Microsoft has changed the way themes are handled in the Windows 7 operating system. This new way gives the Windows 7 user more freedom to customize and distribute themes. The standard Windows 7 system comes with multiple themes installed which stands in contrast to previous operating systems that came with no additional themes at all or only a few.
While it is now possible to add further customization to themes it is still not possible to install third party themes that have not been created with the theme engine itself. What this means is that the customize option in Windows 7 is still limited in comparison to third party themes that can change additional elements of the operating system including the taskbar, start menu or fonts.
This article is therefor divided into two parts. We will look at the default options to customize themes in Windows 7 in the first part and investigate third party themes in the second part of the article.
Windows 7 Themes: Default Options Slideshow
The Windows 7 News Guide To Windows 7 Themes: Default Options
The Windows 7 operating system comes with a selection of themes installed. These pre-installed themes can be activated instantly in the operating system in the Personalization menu. The easiest way to access this menu is by right-clicking on the Windows 7 desktop to open the context menu that contains a link to Personalize the operating system.
Examples of available themes are country specific themes, a plain Windows 7 theme as well as themes about architecture, landscapes, characters or nature.
Next to these themes are six basic and high contrast themes that can also be activated with the click of a button. Additional themes are available by clicking on the “get more themes online” button. This will open a Microsoft website that offers additional themes for download. Users can download themes from other countries for instance from this page.
Basic custom themes can be created easily. The personalization menu in Windows 7 provides quick access to change the desktop background, window color, sounds, screen saver, desktop icons and mouse pointers. Any change that is made is saved under the My Themes tab in the Personalization menu.
Windows Desktop Backgrounds
In here it is possible to change the desktop background of the current Windows 7 theme. Some pre-installed themes come with several backgrounds and this dialog can be used to access this additional backgrounds. It is furthermore possible to select custom photos from the picture library or solid colors as the background.
Multiple pictures can be selected as the desktop background. Windows 7 will then cycle through them automatically. The frequency of the changes can be set in the same desktop background configuration menu. Options range from every ten seconds to once a day. The slideshow can be automatically paused if the computer is running on battery power to save power.
The last option in the desktop background menu concerns the picture position. This is being used by the operating system if pictures are selected as backgrounds that do not fit the whole computer monitor. The usual options to fill, fit, stretch, tile or center are available.More Galleries: All Galleries | Windows 7 Galleries | Windows 8 Galleries