My Perfect Windows 7 Theme


Not Bman

Since the XP days where skinning was possible I have been customizing my desktop to all hell. And one of those many customizations has always been themes. Hacking the uxtheme.dll to allow custom mxstyles.

Ever since I could do that I have been using themes, and looking for themes that contain thin taskbars. People used to say to me you only want those thin taskbars because your monitor/resolution is too small. And back then it probably was. Yet I just think, even with my 24" 1920x1200 resolution, that a thin taskbar looks much better. Having more space is always better.

Anyways, XP was a fun time. There were thousands of themes for it, and many of them contained thin taskbars. Then Vista came along, and it took awhile for people to skin it, and took even longer to get thin taskbars back, but it did. There are at least 10 thin taskbar themes out there for Vista. Then of course came Windows 7, which as many people do I love 7 to death. It is almost dang near perfect, at least for me.

My one problem with 7, made the taskbar even bigger then XP and Vista defaults. Yes you can set it to use small icons, and its smaller, but that smaller size is still the size of default XP/Vista size.

So I have been searching and even trying to build my own (without any luck) to find a thin taskbar theme. Now I can't find the size I want, and from what I have learned it's not exactly possible with Windows 7, but I think I may have found the closest thing to it.

For a long time now, probably even in RC I have been using a theme called Clearscreen Sharp and have been enjoying it quite a bit. It's the thinnest taskbar you can find for Windows 7 (at least with Aero). My issue with it, is I don't like Black Transparent themes. When using dark wallpapers, even light wallpapers its hard to tell it's transparent at all. Yes the windows are quite see-through, but not the start menu and taskbar.

I just came across another theme, built from Clearscreen which is called Aero+. Now the name is stupid, and the preview for it does it no justice, but it's basically Clearscreen Sharp, but instead of the black transparent, it uses white transparent (like default aero). Also a change with the open and close buttons which I don't like as much, but oh well. So for anyone who agrees with me on all my accounts, this is the theme to check out for sure.

Another thing I wanted to add, another thing that Clearscreen/Aero+ does is if you notice that icons on the taskbar are smaller (because of the smaller taskbar I know) but are also closer together. Making it look even nicer.

Still going to go on my search for a smaller taskbar. :) I will be posting my latest screenshot in the normal thread if you want to see it in action.

American Zombie

Staff member
Political User
23 Jun 2004
Why not just auto-hide the taskbar?

You get more space then even a thin taskbar can provide.

Not Bman

No, I have tried many times over the years to use that. I don't like how it feels. I go to the taskbar too often, and it poping up is just, I dunno. I guess you can say I am picky.


Smokin & Jokin
13 Nov 2002
I'm with you on the auto hide feature Bman, it never felt right.
I agree the taskbar is unnecessarily large but I guess I've just got used to it.

Not Bman

I actually have a problem with space on all OS's and applications. I always have to find a way to remove unnecessary space. The new 3.7 shots of Firefox for example, are horrible. They look amazing, but the main bar is HUGE!

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