Using SkinStudio
Published on March 14, 2007 By Island Dog In

With the recent release of WindowBlinds 6 for Vista there has been much talk around various communities on how to use existing XP .msstyles on Windows Vista.  These existing .msstyles will not work on Vista by themselves, but you can convert them using SkinStudio and applying them with WindowBlinds 6.

I wanted to give a quick tour on how simple it is to take these XP visual styles and make them work on Windows Vista.  First there is a couple of things you need.

  1. The first thing you will need is to download SkinStudio.  It's free and it will allow you to convert the .msstyle for use in Windows Vista.

  2. Next you need WindowBlinds 6.  A shareware version is now available and it is also part of the Object Desktop suite.

  3. Your favorite XP .msstyle.

Once you have SkinStudio installed it should associate itself with .msstyles.  All you have to do is double-click the file and SkinStudio will convert it.  You can the apply the skin or do that later in the WindowBlinds configuration.

Alternatively, you can also open SkinStudio and select "Import msstyles".  Once imported you will also have the ability to modify the skins if you choose to.  However, if you did not create the visual style you cannot distribute without permission from the original author.


Pretty simple, right?

I also made a quick video showing how easy it is to use existing XP .msstyles on Windows Vista using SkinStudio and WindowBlinds.

Video: Converting .msstyles with SkinStudio

Comments (Page 1)
on Mar 14, 2007
1 caveat,2 really...skins need to be a color that works with vistas bluish toolbar(cant skin that yet) and no crazy start menus or animations...they look like poopoo.

Stick to certain restraints and they crossover to Vista OK...sorta.
on Mar 14, 2007
That Aquanox theme looks nice. I still prefer skins made specifically for WB though, meaning they are *fully* skinned.
on Mar 14, 2007
Some menus and buttons wont use the correct margin settings either.
on Mar 14, 2007
*wants Aquanox full-wb style*
on Mar 14, 2007
I thought SKS for vista wasn't ready yet?   
on Mar 14, 2007
Tiling of some elements is out of wack too.
on Mar 18, 2007
good one dude... giving a try
on Mar 19, 2007
Somebody buy me Vista so I can try this

on May 20, 2007
Somehow Skinstudio can't find any .ini file in the Resources folder. Im using Vista by the way...
on May 20, 2007
Diafragma: It will only import XP msstyle files.  If you are trying to use it with a Vista msstyle then it will not import it.
on May 21, 2007
I guess that will make the Thanks Neil.
on Nov 23, 2007
How would I convert a Vista msstyle to a Vista wb file?
on Nov 23, 2007
How would I convert a Vista msstyle to a Vista wb file?

See post #10 from the developer:
It will only import XP msstyle files. If you are trying to use it with a Vista msstyle then it will not import it.

on Jan 19, 2008
I don't understand this. How do I convert?
on Jan 19, 2008
hmm, I have sks pro but on xp - no import msstyles button -why??

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