How to Make Your Own Theme Pack for Windows 7

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You’ve been hearing a lot about themes in Windows 7 lately, haven’t you? It’s probably because everyone and their brother is out there creating new theme packs for you to download.

The latest one comes from Mike Swanson, a talented macro photographer known to his friends as the “desktop wallpaper” man. For people like Mike, theme packs are a great way to showcase their photography. Do you want to make your own theme pack? It’s actually not that hard to do at all.

Components of a Theme Pack

To get you up to speed, a theme pack is a file that contains the following items:

  • One or more desktop backgrounds
  • Optional customizations for Aero glass, sounds, screensavers, icons, cursors, etc.

Creating a Basic Theme

Creating a basic theme is easy – you just customize your desktop the way you want it, then click “Save theme” on the Personalization page in the Control Panel. Just make sure to choose the “theme pack” type in the drop-down list when doing so. That’s really all there is to it.

Getting More Advanced

If you want to edit the themepack file directly or create a file from scratch in a text editor (geek cred goes to you!), you should check out this resource over on MSDN: "Creating and Installing Theme Files." The documentation there provides details on the various sections of a theme file and what sort of syntax should be used.

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