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Change title bar text colour?


Posts
4
#1
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...
 

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Tepid

Vapor
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Posts
835
#2

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Posts
6
#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.
 

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Tepid

Vapor
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835
#4
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.
 

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Posts
6
#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.
 

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Tepid

Vapor
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Posts
835
#6
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 Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win 8.1 Pro
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Self Built
    CPU
    I7-3770K
    Motherboard
    ASUS SABERTOOTH Z77
    Memory
    CORSAIR 8GB 2X4 D3 1866
    Graphics Card(s)
    EVGA GTX680 4GB
    Monitor(s) Displays
    ASUS 24" LED VG248QE
    Hard Drives
    SAMSUNG E 256GB SSD 840 PRO -
    SAMSUNG E 120GB SSD840 -
    SEAGATE 1TB PIPELINE
    PSU
    CORSAIR GS800
    Case
    CORSAIR 600T
    Cooling
    CORSAIR HYDRO H100I LIQUID COOLER
    Keyboard
    THERMALTA CHALLENGER ULT GAME-KYBRD
    Mouse
    RAZER DEATHADDER GAME MS BLK-ED
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
    Other Info
    APC 1000VA -
    LGELECOEM LG 14X SATA BD BURNER -
    CORSAIR SP120 Fans x 3 -
    NZXT 5.25 USB3 BAY CARD READER -
    HAUPPAUGE COLOSSUS
Posts
6
#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 Computer

System One

  • OS
    8 x64