How to modify Windows Classic theme?

How to modify Windows Classic theme?


    Apr 03, 2020#1

    I'd like to modify just a few settings in the Windows Classic theme in v25.10. But it's not allowed in the Manage Themes dialog box under the Applications tab with Application style set to Windows Classic. If I change the application style to Custom, then I can make changes. But, when I change to custom, a whole bunch of changes are made that I don't want. For instance, the file tab colors all change to a dark gray instead of the custom tab colors that are set by file type. Is there maybe a way to copy the Windows Classic setting to the custom and start from there? Or can I manually edit a file to change some settings? For instance, in the custom style, I like having the active file tab text being red.

    Grand MasterGrand Master

      Apr 04, 2020#2

      The Windows Classic application style is a built-in style of the Microsoft GDI+ library which is used by UltraEdit for Windows for the graphical user interface. Built-in means here the color and style settings are compiled into GdiPlus.dll. This application style has the advantage of a much faster drawing of the windows and the color of file tabs is customizable. The disadvantage is that none of the colors of the window elements are customizable with exception of those window elements on which the color is controlled by the Windows Desktop (operating system) color settings. That is one reason why this application style results in a much faster drawing of the windows.

      In fact the GdiPlus.dll used by UltraEdit for Windows and many other Windows applications with a ribbon interface including Microsoft Office 2007 and later Office versions has several predefined built-in classic application styles as I found out once and wrote about them in my post at Icons are blurred in Classic mode with 64-bit UltraEdit version 24 on Windows 10.

      There is perhaps a predefined application style which meets your requirements on the application and file tab look.

      The usage of a predefined classic look results in using the Windows Desktop theme settings which were easy to modify for every user from Windows 95 to Windows 7. But the Windows Desktop theme settings are not easy to modify anymore nowadays on using Windows 10. They still exist in Windows registry as Windows 10 still supports applications using the GDI and the GDI+ libraries for graphical display, but Microsoft decided to remove the customization dialogs for them on introducing the Windows 10 Desktop theme feature for which Microsoft itself needed years to adapt the code of all their main applications to this graphical interface. There are some window elements controlled by the "old" Windows desktop settings even on using non of the predefined classic application styles. I documented them with my post at What are the elements in UltraEdit window with colors defined by Windows and not by UltraEdit theme?

      I don't have a PC running Windows 10 and so cannot tell you how to customize the Windows color settings which control colors in UltraEdit application window on using one of the classic application styles predefined and built-in by Microsoft in UltraEdit running on Windows 10.

      The usage of Custom application style makes it possible to define nearly all colors of the window elements. There are unfortunately really a lot of window elements for which colors must be defined by a user who wants to create a customized UltraEdit theme. The disadvantage of using this application style is that the Microsoft GDI+ library does not support customized colors for file tabs with this style. I don't know the reason. I have never asked Microsoft support for the reason nor have I ever searched for an explanation in world wide web.

      Is there maybe a way to copy the Windows Classic setting to the custom and start from there?

      I think, the answer is no because of the Windows Classic settings are compiled into the DLL and completely different code is used by the DLL for the predefined classic application looks in comparison to the customizable application looks. It could be that the color settings stored in the UltraEdit theme file are right and taken over by UltraEdit from the built-in definitions in the DLL. But it does not look so, at least not for all window elements as I could see with a quick test.

      Or can I manually edit a file to change some settings?

      Yes, it is possible to edit the currently used *.ue-theme file in UltraEdit because it is an XML file, see first referenced post. I have never made manual modifications on the Color child elements of XML element Window. I have modified manually in the past only the values of the XML elements Look and Font of Window. So I tried that on writing this post by changing all color values of Color and Gradient child elements of  Window to #FF0000 (red) and restarted UltraEdit, but everything looked like before. So the colors are really not customizable on using a classic application style/look.
      Best regards from an UC/UE/UES for Windows user from Austria