Published on January 13, 2009 By Island Dog In Personal Computing

If you use a PC day in and day out, customizing your desktop environment is something you can do to bring a more “personal” touch to your desktop.  WindowBlinds allows users of Windows XP and Windows Vista the option to change the look and feel of their desktop by changing the visual style of Windows, also called skinning.  There are literally thousands and thousands of skins for WindowBlinds created by hobbyists, all the way up to professional graphic designers.  There are skins to match just about every taste and style, however, sometimes you might want your own style or just a few simple UI changes.  This is where SkinStudio comes in.

1-13-2009 12-54-55 PM Windows XP (Un-skinned and skinned)

SkinStudio is an application developed by Stardock, which also develop WindowBlinds.  SkinStudio’s main function is to create and edit skins for use with WindowBlinds.  At first thought, creating skins for Windows could be a daunting task, but SkinStudio has been developed for making skins or modifying existing ones easy for the every day user.  You might like the look of a particular visual style or theme, but just want to change the start button for example.  You can easily do this with SkinStudio, and I wanted to share some resources to get your started.

Some things you will need:

  • A copy of SkinStudio.  SkinStudio is a free download, and SkinStudio Pro is available for purchase for just $20.

  • Graphics editor of choice.  There are many options here, some paid and some for free.  My favorite free editors are Paint.NET and the Gimp.  Other applications I recommend are Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, and Paint Shop Pro.

  • SkinStudio tutorial.  This tutorial was created with beginners in mind, and goes through the complete process of creating a skin from start to finish.  It’s also available as a .pdf download, so you can print and follow from there as well.

  • WinCustomize Wiki.  The WC Wiki has a ton of resources, many of which are generated by the skinning community themselves.  It’s a great place to get other tutorials.

With the tools above, you can have your new or modified skin going in no time at all.  SkinStudio has different categories to help you find the section of skin you want to create. 

1-13-2009 1-11-22 PM

For more information, including screenshots and downloads, visit www.skinstudio.net.


Comments
on Jan 14, 2009

Just incase someone randomly google in and read about this the first time, it should be mentioned that SkinStudio Pro is also included in the Object Desktop ultimate subscription.

on Jan 19, 2009
to wincustomize. have you guys checked out www.symbaloo.com i was wondering if you could make an article on it. since you can skin your startpage and upload your own jpg and png. thx plz reply
on Jan 19, 2009

nike1me
to wincustomize. have you guys checked out www.symbaloo.com i was wondering if you could make an article on it. since you can skin your startpage and upload your own jpg and png. thx plz reply
Any member can write an article.  Give it a try, you might like it.

on Jan 19, 2009

After using WB6 for quite a while now, I figured I might give SkinStudio a go myself. 15 Euro is hardly much for the power to possibly create my own skins.

 

One question, though - are there any tutorial for SKS and GIMP as a graphic suite? Or must-have GIMP plugins for easier development? The tutorials I found after a quick look at the SkinStudio page are all working with Photoshop.

on Jan 20, 2009

One question, though - are there any tutorial for SKS and GIMP as a graphic suite? Or must-have GIMP plugins for easier development? The tutorials I found after a quick look at the SkinStudio page are all working with Photoshop.

Photoshop, GIMP, etc. are just tools used to create the graphics.  Photoshop was just used as an example in the tutorials, it really has no relation to SkinStudio.

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