TopRight: use-taskbar-transparent, use-panel-full-black, olive green gloss sub
BottomLeft: use-panel-compact-32px-black, lune blue sub
BottomRight: use-taskbar-transparent, use-panel-full-white, TEST sub
IMHO the most pleasing combinations are those that use flat taskbars. This focuses the eye on your wall instead of my skin. If you can't find a suitable taskbar color to match your wall use the black or default taskbar. Another option is to use the transparent taskbar when you have a striking wall and a taskbar will just detract from it.
For the main sub match a bold color from your wall. If there isn't a close color select the black or default white gray sub. These complement any wall.
If you have wide displays try using the left and right taskbars. On my dual 1600x1200 this configuration seems to make better use of space.
Try the minimal scheme. Minimalistic without loss of functionality.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
! Before using any of the batch files switch to a different sub and apply it. Now run batch files then reapply the sub you want. Window Blinds caches some files and the taskbar will sometimes not render correctly when switching to/from transparent taskbar.
Q) Where is pico gray installed?
A) Usually, "c:\Program Files\Stardock\Object Desktop\WindowBlinds\pico gray". All batch files referred to below are in this folder.
Q) How do I customize this?
A) I created batch files to change different elements of the skin. If you can navigate your way around Windows and run batch files then skip the video tutorial and read the questions.
You may also view the video tutorial for pico tea which walks you through the steps. Instead of pico tea, the directory is pico gray: [link]
Q) How do I change the taskbar?
A) Double click any of the use-taskbar*.bat files. The name of the batch file corresponds to the sub in Window Blinds.
Q) How do I make the taskbar transparent?
A) Double click use-taskbar-transparent.bat.
Q) How do I change the font and glyph colors on the taskbar?
A) The font color and start button color is tied to the start panel. Double click any of the use-panel*.bat batch files. The color at the end, black or white, is the font and start button color.
Q) How do I change the size of the start panel?
A) Double click any of the use-panel*.bat files. Choose either black or white to contrast with your taskbar.
Q) How do I change the start button?
A) Double click any of the use-start-button*.bat files.
Q) Why don't substyles change the taskbar, panel, etc.
A) Substyles are inflexible. By allowing separate batch files, you have more freedom to mix and match taskbars, buttons, etc.
Q) How do I make Explorer look like your screenshots?
A) Use the Styler utility. See video tutorial: [link]
Q) What font is used in this skin?
A) Vista's Segoe UI font. I do not distribute the copyrighted font with the skin.
Q) I made too many changes, how do I set everything back to normal?
A) Double click use-scheme-default.
Q) How do I get that minimal look?
A) Double click use-scheme-min-square. This changes the start button and window buttons.
Q) How do I put the common tasks back on the left?
A) Double click use-shellstyle-left
Q) I saw your other skin pico tea. How is pico gray different?
A) Pico Gray started as a gray variation of pico tea addressing usability issues with MS Office 2003/2007 and Visual Studio. Since then I've made many enhancements. Pico gray uses bluish cyan for highlites and glyphs. The styler toolbar is different. There are many tweaks. There are different substyles. Customizable window buttons.
Q) What's with the pico name?
A) It's thinner than the iPod nano, hence pico. After you use this skin it feels as others have said, "like a different OS." It's clean and flat. I plan on releasing a few more pico style skins.
pico vader - dark w/ transparency, in the works
pico flora - patterns (hawaiian, victorian, stripes)
pico halen - metal
* changed hover on window buttons
* changed hover on taskbar hide/show
* changed glyph colors to black on window caption and taskbar
* tweaked the shellstyle to use less screen space, default is now on right (use-shellstyle-left, use-shellstyle-right)
* fixed bug with scrollbars on default
* changed hilite of styler toolbar to match window controls
* scrollbars 2 pixels wider
* made buttons, scrollbars and tabs smooth
* made hilites smooth
* fixed MDI windows, made them square to differentiate from non-MDI windows
* fixed hover effect on spinner (up/down) controls
* minor tweaks to color
This will more than likely be the final BETA. I'll let this sit for a while unless bugs are reported.
I will depart from my usual simple, clean, functional style and do something different. I'm tired of the unoriginal Vista skins so I'll try to create a glitzy, usable skin---pico vader. I added a prototype of a pico vader window. Not really close since i'm using pico gray as a base but it gives you an idea. The glass work, hilites, etc. needs refining. The window shape will be slightly different. It will be a little bit darker. I'll design it with usability in mind but there will be compromises since transparency is very hard to do right when Window Blinds doesn't provide blur effects, etc.