflect that " one of a kind you ".

It can be a lot more fun too using any # of the handy free tools out there ! For my indulgences, I enjoy Gimp myself, but RWG has some nice looking software too. well done Sir and keep them coming.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Admiral_Skeybar Author
Admiral_Skeybar May 1 2011 replied:

Thanks jj. Win 7 is indeed flexible, at least, more flexible than Win XP which is a much harder operating system to customize. I remember I had to use a program called ResHacker to change the windows themes manually in the windows registry, only .bmp file format supported, those were they days... NOT.

On a sidenote, who are RWG? :)

+1 vote   reply to comment
iQew Apr 29 2011 says:

I think it's a great tutorial, thanks for the effort!

+2 votes     reply to comment
Admiral_Skeybar Author
Admiral_Skeybar Apr 29 2011 replied:

Thanks! :)

I realize most people know how to do most of the things mentioned in the guide/tutorial, however these just programs can be quite useful to know.

Here is another cool program I did not mention in the guide: Rw-designer.com It's called Real World Cursor Editor and it is a very cool program for creating custom cursors, anyone with some Photoshop or Gimp skills will easily know how to use it. :)

+4 votes   reply to comment
Admiral_Skeybar Author
Admiral_Skeybar Apr 29 2011 replied:

Oh and I almost forgot, here is a Portal related screensaver that fit's nicely with the Portal theme: Brianweis.net

+3 votes   reply to comment
Post a Comment
click to sign in

You are not logged in, your comment will be anonymous unless you join the community today (totally free - or sign in with your social account on the right) which we encourage all contributors to do.

2000 characters limit; HTML formatting and smileys are not supported - text only

Apr 10, 2010
Open to all members
Send Message
Join this group
Group Watch
Track this group
Report Abuse
Report article
Related Groups
Banners of ModDB
Banners of ModDB Arts & Literature with 97 members
Global Union of Arts
Global Union of Arts Hobbies & Interests with 66 members
Portal Fan Group
Portal Fan Group Hobbies & Interests with 61 members
The Gimp (ers) on ModDB
The Gimp (ers) on ModDB Hobbies & Interests with 37 members
VITRIOL 3D Arts & Literature with 109 members