Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Change title bar text colour?

  1. #1


    Posts : 4
    Windows XP, 7, 8

    Change title bar text colour?


    I think I don't miss the window border transparency, it didn't help readability anyway (in fact it mostly made it worse) and it's not so extremely beautiful that I'd want to keep it. But what is still bugging me is that the text colour of the window title bar is always black. No matter how dark the frame colour is. Aero still tried in vain to make it more visible by painting some white glow behind it, but Win8 doesn't even do that. Set a black window frame colour and you won't see any window titles at all! I consider this a major design flaw. So is it possible now to change the text colour (for active windows only!) from black to white? Just as it has been the last 30 years? I'm very much used to inverted colours for the active window because that makes it very clear which window is active. Though it is easier in Win8 to tell active and inactive windows apart, I still want to use white-on-darkblue active captions.

    BTW, I noticed the automatic window frame colour adapting to the wallpaper image, but that's exactly what I do not want to have. First, the frame colour should not change, and second, it should have some contrast to its surroundings.

    Adding this to the lack of configuration settings for other parts of the UI, it seems Microsoft doesn't want us to customise things at all. Just like every computer in the world should look and behave exactly the same. But wait, isn't that what Apple already did? Do I really need to move on to Linux to configure the UI like XP allowed it? And I want visible window shadows back, not a 1px 5% shadow that certainly uses GPU power but cannot be seen anyway...

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 835
    Win 8.1 Pro
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Hi there... I too wanted to change this. And So i did.

    First thing, there seem to be two classes of themes defined by msstyle files in Windows 8

    aero.msstyles ---> Not our old hero Aero, and none of the .theme files include Color information like we are used to in Windows 7, i suspect this is all to enable the ability to do the random background matching metro "one color" nastyness. This would, in a lazy implementation, require dynamic settings for most colored non-text things, with fixed text colors. Thus no text color switching.

    Reg entries do nothing to modify these in meaningful (towards our purpose) ways.

    These are stored in C:\Windows\Resources\Themes

    -----> but never fear!!!

    aerolite.msstyles ---> Apparently something familiar from Windows 7, honestly not to sure if its exactly the same as Windows 7 Aero Lite But doesn't matter for our case. The only thing that matters is that these are kept in a different repository C:\Windows\Resources\Ease of Access Themes, have boatloads of color settings defined in the .theme files and text / etc RESPONDS to these settings!!



    SO: to change the text, I found it easiest to create a new .theme file out of the color settings from one of the high contrast files, and the majority of the aero.theme file. Going through and comparing the two as I went, and rectifying anything that seemed wrong. Then, simply go through and define your color settings as you see fit.

    (NOTE: I didn't have a ready to hand windows 7 theme to grab and compare. it is possible that a favorite windows 7 theme can simply donate its color settings into a modified aero.theme or hc1,hc2,hcwhite.theme.

    If taking aero.theme ---> change aero.msstyles ref to aerolite.msstyles

    If going from hcwhite.theme file, probably a good idea to change the highcontrast=1 to highcontrast=0, and please for the love of Pete change the colors of the rest of the crap. (this seemed to be simplest)

    NOTE 2...
    I really only started working on this tonight. I was upset by the fact that I couldn't have white text. SO at this point there is one Caveat to this process. For some reason, Windows explorer (computer) windows, seem to keep their text black. However, in HCWHITE.THEME it is in fact white as it should be. I am working on this on my end, but if someone with more knowledge knows of a difference between that title text, and the other windows title text... let me know.

    Hope this helps.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 835
    Win 8.1 Pro


    This is something I have been working on myself.. You can actually make it almost perfect just by selecting any of the High Contrast ones and changing all the settings to darker colors. There are some issues though. You still can't go completely black with it.
    Because it changes everything, including Firefox. I still have problems with any of the modified themes on like Deviant art and WinCustomize.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    with your modified hc theme, have you made sure to change highcontrast=X to highcontrast=0? that should change some of the issues that flag can cause, while leaving you with changeable text.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 835
    Win 8.1 Pro


    Changing highcontrast=0 doesn't really work,, it messes everything up and looks horrible.
    I have tried a number of things to fix this and short of hacking msstyles I am not sure we can get a nice dark proper theme.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    hmm strange. when i repicked all my colors, and set it to 0, it seemed to work fine, except I had to track down some of the color settings for clock text, and some of the highlights around tiles and buttons. Unless those only change if HC is enabled. My worry would be that the HC flag causes some nasty changes to how other style sheets are rendered which was a complaint I had read about on an MSDN forum.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    I found this page a little bit helpful in constructing .theme files, but its incomplete.

    Theme File Format (Windows)
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

Change title bar text colour?
Related Threads
Anybody have any idea how to change the title text color on windows. The fact that it's always black makes it pretty useless on any dark colored theme... I would have thought they would have programmed this in. I thought wrong... imgur: the simple image sharer http://i.imgur.com/NETds.jpg On...
I Want to Change Text Colour on Active Window to White (Red Square) and Keep Black Text Colour on Inactive Window (Blue Square) Can I Do That ?
Solved Title bar text missing in Customization
Hello! I have the same problems as these guys in this threads I found on this forums. https://www.eightforums.com/customization/54203-title-bar-text-messed-up-cant-change-font-size.html https://www.eightforums.com/customization/53256-issue-all-windows-title-text-after-installing-theme.html ...
Hello All, Recently the text on all my windows title bars is messed up. It doesn't show the name of the window, it shows a bunch of dashed lines as follows: 51297 I went to Personalization->Display and I when I try to change the title bar text the menu is empty: 51298
Taskbar won't change colour in Customization
The other day I changed my desktop background and then went to change the window border & taskbar colour to match. The window borders changed to the new colour, but the taskbar has stayed the same. So now my window borders and taskbars are actually different colours. Does anyone know how to fix...
Hello All, Yesterday I was experimenting with some desktop customization software to change themes on my Windows 8.1 Pro computer. One of the programs I installed, SkinPacks, crashed after installing a theme and seems to have done some damage to my Windows look and feel. I immediately...
Change loading bar colour? in Customization
Hey guys, I'm new here and I haven't much experience with Win8 - I worked with Win7. The question relates to the loading bar colour in Win8. Here you see a example what I mean: 14285 I would like to change it from green to blue for example. Any ideas?
Eight Forums Android App Eight Forums IOS App Follow us on Facebook