Hardwar Desktop Themes - Installation Instructions


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Theme Support

Before you can use Desktop Themes, you need to make sure that your Windows supports Themes. Don't worry, Windows supports themes by default all the way back to later Windows 95.

To make sure you have Desktop Theme support, open your control Panel (Start Button | Settings | Control Panel). Look for an icon called "Desktop Themes". The icon has a big "A" on it. If it's there, you're ready to go.

If you don't have a Desktop Theme icon in your control panel, you'll need to install Theme support. In your control panel, double click "Add/Remove Programs". Click the "Windows Setup" tab in the dialog box that opens. Scroll down the "Windows Setup" box until you come across the "Desktop Themes" checkbox. Check this box and click "OK".

Windows may ask for the Windows CD to copy the files from. You may also have to reboot before your "Desktop Themes" icon is visible in your control panel.

Now you have Theme support and several themes that come with Windows. If you don't want the default Themes, use a file manager to go to C:\Program Files\Plus!\Themes\ and delete all of the files. The Theme support will still remain. You've just deleted specific themes.

Installing Themes

Once you download a Theme, you'll probably have to unzip it. If you don't have an "unzipping" utility, you can get a free shareware of WinZip.

The unzipped file(s) will be one of two things. It might be a single executable file (.EXE) or a collection of files like images and icons. It depends on how the theme was "packaged". If it's an .EXE file, just double click the icon and run the installation program.

If it's a collection of files, move them all to your Themes folder at C:\Program Files\Plus!\Themes\. Now your new Theme is installed and ready to use.

Note: The .theme file contains the data of what images go where, what icons to use, the color scheme, etc. It does not contain the fonts and images themselves. These are separate files that are included in the installation package (assuming it's a good package).

Selecting & Using Themes

To use an installed theme, go your control panel (Start Button | Settings | Control Panel) and double click the "Desktop Themes" icon. A big dialog box will pop up.

At the top of the Themes box, you'll see a drop down menu. This has a list of all of the Themes (.theme files) in the default C:\Program Files\Plus!\Themes\ folder. If you've installed a theme to another folder, just select the "Other..." option and navigate the "Open" dialog box to your Theme.

When you select a Theme, a preview will appear in the main box to the left. To the right, you'll see the install options. You don't have to install all parts of a Theme. You can preview the screensaver (if included) and the cursors and such with the buttons at the top of the right panel.

Be careful when selecting the items you want installed. Animated cursors can be a real nuisance if they're included in a Theme. No problem, though. You can always go back and check or uncheck boxes. Now your Theme is installed. Give it a test drive.

HardWar Desktop Themes

HardWar Wallpapers

How To Make HardWar Themes & Wallpaper

Other Great Stuff:

Rob Hawke's Hardwar Font

Shrekken's Hardwar Cursors

Shrekken's Hardwar Icons