With Aero gone, the options to customize the appearance of your Windows desktop have highly decreased. Though while you don't have the option to add transparency to window borders, you can still achieve them with a simple trick (you won't have the blur anymore - just transparent borders).
To do that,
- right-click your desktop and click on Personalize.
- Activate the High Contrast White theme and
- click on the Color options beneath the theme selection pane.
- Right-click your desktop again to open another personalization window (don't close the first one).
- Activate one of the default Windows themes again.
- Afterwards, switch to the first window again -
- click the Save changes button there.
You should now have transparent window borders without blur:
As you might have noticed this way of achieving transparent borders is not intended to be used - some machines may experience graphic corruptions when using this method. If you happen to have these, you can reverse the whole thing by chosing another theme again!
Since every aspect of Linux is customizable, so is the terminal. Why not spice it up instead of working on a plain white box?
To do so, just open one and go to the Edit menu where you select Profile Preferences. This changes the style of the Default profile. In the Colors and Background tabs, you can change the visual aspects of the terminal. Set new text and background colors here and alter the terminal's opacity.
On the other menus, you can create more profiles that you can save and also change fonts.
Grub is the bootloader most Linux operating systems use at the moment - you most likely only interact with it while choosing the operating system you want to use if you are on a multi-boot system. But although you only see it for a short time, why not spice it up a bit? With what we are going to do, we can change font and background color or even use a background picture, change boot order and other handy stuff. You might think about that especially if you don't like Ubuntu's purple background color - so here's how:
To do what we want to, you need the Grub Customizer which is available by ppa. To install it, run the following commands in a terminal:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:danielrichter2007/grub-customizer
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install grub-customizer
Now open Grub Customizer from a terminal or the menu, go to Preferences and customize your Grub menu to your likings:
Though Cinnamon comes with a settings tool you can not yet customize it to the fullest. This is because it still is under heavy development and it is even not yet recommended to create super-creative themes, since it is likely that functions will be altered or added in the near future.
Nevertheless I have searched the cinnamon.css file (the file that is responsible for most stylistic issues of cinnamon) of the current version 1.3.1 for the classes that have to be altered to change the basic interface elements, the panel and the menu. The file you need is /usr/share/cinnamon/theme/cinnamon.css. Color values are given in hexadecimal codes (e.g. #FF0000) or in RGB values plus transparency (e.g. (255,255,255,0.5). A color can easily be converted to the other format using graphical software such as Pinta - just use the software's color picker to choose a color and then copy and paste the code, or insert a code to get the other. If two colors are given in the form of a gradient, there is a color flow between the two given colors.
Note: Before you make any changes to your cinnamon.css, make sure you have made a backup copy and know how to use it without a proper user interface since one faulty character in the file could render cinnamon completely unable to start. The best way to save yourself then is to have another desktop such as GNOME 3 installed to be able to switch to it in worst case (use ctrl + alt + backspace to log out)
Note2: Changes only apply after restarting Cinnamon.
- To change the panel's color, search the file for the #panel class and change the background-color value.
- To change the unfocused panel buttons' colors, search the file fo the .window-list-item-box class and edit the background-gradient-start and background-gradient-end values. Start marks the button's top where end marks the button's bottom.
- To change the focused panel buttons' colors, search the file fo the .window-list-item-box:focus class and edit the background-gradient-start and background-gradient-end values. Start marks the button's top where end marks the button's bottom.
- To change the button border color of the two above possibilities, change the box-shadow value in the same classes.
- To change the menu's color, search for the .popup-menu-boxpointer class and edit the arrow-background-color value
- To change the menu border's color, search for the arrow-background-color class and edit the arrow-border-color value
- To change the category menu's selector box, search for the .menu-category-button-selected class and change the background-gradient-start and the background-gradient-end values
- To change the application menu's selector box, search for the .menu-application-button-selected class and change the background-gradient-start and the background-gradient-end values
- To change the application submenu's selection box color, search for the .popup-menu-item:active class and edit the background-color value
- To change the border color of the two above possibilities, change the box-shadow value in the same classes.
- To change the favorites menu's background color, search for the .menu-favorites-box class and edit the background-gradient-start and background-gradient-end values.
- To change the favorites menu's border color, change the border value in the same class as above
- To change the favorites menu's selection box color, search for the .menu-favorites-button:hover class and edit the background-gradient-start and background-gradient-end values.
- To change the scrollbar handle's color, search for the StScrollBar StButton#vhandle class and change the background-color value
- To change the scrollbar border's color, edit the border value in the same class as above
To change the menu's texts, there is usually a value called color inside the appropriate classes which handle the text color. Also, the other possibilities can easily be identified by the classes' and values' names.
7Customizer is a tool that, with the help of the Windows Automated Installation Kit (WAIK), provides a nice graphical user interface for customizing your Windows 7 installation disk.
To start, insert your disk into the disk drive and copy all of its contents to a folder on your hard drive (this should not contain any space characters in its name and entire path - just call it something like InstallCD and place it directly on the C:\ drive). Next, download and install 7Customizer and the WAIK (see download links below). Run 7Customizer and direct it to the necessary paths:
WAIK usually is installed in the C:\Program Files\Windows AIK directory. The three services that are needed here are located (depending on your architecture - for 32 bit systems it's x86, for 64 bit systems it's amd64) in C:\Program Files\Windows AIK\Tools\amd64 and C:\Program Files\Windows AIK\Tools\amd64\Servicing. The fourth line needs to be directed to the folder you put your installation disk's files into. Afterwards select the Windows version and proceed with customizing your disk:
You may insert language packs, Windows Updates, drivers of any kind, remove parts of the original installation, create an Unattended Script that covers everything but the partitioning (the unattended file can also be created manually with the help of WAIK to automate everything including partitioning, it is up to you which is more suited for your plans) or apply any kind of tweak to your registry or your interface such as customizing your wallpaper, taskbar, etc. etc. To get a burnable image out of the process, check the option to create an ISO-file - these can be made bootable and written on a DVD. Finish your doings on the Apply tab and prepare for a bit of waiting.
The .iso file that is produced is an image of the installation disk. Write it to a DVD and make it bootable.
Download WAIK here: http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=10333
Download 7Customizer here: http://www.msfn.org/board/topic/139077-7customizer-a-windows-7-customization-and-deployment-tool/
Apart from the wide variety of plugins available for Mozilla Firefox and the option to configure it in the Preferences window, there is another, slightly more hidden feature to customize Firefox' behavior . To access it, enter about:config into your url bar. You will be directed to a warning on first access which you should take seriously:
Once you hit the button you will find yourself inside a giant table of variables with a filterbar at the top which you can use to narrow your results down. Do not change any option when you are not sure of the effects! Here are a few ones you might consider changing to make Firefox a little more handy (if they are not present in your current table, you can add them by rightclicking on it):
dom.max_script_run_time - determines the time before Firefox gives back a timeout from a connection request (in seconds).
security.dialog_enable_delay - determines the delay before being able to download a plugin
accessibilty.tabfocus - determines which elements are selected when pressing the tab key, 1 is forms, 2 is other elements, 4 is links and 7 is all elements
browser.download.manager.closewhendone - closes downloadmanager after completion of download it true
browser.urlbar.autofill - autocompletes links entered in the url bar
middlemouse.paste - a click on the mousewheel will use the paste function, as in Linux
browser.sessionstore.max_tabs_undo - determines the amount of closed tabs you can recover
browser.sessionstore.max_windows_undo - determines the amount of closed windows you can recover