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j7n

Recommend me a good classic "plus" UI theme

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j7n    17

Can you recommend me a professional style UI theme for XP that is as readable as Classic, but still a step up in visual fidelity. There are many themes offered on the web that aim to make Windows look like system or fictional environment X, but they do not have good utility. I'm looking for calm colors of blue and grey shades, rectangular corners, well defined buttons. The main panels should better be some grey to avoid clashing with unthemed controls in older applications.

I have installed all official themes: Embedded, Royale, Noir, Zune. Zune is overall the best. But all these themes share the following two flaws. Title bars of active and inactive windows are too similar. it is not easy to find an active window among many. The button-face panel colors are too light (about 230 compared to 210 on Classic or 192 on Win95), which causes unthemed buttons without an additional frame as well as group boxes and raised/sunken panels to disappear. Disabled text becomes hard to read. There is too little contrast with button-highlight (pure white). This also a reason why I find Windows Seven hard to use, as if I was looking through a glass with reflections.

A good third party theme that fits most criteria is TangoBU3. But it is a little unpolished with vertical columns of pixels appearing on one side or between column panels and tabs.

 

Edited by j7n

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jaclaz    942

It is extremely difficult to suggest a theme, as anyone will have his/her own preferences, and - generally speaking - themes are "excessive".

Check if any among the themes here:

http://customize.org/teschio/gallery?page=2

might do.

The QNX/XP might be similar to what you asked for:

http://customize.org/xpthemes/19645

though cannot say how much functional is it.

jaclaz

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j7n    17

Thank you. The QNX is the best theme from this selection. The title bar has unique detailed design, and follows the usual convention of dimming the color when inactive. A Windows 2000 icon fits right in that frame. Xi01 and Cold Fusion 2 could have been good, but they look half done. Cold Fusion looks like it replicates some other system, and some colors have been left "undefined". The group boxes are invisible, leading to "flat" appearance.

I see many familiar old applications that really whip the epa pollution preventer in the example pictures from "15 years ago". I still use Paint Shop Pro, Tweak UI, Winamp, MPlayer2, ACD See 3.0. : )

MindWood is a good recolor of the XP style.

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j7n    17

Unfortunately the QNX theme still has flaws as most of them do, which is why I made my post in the first place. There is quantity over quality, and over-abundance of choice.

I made a few small tweaks that restore usability, namely made group box transparent when it's drawn over other controls in many programs, and added classic shadow to disabled buttons to make text readable and of the same style as static disabled text.

In the unlikely event that anybody cares, I can provide a link.

I noticed that themes include large text files of technical terms that are in Unicode for no reason, like most text on NT. 100 KB for each font size. Unfortunately Windows couldn't load ANSI text here.

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