TopThemes XP 2.8
You can sometimes get tired of the default Windows theme and if you donРІР‚в„ўt have enough money to dish out for Vista, how about using a theme customizer? TopThemes XP allows you to create your own themes and give your PC a fresh new look.
The first time you launch TopThemes XP, you can choose between loading a theme and creating a new one. You can download a theme from dowthemes.com and automatically set it if you donРІР‚в„ўt want to be bothered with creating one. Otherwise, move on to the central part of the program, to create and customize your own theme. The tabs at the bottom of the interface make it easy to quickly personalize elements like style, wallpaper or sound events.
The theme creation process is fairly straightforward. After adding a title to your theme, you are able to set a style. You can customize your style by modifying colours and font size but can only choose between two styles, Luna and Royale Type. With 12 different possibilities, changing the start button seems more promising. However we were left unconvinced when we realized most of the Start buttons were of poor quality and looked like they were pasted onto the toolbar. Once youРІР‚в„ўve decided on a style for your theme, you can choose a style from your window shells from the 11 different options available. Just like for the theme you can change the colour of your window shells.
The next step is to adjust your wallpaper, but TopThemes XP merely lets you browse for an image and set it as centred, tiled or stretch: nothing you canРІР‚в„ўt do in the Windows display control panel. Similarly, setting desktop icons and sound events is limited to browsing in your PC for new icons or sound files.
We only really enjoyed three features in TopThemes XP. The boot logo can be customized with an image of your choice and you can set the positioning of the progress bar on the window. TopThemes XP also lets you personalize your logon UI, by adding a background image, positioning the icon and adding colored frames at the top and bottom. Once youРІР‚в„ўre through just click РІР‚Сљcreate themeРІР‚Сњ to finish off. The schedule manager is also very easy to use and can randomly set how your wallpapers or themes appear and when they change.
Once youРІР‚в„ўve created a theme the supposedly exciting part is seeing what it looks like on your PC. Unfortunately we never managed to make this work with either of the different themes we created. We even downloaded some themes from dowthemes.com, but TopThemes XP refused to load these too.
TopThemes XP seems like a very exciting and simple to use application but its general feel leaves much to be desired. The fact that you canРІР‚в„ўt load themes is already fairly alarming, add to that the multiple spelling mistakes in the program ("adavanced", sound РІР‚СљevenesРІР‚Сњ instead of events) and you start to wonder how finished the application really is. The theme creation tools are easy to use, but most of them are already available in the Windows Control Panel. TopThemes seems like a promising application, and we hope that future releases will correct these shortcomings.